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Orthotics
Old 04-19-2015, 09:24 AM   #1
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Orthotics

Where to start?
Some background. Frugal me, has never run, except from fear or the one time I earned a third place medal for being on the HS track team, and coming in third in the half mile relay... There were only three teams entered.
Since retiring 25 years ago, the only "shoes" I have ever worn, have been Walmart white or black Velcro sneakers. Never paying more than $13.99.

Two years ago year they discontinued my favorites, but I bought four pair @ $6.99, the prepper mentality. In the meantime, DW says "Why don't you buy some better 'athletic shoes'... you can afford them?". Me... "Fancy schmancy... sneakers!... Besides... Who would pay $29.95 for sneakers?"

Well, anyway... Salvation... Our local resale store , where you can buy any clothing that will fit in a walmart-type wire basket for $5. Sooo... I look in the shoe section, and find two pair of (ahem)... 'athletic-type' shoes... hardly any wear, and my exact size 10 1/2 EEE... What do I know? So I put them in a basket along with a sweater, two shirts, and a hunting vest... pay my $5, and go home to check my buys.

Turns out these velcros are called "walking shoes". One pair is an SAS which prices out @ $99.95, and the other is NB... which I find out means New balance... available on Amazon @104.95.

Patience... I'm coming to the "orthotics" (orthosis).

So I clo a quick clean up with magic eraser, and go to the mall to check out the 'feel', which turns out to be pretty good. An instep that feels pretty good, but my toes feel little stretched out. Checked out the other pair, and very nice but just a bit different from my walmartees. Checking further, found these "inserts"... AHA... ORTHOTICs. Which are supposed to adjust to your feet.

I guess the guy who owned them had differently shaped feet, so the solution comes to mind... I'll just buy some new inserts. Definitely worth $5. WHOA!!!. Back to Amazon... Inserts... (Orthotics) $25 to $65... OMG...

Well, here's the good news... I pull the orthotics out of the walking shoes and put them in hot water, wring them out... squish and squash for about 15 minutes, and they kinda bounce back. Problem solved. I am happy.
.................................................. .............................
But you looked here because you wanted to give your opinion on orthotics. I too wondered... and came across this 4 year old article from the NYT...
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/he...pagewanted=all
Don't know if the info is dated, or discredited, but since the running shoe business has become so big... about 3000 s.f. in our local Dunhams, it must be important.

There have been a number of posts here on ER that deal with jogging and running. Would like to hear opinions and thoughts, and maybe some recommendations on how to max the life of these shoes. My education on athletic clothing stopped at the end of the last century.

Oh... one last thing... on pronation... my kids say I walk like a duck.
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Orthotics
Old 04-19-2015, 10:06 AM   #2
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Orthotics

I have 3 pair of orthotics. 2 in Illinois that I had made by a foot doctor. Very good, but should be for a couple hundred per pair. I run and hike on them. Run in Brooks Ghost, which is an ideal shoe for a wider foot - so the running shoe store told me. I have worn the orthotics in north face and Merrill hiking shoes up to 12 mile hikes and I have no foot issues when I wear the orthotics.

I went to the foot dr when I started having pain in the joints between toes and feet while running, hiking, and sometimes biking. I very seldom get the pains now when wearing orthotics.

I bought another pair at REI for hiking in Arizona because I forgot my orthotics when I went there during the winter. I paid about $30 for these, and they also prevent toe pain.

I did some hiking in Utah and Colorado on my way home without orthotics and had toe pain.

I would recommend starting out at REI or shoe store where they offer good advice and orthotics. If store bought don't work out, then go to a foot dr.

I don't have a clue how to extend life of the shoes. I go through a pair of running shoes about every 6 months, but my hiking boots and shoes last several years.


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Old 04-19-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...Oh... one last thing...my kids say I walk like a duck.
My kids say the same thing.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:22 PM   #4
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Comfortable feet are a Big Deal, especially for us retirees.

I would rather spend my money on expensive shoes (and/or orthotics if they helped), than on anything else. I never pinch pennies on shoes or socks any more. My shoes retail for $150 (but I got my last pair on sale for about half that). My socks used to be $16 but I think they are $20 now. My feet could not be happier if I was a Queen. I found this combination of shoe and sock over years of trial and error, and I'm sticking with what works for me.

I have unusually sensitive feet, and life is awful for me if/when I allow myself to endure painful feet. I don't have to live like that, and I won't! I won't, I won't, I won't.

I do re-use my zip-lock bags, though, and I re-use my grocery bags as trash can liners. So, I haven't completely given up those good old LBYM ways; I just don't try to make do with painfully uncomfortable shoes. I just ordered my first pair of Teva sandals, to wear on rainy days. If they are comfortable, great; but if not, I'll send them back.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:09 PM   #5
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Comfortable feet are a Big Deal, especially for us retirees.

I would rather spend my money on expensive shoes (and/or orthotics if they helped), than on anything else. I never pinch pennies on shoes or socks any more. My shoes retail for $150 (but I got my last pair on sale for about half that). My socks used to be $16 but I think they are $20 now. My feet could not be happier if I was a Queen. I found this combination of shoe and sock over years of trial and error, and I'm sticking with what works for me.

I have unusually sensitive feet, and life is awful for me if/when I allow myself to endure painful feet. I don't have to live like that, and I won't! I won't, I won't, I won't.

I do re-use my zip-lock bags, though, and I re-use my grocery bags as trash can liners. So, I haven't completely given up those good old LBYM ways; I just don't try to make do with painfully uncomfortable shoes. I just ordered my first pair of Teva sandals, to wear on rainy days. If they are comfortable, great; but if not, I'll send them back.

My feet were ruined during my internship year at age 31, being on call and awake for 36 hours, running around the hospital every third night. I learned the value of good expensive shoes and inserts, if needed, then. It has probably saved me tens of thousands of dollars of orthopedic or podiatrist bills to have spent a couple of thousand, if that much, on good shoes over the last 33 years. And I can find $280 Mephisto shoes on eBay really cheaply for $28 sometimes.


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Old 04-19-2015, 06:17 PM   #6
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I wear orthotics with everything other than flip flops. Have suffered from plantar fasciitis over the years and the orthotics are the only thing that help keep it at bay. Get good one's (molded by a foot dr) and they will last a long time. Walk about 40 miles per week on the golf course and they make a huge difference.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:14 AM   #7
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I have read enough (including this article) to be skeptical about the biomechanics behind orthotics but placebo effect, good luck, whatever, I still use them myself. As W2R says, "comfortable feet are a Big Deal, especially for us retirees." DW and I love to walk long distances when we visits new cities. About two decades ago I started having foot soreness whenever I walked more than a couple of miles. On a visit to NYC it got so bad that I had to curtail my walking. I visited a nearby Podiatrist who diagnosed the standard mumbo-jumbo (pronation, and something or another) and recommended custom orthotics. He did a cast of my feet and ordered up inserts that support the arch and provide a 3/8 inch lift ob both heels. I removed the insole in my favorite walking shoes and replaced them with the orthotics and have never looked back. Not only did they feel comfortable but I could walk longish distances (~5 miles) without pain. I tried a few over the counter inserts in other shoes and got some relief but not as substantial as with the custom orthotics. So over the years I have ordered new orthotics (insurance pays every two years or something) and now have them for all my footwear except sandals. I still have problems walking any distance in sandals but like wearing them so I am trying an experiment this year. I ordered a pair of sandals with built in orthotics. The company sends you a foot mold which you return and they build the arch support into the sandals. The company is run by some sort of doctor who talked to me on the phone and agreed that building in a 3/8 inch lift (which would not have happened based on the mold alone) would be sensible given that I have had good success with the ones I have used. The sandals should arrive soon and we shall see.
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