Running with Orthotics – The Impact They Can Have

For runners, the sport represents more than just a means to an end—it is a path to better health and greater success. However, the choice of running shoes and orthotics can have a big impact on this journey. This article delves into:

  • The synergy between running shoes and orthotics: Understanding how the right combination enhances performance and comfort

  • Choosing the right pair: Tips on selecting running shoes that complement orthotics

  • Long-term benefits: insights into how this combination can prevent injuries and improve running efficiency.

Link Suggestion: For more insights into orthotic solutions, we offer more insights from our article that talks about why you might need custom orthotics.

Understanding Orthotics and Their Role in Running

Two runners on an empty road, one in the foreground mid-stride, showcasing their athletic wear and sneakers, and another in the distance under a clear sky.

Orthotics are more than just inserts; they are engineered solutions designed to correct foot imbalances and enhance running mechanics. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Types of Orthotics: From over-the-counter to custom-made, each type serves a unique purpose.

  • Improvement in Running Form: Orthotics can correct pronation or supination, leading to a more efficient running stride.

  • Injury Prevention: By aligning the foot and ankle, orthotics can reduce the risk of common running injuries.

Selecting the Right Running Shoes for Orthotics

Finding the perfect running shoes to pair with orthotics involves understanding key features:

  • Cushioning and Support: Look for shoes that offer adequate arch support and cushioning but leave room for orthotics.

  • Shoe Fit: Ensure there’s enough volume in the shoe to comfortably fit the orthotic without compromising foot space.

  • Adaptation Period: It’s important to gradually adjust to the new combination of orthotics and running shoes for optimal comfort.

Benefits of Combining Orthotics with Appropriate Running Shoes

Pairing the right orthotics with suitable running shoes can lead to a transformative experience for runners. Whether you prefer roads or trails,marathons or jogs, the right foundation makes a huge difference. Think of your body like the machine it is—you need a solid footing to keep moving ahead, not cause injury, and be the best performer you can.

A comparison of a runner’s stride before and after using orthotics. The ‘before’ image shows strain and misalignment, while the ‘after’ image illustrates improved alignment and efficient running form due to the orthotics.

You cannot see the difference on the outside very easily, but you can sure feel it. This fan is moving the best way that he can; however, he is at risk of injury, imbalance, and feeling much more fatigued at the end of his run.Some of the benefits any runner can experience are:

  • Enhanced Comfort and Fit: Properly fitted orthotics in the right shoes can significantly improve comfort, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort.

  • Increased Efficiency: This combination can lead to more efficient running mechanics, conserving energy, and improving performance.

  • Injury Reduction: Proper alignment and support can help in reducing the incidence of common running-related injuries.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Pairing Orthotics with Running Shoes

Navigating the world of orthotics and running shoes can be tricky. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

  • Wrong Orthotic Type: Not all orthotics are suitable for running. Ensure you’re choosing ones specifically designed for athletic use.

  • Ignoring Fit and Comfort: Comfort is key. A shoe that doesn’t fit well with an orthotic can cause more harm than good. While there is always a period of adjustment for orthotics, you want to make sure to choose shoes that are comfortable the moment you put them on.

  • Rushing the Adjustment Period: Give your body time to adapt to the new support system for optimal benefits.

Maintaining Your Running Shoes and Orthotics Upkeep

Hands insert orthotics into a running shoe, surrounded by icons representing foot care and shoe features, emphasizing the enhancement of running performance and comfort.

Proper maintenance can extend the life and effectiveness of your running shoes and orthotics.

  • Regular Cleaning: Keeping both shoes and orthotics clean ensures longevity and hygiene.

  • Watch for Wear and Tear: Regularly inspect for signs of wear that could alter their effectiveness.

  • Replacement Timing: Understand when it’s time to replace either your shoes or orthotics for continued support and performance.

One of the most dangerous choices that you can make is to keep those old, ratty running shoes, thinking you are fine, they are “good enough”, and they will last for one more season. The truth is that you are in danger of injury and at increased risk of something more serious happening. Running should be fun, not your downfall.

Integrating Orthotics into Your Running Routine

Integrating orthotics into your running routine requires more than just placing them in your shoes. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Proper Insertion: Ensuring your orthotics are correctly positioned in your running shoes is crucial for effectiveness.

  • Gradual Introduction: Start by using them for short runs, gradually increasing the duration as your feet adjust.

  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any discomfort or changes in your running form, and adjust as necessary.

Two individuals in athletic wear sit on the grass in a park, engaged in conversation, possibly taking a break from exercising.

Expert Advice: Consulting with a Specialist On Running and Orthotics

Sometimes, the best way to ensure you’re making the right choices is to consult with a specialist.

  • Personalized Recommendations: A specialist can provide tailored advice based on your specific needs and running goals.

  • Professional Fitting: Ensure your orthotics and running shoes are perfectly matched for your foot structure.

  • Ongoing Support: Regular check-ins can help in adjusting your orthotics and footwear as needed.

If you are looking to hit your stride in your running game, book an assessment with us today to start your running improvements on the right foot.

Running and Orthotics – Our Conclusion

Running with the right combination of shoes and orthotics can significantly enhance your performance and comfort. By understanding the types of orthotics, selecting the right running shoes, and avoiding common mistakes, you can enjoy a more efficient and injury-free running experience. Remember, maintenance and professional advice are key to getting the most out of your orthotics and running shoes.

Key Takeaways:

  • The synergy between orthotics and running shoes is crucial for optimal performance.

  • Correct selection and maintenance extend the life and effectiveness of both.

  • Consulting with specialists can provide tailored solutions for your running needs.

FAQ – Running, Orthotics, and Performance Improvments

Here are the top questions about running shoes and orthotics, based on the information gathered from various sources:

  1. How much do orthotics cost?

    • Orthotics can vary in price, from more affordable over-the-counter options to several hundred dollars for custom-made versions. Custom orthotics are usually more expensive and often not covered by insurance plans【33†source】【51†source】.

  2. Do I need to buy bigger shoes to use my orthotics?

    • Generally, your running shoes do not need to be bigger to accommodate orthotics. However, it’s important to ensure there’s about 1cm of space past your big toe when standing in the shoes, as feet swell and get longer during activity (source).

  3. Do I have to remove the insoles when using my orthotics?

    • This depends on the type of orthotic and the recommendation of your podiatrist. For full-length custom foot orthotics with extra cushioning, you will likely need to remove the insole. But in some cases, orthotics are prescribed to sit on top of or underneath your insoles.

  4. Should you run with custom orthotics?

    • If your podiatrist has given the all-clear for using custom orthotics for running, then it’s recommended. Custom orthotics can be prescribed for both walking and running, but it’s important to have this discussion with your podiatrist.

  5. Do pro athletes wear orthotics?

    • Many professional athletes, including football and basketball players, wear orthotics. Podiatry is increasingly becoming prevalent in elite sports to enhance performance and reduce injury risks.

  6. Can you put orthotics in Skechers?

    • While it’s not a clear no, fitting an orthotic in Skechers (especially the slip-on Go Walk models) often requires compromise due to their limited support and lack of laces. This is a discussion to have with your podiatrist.

  7. Is it better to run in a stability shoe or a neutral shoe with prescribed orthotics?

    • Most runners with orthotics find more comfort, shock absorption, and support using a neutral shoe rather than a traditional stability shoe. A neutral shoe doesn’t deform as quickly as a stability shoe, making it a better choice for those with orthotics.

  8. How should I choose orthotics for running?

    • Look for orthotics that have a comfortable, soft top layer and a firm bottom layer. The contour of the orthotic’s arch should match the shape of your arch. If the fit is not comfortable or supportive enough, consider consulting an orthopaedic foot and ankle doctor for custom-made options. Additionally, consider your running form and overall foot health as factors in deciding whether you need orthotics.