Pain Prevention/Rehabilittion,  PFIT TIPS,  product reviews

Pain-Free Running: Do You Need Orthotics?

The Shoe Lady I recently visited my friend, Audree “The Shoe Lady”, who is a Certified Pedorthist located at Bob’s Shoe Repair on 8th Street in Vero Beach, to get some guidance with orthotics. My left ankle had been acting up again. Last year I had to stop cardio altogether and go to rehab – and I was NOT going to let that happen again!

She suggested I need more arch support and fit me for some orthotics to go in my running shoes – and I also got 2 new pair of Spira running shoes!! (See my product review on Spira Footwear)

Spira FootwearThe first thing I noticed was that I could really feel the orthotic’s arch in my left shoe much more than the right. This told me that I definitely had a lower (collapsing) arch in that foot. I had no idea I needed arch support! My arches weren’t hurting – my ankle was. She explained how they are connected and said that was very common.

Later that day I went to Posture Perfect and had my posture analyzed. Low and behold, not only did I have arch issues, my center of gravity was leaning over my left foot. Dr. Wetter took photos, I could clearly see the right side of my body crossing over the “plum line” (the reference to where my center was supposed to be) over to my left side. How interesting was this?! It was an “a-ha” moment for me, and it all made perfect sense. No wonder I needed arch support on my left foot, it was bearing all my weight!

OrthoheelAfter nearly 3 weeks of running with my new arch support, not only am I not having ankle pain, I am running MORE! Since I’m trying to lean out, I needed to run more than usual. I did a total of 9 cardios last week, between running, kickboxing and LiveExercise classes, and my ankle is pain-free. The orthotics fit every pair of shoe I have so I can use them in my new Spiras or switch them out as needed.

After great success, I interviewed Audree to learn more so I could pass along more information on orthotics because I realize I’m probably not the only one who needs her help!!

1. What is the most common foot problem you see?
Plantar Fasciitis for sure…

2. How is it fixed?
Immediate action includes anti inflammatories, ice, stretching (I recommend tracing the alphabet with your foot). A more long term solution would be a foot orthotic and a good supportive shoe. A foot orthotic will help to diffuse the weight bearing of the foot, thereby taking pressure off the heel and supporting the mid-foot and arch.

3. What are symptoms of a possible shoe issue.  
Pain. If you suddenly develop some sort of foot pain or knee pain, it can be an indicator your shoe is not the right shoe for the activity you’re doing, or it is worn out (for example, cushion, heel wear or uneven heel wear).

4. What do most people not know about insoles?
That an insole is just that, a piece of foam that can replace the insole of the shoe. What most people need is arch support. A foot orthotic, either off-the-shelf or custom, can disperse the weight bearing of the entire foot.

5. How do you know if an insole is right for you?
In most cases you may need a professional opinion to begin with, but you always want something with arch support. (Tip: To test the quality of the insole, do this test: Lay the “insole” on a flat surface and push down on the arch. It should not flatten out.) Additionally, some people need more cushion while others need something more aggressive and firmer.

6. What is the price range for good insoles?
$35-$75 for a decent off-the-shelf orthotic.

7. What is the best insole on the market & what does it cost?
Believe it or not, the best orthotic I carry is one of my least expensive by Vionic. It has good arch support as well as a good cushion.

8. What is one thing you wish you could tell all your customers?
Arch support, arch support, arch support. The human foot was not designed to walk on concrete, which is what we do everyday.

Running with my dogMarley and I thank you Audree for taking care of my feet!! We’ve had a blast on our morning runs together – and we wouldn’t have been able to run every morning without you and your orthotic insoles!!!



Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.



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