Aaron Karns, M.A.
Updated May 7, 2020
3D-Printed insole manufacturers, like Wiivv, are expected to shake up the insole industry. The 3D-Printing up-starts are making the manufacturing process easier and more hassle-free for consumers. Insoles, on the surface, may seem like a pretty boring topic but upon closer inspection insoles are BIG business! According to Industryarc.com, the global foot orthotic insoles market was estimated to be around $3 billion in 2017. The market is anticipated to grow around 5.7% from 2018 to 2023.
Wiivv insoles are a total game-changer. The 3D-printed insoles are 100% customized to each individual. Digital photos of your feet you submit through the Wiivv app are used to map over 200 points to create the perfect insole for each of your feet. Because custom orthotics can go for upwards of $400, the Wiivv insoles are a great value at only $99.
I’ve been dealing with pretty nagging back pain for a couple of years now due to a sports injury. So, after Dr. RJ wrote about how your footwear may be causing your back pain, I decided to try out tip number five and incorporate insoles in my daily regimen. I had tried the typical drugstore Dr. Scholl’s inserts several times years ago but never had very positive experiences. Typically, those types of inserts were destroyed in just a month or two. Having connected with Wiivv, I was very excited to try out their 3D-Printed insoles.
The first step was to download the app on my phone. The app is an incredible introduction to the Wiivv brand. The design is incredible and the user experience is intuitive. Upon loading the app one of the first questions I was asked in the process was “What brought you here today?” I selected “relieve my pain or fatigue”. The next question asked what type of pain I have experienced in the past year. I indicated “back/hip pain”. There was a little bit of a misstep with the logic in the next question that asked, “Have you used any of these to treat your foot symptoms?” I say it was bad logic because I hadn’t indicated I was having any foot symptoms, just back/hip pain.
The next step was to digitally map my feet. The app suggests that if you need assistance with your photos that you should get help from a friend or family member. While that definitely would have made things a little easier, I fared just fine doing it on my own. To start, I had to grab a single blank sheet of computer paper (8.5 x 11 inches) for scale. The next step was to remove my socks and shoes and roll up my pants a few times. Next, following the instructions I placed the paper’s shorter edge (8.5 inches) against a wall, making sure not to let the paper slip under the baseboard. With my rear against the wall, I placed my right foot on the paper with my right heel butted up against the wall. Pointing the camera down toward my foot I had to center a ball in the circle target on the screen while trying to ensure that at least three corners of the paper on the screen and my foot is centered. I don’t know why, but I felt a lot of pressure doing this! The app will automatically take the photo when everything is properly aligned. Next, I followed the exact same steps to capture images of my left foot.
Following the downward photos, I was prompted to capture images of my arches. To do so, I was instructed to rotate my phone to landscape. This part was a little trickier than the downward shot. I had to lean my phone against a book on the ground so that it was at the perfect angle. Once the camera was in place I then scoot my foot around until I had it in the right place. It was helpful that there was a little countdown letting me know when the photo would be taken. First up was the right foot, followed by the left again. Next, I had the opportunity to review my photos to make sure that everything was satisfactory. I also faced the unfortunate reality that I will never be a foot model. After eating some ice cream to make myself feel better I punched in my personal information to save my Wiivv foot profile.
With the foot profile saved, it was time to shop!! You can choose from the full-length custom fit insoles ($99), 3/4 length custom-fit insoles ($79), Men’s custom-fit sandals, and Women’s custom-fit sandals. I selected the full-length custom fit insoles. Next, I was given seven different top patterns to choose from to customize the look. I almost moved to the next screen without noticing that I could click on another tab to pick the shell color on the bottom of the inserts. That was the final step of the process to order my new cutting-edge 3D-Printed Wiivv insoles!
My customized Wiivv insoles arrived at my doorstep approximately 10 days after I placed my order. The first thing that I noticed is that Wiivv knows that presentation is incredibly important. Presentation sets expectations by making an impression, even a promise, with the customer. The packaging has a clean modern design. Somehow the packaging isn’t overly busy but still contains loads of great information. The Walk Run Trek Bike top design that I picked out looked awesome. I also thought to put my name on the top design as well as the gray shell color was a great additional personalization. Let’s check out the Wiivv specifics that I found on the packaging and the Wiivv website.
Wiivv offers a 30-day happiness guarantee. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your 3D-Printed insoles, you can return them within 30 days for a full refund.
Wiivv guarantees their insoles will last at least 1 year. If the insoles don’t last, they will replace them with a brand-new pair.
- Custom-fit arch support without a doctor visit
- Custom colors for personalized style
- Deep heel cup to stabilize your heel and absorb shock
- Flexible insole to support your dynamic health range of motion
- High-performance foam tested to 150,000 cycles
- Waterproof, sweat-proof
Wiivv Helps With
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Foot Fatigue
- Flat Feet
- High Arches
- Knee, hip or back pain
The full-length Wiivv insoles are designed to replace the factory insoles that came with your shoes. The packaging claims that in rare cases you may need to trim your Wiivv insoles to fit a particular shoe properly. I guess I was one of the lucky ones who had to trim my insoles. Fortunately, there is a great tip on the packaging that will help immensely. When you remove the factory original insoles, place them on top of the Wiivv insole and trace around the top edges as a guide so that you have the perfect trim. It’s a good idea to trim off a little less than you may think you should cut off until the proper fit is achieved.
I decided to put my Wiivv insoles to the test in a pair of black leather wingtip boots I like to wear a lot. I thought about testing them in my running shoes, but I'm not a runner. My hobbies include fly fishing, kayaking, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, none of which are a great test for insoles. That’s why I ended up inserting them in the boots that I wear to the office three out of four days a week. I wear them outside of work pretty often as well. I also thought that the old-school wood heels would help put them through a good test. I’ve been using the insoles now for more than three weeks and I am very impressed. I set out with the simple hope that the insoles would have a positive impact on my back pain. I am not claiming that the insoles are a magic bullet, but I can honestly say that I have noticed a decrease in my back pain. There was a point a couple months ago that I had to use a foam roller on my back multiple times per day in an often-unsuccessful bid to decrease my back pain. Since I started using the Wiivv insoles I have not had to use a foam roller on my back more than three or four times in the past month. I also noted a complete unintended benefit. My knees have not felt this good in a few years! My knees feel like they are 20 years old again!
It all boils down to this question: Would I recommend that you purchase the Wiivv 3D-Printed insoles? The simple answer is yes. First, I really enjoyed the process of digitally mapping my feet. Second, I appreciated the fact that I could customize my insoles. Third, I experienced a reduction in back pain and an increase in knee joint health. Finally, the 30-day happiness guarantee and the 1-year manufacturer warranty make the Wiivv insoles a no-brainer.
I’ve purchased $40 insoles before that didn’t last me more than two months. I can tell that the high-quality manufacturing of the Wiivv insoles will last far longer which means they are a long-run money saver. I highly recommend the Wiivv insoles and I’m looking forward to trying their custom-made sandals next.