Note: See updates below
ShoCue sent out a pair of their new insoles designed to improve your performance by developing a feedback loop from your feet to your brain.
Bear in mind that I'm a foot expert; after all, I've seen the chart with all the acupressure points on the bottom of your feet… OK, I actually know just about nothing about feet aside from the fact I have Morton's Toe to complement my other ugly toes – according to my wife.
I've been running consistently for over a decade, and have tried multiple minimalist shoes, zero-drop, mechanical forefoot & heel cushioning, and a few other gizmos along the way. While I can confidently say some shoes do provide a multitude of sensory feedback and a “connection” with the road or trail, I've yet to try something like ShoeCue.
What They Say:
How it works:
- Your body relies on environmental feedback from the ground to optimize your movement. This is why the soles of your feet are so sensitive.
- Cushioned shoes block the feedback from reaching your feet. This encourages sub-optimal movement technique which affects performance and can lead to injury.
- The ShoeCue insole's gentle textured design restores the important feedback to your feet, while allowing you to wear your favorite shoe.
courtesy of shoecue.com
From Alex Kazarian @ ShoeCue:
‘ShoeCue is designed to provide the sensation of running barefoot, while allowing you to wear your favorite shoes. ShoeCue's Textured Heel Plate is not painful to land on, and does not immediately force you off your heels. However over several runs and a few weeks, it will train your body to reduce over striding, land softer, and favor the balls of your feet (this is currently being tested by independent researchers at the University of South Carolina). Additionally the sensation provided can be controlled by the fit and thickness of your socks.'
Opening, Cutting, & Installing
First thoughts out of the package:
- These look pretty thick and substantial
- The hard plastic nubs might be uncomfortable digging into my heel (SPOILER ALERT: they weren't)
The instructions were easy enough to follow, I pulled out my Icebug Anima4's and took the insole out, laid on top of the ShoeCue insoles, traced the outline, and trimmed off the excess.
After slipping them back in my ‘bugs, I went out for a slow 4 mile run to test them out. For the first mile or so they felt like they were massaging my heel, after that either my feet were numb or just got used to the little plastic nubs.
The cushion was noticeable and enjoyable, I'd have to run a lot more in 'em to see how they hold up with higher mileage. Overall, I didn't notice any important sensory feedback to my brain, but they didn't affect my run and even provided a little bit of a heel massage. I'm not opposed to keeping these in my running shoes for more tests, maybe the sensory feedback takes a little time to kick in?
UPDATE: Test #2
I spoke again with Alex at ShoeCue, and he recommended:
“…try them for an extended period of time, a lot of the effect we notice on gait happens progressively over several runs or weeks (an independent university study is currently underway which is showing this effect in preliminary results). Also I might recommend experimenting with different socks as that has a large effect on the sensation.”
I tested 'em out in a different pair of shoes and also swapped my socks. Moving from Mudgear compression socks to a cheap poly/cotton blend absolutely allowed me to feel the ShoeCue texture in my heels, and overall it was a pleasant experience. I'll take Alex's advice and keep it up for a few more weeks, I'm starting to like them just for the heel massage anyway!
My 1 Minute ShoeCue Review
Pricing & Availability
ShoeCue Insoles are available at shoecue.com starting at $29.99