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12 March, 2018

Can insoles improve your sporting performance?

We all want to perform better: at work, doing sports, even in our own free time… We want to achieve as many goals as possible and, if possible, investing in the minimum means. This is sports performance: the idea of achieving goals exploiting our resources to the utmost.

In the following article we reflect upon the use of running insoles to improve our performance, especially in the case of running.

Factors that determine sports performance

Sports performance depends on multiple factors and, the more variables we have in favour, the more probabilities we will have of optimising our efforts. Below we list some of the aspects you should take into account when assessing your performance:

  • genetic characteristics
  • nutrition
  • technique
  • psychology and tactical capacity
  • setting (social, economic, geographic…)

 
The importance of each of these factors also depends on the type of sport and the circumstances in which they are done: a gymnast does not require the same physical conditions as a footballer, or a professional sprinter as an amateur runner who goes to the mountain twice a week.

Moreover, we should take into account that in some of these factors it is easier to have a bearing than others: we can work to improve running technique but it will be more complicated to modify our stature or proportions.

Running insoles to improve sports performance

As we have seen, sports performance depends on multiple variables and running insoles (neither other products) can be seen as a magic wand which, overnight, can transform everything: our running technique, physical condition, metabolic characteristics, capacity of resistance…

However, running insoles can indeed help compensate imbalances in the footstep, increase stability in the foot and give the runner a greater feeling of comfort, which can indeed effectively have a bearing on our sports performance.

So, although running insoles are not a magic wand that fix everything in an “abracadabra”, we can in fact understand them as an external aid that, along with good training and other changes of habits, can undoubtedly optimise our sports performance. Below we explain to you in more detail.

Can running insoles prevent injuries?

Did you know that runners suffer 1 injury every 100 hours of exercise? This means that they lose between 5 and 10% of their training, on average (*). It is true that this is statistical data and the probabilities of injury also depend on each runner (and multiple factors linked to their state of health and way of training). But of which there is no doubt is that injuries, as well as being a physical bother of more or less importance, also translate into a reduction of hours of training, which has an effect on our sports performance.

Thus, if we manage to reduce the number of injuries in the runner, they will be able to continue their training with regularity and achieve their goals in less time. Furthermore, we should take into account that some injuries in particular may cause irreparable damage to our body, which will undoubtedly condition our possibilities of achieving greater performance.

Running insoles for absorbing the impact

As we explain in the post “How to choose running insoles”, during a race of 16 kilometres the feet hit the ground around 15,000 times and with a force 3 or 4 times greater than the runner’s weight (**). If we also take into account that no runner has a perfect footstep, and that today many of us run on hard surfaces such as asphalt, there is no doubt that we must protect our body against these overstrains.

Running insoles can absorb the impact and thus reduce the negative vibrations that spread around the body with each footstep. In this sense, it is important to have materials certified for their absorption properties: the NOENE viscoelastic material helps dissipate 92% of the vibrations (***).

Running insoles for stabilising the footstep

As well as absorbing the impact, the use of running insoles brings balance and stability to the runner, in that with each stride they can advance with greater security and thus minimise the risk of injuries such as twisted ankles.

Ergonomic running insoles adapt to the anatomy of the foot, with a support of the plantar arch, providing greater stability to the athlete, such as the Neone Ergopro AC+ running insoles or the Ergonomic-AC2 insoles.

Are there running insoles for reducing fatigue?

Firstly, we should point out the importance of respecting the rest days between training since by not doing so you can increase the risk of injuries. Taking this into account, if it is true that if we improve the recovery between exercises we could train more regularly or, although we don’t increase the frequency, we will certainly do it more efficiently because our body will once again be ready to perform to the maximum.

Running insoles can also help us in this. They are insoles with a high-tech fabric that favours the emission of infrared rays that increase the blood flow. This greater oxygenation of the blood and tissues minimises the effect of possible aches and, in general, improves recovery after exercise. This is the case of the NOENE Optimum-OFP2 insoles.

Are there running insoles for happy runners?

Can the use of running insoles change the state of mind of runners? Although at first it seems ridiculous, the use of insoles favours the runner’s comfort, and they also feel greater stability in each stride. This comfort in training and the recovery stage will motivate us to carry on running and, if to this we add the prevention of injuries, we will surely enjoy ourselves more doing sport and this will also translate into greater wellbeing and an improvement in our performance.

Conclusions

The use of insoles can favour our sports performance in more than one way:

  • Running insoles can help compensate imbalances in the foot.
  • Running insoles with viscoelastic materials such as NOENE can reduce the vibrations of the impact the body receives with each footstep.
  • Running insoles can provide balance and stability.

 

For all the above, running insoles:

  • Can help prevent injuries
  • Provide a greater feeling of comfort and security to the runner

 
So, if training can be more regular and efficient, sports performance improves!

If you want to find out more in the case of running, consult the article we published a few weeks ago about the types of running insoles.

*Data from the study ‘Injuries in Recreational Adult Fitness Activities,’ The American Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 21 (3), pp. 461-467, 1993.
https://www.peakendurancesport.com/endurance-injuries-and-health/muscles-and-tendons/running-injuries-dont-know-injuries-can-really-hurt/

**Data from the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
http://www.aapsm.org/running.html

***Data from the study Assessment of the capacity of NOENE® insoles to attenuate vibrations during running. IBV, Instituto de Biomecánica, 2012.

****Data from the studies Nexus Energy Fiber
http://www.nexusfiber.com/pubblicazioni.html