You might see shoe inserts next to the athletic shoes at the store. The sporting goods store, or even your gym, might have a display of these inserts. In reality, these little pieces of foam rubber are incapable of providing your feet with the support you need when you’re putting your body to work.
Every athletic activity you participate in will have different demands on your feet. What you’re doing with your feet while you’re running differs from the way you use your feet when skiing. Lifting weights and skating require completely different athletic forms, and your body distributes the load its carrying in completely different ways.
There is no “one size fits all” solution for effective sport orthotics. If your weary feet need some more support to get through the healthy activities you love, here’s what Tony Martin Limb and Brace can do to make sports more comfortable and enjoyable.
Orthotics for Running
Running is an excellent sport for athletic conditioning and cardiovascular health, but the impact can easily put wear and tear on joints and leave people with sore feet. Using proper running shoes is half the battle. Properly fitted shoes designed specifically for runners will always provide more support than normal sneakers.
While you’re running, your feet come down with every step. They need to be met with proper support each time your feet touch the ground. If you aren’t getting proper foot support, you’ll be more likely to feel fatigue, discomfort, or even injury to your muscles and tendons after you run.
Custom orthotics for running are designed to provide support while absorbing shock, keeping your feet comfortable. While you should still listen to your body when it’s attempting to communicate its limits and exercise caution when increasing the intensity of your training sessions, custom orthotics undoubtedly make it easier to run.
Orthotics for Skating
Skating requires standing for long periods of time while changing the way your weight is distributed. This can place a weight bearing burden on many areas of your feet in a repetitive way over a long period of time. After you skate, you may feel pain throughout your whole foot.
The act of skating generates a lot of friction between the foot and the interior of the skate. This can lead to irritation of the skin from the constant rubbing. In severe cases, it can lead to blisters or broken skin that will put you out of athletic commission for at least a few days.
A custom orthotic can reduce the impact of that friction and keep your feet fully supported as you shift your weight. Orthotics can also dramatically reduce the potential for blisters and skin irritation, as long as the skates are fitted and proper socks are worn.
Orthotics for Skiing
Ski trips are fun with the right group of people. They’re also very physically demanding. They require a lot of special preparation, protective clothing, and highly specific footwear. Your shoes are the most important part of your ski ensemble, and you need to rely on them to keep you safe and comfortable when you hit the slopes.
Boots for skiing and snowboarding are expensive. If they’re giving you foot pain, you don’t necessarily need to take them to the pro shop to have them re-fitted. As long as the boots themselves are the proper size, a custom orthotic can work to improve the fit of the boot and protect your feet.
Skiing is fun, but it’s very hard on the body. If your feet need extra support, you can’t afford to go without it. You may feel more stable on your feet when you have better support, and skiing is all about balance and stability. The right orthotic, especially when combined with proper training, might actually make you a better skier. You’ll feel more confident with every move.
Orthotics for Weight Training
If your feet need correction, properly fitted orthotics are an absolute necessity for weight lifting. Every pound on your body increases the stress on your feet. If you’re squatting while carrying 100 or more pounds, your feet are responsible for the burden of keeping the load upright. Just a few reps can cause severe foot pain, pain in the balls of the feet, or stinging pain across the arch of the foot.
Orthotics for weight training need to be specially made. If they’re too soft, they won’t withstand the pressure of additional weight while you’re working out. You also need to use these orthotics with weight lifting shoes, which often have thicker, harder soles and don’t easily bend.
No orthotic device can overcome improper form. It may be worth talking to a trainer about posture and body mechanics, especially if you’re prone to pain and soreness after lifting workouts.
Finding the Support You Need to Achieve Your Athletic Goals
If you frequently experience foot pain or you’ve been diagnosed with a foot deformity, you need to see your doctor for an orthotics prescription. Using orthotics suited to your athletic activity of choice will make the activity safer and less likely to cause pain.
When you get your prescription, bring it to Tony Martin Limb and Brace in Tucson. We’ll work to create custom orthotics that provide highly tailored support to your unique feet. We’ll choose materials and orthotics styles best suited to your favorite athletic activities. Keep in mind that you may need different orthotics for running and weight lifting, as the demands and strains of these activities are highly different.
We’ll also show you how to use your orthotics for maximum effect. At the beginning, you should only wear them for short periods of time to help your body adapt. Orthotics should always be used for their intended purpose. Walking the dog in your weightlifting orthotics won’t do your feet any favors.
At Tony Martin Limb & Brace, we have decades of experience helping the people of Tucson with their orthotic and prosthetic needs. Let us use that experience to help you achieve your athletic goals.