Choosing Inserts for Flat Feet: A Podiatry Blog

Orthotics In Gym Shoes: Two Points To Remember Before You Buy New Shoes

When you open the shoe section of a sports catalogue, the choice you have is overwhelming. As someone who needs a new pair of gym shoes, but who also has a new pair of custom orthotics, the choice is not as simple as picking something based on your favourite colour. Use these two tips to make sure you purchase a shoe which works well with your orthotic so that you get a supportive, comfortable fit which will help your feet during exercise rather than hinder them.

Choose Neutral, Not Beautiful

Many people choose a new gym shoe based on its appearance. However, when you wear an orthotic, you need a neutral shoe rather than one which is filled with all the latest sports science discoveries. Even so, a neutral shoe does not mean you're looking for one which is white or beige either. A neutral sports shoe is one which has not been fitted with memory foam lining, raised arches or any other type of alteration which changes the profile of the insole. The orthotic you wear is specifically contoured to shape your foot. If it is not placed on a completely flat insole, then the shape changes to one not designed for your foot.

As well as having a neutral shoe, you also need the right length orthotic for the shoe.

Orthotic Length Matters

There are two different lengths of orthotic. They are the three-quarter length and full length. The three-quarter length works well for open-toe shoes where you don't want the end part of the orthotic showing under your toes. However, a three-quarter length orthotic is not designed for people who like to run. If you want to include running or jogging as part of your gym workout, then you need to purchase an orthotic that runs the full length of your foot so that it absorbs all of the impact created as your foot pounds down. However, if you intend to purchase a second orthotic just for your gym shoes, then you need to wait until you receive it before you try the sports shoe on. While the depth profile at the end of the orthotic is minimal, it still raises the base of your foot by several millimetres. Therefore, take both the orthotic and a pair of gym socks with you when trying on gym shoes. That way you won't end up with toes which are pushed up and squashed against the top of the shoe.

If you still can't find a good pair of gym shoes using these two tips, talk to the podiatrist who made the orthotics for you. They have plenty of advice about which shoes work well with orthotic inserts in them.