The Ergon IP3 Solestar insoles are a good way to sort out a pair of cycling shoes that you find painful. Ergon claims that they’ll help with your pedal stroke too. But they’re quite expensive and aren’t easily washable.
Helps stabilise the foot through the pedalling stroke
Rigid central structure helps with pedalling efficiency
Adds comfort and support over cheaper insoles
Can’t machine wash
Toe vents are a bit sharp-edged
If you suffer from hot foot, heel lift or aches and pains in your feet or legs when cycling, it might be worth swapping out your shoes’ insoles for a more ergonomic footbed like the Ergon IP3 Solestar.
Many cycling shoes come with pretty low budget insoles that don’t support the foot well, particularly if you have a higher arch. This can let it slip around during the pedalling stroke, allowing your ankle joints to move from side to side.
The Ergon IP3 inserts are designed specifically for cycling shoes, either road or MTB. They have a high raised section on the inside of the heel-arch junction, which along with forefoot support is designed to stabilise the foot and reduce inward and outward movement during pedalling. Ergon says that this improves power and pedalling efficiency.
For its Ergon IP3 inserts, the company has partnered with Solestar, another German company, which specialises in cycling insoles and supplies pros including André Greipel and the appropriately named Christian Knees.
The bulk of the base of the insert is quite rigid and so works well in stiff carbon soled cycling shoes. It’s made of glass fibre composite and is overlain with a green covering made of EVA foam to provide cushioning. The front section under the toes is just EVA foam and there’s a gap in the more rigid structure at the heel too.
The black covering material of the Ergon IP3 inserts is made of a carbon mesh fabric, which Ergon says is an antibacterial. It’s vented in the forefoot, where cycling shoes typically have vents in the outer sole too. The vent holes are quite large with rough edges and you can feel them under your toes in thinner socks.
On longer rides, I’ve found that the IP3 Solestar insoles have added an extra level of comfort to cycling shoes with firm carbon soles, some of which have lacked support, particularly to my fairly high arches. With their standard insoles, some of these shoes have given me cramps in my feet when cycling. But this has largely been eliminated by swapping to the Ergon insoles.
If you get the Ergon IP3 insoles wet or dirty, Ergon says you should just hand wash them then let them air dry. It says that they should not be put in a washing machine, which limits the opportunity to get them really clean.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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