View Full Version : Custom Orthotics

B Thrash
07-25-2003, 22:10
Has anyone had any hiking experience with custom made orthotics?. I will be fitted soon with a pair and would like problems that I may encounter.

07-25-2003, 22:19
I used them last year in my section hikes from Davenport Gap to Damascus. They seem to work by reducing the pain in my right foot . This of course prevents other problems as well. Using the orthotics and taking glucosamine keeps me on the trail.

07-26-2003, 06:09
The purpose of the orthotic is to align everything in the lower extremities. and if happy feet are a happenin'.....

get them through the MD or DPM. Any cheap version from a store will not really work properly or last as long. The price is worth avoiding the long term outcome. ie. surgery, pain, no trail time.....


07-26-2003, 07:12
I've used custom orthotics in the past, due to overpronation and a mild "forefoot varus". They made a big difference, but the initial cost was over $300, because the podiatrist did plaster casts of my feet. Replacements cost about half that, and they wore out after a few months of hard use.

About two years ago, I switched to "off the shelf" orthotics from Orthodynamics. You can find them at http://www.orthodynamics.com/. They cost a lot less, I didn't notice any difference comfort-wise, and they wear a lot longer than the customs.

They have models for lots of different applications. I've been using their "Mid-distance Runner" model, $59.95.

I have absolutely no connection with this company. Hope this is helpful.

07-27-2003, 07:39
Originally posted by c.coyle
they wore out after a few months of hard use.

Not sure what you call hard use but I put litterally a couple of thousand miles on mine training and running marathons before replacement. Even with custom items, there are inferior quality and there are good/not nessessarily pricey items.

Like anything else, check out the DPM or source first.
If store bought works, go for it.

Also, most "For the Masses" items eventually hit open market and the need to see a Dr or get a custom fit goes by the side of the trail.

When I first started in Medicine, most of the over the counter drugs out now needed a script.

Like the saying goes, Stink up your own shoe??? (hike your own hike):-? :banana :-? :D

07-28-2003, 12:17
For mild overpronators with normal or flat arches, over the counter orthotics work wonders. For underpronators and high arches (these two usually go hand in hand) you will most likely need a custom orthotic. Knee problems are often related to problems with the foot not landing and rotating correctly. Orthotics help with that.

On a side note, there is a guy in Abingdon (12 miles from damascus) that makes custom orthotics. For most thru hikers, this is where the foot problems will become evident. Good time to go get them! His website is www.footrxstore.com

Gravity man

07-28-2003, 12:22
I've worn custom orthotics for almost 10 years now. I believe that I have had 3 (maybe 4) pairs total. I have had to have the covers replaced numerous times ~$30. But I have only really worn out 1 pair. I currently have 2 pairs that I alternate some. My last pair I got because my prescription changed some after an ankle problem I am having. A key I have found in keeping the covers on longer is to take them out of my shoe every night to let them air out.

07-28-2003, 22:45
I've got 'em, love 'em, and would not hike, run or excercise in anyway without 'em. For me orthotics are pretty much a necessity due to supination in my feet. If you do supinate (stand on the outside of your feet) be aware that this is the more difficult problem to correct and not all custom orthotics can do it. I laid out $250 for a pair of cork orthotics that did not bring me into a nuetral position, and that is the bottom line, getting the foot, ankle, knee into neutral. Anyway if you tend to pronate or supinate orthotics will very likely increase your chances of making it along the trail.

I'm wondering how repeatedly getting them wet over the course of a long hike will affect them? I'm thinking of going to trail runners, but do not want to subject my orthotics to repeated soakings. I guess wear them when it's dry and switch when you can anticipate a foot soaking situation. However sometimes it wet for days in which case I'd hate to rack up many miles without them.