Should You Spend $600 On Orthotics?

Got foot problems? Fallen arches? Got problems with overpronation? Or perhaps oversupination?

I’m not going to tell you some magic fairy tale, nor act like I know it all. What I am going to do is take my own experience, my knowledge of the body, and give you my opinion.

Many many many years ago I was a shoe fanatic, I needed Nike, Adidas, whatever was the in-thing or looked good on my feet. I had no idea about what was actually good for my feet, the mechanics of my feet, nor the muscles that made them move one or the other way.

Podiatrists were the answer to all foot problems.

…Not. Okay, I should not generalize and say that podiatrists prescribing expensive orthotics are NOT the answer. To be quite honest, I have no idea what else they do, I’ve personally only experienced three of them that prescribed me insoles/orthotics, one after the other. I know they made my feet hurt like hell, I know that after wearing them for a long time none of my issues were resolved.

Now that I’m smarter and wiser, now that I understand my body better, I know that the insoles/orthotics push the feet into the position that we want to achieve. But, medicine is only a band-aid if it targets the symptoms and not the cause, a mobility scooter does not provide mobility, and insoles/orthotics are like a jack under a broken down car, hoping it will fix itself over time.

If your biceps are weak and hanging, do they get strong if you push them up into position? No, they do not. You need to train them, you need to challenge them. If your feet are overpronating it’s quite likely that the muscles which are supposed to pull up your arches are weak.

The muscles responsible for pulling your arches up (foot inversion) are:

  1. Tibialis anterior
  2. Tibialis posterior
  3. Extensor hallucis longus

I’ve only covered over pronation, but the concept applies to the majority of foot problems. If something is falling and not in the position it should be, look at what should be pulling it up, and work on that weakness. Besides weakness there are of course also other potential causes to look at:

  • Overweight
  • Injury
  • Overcompensation
  • Overuse
  • Underuse
  • Inflexibility
  • Issues higher up

The point of this article: Save your money, analyze yourself, learn about muscles, and train your weaknesses. Getting orthotics is like asking for a pill to become strong. Train in bare feet and train them from all different angles.

For the past decade or more, I’ve not had any foot problems, my feet are strong, flexible, and have been injury free. I challenge them with uneven surfaces, calf raises, deep squats, reverse lunges, kettlebell training, and much more.

As always, your opinion matters, leave it in the comment below or here.

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