goHUNT's Jared Pierce getting his SheepFeet impressions done. Photo credit: Jared Pierce
There is nothing that can make or break your hunt like quality footwear. That is a well-known statement and if you don’t believe that, you will quickly learn how much quality boots mean after a hard mountain hunt. If you want to go a step further with your mountain hunting boots, you absolutely need to consider replacing the insoles that came standard in your boots with custom orthotics. If you want to hunt as hard on day one as on day seven, then having custom orthotics in your boots will keep your body in top shape.
Back in the early spring of 2020, I tried out SheepFeet custom orthotics on a spring bear hunt before we carried them in our Gear Shop. A little back story, I’ve tried other “aftermarket insoles” in the past and they just wouldn’t cut it. When you buy an insole for a standard foot, you are not getting the support you need in your boots. Those run of the mill insoles you pick up are made to potentially work with a certain arch type, but they are not made for YOUR feet. Made for your feet is the key point here.
You owe it to your feet and body to do what you can to make things comfortable. Doing so means your body will hold up to the rigors of a hard hunt.
Custom booth orthotics are a correcting device. One of the best ways Caleb of SheepFeet described these to me was it’s like the foundation of the house, if something is off in the foundation, the impacts will be felt in other areas of the house. So custom orthotics in your boots are going to keep your body’s alignment true. Especially when hunting and carrying a heavy pack.
When you order a set of SheepFeet, what you will get is an impression form kit (see above photo). You will then take an impression of your foot (this is a super easy process) and you will mail the kit back to SheepFeet.
GOHUNT's Jared Pierce getting his SheepFeet impressions done. Photo credit: Jared Pierce
If you need any help with this process, check out the video on how to perform this process at the link below.
They then take the impression and pour it with plaster and it basically makes a replica of your foot. Your foot form is then evaluated and they will determine where you need to have corrective areas in your orthotics. This will allow your foot to be fully aligned and corrected. After this process is complete, your custom insole is a 100% match to your foot. And best of all, the people behind SheepFeet are hunters, so they understand how much abuse we put our bodies and feet through during a hunt.
A lot of times a boot might not fit your foot correctly and you might instantly feel like this is a bad boot for you, when in fact, that standard boot insole is most likely the root of the problem. Boot manufacturers do not make a custom arch in a boot that is supposed to fit all foot types. Remember, not every person's foot is the same.
As stated earlier, the custom orthotics from SheepFeet are an exact replica of your foot and they also keep your foot in the correct position and alignment. The more correctly aligned you can be the better as this can help prevent injuries.
Truly customs insoles are a lot different than just other standard aftermarket insoles. The aftermarket insoles that you can pick up off the shelf are again, not a 100% match to your foot, and are built to fit a wide variety of people. These custom orthotics provide support where YOU need it. Having a quality insole will truly make whatever boot you use, perform like a fully custom boot.
The Extreme Curl Cushion that SheepFeet uses is an open-cell design that absorbs 90% more impact than other soles on the market. Check out the impressive bowling ball stress test video below to learn more.
You have the option to purchase your SheepFeet with or without heel stabilizers. What they do is keep the orthotics from pivoting from side to side. Also, they help prevent pronation where your foot rolls inward and your arches collapse. Or supination where you roll outward. Where I see the heel stabilizer shine is when you are hunting in steep terrain. They give= your feet something to lock into and gives your boot something to prevent you from potentially rolling an ankle. In my opinion, you will greatly benefit from the heel stabilizer option for any hunting boot.
Caleb explained that for most people, the benefits always lean toward getting your SheepFeet with heel stabilizers.
If you experience hot spots on the top of your heel, this is most likely from the boot not having a proper heel cup for your foot. Or if you don't have a problem with pronating (rolling in) or supinating (rolling out). An easy way to tell this is if you look at a pair of everyday shoes from the heel, and if there is incorrect wear on the sides, then you will want a heal stabilizer.
If you want to see a very telling video on why the materials in SheepFeet are 100% worth it, check out the video below where Caleb demonstrates the shock absorbing ability by dropping a bowling ball from 15 feet on several different insole options.
Boots are already a great investment, but taking it a little step further with a SheepFeet custom orthotic, will allow you to have a boot that is now custom to your feet and also corrected and aligned for your body. So in the end the price of SheepFeet is well worth the investment to allow you to hunt hard every single day. Get a custom orthotic and feel the difference.
Plus, all SheepFeet are handmade in the USA!
SheepFeet are high impact absorbing, while still staying light weight since no one wants something that adds a ton of weight to their boots. In the end, good boots, good socks and a custom orthotic complete the package.
Summary of the benefits of SheepFeet
Custom orthotics will last you plenty of years of hard use. Most people will be able to go right away and hike in their SheepFeet with no break-in period, but just like boots, it would be best to place your new custom orthotics in your boots and go on a few hikes or wear them around the office for a while before your big hunt.
If you have any specific questions at all, please drop them in the comments below. And if you need even more assistance, our boot guy Jared Pierce is a great help. He can be reached at boots@goHUNT.com or you can call (702) 847-8747 | Ext. 3