7 things you need to know before getting Insoles
1) What are Custom Made Insoles?
Customised Insoles, or Functional Foot Orthoses, are devices designed to enhance lower limb mechanics by functional control, shock absorption, cushioning and/or pressure distribution of the feet. They are inserted into shoes and true blue custom made insoles are only prescribed by qualified Podiatrists.
2) Does everyone with a foot problem or pain require Customised Insoles?
That is not always the case. In cases where the symptoms are not severe and/or long term of insoles are not be required, there are more affordable general off the shelf insoles readily available at The Sole Clinic which can provide the necessary correction for some patients. Do speak to one of our Podiatrists to find out more on our range of orthoses and the type of insoles you need!
3) Where should one get Customised Insoles?
There is a large variety of insoles out in the market today claiming to be custom made by taking a scan of your feet. These insoles are often prescribed and made by salesmen who are not trained vigourously about various foot conditions. Everyone have different feet structures and conditions and insoles prescribed by an untrained person can be detrimental. If you have a foot problem that may require insoles, it is recommended that you consult a qualified Podiatrist and get any foot orthoses prescribed by a Podiatrist. One should avoid obtaining insoles from vendors who are not medically trained and are not competent in a thorough lower limb assessment.
4) How are Customised Insoles made?
A thorough assessment by a Podiatrist is required before prescribing insoles. A Podiatrist will have to check your foot and ankle joints, as well as analyse the way you stand, walk and/or run. In most cases, the knees, hips and spine have to be assessed as well as we use these structures for walking as well. This is to ensure any insoles made are accurately prescribed to correct any functional or structural problems in the lower limbs. After this thorough assessment, the podiatrist will then have to take a mould of your feet. At the Sole Clinic, we use a modern 3D scanner to accurately capture your feet structure.
Podiatrist using 3D scanning to capture foot image
Examples of 3D Feet Scans
Insoles come in different shapes and sizes depending on a podiatrist’s assessment and the patient’s needs. Every pair of custom made insoles by The Sole Clinic are hand made by trained Australian technicians.
5) Are the Wet Foot Print Tests and Pressure Mats accurate in diagnosing foot problems?
The wet foot print test has been used frequently as a guideline for buying shoes and insoles. This test is inaccurate because it only shows the shape of the foot when it is stationary. The wet foot print test fails to determine what happens to the foot in motion. It does not take into consideration the other parts of the body. Your knees, hips and spine play an important role during walking and running!
Technology has since evolved the “wet foot print test” concept to pressure mats or force plates, which is unfortunately the method commonly spotted in insoles kiosks located in many shopping malls in Singapore. One must be extremely cautious with the use of such technology as a standing assessment does not necessarily represent your actual foot function during walking. You might be prescribed an unsuitable pair of insoles that can lead to more problems.
6) What kind of footwear do I need to be able to use insoles?
Some vendors will reassure you that insoles are able to use in slippers or high heels. This may cause more injuries. In order for insoles to work and serve well, we will recommend supportive shoes that can fit those insoles. It can be a pair of sneakers, a pair of open toe Mary Janes. To fit into slim shoes, the insoles can also be custom made to be very slim to fit into certain shoes. However, that will mean that the support of the insoles are compromised as we reduce the material of the insole to accommodate the shoes. An understanding and helpful podiatrist will take the effort to work through your footwear requirements and come up with a treatment plan that includes insoles that you will be willing to use daily.
Good shoes might not necessarily have to be just sports shoes. They can be stylish too!
7) Do everyone with flat feet need Insoles?
Everyone have different feet structures. One may appear to have a lower arch during standing, but if the person have the right muscular support and conditioning, a flat foot can still be a good foot! Conversely, even if you have a nice arch, if the muscles and ligaments around the ankle and foot are not functioning correctly, it can also affect your walking/running pattern and lead to pain.
When in doubt, always consult an experienced Podiatrist to have a thorough assessment of your foot mechanics before purchasing insoles. Gait analysis, which is the observation of one’s walking or running pattern, requires a trained eye in identifying abnormalities in lower limb biomechanics. It takes years to acquire the necessary skills to do a comprehensive gait analysis. At The Sole Clinic, you will get to observe your own walking with a live video gait analysis, with a skilled podiatrist to guide you through your gait cycle!
We hope you have gained more knowledge before plunging into getting a pair of insoles. Feel free to whatsapp us at 81251717 or call us at 67360519 for any queries!