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Orthotics?

QuizmateQuizmate Posts: 97
Years ago a podiatrist prescribed me orthotics for over pronation when walking. They are rock hard carbon fibre and did help a great deal. On returning to cycling after many years I asked the podiatrist if I should still place the orthotics in my cycling shoes. They said I should, although as far as I know they have no cycling expertise. Likewise my LBS come bike fitter said I should too, but again didn't have any evidence or knowledge to back that up. I've persevered with them in my shoes for a couple of years, but I often wonder if I'd be better off without them or at least have a cycle specific pair. I know there are a lot of variables to take into account and it might not be that simple, but does anyone have any experience of this or know of anyone in the East Midlands who specialises in this area and can assess whether I need them or not?

Posts

  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I'm very skeptical on orthotics in general. Seems to me that if you need to fit permanent corrections to your feet to deal with a typically undiagnosed posture problem it's likely there's a root cause not being addressed. I used to overpronate a bit and was prescribed motion control footwear for running. They alleviated the symptoms a little but that just encouraged the root cause - poor overstriding running technique and weak core allowing pelvis position to be slightly off thereby rotating legs toes-out; along with the overstride this produced heel first landings followed by a roll in. It wasn't until I dumped all of the protection and ran without either cushioning or motion control that I addressed the root problems and have hardly had a problem since.
    Clearly the bike is a little different since you're trying to interface yourself to a fixed mechanical device and technique is unlikely to be an issue but I'd be wary of orthotics as a cure. At best I think they're a patch. It's quite likely the root cause is a postural issue that can and should be addressed instead. Having said that I'm not suggesting the you should adapt your body to the bike rather than the bike to your body, simply that if there is a fixable problem it's best to go to the root of it which an orthotic typically doesn't do IMO.

    Apologies for the rant! I'm not quite answering your question, I'll go away now ;)
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    It's going to depend on what foot / gait condition the 'walking' orthotics are intended to correct, and how/if that condition applies to cycling.

    It you have a leg-length difference, then having a correction in your shoe or on the pedal would make sense. Similarly if your foot shape does not conform to the design of typical cycling shoes.

    Are you experiencing any adverse 'symptoms' using your current orthotics for cycling?
    Is there something that makes you think the current ones are inappropriate for cycling?

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • QuizmateQuizmate Posts: 97
    JayKosta wrote:
    It's going to depend on what foot / gait condition the 'walking' orthotics are intended to correct, and how/if that condition applies to cycling.

    It you have a leg-length difference, then having a correction in your shoe or on the pedal would make sense. Similarly if your foot shape does not conform to the design of typical cycling shoes.

    Are you experiencing any adverse 'symptoms' using your current orthotics for cycling?
    Is there something that makes you think the current ones are inappropriate for cycling?

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA

    Hi, my orthotics are for over pronation when walking. I've read that cycling is very different to walking and that technically I shouldn't need them in my cycling shoes but some sites contradict this and recommend orthotics. It might be that they are indeed helping to keep my knees in line so that they don't not collapse in towards the frame. They are a tight fit though in my Specialized shoes and I wonder if they might be too rigid and pushing my foot up and outwards. It certainly doesn't feel natural especially when out of the saddle and I've often wondered if it's robbing me of power.
  • cswitchcswitch Posts: 261
    Definitely a place for orthotics in cycling. For those skeptical about them, well then they probably don't need them. I do and since using them (several years) my cycling has been much more comfortable. For cycling what's important / beneficial is for the arch not to collapse when applying force through the foot. If you have insufficient arch support your knee is quite possibly going to roll inward - not great for the knees and maybe not so efficient if the knees are moving all over the place. Some correct this with wedges but in my experience better to correct much as possible with sufficient arch support then wedge as required. I am regurgitating Steve Hogg's theory here but it works. Also if arch is better connected to the footbed you are going to be spreading the load through more of the sole of the foot which can significantly reduce hot spots and numbness.

    esoles are pretty good but my footbed of choice are the G8's, both are adjustable. The best out their by a mile (for me at least) and I've been through a few. Not cheap but they last a long long time. Better to go for something that has some adjustability unless you're going to someone who really knows their stuff.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    I wear them in all my shoes - but for Cycling I had some SIDAS footbeds done by Adrian Timmis - prior to this I used to put walking orthotics into my cycling shoes - without issue.
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