My Favorite Things: The oven-baked solution that saved my knees

Shari Feuz mountain climbing
I have supportive footbeds in my hiking boots so my knees can make it back down the mountain!

There is nothing worse than active people who can’t be active and do what they love because of an injury.

My own knees sidelined my running and hiking for several years until I happened to discover a foot support system that completely eliminated my knee pain…

Custom Footbeds by Sole is an arch support system that you insert into your shoes. The footbeds can be heated and customized to your foot.

I like hills

I tend to seek out hills and mountains when I run. I used to run up the biggest hill I could find when I lived in beautiful Victoria B.C. where I went to University.  Mount Doug (Ok, not exactly a ‘mountain’) offers up a decent incline and a trek through rainforest-like trails back home, that’s how fitness should be. One day I started to get knee pain so excruciating that I ended up limping home 5-minutes into my run.

Three years later, I still couldn’t run more than 10 minutes without knee pain when the fitness gods decided to bestow upon me some good fortune. I was working for a Fitness magazine and part of my job included selling advertising. I came in contact with a startup called Sole Custom Footbedsand as I tried to sell them advertising, they did a smart thing and sent me a sample of their new product, a Custom Footbed,  a supportive shoe insert that you can customize by heating the oven.

Freshly baked

I ‘cooked’ my footbeds, put ‘em in my shoes and went for a run. 45-minutes into my run I started to notice a hint of knee tenderness, but no pain. The 40 minutes where I was able to run freely was pure bliss. Every step, every turn, every hill I wondered when I would start to get twinges of shooting pain and nothing happened but heavy breathing and a good sweat. Boy was I happy!

The firm arch height of the footbed does not flatten which supports the arch of my wimpy feet and keeps my knees from falling in. The result is a pain-free active lifestyle.

To this day, almost 8 years later,  I have a pair of Sole Custom Footbeds in every pair of my fitness shoes and hiking boots.
Image Credit: Sole

My collection

To this day, almost 8 years later,  I have a pair of Sole Custom Footbeds in every pair of my fitness shoes.

Several weeks ago I was planning for a 3-day back-country hiking trip into the Rocky Mountains and the first thing on my to do list was ‘get a pair of Sole Custom footbeds for my hiking boots’. After more than 10 hours on the trails without knee pain, I gave thanks to my foot support!


I have since learned alot more about the foot-knee connection. It’s the knees that are most often the point of pain, but rarely the source of the problem.

I have incorporated some additional strategies into my personal knee rehab program and none of them have anything to do with the knee. This includes:

-Assessing and correcting my postural alignment

-Correcting a hip flexor muscle imbalance with a corrective stretch and strengthen program

-Releasing my Iliotibail band (IT band) with myofascial release techniques

-Strengthening the intrinsic foot muscles

-Strengthening the Vastus medialis muscle (VMO), a quadriceps muscle that supports the knee

Got knee pain that is thwarting your workouts? Don’t be surprised if your physiotherapist or kinesiologist has a look at your feet or your hips. That is likely the source of your troubles!

Happy Training, 


Sole  Website


Have you used Sole Custom footbeds? What is your experience?

Have you been sidelined by a ‘mystery’ injury?

Have you ever had a posture analysis?


Disclosure. Yes, I did receive a free pair of Sole Custom footbeds, but If you read  the post you will see that was 8 years ago. They have no idea I am writing this post.


Author: Shari Zisk

Shari Zisk B.A., has been a fitness professional for over 20 years. She was born, raised and spent most of her fitness career in British Columbia, Canada. She now lives in the United States splitting time between Los Angeles and Atlanta. Shari writes full time about how to sweat, nourish and glow!

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