Friday, March 25, 2016

Simms Right Angle Footbed

Step up and feel the difference!


Whether perched on a poling platform scanning the flats for bonefish, or flipping and pitching for trophy bass, if you spend a lot of time on boats, you spend a lot of time on your feet. Anglers who rise early to catch the bite of first light and remain on the water to reap the rewards of dusk have all but come to accept foot, leg and back pain as a necessary evil. With Simms’ new Right Angle Footbed, the best support is now much more than just a soft foundation, it’s a platform specifically designed and engineered to allow you to fish longer, and harder without fatigue. Here, Simms Footwear Product Line Manager and Developer, Vince Garofalo goes in depth on Simms RAF and the importance of maintaining a biomechanically correct stance.

Simms: Back in July of 2015, the award winning men’s and women’s Currents Shoe, the Westshore Shoe and the Women’s Clearwater Sandal were introduced. Aside from grippy outsoles and tons style, all of these shoes boast a critical and innovative component — the Right Angle Footbed (RAF). What is the general idea behind this techy insole?
Garofalo: The RAF was designed to put your foot and therefore, the rest of your body into the correct angle — the right angle. If I was going to give a definition of RAF, I would say, it’s a specifically engineered, biomechanically correct arch support.

Simms: What exactly do you mean when you say, biomechanically correct?
Garofalo: When I say biomechancially correct, I’m referring to a biomechanically correct stance, which occurs when your foot, your ankle and your knee are straight. This allows an even distribution of weight across your entire foot platform, giving your whole body proper support from the ground up.

Simms: As a heady footwear guy, why is the correct support so important?
Garofalo: Like I say, it’s support from the ground up. What’s going on with your feet effects your whole body. Your feet are the foundation of your entire skeletal system. So it only makes sense, if your feet are not positioned in a neutral stance, neither is the rest of your body. The main goal of the RAF was to create a platform that allows anglers to fish longer and harder.

Simms: Given your background, what are the “symptoms” of not having a good arch support?
Garofalo: Most of the population pronates, which means their arches collapse inward. This causes the knees to buckle inward and sends pressure to the outside of the hips which in turn puts pressure on the lower back on up to the shoulders and even the neck. As far as symptoms go, I’d say it’s primarily fatigue. What generally happens is, if you’re healthy, you just kind of deal with it or become use to it. If you’ve never had proper support, you don’t know any different. Your feet get tired and then your legs get tired because your body is being driven by only a small portion of your muscles. The arch of your foot is the body’s natural shock absorber, when it has the correct support, or when your foot is “neutralized” you are then able to use your entire quad, all of your hamstring and your whole calf muscle and so on.

Simms: Is the RAF something people will notice right away?
Garofalo: When you first slip into a shoe with a RAF, you’ll notice a pronounced bubble under your arch and will likely feel a little pressure on the rear side on the inside part of the arch support. You’ll also notice subtle pressure on the lateral part of the foot.

Simms: What is the key advantage to a RAF?
Garofalo: A RAF stabilizes your foot. Again, it’s putting your foot into a biomechanically correct neutral foot positioning.

Simms: Does the footbed eventually take the shape of your foot or is it pretty rigid?
Garofalo: Absolutely. RAFs will eventually mold to your foot shape. Your body weight will naturally break down the arch and the entire footbed will conform to your foot shape with a good arch shape which in turn permits a customized feel.

Simms: Would you say it’s safe to say most anglers over look the importance of good support in most shoes?
Garofalo: I think so. Most shoes are not a performance driven piece of equipment — all of the Simms shoes that incorporate RAFs are. Being able to put your foot into a neutral position, or, biomechanically correct stance, you’re going to be able to stand longer, more comfortably, with less fatigue on your back and your legs which again will enable you to fish longer and harder and that was the whole idea from the very beginning of designing and developing the RAF.

Reposted from the Simms Blog and Community Specialist John Frazier

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