12/20/09
Orthotics are EVERYWHERE!! I was in a running store this week and the 19 year old “shoe and running expert” suggested that I get orthotics from their “semi-custom” section. I had to see what my “expert” thought of my feet and shoes. He took me through their shoe assessment and decided that I was a “supinator” and that I should get a “neutral shoe” and some “superfeet” orthotics that he would set up for me. The shoes and orthotic total was $310!!!! Ok, so I didn’t go ahead with the orthotics nor did I get the shoes but I did leave with an appreciation of what my athletes go through every time they attempt to get shoes! My take? Orthotics are the most over prescribed, over utilized tool in the foot and ankle tool belt! Before you get “super feet” orthotics or any other orthotic, find a foot and ankle surgeon or a physical therapist and have them take a look. A few orthotic rules of thumb for you: 1. Do you have pain? Have you had problems? If not, then please, DO NOT GET ORTHOTICS! 2. If you have a big arch or “supinate” and orthotics are prescribed, they should be SOFT! You need cushioning that your arches are not providing you! 3. If you have collapsing arches or “flat feet”, they should be more rigid! You need support your arches are not providing you! 4. With new technology in shoes, often people are OVER CORRECTED! Most do not need “motion control” or “stability” shoes AND orthotics! ONE OR THE OTHER is typically enough!