Running orthotics or Custom functional orthotics are designed to gently realign the bones of the foot in a more adventurous position for running and walking. Many types of foot pain are associated with over pronation. Over pronation occurs when the foot is allowed to flatten, this allows a cascade of disadvantageous events to occur. If you are sitting in a chair pronate or flatten your foot- notice your knee wants to go inward. Do the reverse- create an arch- notice how your knee moves out (externally rotates) – this is called the windlass mechanism. These rotations are transferred up the legs into the hips and into the back.
Fitting Running orthotics to the foot type
They work to control these motions and ultimately balance them as people carry on with their everyday lives. They are not like the “custom orthotics” people buy at the Good Feet Store, those are generic arch supports fit to a “normal foot.” Running orthotics are constructed from a mold of your foot in a CORRECTED position. This CORRECTED position is called the neutral position. Podiatrist identify this position as we move your foot through its pronation/supination range of motion, when the bones in your foot align perfectly, we know your foot is in its neutral position. This is the most important step in prescribing orthotics- therefore should be done by a Podiatrist.
Other balancing features are often incorporated in orthotics to match the position of the forefoot (ball of the foot) to the rearfoot. Occasionally, some people have anomalies in their bone or ligament structure which will require additional modifications to the running orthotics to assure a proper fit and properly functioning foot.
how to wear Running Orthotics
There are some tricks to getting the most our of your running orthotics, follow these basic steps to maximize your orthotics.
- Always place your orthotics on the midsole of the shoe- this is the platform under the foam, neoprene, or leather insole then place your insole on top of your custom orthotic if you do not have a top cover for your orthotics. If you do have a top cover for your them remove the insole altogether.
- Make sure your shoes have removable insoles- some companies insist on gluing them in- if they do- do not buy their shoes for orthotic wear.
- Buy shoes that have a more rigid insole, shoes that can easily be bent in any direction do not offer solid platform for your orthotics.
- Evaluate your shoes regularly, the materials used to construct shoes break down over time. When the materials break down and wear it can change the way they support orthotics, making the orthotics seem uncomfortable.
- Make sure your running orthotics are designed for the shoes you will be wearing. They can be constructed for narrower dress shoes, running shoes, walking shoes, ski boots, or even some sandals. It is important your orthotics are fit to the shoes you wear or will be wearing. The materials, width, heel cups and posts may be different, there is a difference, trust us. You don’t take your reading glasses to watch a baseball game and you should not take your dress orthotics to the gym.
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- Break your running orthotics in, I normally tell my patients to wear them 1 hour the first day and increase the time by 1 hour per day, at the end of a week you are at nearly a complete day. This is the case for most patients, however, as you practice podiatry or any medicine for that matter you quickly realize people have different tolerances. Some are able to wear them all day from the start while others may need 10 days to acclimate to their new orthotics. Don’t over do it with new orthotics!!!
- Don’t over do it with new Orthotics!!! refer to #7
Recommended prefabricated orthotics at MyFootSupply.com
Dr. Terry Oehler DPM