Your Feet Deserve Our Support

Arch supports, inserts, insoles, and orthotic devices — what’s the difference and what do I need? Like any building or machine, the foundation of support is essential. Think how annoying it is to sit at a table that rocks back and forth because the base is out of balance. A simple packet of sugar or folded napkin under a table leg can make all the difference. The human body is no different – and that support and balance begins with your feet.

The best place to start is with your shoes. Finding the right shoe is more than pinching them to find the big toe. Aligning the heel, arch and toe length will ensure proper fit and function. The goal is make the shoe work with the foot– not against it. A simple test is to pick up a shoe and bend it. The break point – or where it bends –  should be where the toes bend. If it bends anywhere else, there could be a functional mismatch between the shoe and the foot.

Once shoes have been selected, attention can then be focused on what is inside the shoe. Many shoes are made with removable insoles – the lining inside the shoe. These insoles are often soft, thin, and offer little to no support. This can frustrate many people who are in search of the perfect shoe. That’s why it is often necessary to replace what is inside the shoe with either an over the counter insert or custom orthotic devices.

This is where there are similarities between your eyes and your feet. Glasses – frames and lenses – accommodate for your vision problems and help you see better. Shoes and inserts accommodate your feet and help you walk and feel better. Taking this analogy one step further, some people do well with over the counter, non prescription glasses, but many need prescription glasses in order to adjust for the differences between their eyes or because the simple corrections that the non prescription glasses offer are not sophisticated enough.

The same is true with your feet. There are lots of different over the counter inserts available in stores and online. However, not only are everyone’s feet different, but there are often significant differences between the feet of one person. That is why prescription orthotic devices are often necessary. Made from impressions of your feet, orthotic devices are made to fit you and no one else.

Taking into consideration all of your biomechanical issues, including the way in which your feet function, the way you walk (or run), your alignment  — and whether there are other contributing factors such as a leg length difference – custom devices are designed and made in order to accommodate all of your unique characteristics. Helping to provide symmetry, function, and postural balance, will not only be more comfortable — but custom orthotic devices will also go a long way in reducing pain or problems that may have led you down this path in the first place.

The first step in this direction is to visit a podiatrist with Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic for an examination and guidance on what will make your feet feel and function the best that they possibly can. Shoe recommendations and orthotic devices are a great way to help make that happen. Make an appointment today.


Podiatrist Dr. David LevineDr. David Levine works in our Frederick, MD (Thomas Johnson Dr) office.

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