Podiatrists estimate that some 70% of New Zealanders suffer from a fallen arches and rolling inwards of the ankles. The medical term for this condition is over-pronation. Some of us over-pronate more than others. The fact that so many of us have fallen arches can be contributed to the hard, unnatural flat surfaces we walk on daily. In addition, age, weakened ankle muscles and excessive bodyweight play a role in over-pronation. Therefore overpronation is more common in aged persons and overweight people.
For many people over-pronation doesn't pose a real problem especially when they are still young. However, poor foot function caused by overpronation can lead to a range of problems such as heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis), pain in the ball of the foot (Metatarsalgia) and also shin pain, knee pain and low back pain.
Orthotic insoles correct the problem of overpronation and can help reduce or eliminate many common aches and pains, caused by over-pronation. Buying a pair of orthotics can be a worthwhile investment in your health, because they can also prevent many future biomechanical problems. A number of recent studies have shown how orthotics can be useful in the treatment of heel pain, plantar fasciitis, knee and lower back pain.
A foot 'orthotic' (ortho is Greek for "to correct") is a 3/4 length or full-length insole placed inside the shoes with the purpose of restoring natural foot biomechanics. Biomechanics is the science of movement and it studies the body's movements during walking, running and sports. The most common example of poor foot biomechanics is over-pronation. This is the dropping of the arches and rolling inwards of the feet and ankles. Orthotics correct over-pronation and re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, restoring our natural foot function. In turn, this will help alleviate problems not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body.
Generally speaking, there are 2 different types of orthotics:
1) Custom-made orthotics: Custom-made, rigid orthotics are only available from a Podiatrist. These orthotics are for patients with serious biomechanical disorders i.e. more serious than the common degree of excess pronation that most of us suffer from. After initial diagnosis the Podiatrist will decide on a 'customised prescription orthotic'. Next, a plaster cast of the patient's foot is made (a negative impression) and this cast is then sent to an orthotic fabrication laboratory. A positive cast is formed by pouring plaster into the negative. The result is a accurate copy of the underside of the foot. From this the orthotic technician (Orthotist) manufactures a custom orthotic and they will include the necessary adjustments as instructed by the Podiatrist. The result is a rigid (or semi-rigid) very firm orthotic device. Because of their hardness, many patients (especially older people) find it very hard to get used to these orthotics. Typically a pair of custom orthotics will cost about $300 - $400.
2) Pre-made ‘off the shelf’ orthotics: Pre-made orthotics are made of a softer material and they are not individually tailored to the patient. Many physiotherapists and chiropractors sell these types of orthotics. People will get used to these orthotics almost immediately and the cost ranges from $35 to $65 per pair. Research has shown that for 80% of people suffering from over-pronation a simple pre-made orthotic will provide sufficient correction. Also, after a few weeks of wear these type of orthotics will customise to the wearer’s footshape, because of their body weight and body heat. Most pre-made orthotic are made of EVA, a flexible material that supports the foot without hurting the arches. Especially children and the elderly will benefit from a softer type of orthotic, since they cannot tolerate anything hard under the foot.
There’s quite a difference between footbeds and orthotics! Regular footbeds are purely designed to provide a cushioning effect to make walking and standing a bit more comfortable. Cushioning footbeds may feel comfortable at first, however they do not address any biomechanical problems. In other words, they do not correct over-pronation. Whereas orthotics are a functional device, designed to correct and optimize our natural foot function. Some footbeds also feature an arch support, but often the support is too weak to have any real effect, especially if the footbeds are made of soft spongy materials.
How do orthotics exactly work? First of all, orthotics do a lot more than supporting the arches. Orthotics re-align the feet and ankles and restore ‘faulty’ foot function. In addition, orthotics provide a more even weight distribution, taking pressure of sore spots (e.g. the heels, the ball of the foot, corns in between toes and bunions). They also provide some degree of shock absorption, but this not their main purpose. The main purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve foot function and in many cases this will reduce pain and prevent future problems and injury.
Years of use has proven that most foot complaints will respond favourably to treatment with orthotics. Orthotics are found to be very effective for treating heel pain, heel spurs, Plantar Fasciitis, pain from bunions, callous and corns, Achilles Tendonitis, Ball of Foot Pain and Morton's Neuroma. Our feet are the foundation of our body and many problems in the legs, knees and back can be attributed to poor foot biomechanics. Therefore, orthotics can be very useful in the treatment of shin splints, knee pain and lower back pain. This the reason that many physiotherapists and chiropractors have started using orthotics. Over-pronation at the feet causes the lower leg to rotate inwards and the pelvis tilt forward, in turn putting a lot of strain and stress on the legs, knees and back. Orthotics correct the problem of over-pronation and therefore greatly reduce internal leg rotation and forward pelvic tilt. A study from the USA "identified the nature of a person's walk as a source of chronic lower back pain," The study further showed more than a fifty percent improvement in alleviation of back pain after wearing orthotics.
Any person suffering from foot pain will generally benefit from wearing orthotics. It is estimated that 70% of the New Zealand population suffers from over-pronation (rolling inwards of the foot and fallen arches) - the major contributing factor to many common foot problems. As we get older this problem often worsens: the muscles and ligaments in the foot become weaker, as do the bones due to calcium reduction. In addition, the fatty padding under the foot thins out, which means less protection and cushioning for the the bones - in particular the heel bone. Therefore, aged people will almost certainly benefit from wearing an orthotic insole. Other persons include:
- factory workers, nurses, teachers, people in retail and in the building industry. Basically, anyone who is required to stand on their feet for 6 hours or more per day..
- women wearing dress shoes or shoes with heels. They often suffer from pain under the ball of the foot (Metatarsalgia) and/or aching legs.
- runners and athletes: because athletes put so much strain on their muscles and bones and ground reaction forces are much higher (up to 5 times the body weight) biomechanical injuries are very common. Orthotics can play an important in preventing sports injuries such as Achilles Tendonitis, shin splints and problems in the knee joint.
- children 8-years and up: Sever's Disease, Osgood-Schlatters and Growing Pains are the 3 most common biomechanial complaints in children. Because the child's bones have not been fully developed ('ossified') and children are very active it may disrupt the growth plates causing inflammation and pain. Orthotics help stabilise the excess movement in tendons and joints, thereby relieving many aches and pains
- people with diabetes and also arthritis sufferers
- overweight or obese people
Footlogics orthotics have helped many thousands of people in the UK, Australia, Europe and America. Although we cannot judge your individual case and your specific complaints, we are almost certain that our product will be of assistance and reduce or eliminate your complaint. Orthotics in general have been used for over 40 years now by thousands of medical practitioners across the world and they are still used today. The simple reason: they work!
We invite you to try Footlogics orthotics for a 30 days. If you find they have not lived up to their promise, you simply return them to us for a full money refund. No questions asked.
Unlike custom-made hard orthotics, Footlogics orthotics are made of a flexible material called E.V.A. The major advantage of E.V.A. is that it is supportive and 'giving' at the same time! As you apply weight to the foot there is a certain amount of 'give' in Footlogics, providing shock absorbtion to the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. This makes the device much more comfortable and more natural compared to hard custom orthotics.
Because Footlogics is made of a softer material than hard orthotics, they will need to be replaced every 12-18 months to be remain 100% effective. This also depends on how often the orthotics are worn and the level of activity. For example, someone who uses Footlogics at work every day and who wear them 8 hours per day should replace them every 12 months.
Footlogics orthotics fit in most types of shoes. They come in different models to suit different types of footwear. The Casual model is designed to fit in almost every type of dress shoe, brogue, boat shoe - i.e. all low or flat-heeled footwear as long as the shoe is not too narrow. Footlogics Casual will also fit in lace-up shoes, workboots, runners etc.
The Comfort model is a full-length orthotic more suited to deep, roomy lace-up shoes and boots, including all athletic footwear and also golfing shoes. Please note that the Comfort can be trimmed with scissors to fit the shoe, should they be too long.
Footlogics High Heel Comfort is designed to fit ladies' high heel shoes, narrow-fitting footwear, court shoes as well as medium to high heeled sandals and boots.
Footlogics orthotics always come in a pair. So the prices on the website are for a pair of orthotics, not just a left or right one.
You should always wear the orthotics in both shoes, left and right. If you only wear them on under one foot, your whole body will be out of balance, which may cause you hip problems and/or lower back pain.
No, it will not take long at all. Because of the 'feet-friendly' materials used in Footlogics and its anatomic shape (following the foot's natural curves) it takes a very short time to get used to our orthotics. Most people will find them comfortable immediately after inserting in them their shoes. Some people, however, need a few days to get used to them. If the orthotic feels strange or uncomfortable at first, we recommend you wear them only for a 1 hour per day and increase the wearing time by an extra hour every day - until they feel completely comfortable.
The easiest way to clean Footlogics is to simply wipe them with a warm soapy cloth. Please, do not soak them or put them in your washing machine!