Scholl Gel Activ Insoles – Extreme Heels

Heyya Everyone!

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a product tester for BzzAgent, and love every second of it. I have been sent some amazing products absolutely free, to test, try and review for all you lovely people out there!

This time I was sent a pair of Scholl Gel Activ Insoles to test – I chose the ‘Extreme Heels’ variety to try, as they are the style of shoes I wear the most.

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This was the perfect product for me to be sent to test out, as I don’t own a pair of heels lower than 4 inches, and I wear them on a very regular basis – whether it’s out shopping with friends, or going out for lunch with the family. I have tried out various types of insoles in the past, and have never been able to find one that agreed with me.

The packaging of these insoles is really great; it has a cut out on both sides of the plastic, allowing you to feel the insoles, which I think is a great feature as it allows you to judge their thickness and flexibility. It has all the necessary information on the back, including how to attach them to your shoe in the optimum place for comfort, and the packaging itself is plastic around the insoles to protect them from bumps and knocks before buying, with the outer piece being cardboard, meaning you can easily get the insoles out without scissors – we’ve all bought something in the past that has been completely encased in thick plastic and you have to wait till you get home then dig around for scissors, and have to hack away just to get it out!

As I stated earlier, I chose the Extreme Heels option. They have very small bobbles all over the front end, and a thin ridge of gel which I assume is meant to go near the ball of your foot, just before where the toes start. It also has a large oval shaped cushion of gel which will sit in the arch of your foot to give extra support. When taking them out I was immediately surprised that they are so small, they look like insoles for toddlers! It hit me then that they would only be for the ball of your feet within the shoe, which seemed a bit odd as your heel also takes a lot of stress and pressure whilst wearing heels. One feature I really liked was that they are self-adhesive, I’ve always found that my insoles slip around in my shoe, and when I take my foot out the insoles doubles back on itself and comes out too – but this should mean that’s no longer an issue.

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I chose to stick these into the heels I wear the most, my sand coloured suede Fiore shoes with the wooden heel. As these insoles are extremely flexible, it was a bit tricky sticking them into my shoe, they wobbled about like a wet fish! I got the left one in first time but had to redo the right one twice to get it to sit in the perfect place. I recommend lining the wider part up half way down the toe area of the shoe, and slowly smoothing down the back to avoid air bubbles and to make sure it’s straight.

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I wore these shoes out in the morning to go out for lunch and then shopping with a friend, and as I was wearing a skirt, I wore them with hold-up stockings. My foot slipped in beautifully and I didn’t notice a difference in the size of the shoe, they didn’t feel tight or uncomfortable, so the insole had no effect on the shoe’s sizing which is a big plus! I could feel the bobbles of the insole and it was an odd sensation at first, but as soon as I got used to it I found it quite relaxing.

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Later that evening I went out to town for drinks with close friends, and as I was wearing the shoes with slim fit trousers, I wore them with just bare feet. There was an immediate difference, the shoes immediately felt tighter, and my feet didn’t slip into them as smoothly as they did when I wore my stockings. I couldn’t feel the bumps on them as much with bare feet, they just felt like plain gel insoles to me, still cushioning, but without the added massaging feeling. My foot felt like it was stuck to the insole, it didn’t move about as freely as it usually does, or like how it did earlier with stockings on, there was no freedom of movement, and it wasn’t comfortable at all. After about half an hour I noticed that my feet felt really hot and uncomfortable, nothing like when I had worn them earlier. About an hour into the evening I had to take my shoes off, and only put them back on to hobble to a taxi, no way I would be able to do my usual walk home in them!

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When I got home I took off my shoes and saw that I had a nasty blister on the edge of my right little toe, no doubt caused by the insole not giving my foot anywhere to move about, causing it to rub against the side of the shoe. Never in the 4 years I have owned these shoes have they ever given me a blister, so I think it’s fair to say the insoles contributed to this nasty surprise.

My next test was whether or not they could be transferred from one pair of shoes to another. I gently lifted up the thinner end of the insole and peeled it back from the shoes sole – and disaster. It was pulling the shoes lining out with it, causing it to loosen from the shoe and flap about. This made me absolutely furious as I take amazing care of my shoes, yet these simple pair of insoles have almost wrecked a pair I love. After very gingerly lifting the rest of the insole out, they were free – meanwhile my shoes were put aside to be mended at a later date. The insoles were still sticky and easily attached to a new pair of heels with no worries – and they will now stay in these shoes forever as I don’t want to risk another pair getting damaged by there powerful pulling power!

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One other complaint I had was after reading the back of the packaging in depth, I noticed it stated it was suitable for shoe sizes UK 3-7.5. This seems ridiculous to me as most high street shoe shops sell up to a size UK 9, so the insoles should reflect that, otherwise it leaves a considerable amount of people unable to use them to there full potential. I also find that they are quite narrow across the ball of your foot, I have quite wide feet so I found that my foot went over the edges of the insoles, which wasn’t exactly painful as the edges of the insoles are tapered and thin, but it was a bit uncomfortable at times, especially when I was wearing the shoes without any stockings or tights as I could feel where it stopped.
It would be wise for them to make a wide fit option and go up to a larger shoe size, as not all of us have small, thin feet.

Overall I think that these insoles are good quality, providing you don’t remove them from the pair of shoes they are attached to. I also think they work a lot better, and are most comfortable if used when wearing tights/stockings. I think the pricing is average for a pair of insoles, especially since they cannot be moved from one pair of shoes to another.

Let me know what you guys think about the various insoles on the market, have you used a pair that was brilliant? Do you find them useful, or a waste of money? Would love to hear from you all!

Much Love,

Sabrina
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Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry review

Heyya Everyone!

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a product tester for BzzAgent, and love every second of it. I have been sent some amazing products absolutely free, to test, try and review for all you lovely people out there!

This time I was sent the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry foot file, retailing at £59.99.

I was looking forward to testing this out as I have always had hard skin due to constantly being on my feet – plus I’m often wearing heels which doesn’t help!
I had heard quite a bit about this product, and seen quite a few adverts on the TV and online, so I knew about it, but never had a chance to try it until I got the e-Mail from Jono saying I had been selected to try it! It arrived about a week later and I was eager to give it a go!

Please note I have included before and after pictures in this review, so those of you who suffer from podophobia, or just don’t like feet – you have been warned!

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My package contained a congratulations leaflet, my free Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry foot file, and a voucher book offering £15.00 off the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry in Boots for friends and family who want to give it a go!

I liked the packaging and the way the product was displayed inside, when you folded out the cardboard insert it contained all the information on the product;how to change the rollers and set up the charger – however I found the device itself a bit tricky to remove from the package, as it has plastic grips holding the file roller into the box. You had to pull quite hard to get this off and I was worried about breaking the product before I even got a chance to try it!

Once out of the packaging I gave the product a quick once over to familiarise myself with the buttons and how it worked. I was surprised to see that it arrived with a full charge which I thought was awesome, so it was ready to use straight out of the box.
The file has a simple on/off button on its handle, and 2 speed settings, both of which are easily reachable by your thumb whilst it’s in use, making it a great handheld device. It’s not too heavy and fit’s nicely into my hand (although I do have a large handspan) – and while the design is rather basic, it does what it needs to. The device has 2 small metal charging points on the back, which it rests on in the cradle to charge – the charging cradle is compact and doesn’t take up much space, it also means the device isn’t just left on the floor whilst charging, which I feel is much safer.
The outer packaging doesn’t have much information on the product itself, other than that it is waterproof, gives you “beautifully soft feet whenever, wherever” due to it being cordless, and that it is not suitable for use by those suffering from diabetes or those with poor blood circulation.

I decided to first test how waterproof the device was, and how well it worked in the shower. I tend to have most of my hard skin around the balls of my feet, so this is where I focused most of my attention. It held up well under the spray of the shower, but it did seem to be taking a while to sand down the hard skin, even on the highest speed setting – as though it was just smoothing out the rough skin, not actually removing it. It didn’t hurt at all to use, and it was very easy to use as it glided over the skin, easily reaching all the areas, even the pad of the foot near the toes. As I was using it in the shower, I didn’t have an issue with the dust it produces, as it was immediately washed away.
I used the file during my morning shower everyday for a week, and after all that I noticed it has smoothed over skin around the balls of my feet so it looked much better, it was also very smooth to the touch, however you could still feel where the hard skin was when you ran your fingers over the area. I believe that with constant use of this device I can wear that down and have my feet back to being baby smooth.

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My Fiancée Luke works in a bank and so is on his feet for almost 10 hours a day, and because of this he suffers from terrible hard, cracked skin on his heels. I thought that he would be the perfect person to test this file on whilst using it dry – to really put it through it’s paces! I started out with it on the low speed setting, however this didn’t do too much with his heels, but that’s more to do with Luke’s heels being as tough as stone, rather than the quality of the device. I turned it up onto the high speed setting and it worked a lot better, slowly grating away at the hard skin on the ends of his heels and smoothing it out. He kept up using this for the week alongside me, to compare results. After the week was up, his heels looked much better – this device really seems to work better dry than wet. The skin still feels tough but it is now smooth, it doesn’t catch on his socks or scratch me if his feet rub against mine – I think using the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry daily along with a good, rich moisturiser should get his feet back in check.

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After us both using it for 10 minutes each, everyday for a week, the battery has started to run low, so we put it into the charging station and left it to charge. It was very quick to recharge, being back to full power in just over an hour – the green light on the charging dock blinks green whilst it is charging, and stays a solid green once it has reached full charge and is ready to go again. I love that it shows when it is fully charged, takes out the guessing of when to take it off, or leaving it too long and damaging the battery by overcharging it.
I would have liked for it to have come with a small drawstring bag to keep the device in when travelling, or whilst it is not in use. Fortunately I have a draw I keep all of my electronic devices and chargers in whilst they are not in use, but not everyone does and this would help to protect the device from dust and dirt whilst it is being stored. Also, as it creates a lot of dust when using it dry, it would have been nice if it contained a small brush in the box, to brush off the dust and filings from the device after each use. I had an old powder brush which I used for this purpose, as I wanted to ensure it was always kept clean and working at it’s best.

My biggest issues with this device were that it didn’t have anywhere for the shavings to go. When you ran the file over hard skin, it shaved it away into a fine powder – this was rather messy as there was nowhere in the device for this to go, so I had to use it whilst leaving over a bin, otherwise it would have gotten all over the carpet and that’s not nice at all. My other issue was that when I was using it on Luke’s heels, I had to use a bit of pressure for it to do anything worthwhile on his tough skin, however when I applied pressure to the device, the roller seemed to slow down or stop altogether. I know the device is designed to stop if pressure is applied, but without a coarser roller head option, it would take forever to fully remove hard skin that has been left to build up for a long period of time. I think it would benefit from having a choice of rollers with different grades to deal with tougher skin.
Luke also noticed that the device was quite loud, I didn’t notice this so much as it was hard to hear it over the shower spray – I don’t think it is loud enough to disturb anyone whilst it is in use, unless they were asleep in the same room.

Overall I think this is a great device, and would recommend it for those with light to medium rough skin on their feet. If you have very hard skin be warned that you will need to persist with this for the effects to show, otherwise I would suggest waiting to see if they release a coarse roller head to use with it.
I would recommend using it dry first of all, to shave down as much of the dry skin as possible, then use it in the shower for maintenance and keeping feet smooth.

A massive thank you to both BzzAgent and Scholl for allowing me to test this product!

Much Love,

Sabrina
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