It’ll probably be easier to just admit this and get the hard part over with – as runners, our feet kind of suck. Calluses, blisters…callouses formed by blisters…bruised toenails, dead toenails, toes without toenails…the paragon that is the elite feet of this field can only be rivaled by either the cave-like peds of our ancestors (minus the hairiness) or ballerinas (because eww).
Even though they say not to judge a book by it’s cover, the rule goes out the window when it comes to judging runners by their feet. And as many runners will tell you, we’d rather be judged for our feet than do anything to resolve the matter with a quick fix from a spa. After all, those layers of dead skin save us from acquiring more bruises, more blisters, and most importantly…painful runs.
But there has to be a line drawn between inflicting savage cosmetic brutality on our feet and real, long term injury. Because the bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter how our feet look on the outside, it’s how they are holding up on the inside. Tendinitis, achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, extensor tendonitis (pretty much anything that ends in ‘itis’), adductor hallucis … other injuries that are hard to pronounce ….and even things like runner’s knee and IT band syndrome can be connected to the impact your feet taking. We are just one giant interconnected system, after all.
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But now, there’s something that can help alleviate that internal wear and tear. And unlike the products of yesteryear that cost your insurance premiums to go up, this one is rather simple, and doesn’t involve the time or need to visit a podiatrist. Thanks to advances in technology a company called Wiivvs is creating customizable 3D printed insoles for your feet. In their words, these fully customizable insoles perfectly match the contours of your foot’s unique size and arch shape, helping to redistribute the forces from daily and active pursuits. 
“We chose to do a custom insole first because we really believe that every step you take is untapped energy – untapped potential. For us the idea that we want to add active years to peoples lives is predicated on people being able to be active – and that starts with the feet.” Wiivv founder and CEO Shamil Hargovan explains about his company, which broke the Kickstarter record for most funded 3D printed product and was a CES 2016 Hardware Battlefield finalist.
full_redfractal_blue“We offer custom foot support which is going to lessen foot fatigue, and you can’t get that off the shelf because every arch is completely different – left to right or person to person.” says Jen Reily, head of marketing and care at Wiivv.
Though the back-end of Wiivv’s 3D printed technology is just as sexy and complicated as it seems (learn more in the video linked above) your experience is a complete breeze. Runners can use the simplicity of their own smart phone camera – along with Wiivv’s step-by-step free downloadable app and get a digital mapping of 200 points on the arch and heel of each foot. Bio- mechanical experts create a custom-fit insole that’s made and designed just for your feet through a very cool laser process (which again, you can and should check out in the video link above).  To add the icing to the cake – you’ll receive the package within seven days.
“For us these words ‘keep going’ represent a culture and a lifestyle we want all our customers to embrace” says Hargovan, “Get out there. Live. Enjoy the world. And when you’ve done something you’re proud of, then keep going.”
Wiivvs is staying true to this ethos and supporting the inner adventurers in each of us with their new brand ambassador program.  If you’re interested in learning how you can rep the brand, make some money and grab some sweet swag, check out this link. The Wiivv brand ambassador program is open to Wiivv enthusiasts around the nation, and taking applications now.
Check out Wiivvs and get your first pair here.

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