Ahhh, my initial prickly pear cactus moment coincided with a first-time visit to Tucson, Arizona. Out visiting the Old Tucson movie studio west of town, there happened to be an ice cream store there. Remember, scorching temperatures in the desert occur with regularity. This day being one, the idea occurred to me to sit with a dish with my soon-to-be bride plus a cold nopal treat. There on the ice cream offerings, one stood out: Prickly Pear. Now, did it contain briars or fuzz or what? Nope, more in the kin to strawberry, just not as sweet. But, cold and pleasant-tasting.
Now I have prickly pear in my shoes
Fulton came into being with the idea of “making the connection between arch support and everyday wellness.” Founders Libie Motchan and Daniel Nelson sought a solution to their back pain. Their vision focused on supporting the tendons, bones, and ligaments working together to help you not only move and walk but to snowshoe and trail run. Pretty essential basics if one plans to spend any time on snow or trails.
Since Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Arthur Steindler, advanced his work showing the interdependence of all body bits and pieces, a key focal point became the foot arch. Thus, Fulton’s creation led to their arch shoe implant development and the opportunity to review their unique insoles.
Put a cork in it!
The cork bottom provides the chassis for Fulton’s implant. The next layer incorporates an “antimicrobial, natural and sustainable latex foam.” Then the cap, a vegan cactus leather liner. It turns out the prickly pear cactus provides mature leaves to make that organic bio-resin layer when harvested. With no briars either. Cactus leather as an alternative leather has become quite popular with the billion animals that will not be “killed for fashion.”
Fulton says, “Between our moldable cork, cactus leather, and rubber latex foam, all of our materials are plant-based.” Besides appearing in our foot-saver Fultons, Cactus leather now finds use as car seats, tote bags from $50 to above $300, and jackets, to name a few. Happy Days are back. Call Fonzie; it’s time for a new kind of Bomber Leather Jacket. Tea & Tequila, an online cactus leather shop, points out that the material resists abrasion, rubbing, and tearing, is breathable, bacteria and stain resistant, plus fire retardant.
Read More: Gear Review: KEEN Howser Wool Slippers
How your feet talk
Just as important as choosing your boot is choosing your insole. In fact, some extra cushion in your shoes may even prevent injury. I used the pair of Fulton insoles the company sent in two different uses for this review. First, wearing my Clarks Wave Walk loafers for casual dress, these insoles fit my shoe and foot size perfectly. The shoe has naturally built-in softness, so the ride was perfect.
Then, I tore out my Dr. Scholl footpads and the factory-installed floor in my Salomon trail shoes. The Fulton addition felt nifty to my feet, which are disposed to alerting me to their displeasure by sharing pain notes. I didn’t get them out on the trail with these shoes, but I’ll add a disposable softcover like a drugstore variety or use the original shoe installation as a base when the occasion occurs.
To break in your insoles and have them become customized to your arch, Fulton recommends 10 hours of consistent wear use.
So, for now, the idea for use on severe trails means adding a buffer of more softness to the rocky, rutty, root-covered adventure we find trekking the Superior Hiking Trails in Northern Minnesota. Though, Fulton’s all-plant-based products appear likely to hold up for the life of the shoe, if not longer. That’s quite cool.
Sustainable foot happiness
The market for advanced arch supports and sole implants seems to have exploded, and how the implant world has progressed over the decades. My first pair came from a medical institution, the second from a chiropractor. Neither were affordable, but when those were the only options for proper arch support, what’s a bloke to do? Now I can get them quickly from a box, recyclable if you care. We recycle as much as we send things out as trash in my household.
The Fulton Insoles are worthy players in the implant, support-the-arch field.
Not to overstress this point, but Fulton “manufacturer’s machines run on renewable energy.” Plus, one can use FSA/HSA cards to pay for them. And, yes, shipping is included in the $48 per pair purchase. Check out Foot Fun with Fulton for a complete picture. Oh, yes, one more thing: buy three pairs, get $30 off; a big incentive to have a Fulton in more of your shoes.
Refer a friend, and the friend gets $10 off, and you get a $10 credit against your next pair. Since Fulton does not have an additional fee for shipping, the credit reduces your purchase cost. With the savings, check out a carton from Opi’s Creamery of prickly pear ice cream.
Your happy feet will be delighted with your choice.
Have you used Fulton insoles? What are your experiences and recommendations? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Fulton Insoles provided a pair of insoles for testing in this review. However, the views expressed are entirely the author’s own.