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  1. #1
    Registered User Barbarella's Avatar
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    Default Boot Insert suggestions

    I have tried a variety of boot inserts and orthotics (spending a fortune) because my orthopedist told me too. I have an old peroneal ankle injury and a mcl/sartorious knee injury due to overpronation and the imbalances caused by running. Every darn insert I try (high arch) makes the bottom of my feet (heels esp) hurt and remain sore for a few days after wearing them. I've tried Spenco and custom orthotics. I have read a lot online about Superfeet but frankly I'm tired of spending $40 a pop on inserts that hurt. Any suggestions. I need to find something that works before i hit the AT.
    thanks
    There are two grades to a mountain, either you can do it or you can't.

  2. #2

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    i had a similar injury, i ended up getting custom footbeds. This was for a pair of ski boots when i lived in colorado, but i know they make them for hiking boots too. if memory serves they were sort of expensive, but they lasted 10 seasons of black diamonds.

  3. #3
    Registered User Barbarella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Scott Wise View Post
    i had a similar injury, i ended up getting custom footbeds. This was for a pair of ski boots when i lived in colorado, but i know they make them for hiking boots too. if memory serves they were sort of expensive, but they lasted 10 seasons of black diamonds.
    Do you remember where you got them? thanks for the reply
    There are two grades to a mountain, either you can do it or you can't.

  4. #4
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    With my ankle injury, etc I finally went with blue superfeet, had to get used to them for a week or two, but now I won't wear anyhting else.







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  5. #5
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    I got some green Superfeet for some rapidly-worsening Plantar Fasciitis last year on the trail, and almost just as quickly I got relief. It took a few days to get used to them, but I didn't even notice them in less than a week. The best way to start off in them is to completely loosen the laces as much as possible and then retighten them to get them comfy. I'd also ease into them very gradually, like wear them once or twice a week at first, then slowly increase how often you use them.

  6. #6
    Registered User SassyWindsor's Avatar
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    I use MERRELL 7mm footbeds. Not sure they still sell them since several years ago when I ordered about 10 pair. It's funny I like their footbeds but their boots(pre-china made) have never fit me properly

  7. #7
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    I work for REI and have practice with Superfeet. Basically what they do is stop the foot from over-flexing because they have a hard plastic sole. It sounds counter-intuitive to have a hard insert to help soothe feet, but it basically decreases the deficiency of over-pronation by keeping your foot in its neutral position to prevent over-flexing, which in turn takes the pressure off your heels and keeps it at the arch whenever you step. Your stride will be more efficient that way too.

    I would go to an REI if you have one near you. We have a 100% Guarantee return policy, and when it comes to Superfeet we don't even take a hit, really, because Superfeet will replace the money for us for free. So I'm sure any REI employee you find would love to help you out with them. Our return policy is incredibly liberal so even if you wear them for a week or two and try them out you can return them for full-price. If you're a member there too you can return them after years, it's ridiculous. Not trying to be a total REI advocate person here... I'm just saying personally I've tried superfeet and they work pretty well.

    Hope that helps.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nougat1109 View Post
    I work for REI and have practice with Superfeet. Basically what they do is stop the foot from over-flexing because they have a hard plastic sole. It sounds counter-intuitive to have a hard insert to help soothe feet, but it basically decreases the deficiency of over-pronation by keeping your foot in its neutral position to prevent over-flexing, which in turn takes the pressure off your heels and keeps it at the arch whenever you step. Your stride will be more efficient that way too.

    I would go to an REI if you have one near you. We have a 100% Guarantee return policy, and when it comes to Superfeet we don't even take a hit, really, because Superfeet will replace the money for us for free. So I'm sure any REI employee you find would love to help you out with them. Our return policy is incredibly liberal so even if you wear them for a week or two and try them out you can return them for full-price. If you're a member there too you can return them after years, it's ridiculous. Not trying to be a total REI advocate person here... I'm just saying personally I've tried superfeet and they work pretty well.

    Hope that helps.
    Oh and P.S. they'll let you try before you buy and help you to pick which kind is best for your feet. They have different colors and different heel cups so I'd definitely recommend asking an employee to try some out in the store before you buy.

  9. #9
    Registered User Barbarella's Avatar
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    alright, i'll try the green superfeet. i walked only three miles yesterday in my spencos and my heels are killing me this morning. yes, i'm a member of rei but the nearest store is over an hour away. i always order online. thanks guys for all the suggestions.
    There are two grades to a mountain, either you can do it or you can't.

  10. #10
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    You may have the arch of your insole misalligned with your arch. I can see where this could cause your issue.

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...MILLION-SHOE-s

    In the million dollar shoe thread of last week, I think I learned that you have to get the correct size insert. I asked but didn't get an answer to how this works when shopping for them but here's what I think I learned:
    1. Go to store and try out insoles, not paying too much attention to shoe size but plenty of attention to the location of the arch support when your foot is in the heel cup.
    2. Pick one that has the arch support right in the middle of your arch. This is important because this distance, between heel and arch is different for different people.
    3. Once you find the coorect match (and correct style as well), trim the insert so it will fit into your sized shoe.

    I don't know if this is correct but that's what I took away from the discussion. I'm going to go the REI and discuss this with the sales people. Based on the discussion on this forum, if they tell me to find an insert that fits my shoe, then I'll know they are likely untrained and will look for another sales person.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like you should have just spent the money on custom inserts from your orthopedist instead of wasting money on the DIY route at $40 bucks a pop. I doubt you'll get any satisfaction from green superfeet based on your track record.
    Last edited by Spokes; 01-30-2012 at 12:33.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    I'd suggest talking to your doc about barefoot style running to strengthen your ankles/feet so you don't have to rely on boot inserts. It takes a long time to build up those muscles, months of training and starting off really, really slowly. But after that your feet could feel much better.

    That said, this method may not work for everyone depending on your previous injuries. And also, not all doctors are on board with this yet (though I have a suspicion, based on absolutely nothing but my own guess, that this is due to the fact that they get no money from suggesting this method, because they aren't selling inserts), so the doc may tell you not to do it regardless. But it's worth discussing.

    I will say it's helped with my hiking, and my arches no longer hurt while hiking. You do have to be very careful to not get shin splints when barefoot running though, so make sure to specifically exercise your shins as well. And again, it takes a long time to work up those muscles, and you should take it very slowly.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  13. #13

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    I got them at Colorado Ski and Golf, back in the day. Id try BlackDiamond outfitters near Whittier NC. They are a GREAT packing shop, have footbeds, custom hip belts etc...

  14. #14
    Registered User Duramax22's Avatar
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    Superfeet!!!! your feet may ache the first week or 2 but then heaven

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    Try walking with no insoles.

    My feet used to really hurt when I hiked or ran. I tried Dr. Scholls, crappy gel inserts, Spenco, Superfeet, etc. Nothing really helped. Superfeet are the worst: expensive, hard, and arches high enough to hurt my high-arched feet. Spenco's are too soft and cushiony: they feel good when you first put them on but go down hill fast. About 2 years ago I threw out all my insoles. Since then I've covered hundred of walking miles, 4 marathons, and an ultra. No blisters. No sore arches. Sometimes the bottom of my feet hurt after a long run or hike.

  16. #16

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    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read the MILLION $$ SHOE ??'s thread. All this stuff is addressed and there's lots of questionable information so far on this thread.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbarella View Post
    I have tried a variety of boot inserts and orthotics (spending a fortune) because my orthopedist told me too. I have an old peroneal ankle injury and a mcl/sartorious knee injury due to overpronation and the imbalances caused by running. Every darn insert I try (high arch) makes the bottom of my feet (heels esp) hurt and remain sore for a few days after wearing them. I've tried Spenco and custom orthotics. I have read a lot online about Superfeet but frankly I'm tired of spending $40 a pop on inserts that hurt. Any suggestions. I need to find something that works before i hit the AT.
    thanks
    There's a couple things that could be causing this.... First of all, there is a TON of grey area in forming custom orthos'. There is no finite "medical" practice, therefore, you could go to 100 orthopedists/podiatrists and get 100 different ways to solve a biomechanic issue. Some form weighted, others form unweighted ...then there's rigid chasis, semi-rigid and all sorts of inbetweens in materials.

    So here's the two (maybe 3) most likely issues.
    #1 - what you've had is too aggressive for your foot. As stated in the thread I referenced above, you can do as much damage to your foot w/ too much support than not enough.
    #2 - what you had is just right, but you need to acclimate - I think this is the least likely if you're experiencing the pain for more than 4-5 days of good use with the insert.
    #3 - there's something MUCH deeper than the orthotic causing the problem. Many people who have chronic plantars related issues are prime candidates for heel spurs. Every time you're feeling pain, that is inflammation from a reaction to damaged ligament/bone connections. The body's primary reaction/defense over time is to calcify - get enough calcification and you officially have a heel spur. That's bad news at that point.

    My opinion - go get a second opinion from an ortho or podiatrist to make sure its not a othotic related issue. Spend $5000 dollars on orthos and you're still less out of pocket and less pain than if you have to have a doc whip out a knife.

  18. #18

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    Orthopedists are not foot specialists. Neither are they proactive in treating issues, they are carpenters. They repair broken things, quite crudely.

    Custom footbeds in ski boots are designed to IMMOBILIZE the foot, in order to transfer movements efficiently to the ski. Not even remotely related.

    Anything molded TO your foot, will not correct problems, it will just keep them from getting worse by keeping your foot in its present condition.

    What you want is your foot to be corrected, re-shaped back to a more ideal shape that functions correctly. It can be done, and it works. It is not without pain. What you feel by putting a arch support under your foot is a sign. A sign that your feet are flat and your body is out of balance due to it.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Orthopedists are not foot specialists. Neither are they proactive in treating issues, they are carpenters. They repair broken things, quite crudely.
    Only concern I might have is the ankle injury she suffered. If she suffered any medial injury there's tons of potential for problems. Just yesterday we had someone with a subtalar injury from 10 years ago come in to hopefully find a solution to a pain-free walk via inserts. That is an ortho's job - not mine. We work with some incredible ortho's and some questionable ones too - but I wouldn't agree that their efforts are "crude". Working on the foot is as hard as it gets no matter how good you are.
    If you have doubt in your ortho, do your homework and find one that's worth checking out. Just like all other docs, there are specialists. Find one with a track record on feet.

    Something else that is critical to inserts and so many miss is sizing. I mentioned this in a response to one another post but its worth mentioning again.

    SIZE MATTERS!!! ...and it ain't always your shoe size.

    Two critical parts of an insert are the heel cup and the arch support itself. The heel cup is intended to be rigid and fit your heel like a tire fits on a rim. Its job is to contain the fat pad and protect the plantar/calcaneaus (heel) connection. People instictively love those cushy gel pads, but all they do is let the mass that is intended to protect your foot move out of its optimal position. So finding a good heel fit is critical.

    #1 MOST IMPORTANT FIT STAPLE FOR INSERTS - GET YOUR ARCH SIZE - NOT YOUR SHOE SIZE !!!
    99/100 people walk into a store that sells inserts with clueless salespeople. They have a size 9 shoe, so they grab a size 9 insert. The truth is that most people have a longer arch in proportion to the total length of their feet. That slide on a brannock device that mates up to the knuckle behind the big toe is the most critical part of the device. It tells how long your arch system is and where your width falls. Every day, we see people with an arch length WELL in excess of their shoe size. Remember, this is an ARCH SUPPORT not a shoe filler.

    #3 ...most good inserts come in different volume configurations. For all body types and shoe fits. The foam that is on the insert chasis is there for cushion. Its there (or not there) for the amount of space you need to fill or not fill. An ectomorph (lean person) would typically go with a higher volume insert and and endo/mesomorph would typically go with a lower volume insert as not to affect fit.

  20. #20

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    ^^^ ooops, meant to say for inserts, foam is NOT for cushion...

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