Running is one of the best ways of keeping fit and staying healthy. It lets you enjoy the occasional cake binge without the scales registering horrible numbers.
It's fun too, once you're on the move, clocking the miles, appreciating the great outdoors. And, maybe best of all, it keeps you sane!
However there can be a downside. Running asks a lot of questions of your body and sometimes it throws up unpleasant answers. Intense exercise, which running often means, can lead to injury.
The best preventative measures are stretching (before but especially after training), cross-training to spread the load around your muscle groups, progressive increases in running distances and regularity, and lots of rest.
The correct footwear (here a visit to your local running store is the way to go) is crucial while many numbers use and praise the contribution of good quality insoles. If you're among those runners or you're looking to improve the comfort of your training runs then there's good news.
Best in class brand Sorbothane has, with their new 'Double Strike' model, introduced a new wave of leading edge insoles. I tried a pair of these out recently and was impressed with their performance. Out of the box I was struck by the quality of the product and its main elements - the built-in forefoot, the heel pad, the seriously absorbent mid-section and the top surface layer.
On the road the insoles provided lots of cushioning and comfort plus serious shock absorption. Sorbothane say: "Our technology helps to limit the trauma caused to the body during exercise. Having been clinically proven to absorb an unparalleled 94.7% of shockwaves."
They continue: "Sorbo Pro supports, aligns and cushions the sole of the foot to carefully centre the user’s geometry, while the stabilising arch provides a biomechanical fit to address excessive foot pronation and strain to plantar ligaments and muscles."
The key to the absorption quality of these insoles is the viscoelastic material used. This means that on impact, the polymer deforms to disperse shockwaves laterally, rather than up through the body, which could cause damage to joints and tissues.
This say Sorbothane means: "... assistance in reducing the chances of exercise-induced injuries, and help in preventing the re-occurrence of old injuries, while offering unrivalled comfort and support."
My experience with the insole was very positive: "Easy to insert. Lots of comfort, support and impact reduction on the road. I also like the new Coolmax technology – this specialised fabric kept my feet cool and dry for the duration of the run and there were no nasty smells either (thanks to an antibacterial top sheet)