On the Road to Healthy, Happy Feet: How Orthotics Can Help Relieve Foot Pain
It’s an uncomfortable fact: 77% of Americans over the age of 18 have experienced some kind of foot pain. While plantar fasciitis is the most common foot ailment we see at Danform Shoes, bunions, bone spurs and Morton’s neuroma are others in a long list of painful conditions. If you have foot pain and are wondering how to get some relief, Danform fit experts recommend Orthotics (also known as footbeds, insoles and inserts) as an affordable first line of defense.
When you shop for orthotics at Danform Shoes, you'll experience the Danform Difference. Our fit experts love to spend time with customers to ensure they get the fit just right. It's not about making a sale—it's about making a customer for life. Come experience your personal fitting at any of our 4 Vermont Locations!
A Little About Orthotics
Customers come to Danform Shoes with a range of foot issues; some have been diagnosed by medical professionals and come with a prescription for a specific orthotic, others just know their feet hurt! While Danform Shoes is not a substitute for professional medical advice, an orthotic is a foot-healthy option that provides the arch support your body needs. Let’s face it, Vermonters are hard working and active—treating your feet right helps keep you on the go.
How Do I Know If I Need Orthotics?
If you’re asking yourself, How do I know if I need orthotics?, the first (pardon the pun) step is to stop by a Danform store for a “sit and fit”. Local Vermonters know that our fit experts love to solve problems. The Danform Difference means we take the time to ask questions, assess your walk, and, when appropriate, do an evaluation with a scanner to measure the individual pressure points on your feet.
You might be a candidate for orthotics if you notice:
- Arch pain, heel pain or ball of foot pain
- Pain in knees, hips and back—they’re all connected!
- Achy feet at the end of the day
- Foot fatigue after activity
- Pronating (weight is placed on the inside of the foot while walking)
- Supinating (weight is placed on the outside of the foot while walking or running)
- Shoes that feel flimsy and unsupportive
But hold on. Let’s take a step back and explain what orthotics are, and how they relieve discomfort and pain.
Lending Support - The Benefits of Wearing Insoles
Our human anatomy was not designed to stand on hard surfaces all day, as many people do for work or in their day-to-day lives. Retail workers, nurses, food service staff—long shifts and unforgiving flooring—it’s simply too much stress on our skeletal system. When you stop to think, we’re asking a lot of our feet. Orthotics lighten the load by lending arch support for a stable foundation.
Orthotics position feet to simulate the natural cradling of walking in your own footprint.
When it comes to footwear, the instinct may be to add more cushioning because it feels good to the touch. Unfortunately, it won’t correct the problem. Orthotics, on the other hand, disperse pressure across the larger surface of the foot, which leads to more stability. The benefits of that stability work their way upwards from the feet, providing better support and positioning for the knees, hips and back. A healthy foot needs a cradle, not a cushion, to put your foot in its naturally healthy position.
With problems like Plantar Fasciitis, a quality Plantar Fasciitis-specific insole is a key factor in recovery because the firm support will both lengthen and strengthen the plantar fasciia. Superfeet and Aetrex are two of Danform Shoes best selling orthotics.
The Best Orthotic Is the One That Feels Best To You
Sean, a seasoned footwear specialist who has been helping Danform Shoes customers for over 20 years, advocates for the “buffet” approach to Orthotic shopping. Orthotics range in thickness, contour and cushioning. They’re also designed for different kinds of support areas, such as the medial, traversal, metatarsal and heel cup parts of the foot.
That’s why we have our customers try out and get the feel for different brands, and even the different models within each brand, in order to determine which footbed works best. Starting with light support and working upwards to maximum support, the customer will find their “Goldilocks moment” when the insole fit is “just right.”
“Every customer is an expert on their own feet,” Sean shared recently in our Shelburne store. “I ask them to listen to your feet; only they know which orthotic fit feels just right.”
At Danform, we encourage customers to bring a pair of their current shoes in order to really feel the difference orthotic insoles can make. Most customers who find relief from orthotics end up purchasing a single, dedicated pair of inserts for all their shoes—from casual to dress shoes, running shoes to hiking boots. In fact, orthotics often outlive a favorite pair of shoes and simply move right into the next pair of orthotic-friendly footwear!
Once you find just the right foot orthotic for you, you’ll want to ease your way into wearing them. Since it’s an adjustment for your foot anatomy, start with just an hour a day and then wear them for increased amounts of time the following days.
The Sole Result
Ultimately, it’s all about the foot health benefit. Not only do people who wear orthotics get relief from pain, they don’t feel as tired or experience as much foot fatigue at the end of the day. Orthotics relieve today’s foot problems and put you on the wellness path to reduce future aches and pains.
Once our customers feel the energy rebound orthotics provide, they often choose to shop the brands we carry that are designed with a top of the line footbed included. Vionic, Taos and Oboz are just a few of Danform's favorite arch supportive footwear options.
“People should know they can live a happy, healthy, active lifestyle,” says Rob at our Colchester store. “When someone recognizes they have a foot problem, they shouldn’t procrastinate. They should do something about it. Even if it’s just to come in to get information. And when I can help someone? That makes my day. It really makes me feel good about what I do.”
Now in his 25th year at Danform Shoes, there are a whole lot of people who literally feel good about what Rob does, too.
What’s In Store?
We invite you to experience the Danform Difference for yourself! Danform Shoes carries a variety of orthotic inserts with prices ranging from $20 to $60. We also have an extensive line of shoe brands that have quality orthotics already built-in. Foot health and pain recovery are steps away. Come shop with our fit experts!