Backin’ It!: Remind insoles and liners

The Cush provides more support than your local chapter of AA. The Cush provides more support than your local chapter of AA.

Not so long ago Jackson Hole ripper John Makens launched Remind Insoles, an orthotic footbed company marketed specifically to the snowboarder and skateboarder. I know what your thinking, “Orthotic footbeds? Didn’t we eradicate Polio in the ‘50’s?” It wasn’t until I had some unintentional bone displacement myself that I thought the same. However, with a new level of understanding I propose to you this idea: Think of the standard insoles that come with your shoes or snowboard boots as about as beneficial to your skeletal structure as smoking dirties is to your cardiovascular health… or something. The science behind this is complicated stuff, so if your like me and not so keen with big words and, “learning”, find relief in the fact that God himself endorses Remind. God, of course, meaning Travis Rice.

Get schooled by Rice’s testimonial and read the short Q&A with Mr. Makens. And oh yes, Remind has recently come out with the industries first after-market snowboard boot liner – something we’re definitely backin’!

John Makens practicing what he preaches.John Makens practicing what he preaches. Photo: Jeff Curley

What are the beginnings of Remind?

I just saw a need for this product. Well, twenty-five years of ruining my body skateboarding and snowboarding helped me see this too! Different insoles are a product I’ve tried to use my whole life like custom footbeds or Dr. Shoals or whatever I could find to ease the pain. So I thought it would be cool to start a brand based around this technology that was specifically for us skaters and snowboarders.

In simple terms, what exactly is the technology behind the insoles?

The main element is alignment. In every snowboard boot or skate shoe your insole is basically a flat pad. Foot shape is not considered enough in my opinion. So a lot of people have issues from not having proper support. Through some work with doctors and podiatrists and people in the field of biomechanics we have designed an insole that supports your foot properly. They align your foot in a neutral position, which takes the stress off other parts of your body. Most people aren’t aware that over time their bodies have naturally over compensated due to misalignment of the foot and all of its joints.

That kind of falls in line with my rudimentary understanding of human anatomy and orthopedic structure – the foot bone’s connected to the shin bone, and so on. So it would make sense that since we stand on our feet, we would want them to be dialed.

Your feet are like the roots system of your body in a way. If that is imbalanced every joint on the way up has to overcompensate. It’s like building the foundation of a house: If you pour the slab crooked, you are going to have to compensate for that with a crooked framing and the roof. From your heels, knees, hips, and all the way up your spine and back, by standing on these you put all those joints back the way they should be.

Beyond a feeble, broken man like myself, what kind of people will these benefit?

Pretty much everybody! Though we really market for skate and snow, anyone who stands will benefit from these. Not wearing proper shoes in itself will give you issues, but the toll we put on our bodies jumping down stuff all the time, we are obviously on the bit more extreme side of these “issues.” The list goes on and on regarding their preventative properties as well as their corrective ones. Most people who try these because of jacked back or knees end up telling us they will never wear shoes/boots without ‘em ever again.

Remind insoles and liners.Remind insoles and liners.

And now you have made the first after market liners for snowboard boots?

Yes. In my experience, the liners of your standard snowboard boot only last a week or two, which is fine for the average snowboarder, meaning the guy who goes 10-15 times a year. I think a lot of companies make boots for that person. But for people like us who ride 50 to 100 days a year, boots generally blow out after a few weeks because the liners pack out so bad. So these are an alternative solution for people who want liners that will last all year. We’ve created a foam that doesn’t pack out and is simply more durable that most of your standard boot liners. They are much more supportive and like our insoles are built around the anatomical features of your feet.

So it’s like the perfect thing for someone whose boots are no longer giving him or her the kind of support they once had?

Yeah it’s a new lease on old boots at less than half the cost.

Aside from all your do-goodliness, helping the half crippled shredder and all that, you are a small brand owner, a vanishing breed in this industry. What is something we can all do to educate others and ourselves on why companies like Remind matter and why they are so important to the real spirit of snowboarding?

The first thing that comes to mind is recognizing some of the older riders out there, the legends who have brought snowboarding to where it is. I think keeping those guys around is really important. They have a huge influence on things and to see them kicked out and tossed around is kind of missing the point of what is real. Another thing is just paying a bit more attention and schooling the youngsters on what brands are real and what are not. That is to say, those who are putting something back into snowboarding versus those who are just looking for another market share. It’s frustrating to see how much it has changed and how it’s now a battle to keep the reason snowboarding started in the first place alive. It’s cool to see companies like Yes. and Bluebird and Smokin’ keeping the core values alive – supporting these guys is supporting snowboarding.

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