Here is a summary of the most common questions we have answered more than once. If you have a question we haven't answered, feel free to e-mail us your question.
Start by taking a look at the bottom of a pair of shoes you have worn outside for a while. Over-pronators typically wear their shoes out on the inside of the forefoot, particularly under the second metatarsal head (ball of the foot). They may wear either the inside or outside edge of the heel. If you wear your shoes out from the middle to the outside in the forefoot, and wear heavily on the outside of your heels, you are a supinator. Supinators are often over-pronators in disguise.
Stand with your feet parallel and your back straight. Bend your knees without squatting until your heels try to lift off the floor. If your knees come together, you over-pronate.
Supination causes a harder than average heel strike, tight and sore calf muscles and shin splints from instability and overuse.
Higher than average incidents of rolling the ankle.
Supinators are typically impacted more from impact and instability (muscle overuse) problems.
Over-pronation (hyperpronation) impacts the whole body. Most people who over-pronate have a forward leaning posture which causes significant stresses on the body.
Common foot pain like heel pain (plantar faciitis), arch pain, bunions, bone spurs and calluses are often the result of years of over-pronation, but it doesn't stop there. Over-pronation can be the cause of leg pain, Achilles pain, shin splints, knee pain from tight or torn ligaments, meniscus tears, runners knee (Chondromalacia), hip and low back pain.
Over-pronation starts with collapsing arches which causes the ankles to roll in and the legs to internally rotate. The internal rotation of the legs rotate the pelvis forward, forcing the upper body to lean forward.
Over-pronation also causes a functional leg length difference which causes one hip to become higher than the other and one shoulder to become higher than the other.
Over-pronation (hyperpronation) is a structural problem of the foot. The head of the talus (ankle bone) is slightly rotated up so it elevates the inside of the foot. This causes the inside of the foot to collapse when weight is transferred to the forefoot.
This condition can easily be demonstrated by placing a persons foot in a position where the ankle is straight (the heel is perpendicular to the floor) and noticing how the first ray (first metatarsal and big toe) is no longer in weight bearing contact with the ground. When the forefoot is made weight bearing, the arch collapses and the ankle rolls in.
No. Over-pronation and supination is often asymmetrical. Most people seem to over-pronate more on the left side, but many over-pronate more on the right. Asymmetry is a major cause of pelvic instability.
If your ankles roll out (supinate) when you walk or run, and there is no structural reason for it, you are an over-pronator (hyperpronator) in disguise. Supination is often a neuromuscular overcompensation for hyperpronation that causes you to subconsciously favor the outside of your feet in an attempt to minimize hyperpronation.
Structural reasons for supination could be injuries, surgery, malformations of the bones from birth.
Yes. Over-pronators typically show a wear pattern on the bottom of the shoe on the inside of the forefoot, particularly under the second metatarsal head (ball of the foot). They may wear either the inside or outside of the heel. Supinators shoes show more wear from the middle to the outside in the forefoot, and wear heavily on the outside of their heels with some wear underneath the big toe.
In the footwear industry, motion control is overcoming the impact of over-pronation (ankles that roll in) or supination (ankles that roll out).
Traditional thinking attempts to control the motion of the foot by immobilizing the arch and locking the heel in place (referred to as mid and rear foot control). This is done by using arch supports to limit arch collapse and heel cups and lacing systems to hold the heel in place. Some shoe companies are also incorporating wedges or multiple density materials to raise the inside of the entire shoe or just the heel to "shim the foot into a more desirable position".
This works well when standing still, but loses substantial impact when the feet are in motion.
Your feet feel more cushioned from correcting foot mechanics than from wearing cushioned insoles. The need for exaggerated cushioning in shoes for "normal" feet is a sign that the motion control technologies (arch supports and heel cups) are not very effective. A hard heel strike is usually a function of supination when walking and running. A reduction in supination will typically soften the gait. Excessive cushioning serves to destabilize the foot (picture standing on an air mattress).
People who have flexible flat feet often over-pronate significantly and benefit from adding arch supports to their Posture Control Insoles®. Arch supports start loosing their effectiveness the instant the heel lifts off the ground.
A heel cup may improve cushioning of the heel but does little to stabilize it. If you have a hard heel strike, a cushion or heel cup may be helpful, but correcting your gait using Posture Control Insoles® may be more effective.
Nobody, unless they have a pre-clubfoot deformity or have suffered deforming injuries and/or surgery that causes the heel to be physically rotated relative to the forefoot.
In a "normal" over-pronating foot, a medial heel post may cause pain and aggravate plantar faciitis by causing excessive twisting of the foot when walking.
The new concept of motion control is that the foot, including mid and rear foot motion and stability, is controlled from the medial column of the forefoot.
The new concept is to control the motion of the foot using muscles rather than passive support.
The new concept states that we can control the motion of the foot, lower extremity and body by providing a neuromuscular stimulus to the medial column of the foot - specifically the first metatarsal and the big toe.
The advantage is that forefoot correction works throughout the full gait cycle. It is simple and uses small dimensions so there is no need for bulky supports.
Whenever the foot is trying to over-pronate, the big toe is looking for the ground. Posture Control Insoles® gives the first metatarsal and big toe better ground contact earlier in the gait cycle.
It started by discovering that when the foot is in a position where the heel is straight to the ground (not leaning in or out), the first metatarsal and big toe is up in the air - not weight bearing. In order for the first metatarsal and big toe to become weight bearing the foot has to roll in so the first metatarsal and big toe can get ground contact. This is just the way the bones in the foot are formed from birth and is common for over 80% of the population.
When Dr. Rothbart build the ground up under the first metatarsal and big toe the same way orthotics are built up under the arch, he noticed that the patient's weight were shifted to far back over the heels causing an unstable gait. Through experimentation he discovered that he could fill as little as one third of the gap between the first metatarsal and big toe and the floor and still observe a substantial and appropriate postural shift.
The small wedge causes first metatarsal and the big toe to have ground contact slightly earlier in the gait cycle. This timing change in ground contact appears to cause a proprioceptive response of the muscles controlling the medial column of the foot, causing a significant reduction in dynamic over-pronation.
Proprioception is the body's sense of position, direction and motion. Proprioception is the regulating neuromuscular mechanism that allows you to stand upright even if someone bumps into you. Proprioception causes an immediate muscle action intended to regain balance and equilibrium.
Orthotics use passive support in an attempt to stabilize the foot by pushing the foot into a more optimal position and maintaining it there by limiting motion. Posture Control Insoles® succeed in stabilizing the foot by activating and balancing the muscles controlling the foot.
Neuromuscular Motion Control® causes a neuromuscular response. The muscles in the calf automatically respond to the stimulus underneath the first metatarsal and big toe by contracting and hence lifting the arch like when trying to pick up a towel from the floor with your bare foot.
This motion causes an external rotation of the leg, and posterior rotation of the pelvis. The result is better alignment of the joints, more linear motion, and better posture.
No. A substantial amount of testing has been done to determine if asymmetrical compensation is more effective. There is a chicken and egg scenario at work here because over-pronation is not the only factor that can impact pelvic instability. Common Compensatory Patterns (CCP) are muscle compensation patterns set up in the body as a response to asymmetry or imbalance, so conceivably a very small imbalance of over-pronation of the foot can lead to a compensatory pattern that magnifies it's impact. We only recommend symmetrical use of Posture Control Insoles®.
Sometimes. Posture Control Insoles® come in three different vertical dimensions. The generic version is 3.5mm. The intermediate version is 6.0mm and the extra strength measures 9.0mm. If you wear generic 3.5mm Posture Control Insoles® and you still think you pronate too much, you may try 6.0 mm Posture Control Insoles® or you may see a specialists who are trained to recognize what is most appropriate for you.
You will feel a reduction in pain
You will feel that your feet and ankles are more stable and less tired
Your shoes will feel more comfortable - like they fit better
You will improve power, agility and endurance
You will notice the difference immediately. People differ in the length of time it takes their muscles to re-posture, but you should expect to feel the full benefits of the Posture Control Insoles® in 7-10 days provided you follow the break-in instructions and continue to wear them full time in all your shoes. If you only wear them a little now and then, you may barely feel any benefits at all. As you use your Posture Control Insoles®, you retrain and strengthen your muscles. A good golfer for example, plays by wrote (muscle memory). Muscle memory is created by repetition. Your postural muscles work the same way.
Posture Control Insoles® work for almost everyone because most people over-pronates or supinates to various degrees.
No, this technology does not structurally change your foot. It does not roll your foot out (supinate) it even though it might feel like it in the beginning. This technology does not cause any permanent changes to your structural or muscular systems. Muscles strengthened by using Posture Control Insoles® will weaken if you discontinue wearing them in much the same way muscles atrophy when not exercised.
· Cavus Feet (ultra high "peaked" arches)
· Structural flat feet (flat when not weight bearing)
· Insignificant static hyperpronation
· Severe arthritic conditions of the foot, knee and hip. (may be helpful when combined with medical treatment)
· Foot deformities from congenital defects, injuries and surgery. (may be helpful when combined with medical treatment)
Posture Control Insoles® are not passive supports that are custom fit to the shape of the feet. Posture Control Insoles® provide a stimulus to the feet, and the amount of stimulus is less critical so long as it is within an appropriate range. Trying to fine tune the dimensions further is not cost effective, and can be distorted by other factors that vary from one pair of shoes to another.
The technology used in Posture Control Insoles® is not linear. The effect of the stimulus provided by a generic pair of insoles is not doubled by doubling the amount of stimulus. This is the reason the active dimensions of the Posture Control Insoles® can be so small. Generic Posture Control Insoles® (3.5 mm) are optimized to give the maximum benefit to the largest group of people while still fitting in virtually fitting in any pair of shoes. The next level is 6.0 mm. See the instructions on how to choose - more is not always better.
Yes. First of all, you are making up for a structural deficit. It will not go away. Secondly, as you use your Posture Control Insoles®, you retrain and strengthen your muscles. A good golfer for example, plays by wrote (muscle memory). Muscle memory is created by repetition. Your postural muscles work the same way. If you quit wearing your Posture Control Insoles® you will return to your old pronation pattern.
For daily activity - A flat flexible shoe with a fairly straight last, no special shapes, toe grips, metatarsal arches etc. and no excessive cushioning.
For walking and running - A flat flexible shoe with good sturdy upper and heel counter. A fairly straight last and no excessive cushioning. No heel posts or medial wedges. No multi density mid-sole on the medial side.
When selecting a sports specific shoe, beware of excessive cushioning materials that destabilize the foot. There are more ankle injuries today than when shoes were of simpler construction. Cushioning and medial posting may be a contributor to these injuries.
Use Posture Control Insoles® to convert a simple high quality shoe into an effective Motion Control Shoe.
The more stuff (features) shoe companies incorporate in their shoes, the more weight they add. Posture Control Insoles® give you the advantage of turning a lightweight, flexible shoe into a comfortable Motion Control Shoe.
Posture Control Insoles® help make shoes last longer.
You will feel the Posture Control Insoles® for the first 2 or 3 days, but the feel is generally comfortable. You will be aware that something is different. Because Posture Control Insoles® re-posture the body and thereby cause different muscle use, you may experience moderate muscle soreness similar to starting a new exercise.
If the Posture Control Insoles® cause significant discomfort it may be because they have re-postured your body substantially. Give them a break for a couple of days, and break them in by increasing your wear time by two hours a day.
If the Posture Control Insoles® cause prolonged discomfort or pain beyond 5 days, discontinue use.
Become accustomed to wearing Posture Control Insoles® in your daily shoes before using them in athletic activity.
With typical use, Posture Control Insoles® may last for 12-18 months. If you are very active in sports, don't expect them to outlast your shoes. They are guaranteed against material defects for 6 months.
We recommend you do. Make sure they fit properly and that you have sufficient room over the big toe. They should not be able to slide around in your shoe.
It depends. The sock liners in most shoes are just cheap pieces of plastic designed to make the shoe look and feel a bit more elegant. Sometimes they actually have a function such as absorbing and transporting moisture. If there is enough space in the shoe to slide the Posture Control Insoles® underneath the sock liner, they will last longer while still providing the same benefit. If this makes the shoe too tight, remove the sock-liner.
Hand-wash in mild soap and lukewarm water. Lie flat to air dry.
Yes. Posture Control Insoles® will have a positive impact. You will notice that your weight is more evenly dispersed over the ball of your feet causing less pressure underneath the second metatarsal head.
Yes. Posture Control Insoles® work well in soccer cleats. Soccer cleats are much more rigid shoes, and tests with both adults and teens show that Posture Control Insoles® provide their positive effects by reducing over-pronation and supination.
Yes. Adding Posture Control Insoles® to your ski boots is a good idea. Less pressure on the inside of your ankle and calf against the boot and better edge control we have been told.
Generally, yes. Seniors wearing Posture Control Insoles® have responded well. Some have also experienced warmer feet from improved circulation caused by less pressure on the posterior tibial artery providing blood flow to the soles of their feet. If the person suffers from severe arthritis, Posture Control Insoles® may not offer much relief from pain.
Posture Control Insoles® will help resolve most muscle pain that is associated with hyperpronation and instability of the foot such as shin splints and tight IT (Iliotibial) band. You may also find relief from many common compensation patterns that develop from pelvic instability, but what you should also know is that muscle cramps or trigger points can be come self perpetuating. That means that a change in posture of muscle use caused by using the Posture Control Insoles® will not necessarily relieve the pain. You will need the assistance of a professional who knows how to treat trigger points.