some advice on orthotic insoles.

43 replies [Last post]
GOR1972
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Joined: 2009-08-01
Posts: 9

Hi There.

I'm running four or five times a week since January and I'm thinking of purchasing a pair of Orthotic Insoles and I'm looking for some advice from runners with Orthotic Insoles.

Thank You Very Much.

Gary O' Reilly.

Anonymous

I Own a shoe shop specialising in shoes and runners that fit bespoke insoles. Be carefull that the insoles you are buying are really suitable for the job that you are asking of them... not all suppliers really know what constitutes a good running insole. If they turn out too thick, you may have great difficulty getting a shoe to accomodate the insole and your foot.
I recommend WELLSHOD in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare. Very experienced and quality driven. A no-nonsense approach and very keenly priced, excellent service.045 532792.
Lyle Goodwin 057 8643075

Run Fat Boy Run
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Joined: 2008-03-19
Posts: 73

Hi Gary, I've been wearing orthotics since i started running 3 years ago. The same pair since then. I was at the physical therapist clinic tonight and got scanned for a new pair. I know there are more threads on this site about this topic from the past, I'm aware of 2 types of orthotics, a flexi & a firm type. The flexi is still pretty hard but has a little more give, the firm one is what I wear at present in every shoe, it does not bend, it's half a foot long and just white plastic, great for keeping clean
They are expensive, probably totalling about €350 which includes a lifetime guarantee against cracks in the plastic. If you are suffering injury it is a good investment in the long run because at €65 per hour for a treatment, your €350 is covered pretty soon and will prevent other injuries.
My Clinic is in South Dublin, dont know what part of the country you are in, but make a few calls to physios or physical therapists and they should point you in the right direction!

Peace
AL

QueensGael
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Joined: 2008-03-04
Posts: 99

Hi Gary,
Here is a link to the previous thread on orthotics. As I mention in the thread, I got my pair fitted by my physiotherapist about a year ago - they were EUR400, but totally worth it.
http://www.runireland.com/forums/running-talk/general-talk/orthotics
Hope this helps

vinny mulvey
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Joined: 2009-08-05
Posts: 7

I also recommend Mike Davis at Wellshod in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare. The guy is the best around in my opinion

GOR1972
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Joined: 2009-08-01
Posts: 9

Hi There.

Thanks very much for the good advice and I'll let you know how I get on.

Gary O' Reilly.

Anonymous

Hi Gary,
I ran my first marathon in April (london). Had trouble with shin splints (I think my arches were the cause of this) After marathon started getting pain in my instep, then terrible heel pain in early June. Got orthotics and am only just starting back running now. It takes a long time to break them in, which can be very frustrating but I am delighted now. It wasn't really that long, 6-8wks but seems like an eternity especially if you're aiming for a particular event. I suppose you should really have foot analysis done to see if you need them. I went to Sharon in Galway City Physio and would highly recommend her. She has a special interest in feet. She says I should get 5 years out of them. They were 300 plus the analysis session. Hope you get sorted out.
Anne-Marie

Anonymous (not verified)

Hi,
I would also recommend Michael Davis. I had plantar fascitis, tried physios, excercises, rubs ointments everything to no avail. Went to Michael, got sorted with orthotics and ever since I am fine, back hill walking and running. He is very reasonable too, for two pairs of insoles and consultant he only charged me €200.
Niamh

pat (not verified)

HI,
I am having alot of tightness on the outside of my leg going from hip to knee.think its called the tibea band.pain is worst in the knee on the inside at bottom of knee cap.can get good deep tissue massage
which always loosens it up but after aweek it will be bad again.have had to give up running and even walking!.have orthotics that i got from local physio but was thinking of trying micheal davis.i hear he is very good.anyone any suggestions on what i can do?.have had scan on knee and everything ok.

Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks A Million For The Advice I'll Take It On Board.

Maryjane (not verified)

Does Michael Davis of Well Shod make custom-made insoles?
I understand he makes the insoles, but are they specially made for each person's individual problem?

Kate (not verified)

Yes ,Michael Davis of Well Shod does custom made insoles, I have a very complicated foot problem and he has been able to provide me with suitable insoles which have helped me quite a lot! I would highly recommend him....

Darach (not verified)

I got insoles from Michael about 6 years ago. Could hardly tie my shoe laces with pain in my hips and legs before I went to him. Perfect for the last few years! Would really recommend him

Robert Malseed (not verified)

It is best to avoid orthotics at all cost and ask yourself why you really think that you need them. The problem is that most running shoes cause more problems and injuries due to having too much additional "technology" that is not needed. The majority of people do not need orthotics and are only told do so in order to create a market need, this also includes running shoes that have built it motion control, stabilisers, cushioning etc,. all of which are unnecessary. Orthotics are used in order to hold up arches and if the arches are not flat it weakens them by doing the work of the arches, so they exagerbate the problem and not solve them. If you problem with your arches you should do simple exercises to strengthen them instead of weakening them with orthotics.

rmalse
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Joined: 2011-04-22
Posts: 11

The use of orthotics and certain shoes such as motion control shoes do more damage to one's feet and legs, and increase the propensity for injury and further problems in the future.
Certain running shoe companies market and sell all sorts of shoes that provide such items as protection, motion control, arch support, cushioning etc., most of which are unnecessary and counterproductive. More the gimmicks and extras that are added to the shoes, the greater the profit margins they can extract. Therefore a need must be created even though people do not actually require them. Now, we have the extensive use of orthotics, which have created a greater number of problems and injuries. Injuries such as Anterior Tibia Syndrome, shin splints, stress fractures and Plantar Fascia have gotten worse over the period of time as the natural movement of the foot is compromised and forced out of position. The majority of runners only require a light weight, neutral running shoe, with an adequate amount of cushioning. Too much cushioning can actually make the shoe too heavy and that increases the level of shock impacting the feet and legs. Orthotics put too great a pressure by replacing the work normally done by the plantar fascia, if there is no problem with the plantar fascia the orthotic would put undue pressure and forces the foot outwards, this also weakens the plantar fascia thus exacerbate the problem. The solution therefore for weak or collapsed arches is pretty simple and that this barefoot jogging on well mowed grass, or soft surfaces. Also exercises such as picking up marbles with the toes and barefoot toe-towel crunches. Simple, inexpensive, light weight, well-fitting shoes with simple and easy exercises are all that one needs instead of expensive, heavy, shoes and orthotics that are unnecessary.
 

rmalse
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Joined: 2011-04-22
Posts: 11

To be honest, if you really need to find information concerning orthotics you should look at www.sportsci.org. and avoid those who have a vested interest in selling/marketing orthotics - they will have tendency to tell you that it is vital for the long term viability of your running to have orthotics - whereas various studies indicate that barefoot running would be far better for your feet and legs than over-elaborate shoes and expensive orthotics - (Robbins and Hanna, 1987). Barefoot running may induce an adaptation that transfers the impact to the yielding musculature, thus sparing the fascia and accounting for the low incidence of plantar fasciitis in barefoot populations (Robbins and Hanna, 1987).
Chronic ailments such as shin splints, ilio-tibial band syndrome and peri-patellar pain are attributed variously to excessive pronation, supination, and shock loading of the limbs (Siff and Verkhoshansky, 1999, p.451). When running barefoot on hard surfaces, the runner compensates for the lack of cushioning underfoot by plantar-flexing the foot at contact, thus giving a softer landing (Frederick, 1986). Barefoot runners also land mid-foot, increasing the work of the foot's soft tissue support structures, thereby increasing their strength and possibly reducing the risk of injury (Yessis 2000, p.124). Wearers of expensive running shoes that were promoted as correcting pronation or providing more cushioning experienced a greater prevalence of these running-related injuries than wearers of less expensive shoes (Robbins and Gouw, 1991). In another study, expensive athletic shoes accounted for more than twice as many injuries as cheaper shoes, a fact that prompted Robbins and Waked (1997) to suggest that deceptive advertising of athletic footwear (e.g., "cushioning impact") may represent a public health hazard. Anthony (1987) reported that running shoes should be considered protective devices (from dangerous or painful objects) rather than corrective devices, as their capacity for shock absorption and control of over-pronation is limited. The modern running shoe and footwear generally reduce sensory feedback, apparently without diminishing injury-inducing impact–a process Robbins and Gouw (1991)  described as the "perceptual illusion" of athletic footwear. A resulting false sense of security may contribute to the risk of injury (Robbins and Gouw, 1991).  Yessis (2000, p.122) reasoned that once the natural foot structures are weakened by long-term footwear use, people have to rely on the external support of the footwear, but the support does not match that provided by a well functioning foot.
 
Here is the link that the above studies are mentioned http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm
 
 

donncha (not verified)

I also went to Michael Davis after years of injections, physio, rubs etc. He got me sorted, where many others had failed. He is interested in you, not your wallet. I am about four years attending him now and he will continue to tweek the insoles as required. He is very professional, very honest. He will tell it as it is, straight up, and you can believe him. I would recommend him unreservedly.

lisap (not verified)

Hi Just looking for a little advice.

I started running about three weeks ago for the first time after having my baby. Only ever did a little jogging before years ago. I've started to notice a little pan in my left hip during and after runs. I've always noticed my shoes getting worn down on the left outer heel over the years and a few people suggest i get fitted for orthotics.

I made an appointment with the leinster clinic and the whole thing with assessment seems to be coming to about 350 which seems a lot. Just wondering is this about right and does anyone have any experience with them. My main question though is would it be madness to keep running in the mean time. I'm getting a bit hooked! I'm sure the orthotics themselves could take a while to be made and i don't want to be knocked back to the start again ; ( thanks, any advice appreciated!

Paddy Maher (not verified)

Interesting topic. I also went to Michael and need to go back soon.

If I don't wear mine im in serious bother for around two days until my back goes back into line.

I recently heard of a shop in Kilkenny doing Gramhes in Kilkenny who use a machine to determine the issues with the feet.

I am interested to know has anyone used Gramhes or a machine similar?

I guess its Old School Vs Modern Technology

EoinOB
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Joined: 2010-09-16
Posts: 401

Just when I started running a 2-3 years ago I got "tested" in a running shop and was told I needed a particular runner (not the cheapest!) and insoles. I bought the runners and insoles, but within 3k I had to take them out because my feet were sweating so much with them in. After I took them out I was ok and I never wore them again. The runners have since been relegated to "garden use". They said I was pronating with the right foot, but never tried to find out why. Only much later did I find that I had a muscle imbalance on that side and since I have worked it more my feet are landing much better. Barefoot running has also helped, but someone selling insoles won't tell you that :-)

saudek
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Joined: 2011-08-12
Posts: 22

Eoin, thats an excellent point.
I run an average 60 miles a week and I am a 3:15 marathonner. needless to that footwear is vital!
How do we find out about these issues though? Any shop you go to will always have a very subjective opinion, and will advise you towards a product they sell.
If you go to your physio, not one will tell you the same thing, not one will give you the same treatment, and most of them havent a clue in running.
I suppose the only way to run confortably and reduce injury risk is to go to Ger Hartman in Limerick. Costs a fortune but at least he knows what he's talking about :(
 

EoinOB
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Posts: 401

I'd have to agree Saudek. Recently I've been finding that any running in normal runners (two different pairs) gives me knee and hamstring pain afterwards. When I run barefoot I don't get any pain at all. I'm now up to 15k in VFFs and will be doing the Dublin Race Series in them, including the HM. Give me a shout if you see me :-)

paddychinaman
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Joined: 2012-09-25
Posts: 5

 i have orthotics which i use to wear on a daily basis. its the hard type of white plastic that fills up half your shoe. i've tried running with these on inside my asics and i find that i get pain in the arch of my feet with this. recently i did a 10k and took out the orthotics and just let the asics do what they were designed to do and i had no pain! i don't think i'll use orthotics again tbh

EoinOB
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Posts: 401

I was recommended insoles when I got a gait analysis done a couple of years ago, in a running shop. The first run I wore them on my feet sweated so much it was like I was running in a bath. I took them out and haven't used insoles or orthotics since.

saudek
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Joined: 2011-08-12
Posts: 22

 Just a quick feedback here as well.
Got done a biomecanical assessment in my local physio. went well, he gave me a few clues as to what muscle needs a bit of work on and what should I do to correct my pronation so that it doesnt give me knee pain and shin splints. We both decided to try a mild correction (3 degrees) with insoles. Not the expensive type, 20 euro, which means they were quite heavy. Wore em once.
I then decided to try something else and went to Base to race/amphibian king in Dublin to get the perfect pair of shoes. Traded my Asics 2170 for a pair of less mainstream Brooks GTS 12.... Hurray. That did it for me, goodbye shin splints and knee pain, hello lighter and smoother ride.
With Hindsight I would advise to really make sure you have the best pair of shoes that suits you, and then if you still need it get a pair of insoles. Saves you money and time.
 
Kevin.

Robert Malseed (not verified)

Gait analysis, biomechanics, physiological testing etc., very excellent ways of ripping off people and extracting cash from them for something that will not drastically change anything in terms of injury prevention or treatment. First of all most of these assessments are done on a treadmill, which in consideration has very little to do with running on roads, grass, trails etc, the motion of the treadmill means that your body is not pushing the ground away from the body therefore forward motion is negated by the treadmill. These "experts" can easily tweek the machine in such a way that the runner can be awkward (especially if the runner is a novice) and that they can show improvement due to the neural adaptation to exercise or the Hawthorne Effect. The best way to assess gait is for the assessor to observe the runner running uphill, or at the end of a fast race. Biomechanics will always fall apart when the physiological system of the body is overly compromised, in other words - a runner's biomechanics will not be able to be maintained once the runner has gone well beyond the Onset of Blood Lactate (hitting the wall). These "experts" seem to go on about biomechanics and gait, as well as pronation/supination but avoid at all cost physiological and physical adaptation to exercise, knowing full well that a physiologically/physically fit runner does not need or required to be conned in order to improve performance.

Donaldo (not verified)

I'm not a runner but am long time walker who suddenly, and for no apparent reason developed severe Plantar Fasciitis...have tried every kind of expert from podiarists to osteoaths to physios. Nothing seems to help and have finally allowed myself to try orthotics. Do any of these really work or am I just caught up in the Physios' money machine....Are exercises to strengthen the fascia the better way or do old fascia need orthotic support to heal???

EoinOB
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Joined: 2010-09-16
Posts: 401

Totally agree with Robert. I had a physio ask me to walk on a pressure plate on his office floor to "assess my gait". When we walk we all heel strike, when I run (hopefully) I strike with the mid-foot. Where is the biomechanical link between walking across an office floor and running on a road/trail? Total nonsense.
Best thing I did for my form recently was to get a mate take a video of me running on a road and up/down a hill and tweak things from there...and it was free. Ok, I bought him a beer!

Robert Malseed (not verified)

Donato - there are very simple, easy to do exercises that strengthen the Plantar and none of them require any expensive visit to a physio or a so-called gait analysis expert. 1. Towel Crunch - on a tiled, smooth wooden or lino floor lay out a slightly damp towel. Sit on a chair so that your thigh is parallel to the floor and that your barefoot is on a corner of the towel. Without putting any weight on your foot or lifting your foot off the towel, crunch up the towel so that it gathers beneath your heel. This is a tough exercise to do and you should only do this once per foot, per time. 2. Picking up marbles with the toes. 3. Barefoot jogging on grass (or if cold/wet - wear old socks) also strides barefoot on grass.

Physiologically the human body is designed to move, walk and run without shoes, but due to the climate and underfoot materials such as small sharp stones, thorns, glass, asphalt etc., shoes were developed only to protect the underside of the foot. Wearing expensive orthotics and shoes that change the shape and direction of the movement of the foot only increases the chances of further injuries and complications.

Eoin - well done on the video taping of yourself running uphill etc., this highlights the actual weaknesses on a real running surface and is also far more cost effective - price of a beer, rather than €125 + extras....

anonymous (not verified)

Hi there Niall Donohoe Podiatrist , I realy feel that the only way of finding out what is the best orthotic to wear in running shoes or even to see if you need them at all is to be examined by a Podiatrist who has a special interest in sports mechanics . There are so many different types of orthoics now available . Some of the more softer devices give plenty of control . I would very often perscribe a toughend "foam like device" with full intrinsic rearfoot and forfoot posting that helps runners and injury problems. The most important thing is that the correct examination is carried out . Scanning of feet with pressure plates look great but in my opinion are more of a marketing tool . If anyone would like to contact me re advise please fee free to use the " STICKY" at the top of the page Regards Niall

Robert Malseed (not verified)

The best correction examination that anyone can take is to run barefoot on a nicely mowed grass pitch and then one can see that all correctional problems are because of the additional rubbish attached to shoes. There is a positive correlation to lower leg/foot injuries and highly expensive and over-elaborate running shoes and orthotics. Regardless of the type of orthotic and running shoe, these things are only designed for one thing and one thing only - that is to separate people with their money. They do absolutely nothing for lower leg / foot injuries and problems.

You are correct in the marketing tool of the pressure pad, and the foot scanning - I worked in this area, as well as in orthotics and after looking at hundreds of foot scans and pressure pad impressions only saw 2 actual flat feet. Both were from morbidly obese people. Everyone else's feet were absolutely fine with no problems at all, but the physio who owned the company was telling everyone that they had flat feet and needed orthotics - €300 per pair + €125 foot scanning and gait analysis + €50 physio consultancy + €300 for 6 week running programme + €120 running shoes.

Now go back 30 years - this market never existed, Ireland had real world class athletes, and the only injury were shin splints and they only happened due to over-training.

Now days - this market appears, No more world class athletes, and a whole plethora of injuries and that's even before one even starts running.

EoinOB
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Posts: 401

Well said Robert. My own real life experiences tend to back that up.

HelenD
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Joined: 2008-02-18
Posts: 69

In my own circumstances, I needed orthotics. I had plantar fasciitis for a few years and was unable to get it to shift more than a few weeks. I tried different shoes, different therapies, etc. The only thing that helped me was a pair of orthotics made by a fabulous podiatrist in Belfast who was able to explain exactly what was happening biomechanically through every step I took.
Ok they are ugly and clumpy and I would love to not be wearing them but they work. I do the exercises he told me to do and leave them out of my shoes from time-to-time and challenge the muscles to work so maybe one day I will be able to do without them. Until that time, I'm happy to say I love my orthotics.
I go back and get them tweaked slightly when they become uncomfortable in my trainers. It's very much a work in progress as the muscles repair and biomechanics improve and then the shape of the orthotics needs to be adapted to work with the body's improvement. The orthotic will continue to change shape as my own muscles become stronger and play the role they should be playing in maintaining correct biomechanics.
I think it comes down to personal circumstances and some people will benefit from orthotics. As others have mentioned, some retailers/practitioners have a vested interest. Maybe word of mouth recommendations are helpful in suggesting retailers/practitioners to go to?

Anonymous - couch-to-5k'er (not verified)

Hi,

Interesting comments above.

I first experienced shin-splints ion college but from walking a few miles to- and from- college every day. Didn't know what the pain was, couldn't afford medical treatment so UI just sucked it up. Problem may have disappeared once the fashion for suede desert shoes faded!?

Anyway, so I do have problems with shin splints. Was greatly aided by standard plastic EUR20 inserts which I've worn for past 4 years. Had to throw them away recently but want a fresh set .. ... where can I buy these ?

JK (not verified)

Hi,
I have two bulging discs in my lower back and I tend to put my back out of line on a rather too frequent basis. I run, I swim, I train a lot and its become very difficult recently. I have tried stretching, physio, been to a surgeon and nothing has resolved it. Im considering having my feet checked for orthotic in soles to see if they may improve my situation!
Would appreciate the comments.

Robert malseed (not verified)

Read the above comments. Orthotics cause more problems and complications than the supposed cure that is claimed. Considering the extremely low level of these types of injuries in East Africa and the strength in the ankles, plantar fascia, and calf muscles combined with fast running shows that running in barefeet and neutral shoes on grass and trails is far better.

Orthotics are just a marketing ploy to separate you from your money....

Save money and buy yourself a wobble board, get a few marbles and a damp towel on tile floor.

mono1000000
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Joined: 2010-04-19
Posts: 21

 JK,
   I feel your pian, been there for the past year, mine has gone 4 times. having a good spell now and getting back into running.. I have found core exercises help. I do mine every morning and evening. it only takes 5 mins'. I also do 1000m in the pool twice a week.  
  I've never heard about A foot problem causing it though. My buldging discs are L4-L5 and  L5-S1. sciatica on both legs. I go to A chiropractor too- It works for me! My pelvice seems to kick out and leave one leg longer than the other, along with lots of miles training for connemarra last year ,this is how mine went the first time. Have you been to a physio to get checked out, and get advise on stretches and exercises...?
 

JK (not verified)

Hey Mono1000000
Your story sounds all too familiar to me! :( Thanks for feedback. Ye ive been to a physio, chiropractor etc and i have been working on flexibility in my hips but that tends to send my back into a spasm again. So Im wary and almost scared of doing flexibility now i suppose. I have been doing planks but im unable to do side planks as i just cant take the pain. I do have a list of stretches I initially got from HSE physio so I suppose I should revert back to them? I find stretching boring, i know i need to do more but its just working it in to my routine. Im obsessed with swimming, doing almost 2 miles a day 5 days a week so I need to vary my training more? I take your point about insoles, I was just trying to see if there could have been a link?

Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there , orthotics can cost up to 500 euros depending on the materials used . I find that fewer and fewer people actually need fully functional orthotics . Foot mobilisation and joint manipulation can be helpfull . But becarefull this is a tricky skill to perform safely and correctly . We are offering 20% of all biomechanics consults at 4 south circular at the moment 01 4543386 . Come In and see me there and I would be happy to diagnose your problem
Hope that helps
Niall

kevin15
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Joined: 2015-08-29
Posts: 0

You could just try some over the counter insoles. They are cheap!
Cheers, Kevin. 

jasonvallen (not verified)

 I would assume everyone know nushoe for repair and customising their shoes. You can tell them the specifics and they do very well on insoles.

jasonvallen (not verified)

  I always rely on nushoe for my shoe needs. I have been trusting them for many years. 

BryceBraxton
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Joined: 2017-03-03
Posts: 0

 HELLO,
Thanks for the suggestions!!

RyanBrandon
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Joined: 2017-05-16
Posts: 0

I can advice  Samurai Orthotics Insoles . After trying many insoles out there finally found one that really works. Great product!