Insoles and Orthotics

What are insoles?

Insoles are worn inside the shoe and help the shoe to fit the foot properly, as well as stabilising the position of the foot and supporting the foot. Insoles can be bought from most shoe shops; however, many sports professionals use custom made ones as these are state of the art and provide additional support and cushioning.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are devices which are worn in the shoes; they are designed to correct problems with alignment in the lower legs which can contribute to injury and a decreased level of performance.

When are orthotics needed?

Many athletes wear orthotics to treat symptoms caused by biomechanical issues in the feet; these conditions include knee, lower back and leg pain, as well as pain in the ankles and feet.

Types of orthotic

There are three main types of orthotic; these are soft, rigid and semi-rigid orthotics. Soft orthotics are used to increase cushioning when the foot is planted firmly on the ground; this may be beneficial for jumpers, for example. Semi-rigid orthotics provide a combination of cushioning and stability these orthotics are commonly used for people with flat feet. Rigid orthotics control movement in the foot that causes pain; this orthotic does not offer any cushioning and is generally only recommended for people who have neurological illnesses which mean they have little control over their feet.

Where to get an insole or orthotic

Insoles are widely available from shoe shops and pharmacies; however, most of the models sold in these shops have to be trimmed to size and do not fit the shape of the foot accurately. A podiatrist will be able to order a custom made insole. Orthotics can be purchased from a number of sportswear suppliers; however, many will not offer a custom made service so it is best to see a podiatrist if you want to order an orthotic device; this will ensure the device fits your foot perfectly and is shaped to treat your individual problems.

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