Last week, just before departing for OTS 2021, I made a silly error which almost took me out of the game early but SUPERfeet came to my rescue, writes Bob Morrison.
Usually before I head off on a trip or assignment which I know is likely to involve a lot of time on my feet I swap the insoles of my primary footwear for a pair of Svartz ABSORBER footbeds… but last week I forgot!
By the end of Day One at OTS 2021 (the UK Outdoor Trade Show) my feet were in bits as not only had I racked up near to 20,000 steps that day (according to a newfangled ‘fitness’ watch that my ‘personal nurse’ has persuaded me to wear) but the majority of the distance covered had been on bare granolithic floor surfaces. Granolithic floors are usually made with crushed granite for increased wear and during major exhibitions the walkways between stands are almost invariably covered with thin but sturdy carpeting for attendee comfort though this summer, as a precaution against the spread of the pesky pandemic, floors at events are being left bare.
When not wear-testing combat boots I invariably alternate between the broadly similar LOWA Innox and HAIX Black Eagle mid-height lightweight boots, with their standard insoles / footbeds fitted if I am not planning on doing anything particularly onerous that day. On foreign assignments I always take a second pair of boots in case of unexpected issues but for OTS, which was just a four-day round trip to the north-west including travel by rail, I only took one pair of boots with me (plus a pair of light sandals as backup to let my feet breathe in the evenings) meaning that by the end of the first day at the show I had no alternative to fall back on for the next two days. Oooops!
Fortunately on the very last stand I passed when exiting the main hall that evening the SUPERfeet team was chilling out after a busy day and I sought their advice. In addition to my feet feeling like they had been flayed by a cat o’ nine tails, a serious knee tendon injury from my early twenties which reared it ugly head again a couple of months ago is still playing up quite a bit and my resultant peculiar gait is also putting strain on the opposite hip, therefore I needed some serious advice from the SUPERfeet experts in solving walking problems. They not only suggested that I try the TRAILBLAZER Comfort Insole model, but gave me a pair from their display to take away with me.
These TRAILBLAZER composite construction footbeds have an EVOLYTE (black) carbon fibre stabiliser cap under the heel and instep to improve foot support and stability. On top of this is full length (orange) Aerospring Ascent dual comfort foam to reduce fatigue and provide reliable stability. The comfortable (green) next-to-foot layer uses Advanced MoistureWick fabric with odour control to reduce the pong after a long day on your feet. There is a deep heel cup to help prevent foot slip and a squashy HIT Pod (mustard) helps disperse impact on ascents and descents.
Once back at my hotel (I try to leave the camping to Jean and Mike Gormley) I delved into the bottom of my Snugpak Essential Wash Bag for my Leatherman FREE T4 pocket tool, which I carry on almost all of my travels and which has a useful pair of mini scissors; Ramilla is convinced these were conceived specifically for trimming her nails, so I need to keep a close eye on the T4 when we’re abroad to ensure it doesn’t jump into her cavernous handbag. I then used the standard, and well worn, insole from the opposite boot as a template for trimming each TRAILBLAZER to size and crossed my fingers that they would work. They certainly did, and not only were my feet in much better shape next day but they covered even more ground and were fresh as a daisy for Day Three – plus I kept them in for the return journey to Devon as well.
Nice one SUPERfeet! You certainly saved the day.