Orthotics are shoe inserts that help straighten out foot and lower leg irregularities. They are inserted into shoes just like insoles, and they support the foot and correct abnormal joint motion.
Orthotics support the arches and can help you regain normal body balance by providing a unique combination of support and cushioning. This can provide relief from sore feet, painful arches due to plantar fasciitis, and back pain. They also help with shin pain, heel spurs, hurting legs, and knee pain.
They are custom made by Wachtel Foot and Ankle using a computerized gait analysis. The orthotic neutralizes any deformity that the gait analysis reveals.
Footmaxx orthotics are a new type of orthotics and they have revolutionized the field with the use of computer technology to analyze and treat improper foot biomechanics.
How do they work? To get fitted for them, you walk across a force platform while thousands of sensors record timing and pressure of 8 different contact points of your foot, your lateral and medial heel, your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th metatarsal heads and your big toe.
These data are then compared with a normal foot by a trained podiatrist in a lab who writes a detailed report on the condition of your feet and whether or not Footmaxx orthotics will help you. The orthotics netrulize any deformities that you might have in your foot. Physical therapy as well as stretching exercises are also possible treatment options.
If an orthotic is recommended, then it is created so that it corrects your feet so that they are brought within the normal range for each of the 8 key contact points.
Footmaxx orthotics have proven so successful that they are now used by the NHL, the NBA, 29 out of 30 Major League Baseball teams, the pro-tennis circuit, national ski teams and many other top athletes.
If you are unhappy with your present shoes, there is no reason to change; if you are having aches and pains, or other problems related to biomechanics, running style, footwear and/or orthotics, you may need to change. It is helpful to know what type of feet you have:
1. Normal, average
2. Hypermobile, flat, pronated, collapsed arches
3. Rigid, high arched, supinated, high impact
The best choice for shoes for these three types of feet, respectively are:
1. The Stable Category (Moderate motion control) is composed of well designed shoes for average feet and running requirements. This category contains a diversity of styles and shapes to allow for individual preferences.
2. The Anti-Pronation Category (Maximum motion control) are shoes known to prevent excessive pronation. These shoes may also be used by average runners who would also be able to choose from Category #1.
3. The Lateral Stability Category is not for people who wear the outer corners of their heels. This is a normal wear pattern that may still indicate a need for Category #1 or #2 shoes. This Category #3 is for people who crush the outer edges of their shoes ahead of the heel, and the upper of the shoe rolls over the outer edge of the sole. These shoes may also be useful for preventing ankle sprains and for stability on uneven terrain.
Note: Pronation and supination of the foot are normal motions. Excessive pronation, with collapse of the arch and rotation at the knee produces fatigue, strain, and overuse injuries. Excessive supination, with a rigid foot type produces impact shock injuries.
1. Don’t be fooled by too much softness. Softness does not always equate with proper shock absorption.
2. When you wear orthotics try them on in the shoes before purchase.
3. Watch out for fifth toe clearance. Many new shoes have straps that can cause painful pressure over this area. Fifth toes vary from person to person in their relative position compared to overall length of the foot.
4. Heel elevation varies from shoe to shoe. As a general rule, people with tight calves do best in the higher shoes.
For up to date recommendations on current sport shoes for running, cross training, walking, aerobics, soccer, and others, please contact the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM)