END YOUR PAIN NOW | Joeys Custom Footbeds

A pursuit to end boot pain by snowboarding’s Bhagwan of bootfitting.

Bootfitting is a dark art. Whilst technologies offered up by boot manufacturers in recent years have mitigated some of the historical issues encountered by snowboarders during the life-cycle of a snowboard boot – especially those within the ‘break-in’ period, we’re still making compromises in comfort, durability or performance.

Enter Joe Stanco, the Bhagwan of bootfitting; supremely knowledgable on all things snowboarding, and his latest endeavour being custom footbeds have boarders and retailers flocking. At the time of writing, Joe was on a state-wide jaunt teaching best-practice boot-fitting courses. Joe’s dedication to the snowboarder and snowboard boot conflict resolution process is undeniable, so we’re not surprised that his custom footbeds are gathering disciples in droves.

It was time to see the Guru…

Not all Guru’s are created equal, Joey’s unlikely New Jersey origins later led him to become one of the most knowledgeable boot fitters in the game.

T: Hey Joey, we have to ask, firstly. How did you become known as the ‘Guru’ among the boot-fitting realms? And how long have you been practising this dark art?

JS: I think I get ‘Guru’ because I am the go-to person for problem-solving when no one knows what to do, which is normally at the point when people are throwing shit at the wall to see if it sticks.
I’ve put in my ten thousand hours and happy to take on the challenge. I have been boot-fitting full-time for 12 years for back-to-back seasons. And by that math it’s 24 seasons. My experience started in my hometown of New York. But my journey has brought me to Australia and Japan.

T: At what point did you realise the importance of footbeds, and more so, the need to develop your own – considering there are quite a few custom footbed offerings already in the market?

JS: In November 2013 I started at the Bootdoctors in Telluride, Colorado. This is where I learned the true trade. I learnt about footbeds straight away and how much they could improve my snowboarding immediately. With my desire for the endless winter, I brought my newly found boot-fitting skills to Australia. During my many years working in Oz, I met so many customers who didn’t believe they needed true custom insoles. This reason could be because of the price, the time it takes to create them and in some cases the shop environment being too busy. And it’s pretty hard to get a snowboarder to depart any further with their hard-earned beer money. I tried & tried to use off-the-shelf footbeds but it never gave them enough support & would consistently muck-up the fit of the boot. By putting in all the time in the store I began to understand what snowboarders truly needed & how much they were willing to pay for it. This is when I started dreaming of Joeys Footbeds. 

End your pain now? These beds could be the silver bullet answer to all your boot blues.

T: What’s been the process of developing Joey’s Custom Foodbeds, and the feedback so far?

JS: The process would have begun many years ago, however I started to put it into practice during the painstaking years of Covid. The goal was to create a product to bridge the gap between the lacklustre drop-ins (footbeds) on the market and the la-d-da ‘clinical-type’ custom insoles. I needed to make sure they were comfortable and affordable, but most importantly doing a great job of supporting the arch of the feet. I prototyped and designed moulds from scratch during this time, to try and create what I had envisioned in my head. The end product being the Joeys Custom Footbeds which you can find at all the Australian Ski resorts and select stores. I’m in the process of getting the Japanese and USA distro off the ground too. The feedback from the customers themselves has truly been amazing.

T: I have a fiscal complex when it comes to splurging on snowboard kit, how does one justify the additional expense compared to say buying that next step up in boot model?

JS: This is a trick question because I believe snowboard boots are the most important piece to the kit puzzle and you should spend as much as you need to, within reason. Regarding the direct question of buying footbeds with boots or buying the more expensive boot without them. I would have to say go the cheaper boot with the custom footbeds. The reason is quite simple. The foot will change shape without arch support. Therefore it will get longer or wider, maybe even both. So if you are worried about your cash, I’d get the right boot  thart’s in your budget with the right, correctly fitted footbed, so you don’t have to replace them the following year or in some cases the same year. Get your 100 days (the given amount of time a boot should last).

Sparky and Darcy seem to think Joeys beds are shit-hot. Now, that IS good feedback.

T: Traditionally I’ve just put up with the nuances of the snowboarding boot fitment, generally choosing the softest boot possible to hedge that break-in period. Long term, my boots get sloppy and my hips probably hurt more than they should. Have I been doing it wrong, and can you heal me?

JS: This is super common. By just going in and getting a soft boot so it’ll make your first day pain free, isn’t a long-term solution. I have helped so many snowboarders upgrade their boots to try and heal them. The secret to success is doing the same formula for everyone, no matter what. Find the right brand, the right model and the right size to fit your foot correctly. Let me tell you, this formula works. I among other bootfitters using this same approach have been rewarded with many free beers & thankyou.

T: Will you look to evolve the footbed range, and step it out into other products both boot and non-boot related?

My goal with Joeys Footbeds is to actually help people. I want to help educate staff and the shops, so the customers have better days on the hill. I will focus on specific boot-fitting products to start like footbeds, heel lifts, boot foam. With that being said, we have some things in the works with Autumn, Yuki Threads, & Rad Gloves. Keep your eyes peeled kids.

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T: Where does one go to get Joey’s Custom Footbeds, and how long does the process take?

JS: You can purchase Joeys Footbeds at your local ski and snowboard shop, hopefully. My goal is to support and have these footbeds available in-store so you get to speak with someone and try them on in person. We will always support local shops because we know it’s vital to the health of snowboarding. Alternatively if they are not yet available in your local area you can buy them from our website joeysfootbeds.com. We have free shipping and ship worldwide.

T: Lastly, before you leave us, we need one last piece of boot-fitting sage. What kind of wisdom could you impart on us before we buy our next boots?

JS: This is easy. And some of you had heard this before. Go into your local shop and see your local boot-fitter and try on your boots with their help. These important people have been trained to find the solution for you to have the best time on the slopes. There is so many minor nuisances with boot brands and models, so it’s impossible for the average Joe to keep up. And when you finally know your perfect boot and size, that brand will change it up on you. With that being said the number one problem regarding snowboard boots stems from the boots being to big, so  keep that in mind the next time you are in need of a new pair of boots. And lastly this phrase that should be trademarked by me, “your boots should fit like a sock”.

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Get Joeys Custom Footbeds either at your local snowboard store or online HERE


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