Weird Shoe Problems and Smart Ways to Fix Them – Rock Protection

Hey y’all,

Philip here. We have all probably been in this particular situation We’ve either bought a pair of trail shoes online (For shame!) or tried on and loved a shoe in store, but after running some miles in them, you feel like there’s something that’s just off about the shoe. Maybe you can feel every little pebble on the trail in them, or maybe the skin on the bottom of your feet start randomly burning while you’re running, or maybe the shoes just feel really harsh or flat underfoot. These are all really weird problems, which means they require really weird solutions. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be adding in little shoe tips and tricks to each newsletter on how to make those off-feeling shoes feel a bit better.


For today, we’re focusing this post on a common problem encountered by trail runners in the Texas Hill Country – getting poked by rocks through your shoes.

Problem: You Feel Every Rock and Pebble through your Trail Shoes:

Maybe you bought a shoe that’s more minimal or nimble. Or maybe you bought a shoe that has a lof of exposed foam that allows rocks to poke through. Or maybe you even bought protective trail shoes, but now they’re getting worn and they don’t shield your feet like they used to. Well luckily, there’s a cheap and easy fix to this:


Solution: Make your own rock plate!

1.You’ll need a marker/pen and scissors to start with.

2.Buy a cheap, flexible plastic cutting board from your local big box store. (I found that the SECOND cheapest plastic cutting board was a little better designed and protective than the absolute cheapest cutting board, but YMMV).

3. Take the insole out of your shoe and place it on the cheap cutting board.

4. Using the marker or pen, trace the shape of the insole on the cutting board.

5. Use the scissors to cut the shape out of the cutting board. You may have to further trim the plastic so that it rests neatly on the stobel below the insole. (the strobel is the foam or textile pieced sewn into the rest of the shoe). You’ll also want to cut it a bit short so that it has room to flex inside the shoe.

6. Place the shaped cutting board inside the shoe, then place the regular insole on top of it.

7. Use the previously cut out rock plate to trace and cut one for the other foot.

8. You now have new rockplates! If your cutting board plastic is too smooth and your insole is sliding around on top of it, poke a few holes in the rockplates to create “grippies.” This will also make sure they drain better if your trail runs take you through creeks and puddles!



This isn’t a perfect fix, but it will help give a little extra protection from the pokey stuff underfoot!

We’re looking to expand our answers to shoe problems and start adding little tips and tricks to each Tuesday post, so I’d like to hear about YOUR shoe woes! Do you have a mystery issue with a pair of shoes? I’ll be taking your feedback, connecting with our ATRC experts, and then we’ll suggest solutions!

Thanks for reading,




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