For an eternity we have been told we need shoes with better support - meaning we should get arch support orthotics. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a custom set, you may want to read this article from the NY Times - Do You Really Need an $800 Custom Insole.
Dr. Benno Nigg of the Human Performance Laboratory, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, concludes that the idea that custom arch support orthotics are supposed to correct mechanical-alignment problems does not hold up. Click here to access the NY Times article.
If you do this quick three step assessment, you will understand the reason your foot mechanics is off, why it causes you pain and can lead to disability, and why arch support orthotics in most cases will not correct the problem.
YOUR STRUCTURAL FOOT MECHANICS
Position your feet
Without your shoes, stand on a hard floor – your feet hip width apart, toes pointing straight forward so your feet are parallel. Lean slightly forward – just enough to shift a little extra weight to the balls of your feet.
1/4 Knee bend
Do a ¼ knee bend by dropping your hips straight down 4-6 inches, keep your upper body upright, your heels on the floor, and force your knees to move straight forward over the middle of your feet. (Middle of knee caps aligned with your third toes)
Sense the pressure under your feet as you move your knees slowly toward each other. Stop when you feel weight bearing pressure at the base of your big toes. (not all your weight, just positive weight bearing contact)
You should be weight bearing on the inside of your feet when your knees are correctly aligned over the middle of your feet - then your feet would be stable, and you probably wouldn't be reading this.
Pay attention to how far your knees had to move inward because it relates to how much correction you need. Draw an imaginary line from the middle of each knee straight to the floor and notice where those lines land relative to your feet. Are they now in front of your 2nd toes, big toes or even past your big toes?
If your knees came in over or past your 2nd toes, you have proven you are out of alignment when you are weight bearing on the inside of your feet. Your feet are off balance when your knees are aligned correctly over the middle of your feet. The pressures are concentrated rather than evenly distributed. This is likely the root cause of your foot pain, but frankly, we have as many customers using ProKinetics Insoles for knee, hip and back pain, lack of athletic performance or uneasy ageing.
DYNAMIC FOOT MECHANICS
Everyone responds differently to this foot problem depending on their strength and activity level, age and natural resistance to change. Injuries, surgery and pain influences how your muscles try to compensate. Take a look at your shoes and decide which case below best describes how you walk.
Release arches to fall
If you wear your shoes hardest from the middle to the big toe side, you release your body to follow your structural mechanics. That means your knees naturally move inward, so your ankles collapse, your hips rotate forward, your chest collapses, shoulders and head drift forward. You walk with your toes pointing out, and your joints are badly misaligned. Classic symptoms: knee, hip and low back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, tight IT bands, painful feet.
Brace against collapse
An outside heel strike is normal for most people, but if it is unusually hard and the outside wear pattern tracks forward toward your little toes, you compensate for your structural mechanics by staying on the outside of your feet. This is what more than 60% of people subconsciously try to do to maintain better posture and feel better, but most fail and become Case 3. Instead of rolling to the inside of your feet, you push off with your little toes. Your feet point straight forward or slightly inward when you walk. The price you pay for better posture and your A-type energy is: tight calf muscles and shin splints, frequent ankle injuries, sore heels and tired feet.
Try to Brace but fails
Most people are not strong enough to successfully brace against their structural collapse. You start out with a guarded heel strike and give in to your structure at toe off. Case 3= Case 1 + Case 2. A double whammy! By the time you turn 40, you are intimately acquainted with both joint and muscle pain.
Our customers have typically struggled with foot problems for a long time and have tried special shoes and custom orthotics, so they know from their own experience that anti pronation and motion control shoes, and traditional orthotics do not solve this problem. Most people are wondering why they were not told by their doctors; especially since it is so easy to observe. ProKinetics® Insoles address the root cause by activating the muscles that naturally bring the base of your big toes to the ground earlier, so your feet stabilize and support your body.
If you're curious, and haven't yet found a solution that works for you, we welcome you to take advantage of our risk-free offer to try ProKinetics® Insoles.
All our insoles work exactly the same, and both the two options below include the levels of correction you may need.
You wear both fashion shoes like pumps, wing tips or loafers during the day and sneakers too.
Get everything you need with ProKinetics® Perfect Fit™ UltraThin Insoles. You receive two pair. Start with the least amount of correction (3.5 mm). After 7-10 days you may switch up to the next level (6.0 mm) if you need to. Add arch supports if you have flexible flat feet or suffer from heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis).
You wear sneakers, casual shoes or boots with removable insoles.
The ProKinetics® Replacement Insoles are designed to take the place of the original insoles that came with your shoes. Start with the red wedge. After 7-10 days you may add the orange wedge if needed. Unless you have flexible flat feet or heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis) remove the yellow arch cookie. It is only attached with a double back adhesive tape because most people remove them.