Are Running Orthotics Worth the Price?

For some people, spending $500 hundred dollars on a custom shoe insert may be worth the hefty price tag, but the majority or us, it simple doesn't make a difference.  An over the counter orthotics will provide the same benefit.

For a long time doctors and sport injury specialist have recommended a custom orthotics, but recent research has showed an athletes response to custom orthotics may not be as beneficial as previously assumed. Yes, custom shoe inserts have proven to aid the athlete in their healing process, but could the same be said for any high end orthotics?

To find this out, a study was done in 2001 that gave 206 military recruits six options of sole inserts that varied in sole height and cushioning.  Each recruit selected an inserted based on which was most comfortable to THEM. Seems like a simple method to customizing an insert.  At the end of the study, it was found that regardless of which insert was chosen, they all had a lower incidence of injury than other recruits that were provided a control insert.

So next time your Doctor recommends a custom insert, don't be afraid to try a high-end over the counter insert (such as SuperFeet or PowerStep insoles).  They are much cheaper and likely to be just as effective.  There are some universals when it comes to custom orthotics design, such as that if a runner suffers from pain under any specific area than they will certainly benefit from pressure relief in that area.  The issue of comfort remains the best indicator of whether or not an insole is best for you.  If you try one on, it should feel better, not worse to run or walk in them.  If the insole does feel strange, it's not likely to help with or prevent future injuries.  So, do some research into the much cheaper custom option to see if there is one right for you before you make an investment into a custom insole.