Sir Ranulph Feinnes has his Sidas insoles fitted before his Coldest Journey expedition

Sir Ranulph Feinnes has his Sidas insoles fitted before his Coldest Journey expedition

Outdoors footwear specialist Sidas has stepped in to help adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes complete one of the toughest challenges ever attempted.

The explorer will attempt to walk across the Antarctic continent during winter in temperatures as low as –90C and in near total darkness.

The French company has supplied the Coldest Journey team with custom footbeds for their 2,000 mile trip across Antarctica.

Sidas said: “In total, the team will spend an estimated 273 days on the ice, and once underway, travel at an average of 35km per day.

“As you can imagine a journey of this magnitude puts an incredible strain on the human body, and in particular the feet, which will bear the brunt of this 2,000-mile trek in extreme conditions.

“With this in mind the Coldest Journey team have been outfitted with Custom Multi insoles and heel stabilisers from fitting specialists Sidas.

“In order to cope with and manage operating in temperatures, which routinely reach –60C, all members of the team will be wearing oversized footwear in order to allow for additional layers of insulation. While this solves one problem it also creates another.

“Larger footwear means more room for the foot to move around whilst in motion, which in turn can lead to the friction which causes hot spots and blisters.

“Even during normal conditions a blister can put the dampers on an otherwise great day, but in such an extreme environment a blister can literally be the end of an expedition.

“With opportunities to remove footwear and treat or manage blisters few and far between, the team opted to utilise a Sidas insole that is custom moulded to each of their feet.

“The process, which takes around 30 to 45 minutes, involves analysing the size and shape of each individual foot before flat, malleable insoles are placed onto a print of the foot produced using silicone-filled cushions.

“The end result is an insole that precisely matches the individual shape of each foot and helps to correctly position and locate them within footwear.

“The practical application of this is a vastly reduced risk of rubbing, blisters or discomfort occurring through movement, as well as greatly improved foot support and general levels of underfoot comfort, providing truly comfortable feet for the coldest journey imaginable.”

Sir Ranulph and his team are currently sailing south and expect to begin their trip across Antarctica from Crown Bay to McMurdo Sound via the South Pole on 21 March.

Details of Sidas products are on its website.