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Orthotics (Read 555 times)


Le professeur de trail

    Does anyone run with custom orthotics? How has it gone for you? Did it take you time to adjust? Did they help with an injury? Does one need to run in them "forever" or just for a while?

      Does anyone run with custom orthotics? How has it gone for you? Did it take you time to adjust? Did they help with an injury? Does one need to run in them "forever" or just for a while?

       

      My experience so far is very limited, as I just got my custom orthotics last month. I don't run in them, just wear them in my all-day work shoes, and I run with Sole inserts in all my running shoes now. The Sole inserts seem to work just as well as the custom orthotics for my feet, and they have helped eliminate my painful arches and sore ankles and posterior tibial tendinitis, plus I'm not getting shin splints any longer. I was ready to give up running for good this past summer, before seeing my foot doctor and getting this squared away. Looking back over the past few years, I think the lack of wearing a support shoe contributed to probably most if not all the running-related pains and injuries I've had. I was running in neutral shoes and usually racing flats, and that was OK up to about 30 miles per week for me, but every time I tried to step it up to 40-50 miles per week, I started having foot and ankle pains and problems, and then hamstring and groin pains. I didn't really need any time to make the adjustment to running with the inserts, they were comfortable from the start. The custom orthotics are a bit firmer and might have caused me some arch pain at first if I had tried to run in them, I'd guess. I don't know the answer to your last question, been wondering that one myself... 

        Years of shin splits and bunion pain - my life and my feet are much better off now with custom orthotics. I will never be without them. These are my favorites by far. I have a pair of running orthotics and an all activities pair I also run in but use in my dress shoes etc. Unbelievably comfortable and so so light.

        http://www.footdynamics.com/store/product/running-orthotics-9.cfm

         

        With that being said, I would never tell someone they need to use them for life. Perhaps a stability running shoe would provide similar benefits. For me, I use them in every single shoe and can definitely notice a difference from toe to mid back if I don't have them in my shoes. I use them in neutral running shoes. In all shoes, I take out the insert and replace with the orthotic.

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          Ive been running with custom orthotics for 6 years and its the best investment ive ever made.
          MrH


            You should ask why the orthotics are being used. For some its to compenstate for a weakness that could be addressed through strength work. If orthotics are used in such a circumstance the runner will just have bigger problems down the road.

            The process is the goal.

            Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

              You should ask why the orthotics are being used. For some its to compenstate for a weakness that could be addressed through strength work. If orthotics are used in such a circumstance the runner will just have bigger problems down the road.

               

               What kind of strength work would you suggest for previously normal arches that collapse into painful and injury-causing "flat feet" arches when my running was increased from 30 to 50 miles per week in neutral light-weight shoes? I tried some motion-control shoes, and that did not help at all, so that option is out.

              MrH


                There are lots of good resources available via a search ... but ...

                • heel and toe walking barefoot on grass,
                • towel toe curls,
                • foot orbits,
                • gas pedals,
                • writing the alphabet.

                 

                Actually - someone there's a copy of a great article here:

                 

                http://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/abf36b1d68cf494086b5a7b5828f98e0

                The process is the goal.

                Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

                  I have orthotics but I'm trying to wean myself off of them.  I got them years ago when I was a little heavier (and not running) but having a lot of pain in my arches if I spent too much time on my feet.  Lost some weight, started running and was still having a lot of arch pain so I use them in my running shoes, but the arch pain has gotten a lot better in the 2 yrs since I started running, so now I have one pair of shoes that I don't use the orthotics in.  Haven't run more than 5 mi (at a time) in those shoes yet but I'm working my way up and hope to ditch the orthotics all together eventually.  I think whether you can ever get rid of them completely may depend on why you had them in the first place though--I don't have fallen arches or anything so as I've run more & gotten stronger the need for them has gone away (I'd probably be completely off them by now, but I had to buy shoes a half size larger to use with the orthotics since they take up a little more space than the insoles that come with the shoes, so if I try to run in those shoes without orthotics my feet slip around too much).

                  OMR


                    I use them (only while running) in part because my 2nd & 3rd metatarsals are too long, so mine have a built-in metatarsal pad and gel cushion while also adding some arch support.  I've been using them for about a year.  Ran my first marathon in them after breaking them in for about 3 weeks with no issues.  Prior to using them, my feet hurt on less than 30 miles/week.  I'm now running 60/week.

                       What kind of strength work would you suggest for previously normal arches that collapse into painful and injury-causing "flat feet" arches when my running was increased from 30 to 50 miles per week in neutral light-weight shoes? I tried some motion-control shoes, and that did not help at all, so that option is out.

                      What Mr.H had suggested should all work.

                       

                      I find it quite interesting that I seem to have several things (ideas?) that are quite apart from what so-called "conventional" thinking in the USA.  I've been going on and on about this thing about "long run" at the other thread and perhaps my way of thinking about "speed training" seems to be quite different from many people here.  This so-called "maximum weekly mileage" for "safe" running is another one; perhaps the idea for "doubling" is yet another one...  Perhaps my idea for "correct" shoes is one of the biggest differences???  Arthur Lydiard used to say, of American view on running shoes, that we had been fed with wrong information for years and years...  That was back in 1980s.  He was talking about the concept of minimalist shoes/barefoot running back then.  Not too many people paid much attention...until this professor at Harvard University made a big stink about it and then everybody jumped on it.  But that's just a small part of his "thing" about running shoes.  He always said about the size of the shoe that you wouldn't need "thumb width" of extra space at the tip of the shoe IF the shoe fits your foot correctly.  If not, you need extra space to wiggle your way into the wrongly fitted shoe.  In essense, the whole idea of neutral--cushion--stability division is all wrong.  First and foremost, the SHAPE of the shoe has to fit the shape of your foot.  THEN the shoe would have to be constructed correctly.  All the gimmicks in the world won't mean a thing if the shoe doesn't fit your foot. 

                       

                      Not too long ago, there was a TV show at the equivalent of TPT or BBC in Japan about the size of the shoe.  They had two groups of people to climb up Mt. Fuji; one group to wear "regular" fitted shoes (loosely fitted) and the other rather tighly fitted shoes.  Interestingly, the latter had better "performance" of climbing up the mountain with ease.  Apparently, if the shoe has too much extra space at the tip, your foot is more bound to flattened out (because there's extra space) and now the arch won't function as it should.  There is a group in Japan called "Shoes Master" and they have clinics all over the country.  They talk about some (lots of) misconception on choosing shoes.  One of the biggest things is the wrong sizing.  Far too many people believe getting black toe nail and losing toe nail is due to shoes being too tight.  The actul fact is; if the shoe is too big, then it'll create too much wiggle room and your foot will move around too much and bang into the tip of the shoe--> black toe nail.  Again, I'm sure some of you would argue that, if the toes are touching the tip of the shoe, you'll more likely to lose toe nail.  Again, IF the shoe is constructed correctly AND IF the shoe fits your foot correctly, it wouldn't, and shouldn't, happen. 

                       

                      I remember Frank Shorter used to tape his foot to "keep his arch up".  His arch actually was not quite that distinguished.  Of course he had very long and skinny foot.  But his shoes, back then, were quite well-constructed = well-balanced.  My favorite shoe fits my foot so well that I can feel my arch sits right on where the shoe is and, with the "cosmetic" lines actually hold it up quite well.  In other words, i wouldn't really need much of arch cushion at all. 

                       

                      Now I wouldn't recommend this to EVERYBODY; there are some people with structural and/or mechanical issues and some special attention may be needed.  But I believe, in most cases, a lot of running-related issues, including collapsing of the arch can be caused by ill-fitted shoes.  I'm not familiar with your issue at all so I wouldn't make any recommendation lighly.  But that might be something you might want to look into.  But, frankly, if you are having a collapsing arch issue, going to full structure shoe is the last thing I would recommend (it may be the right approach too).  Usually, arch collapsing = weak arch = stability would make your arch weaker and weaker.  You'll need to strengthen it with exercises such as what Mr.H had recommended.

                        +1 to MrH's comments. If your problem is structural, you may need an orthotic or some other physical assistance. But if your issue is functional, you may be able to strengthen your feet and ankles - perhaps over time. You might need some physical assistance in the short term until feet strengthen.

                         

                        Shortened version of my history: Wore custom orthotics (3/4 length hard, from pediatrist) for a couple years, AT/PF came back, PT did a gait evaluation and eventually whole body evaluation (got some good laughs from my foot weaknesses), and gave me a 3-pronged treatment:

                        1. Get out of mc shoes into stability - let my feet function.

                        2. Strengthen feet and ankles - some same drills mentioned above plus single leg balance drills.

                        3. Get rid of or modify orthotics if 1 & 2 didn't work. (kept orthotics until a couple years ago - if it's not broke, don't fix it)

                         

                        Those foot problems went away and my feet got stronger across the years. Then the orthotics were starting to be a problem. I gradually ditched them, and haven't worn them for 2 yrs - including a 50-mi race and several races in the 8-hr range. Actually, I couldn't wear them again now because they prop my heel up too high - and push my foot too far forward.

                         

                        The problem I have now is finding a shoe that fits (Nobby is right again Smile ). I have wide forefeet and narrow heel, and most women's shoes only come in B width. Even when I was young I can remember the pressure across my forefoot (helped to keep penny loafers on, I guess). Vasque Blur and Mindbender fit my feet almost perfectly - no pressure points - but they ride like a brick. (LRS told me that's a European last that more companies are starting to use.)  Almost all other shoes, I have to size up half a size to get width for my forefeet. (And size up another 1/2 size to put on after being on feet for 13 hrs.) The toe is longer than I'd like. (but even if I were a barefooter, I'm not doing it at -18F, like it is right now). And the heels might be a little sloppy, even with the lacelock. The shoes that have worked for me either get discontinued or modified (toebox narrowed) to the point they're unusable. This is why I have about 4-5 pairs of shoes in rotation right now. But I can definitely feel when the shoe is a little sloppy because it doesn't fit right.

                         

                        The shoes that have worked for me generally have a tread that sorta crushes (Trespass, NB 749, Xodus 3 (still testing xodus)) to absorb shock on pointy gravel stuff, but my foot doesn't move around inside the shoe. IOW, cushioned shoes don't work as well for me as something with the shock absorption outside. (I really hate the sharp gravel.) For many hour runs, I prefer a little more support than my favorite shoe for < 2 hrs. Still looking.

                         

                        Whether you need orthotics or not depends on what your issues are - the cause, not just the symptoms.

                        "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                          +1 to MrH's comments. If your problem is structural, you may need an orthotic or some other physical assistance. But if your issue is functional, you may be able to strengthen your feet and ankles - perhaps over time. You might need some physical assistance in the short term until feet strengthen.

                           

                           

                           

                          Whether you need orthotics or not depends on what your issues are - the cause, not just the symptoms.

                           

                          I've told this story before- due to arthritis in my big toes I was having quite a bit of pain and was limping around- it hurt more walking than running. It was pretty bad. Went to the toe doctor who said I should fuse my right toe. Got a steroid shot to fix it temporarily. Went back expecting surgery- the new toe doctor said I can help that with custom orthotics. It was kind of expensive for me, so I put it off for a bit. When I finally got them they made a huge difference. I wear them in every shoe, walking and running, except hiking boots that don't have the room in them. ( I then notice pain in a very short time) His comment was that due to bad foot design I developed arthritis- ( 4 million years not quite enough evolutionary time for me) if I had gotten orthotics years ago probably wouldn't have had trouble- evaluation by a foot doc is something for everyone to think about.

                            Ive been running with custom orthotics for 6 years and its the best investment ive ever made.

                             +1

                             

                            Flat feet, severe knee pain after a few months running.

                             

                            Custom orthotics - all better after miles and miles and miles.

                             

                            I hear a lot about the merits of barefoot running but I do not want to fix something that is not broken.

                            John
                            www.wickedrunningclub.com
                            I run to clear my head and talk to my friends.