Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics

By: Dr. Aaranson 

Our feet withstand an amazing amount of weight and pressure over the course of a lifetime. The reality is that our feet were never intended to wear shoes, but we adopted the use of shoes through innovation, technology, and comfort. Of course, wearing shoes provide all sorts of helpful benefits, as well as protection from sharp or hard objects that can damage our feet.

Shoes can also bring their own potential health risks, namely from improper support for your feet as you walk. Spending significant amounts of time on your feet without the proper support can lead to any combination of foot, knee, hip, and back pain. Wearing shoe inserts or a custom set of orthotics is one of the best ways to alleviate shoe-related foot pain and prevent further damage.

3 tips for telling if you need orthotics

How do you know if you need shoe inserts or orthotics? These three tips can you help determine if you need to invest in a new pair of shoe inserts or orthotics:

  1. Look at your most used shoes. Are you wearing out one side of the heel more than the other? Your feet may pronate (roll inward) or supinate (roll outward) when you plant your feet and walk. The heels on your shoes will show noticeable wear based on your gait.

  2. Check your footprint. Wet your feet and step on a dry towel. Your wet footprint will show how your weight is distributed as you step. If there is a pronounced “C” shape, it’s likely your foot rolls outward (supinates) as you walk. If you don’t see any sign of an arch, you may be susceptible to a pronated walk where your feet roll inward or you have truly flat feet.

  3. Pain in your heels or arches is often a sign of improper support. You may need better support for your arches. Proper foot support provides balance and comfort.

Unfortunately, foot pain may not be reduced with orthotics. There are a number of overuse injuries and conditions that can affect your ability to walk. Our Orthopedic Associates team features a board-certified podiatrist who can help you identify the source of your foot and ankle pain. The first step (pun intended) is to schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Associates.

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