Do I need orthotics in my running shoes?

May 19, 2010 Posted by Dr.Chang

The simple answer here is “maybe.” Let’s start by establishing some definitions. The insole that comes in your running shoe is a “sole liner.” It offers minimal support and very little shock absorption. The support and control of a running shoe comes from materials and design features within the shoe itself. A device that you can buy off the shelf at a pharmacy, shoe store, or sporting goods store is an “insole” or “arch support.” It does provide some level of non-specific generic arch support. It is often a good first step in seeking comfort and simple resolution of non-complicated foot issues. It may in fact be adequate for some applications.

Now we examine the functional foot orthotic. These are semi-custom modifiable or full custom insoles made from a mold of your foot. The mold is made from plaster wraps around the foot, a foam impression, laser scanning, or standing/walking on a computer force plate. There are opinions as to what’s the best method … At Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic we favor the use of plaster casting. Our reasons for that are a topic for another blog post. A functional foot orthotic is specific in design & construction to the needs of the person for whom it is made. We believe it is important to only get a custom orthotic from a doctor, who will also provide an appropriate biomechanical examination.
The evaluation for a custom foot orthotic should involve a full assessment of the static motion and angles of your foot, ankle, knee, and hips during a biomechanical exam. Standing foot X-rays are helpful to examine the bone structure in detail. Lastly, a careful analysis of you walking barefoot is essential to get a complete view of your dynamic lower extremity mechanics. Based on this complete exam, a prescription is made for a set of orthotics to correct for imperfect mechanics. The goal is to make you walk or run as efficiently and stable as possible.
A custom orthotic is always indicated for any sort of foot deformity, such as bunions or hammertoes. A properly made orthotic will help to eliminate or stabilize the forces that caused these deformities and stop the progression. Serious athletes at any level should consider a custom orthotic if they have any pain during the activity. Recreational athletes will likely find adequate support and stabilization from off the shelf insole systems. For mild foot pain or generalized fatigue in your foot and or ankle, start by trying an insole from a specialty running store. An insole of this type should cost about $30-$40. If the problem persists seek professional attention.

The simple answer here is “maybe.” Let’s start by establishing some definitions. The insole that comes in your running shoe is a “sole liner.” It offers minimal support and very little shock absorption. The support and control of a running shoe comes from materials and design features within the shoe itself. A device that you can buy off the shelf at a pharmacy, shoe store, or sporting goods store is an “insole” or “arch support.” It does provide some level of non-specific generic arch support. It is often a good first step in seeking comfort and simple resolution of non-complicated foot issues. It may in fact be adequate for some applications.Now we examine the functional foot orthotic. These are semi-custom modifiable or full custom insoles made from a mold of your foot. The mold is made from plaster wraps around the foot, a foam impression, laser scanning, or standing/walking on a computer force plate. There are opinions as to what’s the best method … At Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic we favor the use of plaster casting. Our reasons for that are a topic for another blog post. A functional foot orthotic is specific in design & construction to the needs of the person for whom it is made. We believe it is important to only get a custom orthotic from a doctor, who will also provide an appropriate biomechanical examination. The evaluation for a custom foot orthotic should involve a full assessment of the static motion and angles of your foot, ankle, knee, and hips during a biomechanical exam. Standing foot X-rays are helpful to examine the bone structure in detail. Lastly, a careful analysis of you walking barefoot is essential to get a complete view of your dynamic lower extremity mechanics. Based on this complete exam, a prescription is made for a set of orthotics to correct for imperfect mechanics. The goal is to make you walk or run as efficiently and stable as possible.

A custom orthotic is always indicated for any sort of foot deformity, such as bunions or hammertoes. A properly made orthotic will help to eliminate or stabilize the forces that caused these deformities and stop the progression. Serious athletes at any level should consider a custom orthotic if they have any pain during the activity. Recreational athletes will likely find adequate support and stabilization from off the shelf insole systems. For mild foot pain or generalized fatigue in your foot and or ankle, start by trying an insole from a specialty running store. An insole of this type should cost about $30-$40. If the problem persists seek professional attention.

Read the rest of this entry.

Leave a Reply

APPOINTMENT REQUEST

To request appointment availability, please fill out the form below. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.

captcha


Please leave this field empty.

Join Our Mailing List:

Enter your E-mail in the box below:

Our Affiliations

Monticello Community Surgery Center

Augusta Health

Martha Jefferson

APMA

ACFAS

AAPSM

VPMA