Insoles are not always for corrective reasons. The image people have when they think of insoles are hard rigid structures to move the feet in a specific direction. Most of these if needed are made by hospitals or podiatrists. As a running technician at Profeet I very rarely make an insole to prevent pronation. Those insoles are more commonly called orthotics! A custom insole specifically gives contact to every part of the foot. By doing so, this gives the foot further feedback via proprioception. Simply, sending messages to the brain that contact is being made and ultimately helping to distribute forces more evenly. The insoles I make are soft (top sheet is memory foam) and allows the foot to move and flex properly through the arch. We use materials such as EVA (white stuff on photo which is a compound in all running shoes) to attach underneath the insole and customise furthermore.
Before I continue its important to distinguish between the words STABILITY and SUPPORT. Now stability is the word used to prevent movement which is related to the level of probation of the foot. Stability is best found from the correct shoe. Support however is more related to giving the foot contact throughout. The can come from the internal shape of the insole in the shoe OR more likely from and insole. Not everyone needs stability (see my previous post on probation) but everyone needs support.
There are many muscular and fascial structures underneath the feet that can be overstretched when we run or walk. If not supported sufficiently arches can suffer and the classic ‘plantar fascia’ pain can be common.
If the foot has areas of pressure that are too high, (especially in the forefoot) this is a place where the foot slows down dramatically! I always say to clients think of the foot like an elastic band. When you want to fire it towards something you slowly pull it back and then let go to generate the transference of kinetic energy forwards. This is sort of how we want to foot to function. As you generate the force through the foot you want it to build and then have you fastest point being the propulsion phase off the toes.
Now don’t get me wrong there are many feet I see that don’t need insoles. Most people’s foot movements can be influenced by weaknesses further up the body. Anything from tight hamstrings to weak hips can affect how fast the foot transitions across the floor. Therefore usually Physio and strengthening work is given first to help assess if this is the key issue. There are very very few feet that won’t benefit from an insole. So if your interested or have an questions feel free to get in touch!