Blue skies, summer temperatures. France in July 2019. I’m sitting on my racing bike and climbing the passes of the Tour de France, the most famous and prestigious cycling race in the world. Beautiful landscapes on the Col du Galibier as far as the eye can see. A dream, were it not for the unspeakable pain. I have to grit my teeth with every step. It’s not the legs that are the problem, but the feet. Due to the summer heat in the sunshine and the length of the tour, my feet are swollen. The shoe is too tight.
Many cyclists are familiar with the problem of aching feet. Pain that manifests itself as burning, tingling or numbness, for example. In 2020 and 2021, the number of cyclists with covid has risen sharply and it is precisely here that there is great uncertainty about how to avoid pain in the feet. There are numerous factors that make up a suitable shoe, and not always does improper footwear only lead to pain in the area of the feet. Back problems or numbness in other parts of the body are just some of the effects when our feet have problems.
I had almost accepted my problem with burning soles. I wanted to counter the pain with shoe insoles. However, the day in France at the Col du Galibier showed me that the shoes became too tight as a result and the problem of burning only changed into pressing. I was at a loss. In February 2020, just before the Corona crises, I was on a cycling holiday in Cyprus. There I met Wolfram. He told me about Jens Machacek. Jens is a world-renowned expert in bike biometrics/bike fitting, bike ergonomics, sports biomechanics and insole construction. Jens is the inventor of the WINSOLE cycling shoe insoles. Wolfram had custom-made WINSOLE insoles made of carbon, which he pulled out of his cycling shoes on Cyprus and held under my nose. “You’ll solve your problems with these, Lisa,” Wolfram said to me.
I was a big sceptic of shoe insoles. Shoe insoles are now used in all kinds of medical fields for all kinds of ailments. It’s a real marvel with which a lot of money can be made. After my experience in France, I thought I was through with the subject. Wolfram convinced me to test the WINSOLE cycling insoles and I contacted Jens Machacek after the holiday. When you talk to Jens Machacek it quickly becomes clear: the man knows what he is talking about and what he is doing. He doesn’t need to convince with “kinesiology tricks al a balance power bracelet” or completed weekend courses on bike fitting. Jens Machacek is pure competence.
Jens Machacek has achieved worldwide expert status in the field of orthopaedic shoe technology and holds numerous patents. He has worked with the national track cycling team and the FES (Research and Development Centre for Sports Equipment Berlin) for years. A special track cycling shoe was developed for the 2012 Olympics in London. Jens Machacek put his knowledge in this development of the shoe’s inner construction into the WINSOLE cycling insoles. This work resulted in today’s version of the WINSOLE. Already at the London Olympics, several gold, silver and bronze medals and at the World Championships numerous World Championship titles were won with the WINSOLE cycling insole (see below for successes in 2021).
WINSOLE insoles are available in different versions (voucher code*: PushHarder). Of course, there is a standard product for recreational riders with occasional activity, but also special insoles for ambitious athletes. However, since not everyone has a standard foot with “common characteristics”, but often already has slight deformities, flat or splay feet, individually adapted insoles make sense. Sensorimotor elements, such as those found in the orthopaedic field, can be incorporated and reduce foot malpositions. Tension or cramping of the muscles can thus be prevented.
Problems are often caused by the wrong footwear. Jens Machacek explained to me that many cyclists have wrong ideas about the fit of a cycling shoe. Just as with running shoes, cycling shoes should not fit crisply tight, but leave air for the swelling foot in the course of the load. There should be at least half a centimetre of space between the shoe and the toe. My shoes (I even wear the SIDI brand 2 to 2.5 sizes larger) actually offer enough space for swelling feet. In France, however, I had inserted inappropriate soles, which then caused the pain.
I decided to have individual WINSOLE insoles made. I received a package in the post with a box, a sheet of paper and instructions. The box opened in the middle. In each of the two halves was a plastic core. With both feet I stepped onto the plastic in the centre of the left and right side, in which an imprint of my feet was formed. On the paper I placed the original soles of my cycling shoes and traced the border. The paper and box went back to WINSOLE. Shortly afterwards, I held my customised WINSOLE insoles in my hands. The soles fitted perfectly into my cycling shoes. Already during the first test ride I noticed how comfortable I felt. No pressure, no rubbing and no need to get used to them. I have now been riding with them for numerous months and can definitely recommend the WINSOLE insoles. I am just a small reference for the top work of Jens Machacek. Numerous athletes swear by WINSOLE insoles. Also in 2021, WINSOLE athletes were able to achieve numerous successes such as European Championship titles, World Cup victories and some national titles.
Via the voucher code: PushHarder (case-insensitive) for a 20% discount on the purchase of WINSOLE insoles. Valid until 31.12.2021. The voucher for WINSOLE cannot be combined with a prescription.
Successes 2021 with WINSOLE (selection):
Mona Mitterwallner (Austria) Team Trek-Vaude: 6 World Cup races 6 victories, overall World Cup winner.
World Champion Cross-Country, World Champion MTB-Marathon
Emma Hinze (Germany) 3-time World Champion: Silver Olympic Track Sprint
Pauline Grabosch (Germany): World Champion Track Sprint
Lea Friedrich (Germany): World Champion Track Sprint
Nicole Goeldi (Switzerland), E-Bike World Champion
Anne Terpstra (Netherlands): World Championship runner-up, Olympic silver medallist
Team Ghost MTB: overall World Cup winner team ranking
The advantages of individual WINSOLE insoles are:
Increased performance through stabilisation of the knee (up to 44 watts)
Special carbon core with cushioning materials for increased performance and comfort
Relief of the knee joint
Relief and stabilisation of the forefoot (no burning, tingling, numbness and cold toes)
Relief and stabilisation of the ankle joint
Special insole that adapts to the foot
Optimal fit in the cycling shoe and on the foot
For triathletes: Relief and protection of the running muscles
Heel area flexible for improved adaptation in the shoe
WINSOLE are made in a patented manufacturing process, Made in Germany. They are unique pieces that are handmade by orthopaedic specialists. With an insole prescription from your doctor, the costs can be settled in full or proportionally with your health insurance.
*WINSOLE voucher code PushHarder (case-insensitive): 20% discount on the purchase of WINSOLE insoles. Valid until 31.12.2021. Voucher cannot be combined with a prescription.
Images with kind permission of WINSOLE
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