Wiivv (pronounced wēv) are not your normal run-of-the-mill insoles. They are custom fit and printed, yes printed, using 3D technology making this perhaps the most personalized part of your workout gear you’ll ever own. You can purchase them either through their website or their app found on the App Store or Google Play, but note, you will need the app even if you buy them off the website as the app is used in the sizing process. How? Well, I won’t go into too many details, but just know it uses your smartphone’s camera and clearly walks you through the process of taking pictures of your foot to ensure a proper fit for your foot and arch.
To make them further customizable, you can choose from four colors for the bottom of the insole and four patterns for the top as well as your name printed on each one. They arrived beautifully packaged in a box that was fun to open along with a bonus gift; a small wooden massage ball for your foot.
So that’s how you order them, but how do they perform? In my case, I have high arches and have only tried another brand of insoles once before. I didn’t like them. However, Wiivv insoles come in two formats; ¾ length, which is designed to go on top of your existing insoles leaving your toes free, and full length designed to replace your existing insoles. I'll be reviewing the ¾ length. When inserting them into your shoe make sure you align the heel of the Wiivvs with the rear of the shoe. This is nice because you can take them in and out easily for use in a variety of shoes.
Once in the shoe it’s important to follow the provided break-in instructions:
Day 1. Wear for 1 – 2 hours. Like with every new insole, there may be a break-in period where they feel weird under your feet. This is normal and to be expected. If your arch is not used to having custom support, you will most likely feel pressure under your arch.
Day 2. Wear for 3 – 5 hours. After your first day, your feet should be getting used to the new custom support – up your wear time to half a day.
After the first two days, I decided to give them a try working a long event standing on my feet all day. I did notice the support of the arch, which is new for me because I usually don’t feel anything because mine are so high. I could also feel where the Wiivvs ended at the ball of my foot. At first it felt strange, but then I got used to it.
Having broken them in, I decided to take them for a test run, again, following the instructions:
First athletic use. Before using them for any athletic activities, ensure your feet have had enough time to get accustomed to the newfound support. This shouldn't take more than 2 days of regular wear.
I went for a short run and was pleasantly surprised just how much I enjoyed the added support for my arch. With so much impact with each step, it was nice knowing my arches had more support. I can’t say I noticed any difference in my run, but I have been suffering a lot of Achilles and calf pain lately, so I am hopeful over time this will help reduce the pain.
The first few runs using the Wiivvs I did notice them; I could definitely feel them in my shoe, but they weren’t uncomfortable. After using them for several weeks, I didn't notice them at all. However, I did notice I lost my feel for the road as I ran. Also, my doctor was not in favor of using a rigid insole in that she felt my foot was weakening since it was relying on the insole for support rather the strength of the muscles in my feet. After I stopped using them I had two doctors confirm my feet started getting stronger and the issues I was having with my Achilles was improving.
That said, I still believe that these supports can be helpful, but it depends on the individual. In my case, it just wasn't working out.