Ski Orthotics

If you have foot pain from a bunion or any other cause orthotics and orthopedic shoes can help.

During walking, there is a motion that occurs when the foot is in the mid stance and fully flattened. This motion is called pronation, and it serves the purpose of reducing pressure on both the foot and the leg to reduce shock and provide natural comfortable motion. This is the position your foot also assumes while inside a ski boot.

This brings us to the argument that everyone that enjoys skiing and ever experienced pain or strain of any kind could benefit from ski orthotics or footbeds. Much of the pain actually happens because while inside the ski boot, the foot is meant to be fixed into position, in order to cope with up to 3 times the pressure it usually resists. And while ski boots can be very expensive and sophisticated in their design, this is a problem that occurs in even the most high end of skiing equipment.

When companies design their skiing boots, they create them for a wide variety of foot shapes and sizes, and this is a correct approach, because if they were to personalize the design in any way, their boots would be painful to wear for most people, while only being perfect for a small number of them.

In order to make this “one size fits all” approach work, most boots are heavily cushioned on the inside to feel comfortable to the wearer upon purchase. But no matter how well padded they are, eventually the padding warps under the pressure and we’re left with a lot of unwanted room for the foot, which leads to strain and injury.

So what should you look for in a good ski orthotics or footbed?

Well, because the process of creating them is almost always the same, you should make sure the shop has a good technician who knows what he’s doing. Footbeds and orthotics use a semi-weight bearing system of creation, where the material is heated and the foot impression is taken by standing upright on a special pillow. This ensures that they will work to your exact foot shape and size, and give you support while reducing the extra room in your skiing boot that is making you prone to injury.

It is worth noting that ski orthotics, once made, can be transferred to most other boots with no problem at all, however, because they are made of a rigid material meant for the pronation position and not designed to provide flexibility, you will not be able to transfer them to your regular footwear.

Orthotics Complications?

If you have plantar fasciitis you know the benefit of wearing Orthotics. Seeing a foot specialist regularly will help ensure that your orthotics are in top shape, and can also take care of other foot care needs such as Diabetic Foot Care.

Orthotics play a very important role in correcting serious problems, and as such, need to be carefully built so that they don’t do more harm than good.

Oftentimes the shape and size of these custom built aides are very subtly adjusted by professionals who know exactly what they are doing, because their proper interaction with your foot without sacrificing comfort is crucial to recovery.

Orthotics have many benefits to people that are suffering all around the world from biomechanical problems, and they offer relief and the chance at a normal life without the stress of being unable to move freely and perform activities that come naturally to others.

However, they can also be harmful if they are not finely tuned, or if they are worn when they aren’t absolutely necessary. Think of orthotics in the same way you would think of a cast applied to your leg if it’s broken. The proper application of the cast will ensure a rapid recovery and near-perfect healing of the bone held in place by the cast. But if the cast is applied poorly, or doesn’t fit the shape of the bone structure underneath, it can lead to more injury and complications.

This is why you should always consult with a professional before wearing orthotics, and you should always get custom fitted ones instead of the lower quality off the shelf ones. There are many people who suffer from problems that are not of a biomechanical nature, problems such as repetitive strain injury, which simply occurs due to excessive amounts of effort. A lot of them will be tempted to purchase such aides to relieve the strain, however this is a dramatic solution that shouldn’t be implemented without being diagnosed with a condition that can be corrected through the use of orthotics.

Often there are much easier, less impactful solutions that are risk free, such as simply buying more comfortable shoes.

HiTech Shoes Or Orthotics?

www.orthoticsdoctor.caEven if you have not worn orthotics in the past, seeing an Orthotics Doctor when you experience foot, ankle or even back pain can be very beneficial. can hook you up with a local foot specialist.

High tech shoes generally serve the purpose of making your feet more comfortable as you perform day to day tasks. They are not custom made for every type of foot, obviously, but they are designed with comfort and shock absorption in mind. This makes them ideal for running or performing physically intensive activities, as long as you don’t already suffer from any injury or biomechanical problem.

Comfortable though they may be, and improving our gait by simply being easy to wear, they are not particularly effective means of injury prevention.  This is because injury does not happen at the moment of impact unless the impact is particularly violent. Most injuries occur in the motion of the foot itself, and more often than not, in the joints, ball of the foot and the toe area, rather than at the heel, where contact with the ground first happens.

Because of this, along with the fact that excessive cushioning increases pressure in the joints, scientists are working on shoes that bend and provide a literal spring to the step, by use of micro carbon fibers that redirect pressure equally across the surface of the foot to prevent strain in the joints.

Although this research is based on sound scientific principles, there is no proof as of yet, that these shoes provide any significant injury reduction.

Other types of shoes that attempt to provide similar benefits, such as the FiveFingers  shoes, are based on the principle that our feet are designed to run and walk shoeless, and emulate the shape of our feet.

These as well, provide little or no real life benefit other than comfort, in spite of being inspired by legitimate scientific research.

So what does this mean?

Simply put, while high tech shoes will provide you with extra comfort when walking or running, which is something to be desired, a dose of healthy, well informed, skepticism should be enough to steer you clear of brands that claim any kind of injury prevention as an excuse for an overinflated price tag.