Did you know that the way your shoes fit your feet could make a huge difference to your health? Poorly fitted footwear can create serious problems, especially if you have a condition such as flat feet or diabetes, and uncontrolled movement in the ankles and feet can cause pain and aching in the feet, legs and lower back.
Recent studies suggest that 80% of adults develop alignment issues in their feet by the age of twenty, and this may go undetected for many years.
Custom orthotics are designed to solve the problems caused by ill fitting shoes, and can transform the way your feet feel. They can provide increased support and comfort by altering the way your body weight is dispersed across the sole of the shoe, and adjusting your posture to reduce the pressure on your bones and joints. A standard or off-the-shelf orthotic is unlikely to make a significant difference to your feet, but a custom orthotic could be the solution you are looking for.
What is a Custom Orthotic?
A custom orthotic is an insert that sits inside the shoe. It is created in 3D, mapping the contours of your feet to create the perfect fit. Our professional pedorthists at Foot Solutions work hard to develop the very best custom orthotics in our laboratories, and will check the fit and make any adjustments for you. We can carry out a gait analysis and discuss your lifestyle and foot problems in order to make the best recommendations for you. Remember that an orthotic that is created from a flat image of your foot cannot reflect your unique contours so will not provide the cushioning and support that your foot needs.
Custom orthotics may be soft, semi-rigid or rigid, and the effects these have on your feet and their position in your shoes, will differ. If you have a condition such as flat feet or pain in the lower back or knees, you will probably be advised to try semi-rigid orthotics made from high density rubber and flexible plastic, which are excellent for controlling movement. Rigid orthotics are often used in slim-fitting formal shoes, while soft orthotics are ideal for absorbing shock and relieving pressure on the feet, which is especially useful for people who have diabetes or arthritis.
How Can Custom Orthotics Help?
Custom orthotics are an ideal solution for many people, especially those with specific foot problems. If you are experiencing any pain in your feet, you should talk to our experienced pedorthists so that they can help you to find the very best solution for your own unique situation.
Custom orthotics may help if you have:
- Shin splints. Shin splints is an injury common to runners, and is a result of stress on the tibia. The additional support provided by custom orthotics can help relieve the pressure and absorb shock better.
- Heel spurs. Heel spurs are caused when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel bone and calcium deposits create bony growths. This can be extremely difficult to accommodate within shoes, and custom orthotics can be designed to take these into account as well as helping to stop the condition progressing.
- Fallen arches. The arches of the feet are usually raised, although some people are born with flat feet. Sometimes, as a result of increased weight or poor muscle control, fallen arches can occur and this can result in problems throughout the muscles and tendons of the legs and feet as they come under additional pressure. Custom orthotics can be the perfect solution as they reposition the foot and provide the support that is needed throughout the legs and feet.
- Arthritis. People with arthritic foot pain often find that custom orthotics can help to cushion the fragile joints and reduce pain and discomfort.
- Tendonitis. There are many tendons in the feet and when they become inflamed or strained, this can cause a great deal of pain. Custom orthotics will help to relieve the pressure on the joints and allow tendons to recover.
- Bunions. A bunion is a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe, and can cause a lot of discomfort and reduce mobility. An insert that is custom made to accommodate the bunion can stop it from worsening and cushion and support the area to relieve pain.
- Diabetes. If you are diabetic, you will already know that this can in-crease your likelihood of developing painful problems with your feet. Calluses and corns can cause pain and these can become infected if they are not treated quickly. Diabetic neuropathy may mean that cuts and wounds go unnoticed and this can be very dangerous, so specialist custom made orthotics can help to protect your feet and keep them in good shape.
Enjoy Winter with Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics can make a huge difference to how comfortable your feet feel inside your shoes, and can make a big difference to other footwear too. Popular winter sports, such as skating and skiing, can be restrictive if you suffer from a painful foot condition, but custom orthotics could help you to make the most of all the opportunities the winter offers.
Wearing orthotics in your everyday shoes or boots during the winter is a great way to prevent dangerous slips and accidents that could leave you with serious or debilitating injuries. This is most important because the weather is more likely to cause adverse conditions during the winter, and also because you will need to keep your feet warm as well. A good pair of walking boots or shoes is ideal for general use in winter, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or if it is icy or snowy, and custom orthotics can be the best way to ensure a really good fit that helps you to stay comfortable and well supported all season.
Are you a keen skier? Whether you’ve had to stop due to pain in your feet, or you’ve never tried but would love to give it a go, custom orthotics could be a great option for you. Wearing skis forces your body and your feet into a very different position compared with walking, and this can put a great deal of pressure on the feet and lower legs.
Anyone with arch problems is likely to experience difficulties and pain when wearing a standard ski boot, since these can be hard on the arches, and a custom orthotic is a good solution. It can help to support the foot and control movement within the ski boot, and this prevents compression of the longitudinal arch in the foot, which can lead to instability and strained muscles. Orthotics for ski boots are usually made from a material that retains heat, so you may also be warmer on the slopes!
If ice-skating is your preferred winter sport, you’ll know that it can put pres-sure on the legs and feet. Bearing weight and gliding on the ice requires the foot to be positioned precisely, and overpronation can cause serious problems that could lead to muscle damage. Whatever your natural tendency, a custom orthotic will help to correct your positioning and posture and make it possible to skate more comfortably, for longer, without risking damage to your feet.
Custom orthotics for winter sports are expertly made and designed to fit your foot exactly, as well as being shaped to fit the boot or skate in which they will be worn. Your custom orthotics will ensure you can exercise all winter in com-fort, so you’ll be able to really make the most of the season.
Find Comfortable Shoes in Ireland
Here at Foot Solutions, our experienced pedorthists can help you to find the best options for your feet, and this will usually involve comfortable, well-fitted shoes, with comfort socks and/or custom arch supports.
We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a full and active life, and that foot pain should not hold you back! Visit us at Foot Solutions for a professional fitting, or book an appointment online now and find the very best solution for your feet.