The Ultimate Guide to Buying Orthotic Insoles
Are you feeling a chafing or pinching sensation while walking or running with the new pair of shoes that you have bought recently? You may also find yourself wincing while bending as your lower back is paining or your knees can feel creaky. This might be due to the use of inappropriate padding in the shoes. So you might have to consider an insole to offer you some comfort while wearing the shoes.
When most of us hear the term insoles, we picture the flimsy EVA inserts that you pop inside shoes for comfort. However, the arch support inserts are much more than comfort and padding. Read on to know more about the arch support inserts.
Purpose of Inserts
Using orthotics can offer you many benefits. While we stand on our feet, much stress is applied to the ankles and joints. This stress should be absorbed properly, and if it is not, it can lead to many issues ranging from knee pain to plantar fasciitis.
The terrain that we navigate on is one of the biggest culprits leading to many biochemical issues. We walk on flat and hard surfaces that can lead to knee and ankle pain. Besides, our feet are very much adaptable and we usually force our feet into different types of shoes. However, wearing the wrong kind of shoes can be very much damaging to your skeletal system.
Using arch support inserts and insoles can help to mitigate the problems, as they offer good shock absorption and can distribute the pressure along the feet due to body weight. Proper orthotic insoles can also offer more support to the way our feet work and can be used to correct over-supination and over-pronation of the feet as well.
Finding a good arch support insole can be a difficult task though. If you prefer to go the custom route, the job can be simple, as a professional will be taking care of the details for you. However, before that, you will need to ensure that it is actually an insert that you need. Having a good idea about the different types of inserts available in the market can help you find out if you need an insert.
Categories of Arch Support Inserts
Arch support inserts are available in three different categories to cater to various requirements of the users.
- Rigid Support: Rigid support inserts are very technical and are used to control the movement of the foot of the user below the ankle. These inserts can be used to prevent the foot from turning into excessive pronation. Rigid support inserts are made from ABS or polyurethane plastics together with microfiber or foam for comfort. These inserts can be molded traditionally or can be 3D printed. Podiatrists and custom insole makers usually offer this type of inserts.
- Semi Rigid Support: This type of insert lies between the soft and rigid type of inserts and is usually made up of a combination of various supportive materials like leather plastic, foam, and cork. The semi rigid arch support inserts are mostly used by people who are engaged in sports activities.
- Soft Support: These types of inserts are considered the shock absorbers in the world of inserts. They can help to ease pressure on the sore points and can help with balancing. Another advantage is that these inserts are lightweight. They can be foam based or may contain gel.
Need of Inserts
Human feet go through many macro and micro movements every day. We also put much stress on our feet by standing for very long hours without a break. In addition, there can be big stress buildup on our feet while wearing poorly fitting shoes or playing high impact sports. At times, the issues can become really pronounced that it can get real hard to ignore the issue.
You can benefit from the use of arch support inserts if you have the following problems.
Bunions or Bunion Pain
There are many people suffering from the problem of bunion and bunion pains. These are formed when the big toe of the feet pushes against the second toe. They can be caused by foot stress, tight shoes, and arthritis. If you have only a mild bunion discomfort, you can use a gel insole insert. You need to understand that not everyone with the problem of bunion will need a custom-made orthotics or insoles. However, if the case of bunions is severe, you will have to go for a custom or rigid support, which can elevate your foot to take pressure off the foot.
Having a flat foot is one of the causes of hammertoes. Therefore, it will be a good idea to use an insole that can support the arch of the feet. You can find an insole that has a pronounced bump behind the ball of the foot. The bump will apply pressure to the arch forcing the toes of the user to straighten out little bit to relieve pressure on the toes.