As a runner, you know that every aspect of training is crucial to your performance. And no matter how insignificant this addition might seem, orthotics could be your secret weapon to running better and faster. Orthotics refer to inserts placed inside running footwear for extra comfort and stability. In this guide, we explain how to wear orthotics in running shoes to enjoy their maximum benefits.
Check the Size
Ill-fitting orthotics can rub against your feet, increasing the risk of calluses and blisters. The wrong size also affects your stride length, balance, and overall running performance. What’s more, the wrong size can cause supination (excessive outward rolling) or overpronation (excessive inward rolling), exposing you to stress fractures, shin splints, and other injuries.
Start by comparing the orthotic size with your running shoes. Next, replace your shoe’s insole with the orthotic and test how it feels when you walk around. If you’re still unsure of your size, consult a podiatrist for professional gait analysis—this involves assessing your feet and walking style and providing suitable recommendations.
Get the Right Shoe
You need the right shoe to go with your orthotics. First, check for removable insoles to ensure the shoe accommodates the orthotics. Similarly, the footwear should offer motion control for proper foot alignment. Another consideration is arch support. In addition to a supportive midsole, the shoe’s design should match your feet’s natural arch. Running shoes should also be lightweight and breathable—this way, you worry less about sweat and use less energy to lift your feet.
Working on your technique allows you to experience the full corrective and supportive orthotic properties. The first benefit is preventing injuries. Orthotics may not protect you from shin splints and stress fractures when you overstride, heel strike, or use too much lateral movement. At the same time, proper technique conserves your energy to increase your speed and endurance.
The following tips will help you when running with orthotics.
- Maintain short strides
- Warm up and cool down
- Stop when you feel pain
- Don’t land on your toes—spread the impact across your midfoot
- Take breaks
How to Wear Orthotics in Running Shoes
- Select the correct pair of running shoes.
- Remove insoles that come with your shoes
- Fit your orthotics into the running shoes.
- Adjust the laces–ensure they’re neither too loose nor too tight, as this may affect your stride.
- Walk or run short distances to confirm the fit.
- Allow your feet to adjust to the shoes, pacing yourself according to your body’s response.
- Care for orthotics by avoiding stepping on sharp objects, drying them out when they get wet, and cleaning them to remove debris.
Step Into the Exciting World of Orthotics
Your running experience will never be the same with orthotics. But before you lace up and hit the road, remember that it takes time to ease into orthotics. Although some discomfort is expected at the beginning, visit an expert if the pain persists. Do you have any questions about how to wear orthotics in running shoes? Contact us today to talk to a qualified podiatrist.