It's been a couple of months now since I changed my posture control insoles for custom made orthotics again. Why? Not because of my bunions really, but more because of the bones on the base of my second and third toes. They started to hurt more and more when I walked long distances.
Also, there was a new podiatrist in town, and people were speaking well of his knowledge and skills. So I decided to give custom made orthotics a try again.
So far (after a couple of months), I'm quite happy with them, especially when used in combination with the MBT shoes I bought at the same time. When I put them in my regular shoes, they're still ok, but after a while the little bones in my feet still start getting painful.
Last week I had my husband take a few pictures of my feet, to be able to assess the way I position them. The result? No doubt about it: I'm a supinator. A supinator is someone who's rolling his or her ankles outwards – as opposed to a pronator, who's rolling his or her ankles inwards.
But why should you know whether you're a pronator or supinator? For example when you plan to buy prefabricated orthopedic insoles. Orthopedic insoles are meant to correct faulty foot mechanics, so if you're choosing them yourself you have to know at least what they're supposed to do, to be able to choose the right ones. If you have your insoles custom made however, you won't need this information, as your podiatrist will tell you what correction you need.
This week, I received an email from someone called Harlene, who told me about her experiences with Step Forward Insoles. She wrote she'd had bunions for years, caused by her dancing and by wearing shoes that were too tight. At a health expo, she was introduced to Step Forward Insoles, and decided they were worth a try. By now, she has been wearing them consistently for 1 month, and says that her toes indeed seem to be straightening out.
Now, I'd never heard about Step Forward Insoles before, so I immediately did a Google search for them. (The link will take you to their corparate website, if you'd like to check things out for yourself.) I found out that their insoles try to do the same thing as the Posture Control Insoles I'm wearing at the moment: correcting wrong foot mechanics.
And honestly, I was impressed by the testimonials published there (not just quotes, but complete letters, converted to pdf) from happy customers
– though I couldn't find a testimonial from someone who'd suffered from bunions (yet).
Nevertheless, I'd sure give them a try if I weren't already wearing Posture Control Insoles. I don't want to switch insoles every couple of weeks, but want to keep wearing the same ones for at least six months to see what they do for my feet (and until now, I must say I'm very happy with mine). However, they don't last a lifetime, so I'll consider trying the Step Forward Insoles when they need to be replaced.
True, the Step Forward Insoles are not cheap (they're currently selling at about $300.00 USD), but they seem to last quite a long time (over ten years).
If you decide to buy them (or are already wearing them), please leave a comment to let us know what you think of them.
I contacted the insole manufacturer about my problem with walking long distances on Posture Control Insoles, and apparently I did wear them upside down! I didn't cut away the semi round shape at the inside of the insoles, which is meant for attaching arch supports. Maybe that's the reason this part of the insoles rose a little, giving me the impression I had to put them in my shoes cloth side down. Or maybe it was just because of the shipping and handling procedures that I received them bended like this.
Apparently you can leave those semi round parts in, even if you don't use arch supports.
So if you're thinking about trying those insoles,
don't make the same mistake as I did and put them in your shoes cloth side up right from the start!
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Last weekend we spent two days walking in a very nice part of our country (the Netherlands) to get ready for a long distance walk later this year in Cornwall. And of course I was wearing the Posture Control Insoles I recently bought, to check out if they still felt comfortable after many, many hours of walking.
I'm sorry to say they didn't, though I did continue to wear them. After a couple of hours however, they started to feel very uncomfortable and I was glad that I could change shoes when we arrived at our destination. (I found out I even had developed two blisters; something that doesn't happen easily to me!) The reason I think is the material the insoles are made of.
The bottom of the insoles looks like felt – quite comfortable. But the top is made of a hard, rubber like material. The hardness isn't so much a problem for me, but the friction caused by the rubber is. I think this is what causes me discomfort. For a moment I thought that I maybe was wearing them upside down, but that wasn't the case.
I kept wearing them however, because the support they give the ball of my big toes really feels good. And I didn't experience any pain under the ball of my second and third toes, which often happens when I walk for hours on end. Next time, I'll try wearing other socks (maybe silk ones), to see if that helps in reducing friction.
Otherwise, I'm quite happy with my insoles.
I'm wearing them most of the day, and I have the impression they keep my feet warmer than usual.
(A side effect I truely like, because I suffer from cold feet a lot).
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