Late last year, after the Island House Triathlon and a beautiful Thanksgiving experience in the USA, I travelled to Germany to test my equipment for the 2018 / 2019 season. I am fortunate to have a fantastic supportive group of people in Cologne, Germany that are very excited and enthusiastic to support me to achieve my goals.
Although it was a stretch to continue the triathlon talk for another week during my break. I saw this time as a very worthy investment for the the next two years. The goal was to test everything and determine what the effective aero cost of using different equipment would be and at least know what we would be giving up to use different permutations of equipment.
KOM Sport visit
One of the key things I wanted to address for 2018 was my cycling footwear. I was privileged enough to have the chance to meet Oliver Elsenbach. He is the developer of the Solestar inner sole and is based at KOM Sport in Cologne (http://www.komsport.de/). I have not been running innersoles in my bike shoes or race shoes and was curious to try them and see if they help with power and stability on the bike.
What does the Initial assessment entail?
Oli conducted a Functional test of my feet and ankle joint. This included a feet-scan and evaluation. Oli made a manual diagnostics of my pelvic alignment, leg length and sacroiliac joint. The results were used as the basis for custom-made orthopaedic or sensomotoric insole.
In layman's terms
Oli took my personal details and took a look over my feet and examined my current bike shoes. He then took a foot scan to check where the pressure points were on my feet. He explained what the pressure points meant before observing me doing some simple movements to illustrate. He then used his experience to make a temporary solution with some wedges to illustrate to me the improved stability.
Oli then helped to choose the best fitting bike shoes and the best Solestar sole. Oli decided the Suplest Edge/3 Road Performance Shoe was best (link here: http://www.suplest.ch/01-035-en). This is a stiff and comfortable shoe that was best suited to my foot shape. Once the best Solestar insole for me is selected and improved with some specific modifications to address any imbalances, the soles were then placed in the new shoes and fitted correctly to my feet.
I highly recommend reviewing your innersoles in your bike shoes for comfort and stability. Solestar innersoles were designed by Oli. He explained to me that the special functional mechanism of Solestar soles are unique to other soles on the market and that they can work for every cyclingfoot/body because they fix the foot in the perfect position for cycling, he said with a simple smile. There are four models in the standard range with varying stiffness and control levels (www.solestar.com). They can be bought online or come standard in some shoe brands such as Suplest.