If you get foot/ankle, knee, hip, or lower back pain when you walk for a long time, you may benefit from wearing an insole (especially if you are planning for a theme park vacation).
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, some pretty painful conditions can rear their ugly heads if you aren’t prepared to walk 30,000 steps at the theme parks.
If you aren’t properly prepared with the right footwear or necessary insoles/orthotics, you may experience just how painful these conditions can be firsthand.
Worst of all, this pain could ruin your overall theme park experience, keep you from walking further and faster, and maybe even sit you out of the parks entirely.
If you are reading this, though, you are on the right track toward picking the right insoles, orthotics, and footwear for your feet, so you won’t experience these painful problems during your theme park adventures.
Decide What Type of Foot You Have
This is fairly simple.
Stand how you normally would, comfortable, and take note of what your feet do
Flat Feet (Pes Planus)
Do your feet turn out?
Is the inside of you foot touching the ground?
In other words, do your feet look like this:
If so, you likely have a condition called pes planus, or flat feet.
You will need an insole or orthotic that has significant arch support, in addition to comfortable walking shoes.
Unfortunately, there is no one insole that will work for everyone.
However, most insoles for flat feet will work for most people, so don’t worry too much if you have the correct insole, as long as they are made for people with flat feet and offer arch support.
The Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insoles can be found on Amazon, and have great reviews for people who walk a lot and need extra arch support.
High, Stiff Arches (Pes Cavus)
This condition is more rare, but is characterized by a stiff foot, high arch, and often the feet will be pointed inward when standing.
This condition can cause stress fractures in the 5th (pinky toe) metatarsal, on the outside of the foot.
That’s because the weight is shifted over to these area during every repetition when walking.
Since this condition is much less common than pes planus, finding the right insole may be more difficult.
The Superfeet Green High-Arch insoles are specifically designed for those people with high arches.
If you get pain in the bottom of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis. This is a condition where the plantar fascia become inflamed and irritated, causing pain in the bottom of the foot and heel. For this condition, an insole with a supportive heel cup and support for the fascia will be very important. The SOLE Active Insoles were designed to help specifically for those people who need relief from this type of condition, and they should be available to order on Amazon.
You may already be familiar with the Achilles tendon. If not, it is located in the back of your ankle, and can be extremely painful when inflamed or irritated. For this condition, I normally recommend a heel lift in both shoes, regardless of which side has pain. Any heel lift will do, these are normally standard and very available on several sites, including Amazon. This will decrease the tension going through the tendon and heel.
The Best Option
So, what is the best option for you?
A specialized, custom made orthotic would clearly be the best option.
However, these can be difficult to attain.
Ask your podiatrist if you may benefit from getting a custom orthotic made for your specific foot.
These custom orthotics are made from a mold of your feet, so the insole perfectly shapes your foot to be in the proper position.
Again, this is the BEST but LEAST AVAILABLE option for you.
So, if you are willing to invest in or think your feet are “hopeless”, definitely check with your podiatrist well before your theme park visit comes up.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at uImproved PT.