Custom Insoles . Are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Tennis_Monk, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. chuckd

    chuckd New User

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    FWIW, I was getting hot-spots after a few hours with my Asics Gel Challenger 9s. I swapped out the stock insoles for some Superfeet orange and I no longer get hot-spots. Out of the box, the shoe was comfortable in every other way.

    I've found the same to be true for my numerous other tennis shoes, running shoes, hiking shoes & boots and cycling shoes. I don't always swap the insoles, but when I do, I prefer Superfeet orange (except for my cycling shoes, which get Specialized footbeds).

    As always, YMMV.
     
    #51
  2. chuckd

    chuckd New User

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    Forgot to add: If an off-the-shelf insole can do the job for $50 or less, it's worth it, IMO. For many, off-the-shelf is "custom" enough.
     
    #52
  3. bradsm01

    bradsm01 Rookie

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    LeeD, I have an extremely left flat foot and a normal arch in the right. My left foot is actually 1/2 size longer than my right, due to it being so flat. I used the SuperfeetGreen for a little while but had to stop bc they were killing my arch on said left foot, they were fine on the right. Do you think the Oranges will work better due to its extra padding or should I try something else? Thanks
     
    #53
  4. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    No worries. maybe my post didn't come across clear enough. I wasn't exactly using the term comfort as in literal comfort from cushioning. I was trying to point out the pervasive attitude how people tend to deal with pain and discomfort. All they can think of is to get rid of that pain and discomfort, in other words, get to the point of comfort where there's no pain. I generally dislike idea of orthotics because they tend to mask more fundamental problems by soothing the immediate pain and discomfort. if anyone is genuinely looking to improve the situation in a long term I wouldn't recommend orthotics.

    although cheap ones I tried a number of insoles in the past as well and some fitted my foot better and gave my feet better relief from pain and discomfort. but now after starting to improve overall body mechanics and understand better why sometimes I have foot pain, I found much better solution to that problem than trying to get rid of the pain. I just want to remind the fellow members here about the more fundamental approach. but i understand the value of immediate relief from pain so I'm not so gungho about it.
     
    #54
  5. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Superfeet orange better be better than Dr. Sholls. because superfeet is a lot more expensive. if not better then why should I buy superfeet and spend a lot more cash.
     
    #55
  6. chuckd

    chuckd New User

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    If you're talking about the "Active Series" from Dr. Scholl's, I have used them in running shoes. For $20, they worked very well for me- similar comfort as the SF orange. IME, the Scholl's insoles didn't last the life of the the shoe. I would go through 2.5 sets of insoles per pair of shoes, with the last set carried over to the next pair of shoes. The foam flattens out rather quickly and I can feel the drop-off in arch support, which is very important for me. I have have feet which are opposite of what one normally sees: Supinator with wide forefoot with medium-high arches and narrow heel. Wide+arches+supinator usually don't go together.

    For $40, Superfeet Orange insoles will last almost the entire life of the shoe- close enough for a 1:1 ratio, anyway. I still use Dr. Scholl's in some of my more casual, athletic-type shoes.
     
    #56
  7. Qubax

    Qubax Professional

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    Yes, they can actually be heat molded up to 5 times.

    I play tennis about 4 days a week. I find that the Insoles last me 18 Months, and my T22's about 5-6 months

    I actually don't heat mold them though...I just put them straight into my shoes out of the packaging. They mold to your foot just through wear as well.
     
    #57
  8. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Glad to see that you've joined the discussion. Any thoughts on the minimalist concept vs orthotics that I brought up in post #30?
     
    #58
  9. Qubax

    Qubax Professional

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    My problem with Minimalist shoes is if they have lack of arch support.

    Lack of arch support was totally normal and good running across the uneven soil and fields of the world as our ancestors did. But not in the concrete jungle that we live in our feet have adapted to the stress we've put them under. 1. The Unforgiving Concrete World we live in. 2. The large cushioning shoes we use to try and counteract it.

    One thing I love about SOLE is that our Insoles have shown to have the same ground reaction forces as walking baerfoot through a field.

    So while I don't mind minimalist shoes I still believe and Arch Support should be augmenting them.
     
    #59
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Difference between Dr.Sholls and Superfeet is that DR. are cushion against impact, and raised heel. Superfeet is more raised footbed, especially the heel, and arch support, with the oranges providing some cushioning.
    I have flat feet, both. So I need Superfeet, Sole, or PowerMax, BUT, I like the impact cushioning of Dr.Sholls, because of the torn tendons in the top of my foot.
     
    #60
  11. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes, use it or loose it is not that far off.
     
    #61
  12. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Arch support makes the arch atrophy.
     
    #62
  13. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > Arch support makes the arch atrophy.

    Arch supports are only used for stressful activity to the foot which may only be a few hours per day. There is plenty of time to walk without it when not working out.
     
    #63
  14. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    It would take some adaptation on most people's parts when getting into a minimalist shoe. Years of wearing supported shoes then going straight to a minimalist shoe is asking for trouble IMO....a gradual process is the way to go.

    I'm not a big fan of orthotics. I don't like the idea of trying to lock in the foot in a supposedly "corrected" way just because you're having pain in your foot/other body parts. There are other factors that I had mentioned in my response to LeeD that you need to consider.

    There's a reason why there's so many different tarsal bones in the foot. They're partially meant to move around to adapt to different forces when you're hitting the ground. That movement of the tarsals helps dissipate forces that transmit further upwards into the chain of the lower leg. So now when you've locked the foot in an orthotic, you're sending more of that force upwards to be absorbed by the knee, hip, etc....who knows what that potential is?

    So when a patient comes in with a new pain in their foot, you have to look at the whole chain of events that is going on, not just look at the symptomatic areas.

    OTOH, if someone comes in already wearing orthotics and they're satisfied with them, I don't try to talk them out of not wearing them. But....very often after correcting any postural issues, they'll realize they don't need them anymore.
     
    #64
  15. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes but doing the stressfull activity without arch support would allow the arch to become even stronger and function as it is designed to. Plus many people use (are prescribed) inserts etc. all the time.
     
    #65
  16. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > Yes but doing the stressfull activity without arch
    > support would allow the arch to become even stronger
    > and function as it is designed to. Plus many people use
    > (are prescribed) inserts etc. all the time.

    I think that arch supports are quite useful if you are recovering from an injury and it's generally difficult to function without them. I don't know if people do use them all the time because they are fairly expensive and it can be a major investment in putting them in all of your shoes. I used to use them in all of my shoes but only use them in running shoes now as I've found that I can play tennis or do most everything else without them.

    I do not know that more stressful activity would allow the arch to become stronger and, even if it did, might result in damage to other parts of the foot.
     
    #66
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Problem here with this thread is that everyone is trying to precribe a univeral cure that applies to everyone.
    Can't do that, as everyone has different problems and needs.
    Some people have falling/fallen arches.
    Some have NO arch whatsoever.
    Some have weak arches.
    Some need heel support and alignment.
    Some need padding.
    Most need some combination of the above.
    Every answer is correct, in certain applications.
    NO answer, not mine, is correct for everyone.
     
    #67
  18. finalfantasy7

    finalfantasy7 Semi-Pro

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    was recommended - superfeet orange, love them, my feet used to really hurt me only when i used to walk really fast/run. My arches were always in pain.

    Played past 3 days in a row, 2days for 3.5hours, 3rd day 1 hour hitting session.

    Been using superfeet for past 4-5months, since purchasing these i have never been in pain
     
    #68
  19. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    What you may need can depend on your weight too. If you weigh 250, you may need more cushioning than someone that weighs 150. If you go from 250 to 170, you might be able to taper off on the cushioning and support.
     
    #69
  20. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    2nd question Podiatrist asks, have you gained weight? 1st, do you have insurance coverage?
     
    #70
  21. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    You may have insurance coverage but it might not cover orthotics. When I went to have them made, I found that my coverage didn't include them. At $200 per foot, that can add up. Fortunately I learned how to make them myself for about $10/pair.
     
    #71
  22. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    should I buy this superfeet orange then ?? and what are all these colors mean ?? so Orange is the best one for tennis ?
     
    #72
  23. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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  24. Qubax

    Qubax Professional

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    I'm certainly not meaning to do that. From my experience SOLE Footbeds work well for about 85% of the population. For the amount that they help and for the price that they are I believe that they are an excellent Footbed. But no, they don't work for everybody. I'm not sure what other pople are saying in the thread
     
    #74
  25. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I was prescribed arch- and forefoot supports by a doctor to use all the time, showed up I did better without. Ofcourse stress is what makes us stronger, it is more or less the whole idea behind training and getting stronger. And ofcourse I am not talking about debilitating stress here.
     
    #75
  26. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    It is just that my feeling is that the medical "industry" (people make a living of this) leads to a lot of (too many) people get tuned into using these technologies. The insentive to go the other way is far less, because there are no money to be made of of this. Which is why I am quite eager too share my experiences.
    BTW I second that of course overweight increases the stress on the foot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
    #76
  27. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    This is why I like the aftermarket products as opposed to orthotics. The aftermarket stuff is semi-custom (shoe size and gender) and it's a lot cheaper than fitted orthotics and you can try them out and maybe even return them if they don't do anything for you.
     
    #77
  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    How did you make your orthotics for $10?
     
    #78
  29. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Pair of Dr. Scholls inserts cost me $10.

    I went to a leather goods manufacturing company and asked if I could buy some scraps. A guy walked over to a trash barrel, took out a few pieces and handed them to me, no charge. I had a bottle of leather glue and an exacto knife. I made three semi-ovals in decreasing size the go under my arch and glued the largest onto one of the inserts and then the smaller ones on top of the larger ones. I'd go running with the inserts and then trim off a little leather if it was too much. Back then, things like Superfeet and New Balance aftermarket performance insoles weren't available (this was back in the early 1990s before the days of internet shopping).

    I got lazy when the New Balance stuff came out and just buy the supports now.
     
    #79
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Superfeet Orange is the most padded and the highest arch they make. Greens are the same height, but non padded.
    Soles are OK, I have a set.
    PowerMax are low in the arch, for my absolutely FLAT feet.
    Haven't found the shock absorbancy I would like, even with Dr.Scholls Gel Full footbeds.
     
    #80
  31. tennist

    tennist New User

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    yes, it's worth it, if you see most of the players use them. djokovic to victory in a tournament, I remember them removed from shoes to give the shoes to the public
     
    #81
  32. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I remember that too, australian open 2012 I think it was.
     
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  33. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Found Tulis Road Runner insoles have the most cushioning. Also the thickest insoles I've used.
     
    #83
  34. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I'm rather late to this discussion but I'd like to chime in to defend the minimalist position.

    From personal experience, I've found that shoes, especially "supportive" shoes do weaken the feet. My journey to minimalist shoes was due to having wide-forefeet and getting foot pain and plantar fasciitis. I read a variety of sources and found going to Crocs and then barefoot substantially strengthened my feet.

    I'm not a believer in using orthotics for long periods of time as they tend to act like casts. Casts can help something heal by limiting motion, but they also weaken muscles and connective tissue by limiting motion. IMO, wearing orthotics after the pain from an injury has decreased is like continuing to wear a cast on your leg after the bone has healed.

    It is possible to play tennis barefoot on grass, but abrasion is a big issue on hardcourts. I'd like to see a serious tennis shoe with zero drop, minimal stack height, a durable outsole, and an upper that holds it tightly to the foot. I'm not happy that so many companies have followed Nike's lead and have such a large drop from heel to toe on their shoes.
     
    #84
  35. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    #85
  36. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the minimalist position. After several years of dealing with plantar fasciitis, I decided to do nothing but stretch. No time off for healing, threw away my gel inserts, no special shoes. Just stretching 4-5 Times a day, rolling a tennis ball on instep. Pain was always mild to moderate.. heel stiff and sore in morning or after heavy exercise. Fine when loosened up. I'd say it's about 75% better, and still improving, after about 2 months of stretching.
     
    #86
  37. Soul

    Soul Rookie

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    I've been using the sports gel shoe inserts found at the local store. I believe it is made by Dr. Scholls. Nothing special, but the inserts work well for me.

    What I've been doing after tennis play to heal my feet is to walk barefoot when possible. Doing so I think is easier on my feet.

    As strange as it sounds there is even the idea that barefoot walking or connecting to the earth has an anti-inflammatory effect. Doing that has helped as well for me, as after 30 minutes plus of barefoot grounding outside or on a grounding pad indoors a good portion of the pain is gone.

    Some information I've seen on the benefits of barefoot walking.

    "Summertime Barefoot Cure"

    http://www.annlouise.com/blog/2013/07/16/summertime-barefoot-cure/
     
    #87
  38. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    For me, yes

    Two years ago I though feet are feet, shoes are shoes, they all work. Shoe, sock, or insert type make no difference and why am I even talking about it? It’s a non-issue. Move on to important subjects, that is, until IT happened…

    I got Plantar Fasciitis. It began as just pain from my arch rolling up past my inner ankle. After 4 weeks of playing tennis like this while it got progressively worse I began to realize I’d done something wrong – but I was too late. I’d been a believer that you can just plow though pain and the body will heal itself. Yeah, it did in my 20’s and early 30’s. Still, six months later even with a “decent” insert, tears would stream down my face going up or down stairs. Standing on concrete? Pain.

    So here was my progression until I found a solution…

    1 - Dr. Scholl's® Double Air-Pillo ( $4 ) - http://www.drscholls.com/Products/DoubleAirPilloregImproved
    Initially just put some soft insert in my shoes. Felt nice but did zero for arch support

    2 - Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel ( $8 ) - http://www.drscholls.com/Products/MassagingGelInsoles
    Pretty cushy and did have some arch support so cool. Yet it still did not address the PF so suffered along.

    3 - AG Arch Molds - Maximum ( $40 ) - http://archmolds.com/maximum-insoles.html
    These were SIGNIFICANTLY better because they had a hard shell (bottom). Toss in oven, put on floor, stand on them and they mold (for the most part) to your feet. Worked pretty well but feet still not responding well enough.

    4 - Powerstep Pinnacle ( $40 ) - http://www.powersteps.com/product-pages/pinnacle-page
    Saw a foot doc and he said try these before doing anything crazy. They had nice rigid bottom but not a cushy as I’d like. Eh, doc knows best. Worked pretty well but still the arch support (designed for normal arches) poked mine. Still wore ‘em for half a year until resolving to find something better for my needs.

    5 - Footbalance Max ( $80 )- http://www.footbalance.com/products/max
    I’ve had these for a year and have done wonders. I went to a specialty runners’ shoe store locally where they analyze your running stride and ascertain your needs. My arches are not quite “stock” since they begin farther from the heel from most hence why other arch supports seemed to poke my (high) arches. Nevertheless, they custom-molded them to the contour of each foot and it was pretty amazing. I laughed when they showed me the inserts they molded from my feet. They looked like a girl’s huge, high arch. No way that was from MY foot!


    With the Footbalance Max in my shoes, when I walked it felt like I was not walking which was weird. No discernible pain. Shocking really because I’d had arch pain by that time for over a year and these particular inserts provided what I needed. That same set of inserts had been in my shoes for tennis for a year and it’s been great. I’ve crushed down the padding to almost flat after 120 uses but that’s to be expected.

    Looking back, I did what everyone does by trying to just get something quick, cheap, and easy to solve the problem. I started with the least costly inserts and kept spending more and more money until I finally found something that worked. Spending $80 on inserts, come on, that’s insane! But if I had known about these a year earlier I could have skipped the crappy ones and much of the PF pain along the way. Moral of the story could be to spend money on yourself and your body will thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
    #88

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