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  • Has anyone corrected an “overpronated foot?”
  • Premier Icon geomickb
    Free Member

    Hey,

    I have worn orthotics on and off for years because I have an “overpronated foot”. Never 100% convinced that they aren’t snake oil.

    Last week I ditched them and started wearing minimalist shoes. Mainly because I read this: https://thechalkboardmag.com/5-minute-glutes-routine-back-pain. My previous (hip) pain immediately returned, so I am back on the orthotics today.

    Does anyone have any experience of ditching their orthotics or “fixing their feet”?

    Mick

    ps don’t recommend that I see a physio/therapist/podiatrist/witch doctor because I have seen
    plenty.

    pps Is this “flat foot” the start of cat aids? 🙂

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    My feet used to point five to two and a bit. I went to an osteopath once on Mrs TiRed’s recommendation. They did a manipulation of some sort and ever since my feet have pointed symmetrically at about ten to two. Legs are the same length but I was a bit askew.

    Premier Icon spot
    Free Member

    i used to wear orthotics (i have really high arches)
    started only wearing low drop shoes instead and have not missed them since

    Premier Icon twinw4ll
    Free Member

    I’m probably talking total bolloks as most on here do, but I would carry on as normal, trying to fix it could trigger osteoarthritis, how do I know this?
    Because I tried to “fix” a tight hip, which turned out to be an impingement, now waiting for a replacement.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Why would you trust advice from strangers over the internet above “snake oil” from medical professionals?

    Bizarre.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Why would you trust advice from strangers over the internet above “snake oil” from medical professionals?

    Random guess, but maybe he would like to hear the experiences of someone with a similar issue?

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Not fixed entirely, but made a lot better. Never really noticed it (or that I walked/ran duck-footed) till I went to a running coach in my 30s. Simply concentrating on walking/running with my feet pointed straight ahead for a few months (till it became habit) helped massively. You can also apply pressure to the outside edge of your foot when walking/standing, this stops the ankle rolling inwards. A good trick when standing is to lift your toes. This puts the ankle in the correct position and stops your knees rolling inwards. If you’re not already doing weight bearing & flexibility exercises for your legs/ankles this helps a lot too.

    Obviously the shoes/inserts etc only mask the problem rather than doing anything to correct it.

    IANAD, YMMV etc. This is just what worked for me.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Flat foot and over protonation aren’t the same thing. a flat foot tends to over pronate but they’re not always linked.

    I over pronate, but have really high arches. So I wear insoles in my cycling/running/walking shoes, never bothered with my work shoes though.

    Premier Icon brant
    Full Member

    I had loads of middle age back pain and when I ran I regularly got calf tears/strains.

    Switching to low drop or barefoot shoes didn’t fix it entirely but I like the sensation of being more in contact with the ground.

    What has helped was an physio analysis that I had very weak glutes, and some strength and conditioning exercises to improve that.

    Now running and everyday is much better with zero back pain.

    Premier Icon Richie_B
    Full Member

    My previous (hip) pain immediately returned, so I am back on the orthotics today.

    When you first start wearing orthotics you are told to build up the distance slowly so I’d guess that the same is true for stopping using them. This would be doubly true for minimalist shoes.

    Without orthotics I usually achieve three weeks running before I damage an ankle or knee. With them I manage about three months (its why I started riding bikes).

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Random guess, but maybe he would like to hear the experiences of someone with a similar issue?

    But the “had enough of experts” attitude, while asking strangers how to “fix” his feet?

    And with no suggestion that the orthotics are actually causing any problems?

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    What has helped was an physio analysis that I had very weak glutes, and some strength and conditioning exercises to improve that.

    Everyone should make strength (& flexibility) training part of their routine (unless they have a very active job/lifestyle anyway that takes care of that!) If your body is not capable of supporting itself properly then that’s not good obviously! Things are a lot better once you realise this (that was my experience anyway!!)

    Premier Icon geomickb
    Free Member

    @chakaping what @flootflaps said. I’ve seen over a dozen “professionals” over the last decade and they all tell me I have different problems and need to give them lots of money and have lots of treatment. 90% of them just didn’t have a clue, some of them were obvious charlatans.

    I really just wondered if anyone had actually seen there “flat foot” regain it’s arch.

    Current plan:
    Go back to to orthotics to settle pain.
    Gradually introduce minimal shoes and monitor.
    Continue with strengthening (mainly glue med) and mobility work (hip flexors and rotators).

    Premier Icon paul0
    Free Member

    Random guess, but maybe he would like to hear the experiences of someone with a similar issue?

    But the “had enough of experts” attitude, while asking strangers how to “fix” his feet?
    And with no suggestion that the orthotics are actually causing any problems?

    If the OP does have a “had enough of experts” attitude then I totally understand. I’ve had a few knee and ankle issues, seen a number of physios etc – all with differing diagnosis and advice. After a while you start to realise that a lot of it is educated guesswork…. which I suppose shouldn’t be that surprising as the human body is a complex thing. So yes, I’d say some real life experience from “strangers” can also be useful.

    Also been wearing Orthotics for a while and starting to wonder if I’d be better off without them too. Longish term trial might be the only way to find out I guess.

    Premier Icon geomickb
    Free Member

    @paul0

    There is definitely a current trend for suggesting that barefoot and glute activation is a better solution than using orthotics to splint the problem (which sounds to be too good to be true). I can’t find any science to prove this.

    It would be great to hear that someone had a positive outcome with this. I will update with progress.

    Mick

    Premier Icon stever
    Full Member

    Treadmill video review: “You’re badly overpronating, here try these shoes”. Only shoes I’ve ever really not got on with.
    That was maybe 15 years ago now and don’t really get injured. Don’t run much on road now but use neutral shoes. All my trail/fell shoes are fairly low to ground and neutral by definition and every footstep is different there. I do a bit of strength work when I remember.

    Premier Icon surfer
    Free Member

    Its totally natural to pronate and my experience (almost 40 yrs of running with some very elite athletes) is that problems more often occur when people try to control this natural action. If you pronate excessively then I would recommend neutral shoes and a slow increase in training. Its amazing what the body can adapt to but i am pretty sure a she hasnt been invented that stops this action and still allows you to run.

    Agree with the OP its good to get peoples experiences. I have met lots of qualified and highly trained physio’s over the years. Many of them have given poor and/or conflicting advice.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    over the last decade and they all tell me I have different problems and need to give them lots of money and have lots of treatment. 90% of them just didn’t have a clue, some of them were obvious charlatans.

    My experience with physios is you have to be in it for the long term, try and get a good NHS one or through a medical plan at work if you have one. There’s almost an impossibility that they can get it right first time.

    It takes a long time, there’s probably hundreds of things that could cause a bit of pain in any given area, the best they can do is eliminate them and narrow it down. Friends from countries without an NHS seem to value them a lot higher than we do. My physio actually jokes that most patients just see him as an inconvenient failed orthopedic consultant that they have to see 6 times before the NHS will refer them to the real one. Whereas friends (stereotypical eastern European builders) go to the private physio, chiropractor etc as soon as they have the slightest niggle. For them they view it as money well spent as being fit and healthy is their livelyhood.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Whereas friends (stereotypical eastern European builders) go to the private physio, chiropractor etc as soon as they have the slightest niggle. For them they view it as money well spent as being fit and healthy is their livelyhood.

    there definitely seems to be a general trend of suffering/”getting on with it” until it gets REALLY bad which I have never really understood tbh!

    Premier Icon swedishmetal
    Free Member

    I was really bad for many years, wore custom orthotics just to be able to walk without pain.

    Started running which was really painful but a local running shop fitted me with some very supportive shoes and advised me to keep running and if pain hadn’t gone in a few weeks to go back to them.
    After 3/4 weeks the pain had subsided and after a few months I went to some neutral shoes with no pain.
    I still wore orthotics in normal shoes but occasionally I’d try without with no problems.

    I now don’t wear any orthotics, only get any pain or issues when wearing really unsupportive shoes (eg thin Vans) and I’m on my feet a long time. It has been liberating and really nice to just buy any shoes without having to find ones that my insoles will fit in!

    My feet problems probably came about from working in shops for many years which I don’t do now.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Free Member

    I suffered with PF, which anyone who knows, will tell you it’s fancy talk for “the bottom of my foot hurts”. I had some success with a combination of core strengthening exercises and some solid nylon custom orthotics.

    Continuing to research the subject area I came across the “natural footwear” concept but with a bit if a difference.

    Think about making a bridge with your hand playing snooker. If your fingers are pressed together, it’s unstable and the arch doesn’t work properly.

    It’s similar with feet. I use a toe spacer called correct-toes. It took some time to adapt, about two years in total but combined with wide toed, zero drop, soft soled shoes, the intrinsic foot muscles can build their strength back and work as nature intended.

    It’s one heck of a commitment, but foot pain can be crippling. It all passes the logic test as well.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I was getting pain in my feet and ankles to the point I thought I would have to stop hillwalking completely. Othotics have reduced the pain by 95% and I can now walk pain free for the first time in years. I spend a lot of time on my feet. So for me orthotics ( cheap off the shelf boots ones) are the answer.

    Onzadog – I didn’t wear shoes until I was 5. As a result I have splayed mobile toes and have to get wide shooe ( actually usually shoes about an inch too long). I still got the overpronation and foot pain

    Edit

    I also avoid wearing shoes as much as possible still. I spent years in flip flops summer and winter. walk barefoot outside when I can, never anything on my feet in the house so I do a lot of barefoot stuff – actually barefoot. I often walk on beaches and my shoes always come off.

    Premier Icon shermer75
    Free Member

    So…the orthotics fixed the problem, but you want to not use the orthotics?

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Free Member

    I had problems with my right hip due to overpronation a couple of years ago and I went barefoot and zero drop shoes with wide toe area and hip exercises, it has worked until just recently but after stupidly trying to alter my running form after 1200 miles last year injury free but I’m now having problems with my left leg hurting and my left foot overpronating and flattening, I think I need to try these glute med exercises what do people recommend thanks

    Premier Icon shermer75
    Free Member

    You can get stuck into trying adjust the muscle timings to stop the over pronation, as in the kind of stuff a physio will do, but to be honest the answer might be…you need to wear orthotics. Unfortunately none of us get rolled a perfect dice genetically, we all have our anatomical differences which vary from the quite annoying to horrifically life threatening or disabling, and if this is your biggest problem then, quite frankly, you’re doing rather well!

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    My understanding ( and its really at the limits of my knowledge if not beyond) is that flat feet and over pronation are ligament and bone issues not muscle. Muscle exercise may compensate but cannot cure.

    Podiatrists are the experts on this – not necessarily physios, Podiatrist do gait analysis. Perhaps best used in conjunction with physios?

    Premier Icon swedishmetal
    Free Member

    Muscle exercise may compensate but cannot cure.

    Well it cured me!

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Free Member

    The think is, for all the great advances in medical science and the benefits it brings, the conventional wisdom is not always right. If it was, there wouldn’t be as many advancements in medical science.

    The great thing is though, as it’s a scientific community, when evidence points them in the other direction, they will make the shift.

    Conventional wisdom is that feet are “improved” by building structures around them. Still boots for walking in or working on site. Shaped orthotics to hold the arch up.

    There’s a growing school of though that actually, we might have been doing it wrong. I’ve not twisted my ankle since going to more minimalist shoes. The idea being that if your foot can conform to the ground you don’t get propreceptively caught out.

    No other part of the body gets as braced, fixed and supported as feet on the western world.

    Now, all the evidence isn’t in yet which is why it’s only a small percentage of podiatrists, biomechanics and specialists who support this idea. But it is one of those things where I can imagine there could be a wholesale shift in thinking.

    I’ll be too old by then, so I’m taking a punt and starting now (two years ago). Just keep in mind that 40 years of cultural/fashion led foot mangling is not going to be cured overnight.

    Just another pie of anecdotal evidence, a few years ago, my wife really suffered with bunions. The medical establishment said surgery was the only option and she started on waiting lists and consultations. Doing her own research, she came across these alternative theories and considered that she had nothing to loose. They are not cured, but they are a lot less painful now to the point that she doesn’t want the surgery and can carry on with life unimpeded by them.

    Premier Icon brant
    Full Member

    I’ve not twisted my ankle since going to more minimalist shoes. The idea being that if your foot can conform to the ground you don’t get propreceptively caught out.

    I think that it’s more to do with a lower stack particularly in the heel means your lower to the ground so there’s less leverage to twist your ankle.

    But yeah.

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Free Member

    My local running store (proper running shop) did notice I pronated a lot less in my neutral low stack trail shoes than i do in my anti pronation road shoes, trouble seems to be for me that I cant find a comfortable low stack road shoe capable of letting me run 30+ miles at a time and having a foot shaped wide toebox

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    problems more often occur when people try to control this natural action. If you pronate excessively then I would recommend neutral shoes and a slow increase in training

    This is a pretty good summation of my experiences with knee pain on the bike, once I stopped trying to force my knee to track how I wanted it too, and reduced then slowly rebuilt my training volume, the knee pain issues went away.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    I cant find a comfortable low stack road shoe capable of letting me run 30+ miles at a time and having a foot shaped wide toebox

    Have you tried Altra? I’ve not tried their road shoes but the trail models have a huge toebox and zero drop. According to their web marketing stuff the road shoes seem similar.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Full Member

    Last week I ditched them and started wearing minimalist shoes.

    Do you mean for running or all the time?

    I have been wearing minimalist shoes day to day for about 6 months, but not for running. Only now am I considering running in some. It was quite a commitment, I threw out all my old old shoes and replaced them with minimalist (mainly from merrell as they do casual leather ones for the office as well as trainers). These are thin very flexible soled shoes with decent toe boxes to allow the foot to move naturally.

    I have always had supportive shoes recommended to me for running, but I never had foot pain, I felt it in my knee. It does seem to have cured my knee pain but it does take months to adapt, and you can really feel it in the feet and posterior chain the first few weeks. For running a would still go for some cushioning, but a zero drop shoe from altra.

    Premier Icon DT78
    Free Member

    I have overpronation and hip pain (which can extend to knee and mid / lower back pain)

    I have to wear orthotics if I want to run, else I get terrible blisters on the inner arches of my feet, I have tried loads of different types of trainer. I’m currently on brookes beast with the orthotics and it is the first time I can run without blisters and pain.

    I do notice if I have a week or two off work I feel much better, so heeled leather shoes make it worse (I wear these without orthotics as no space for them).

    Can anyone recommend any ‘smart’ work friendly shoes that are neutral with no heel drop to try out?

    Premier Icon brant
    Full Member

    Just got back from 3 miles in the twisty tech woods in my Vibram 5 fingers. I love the ballet and precision you need to run in them on rocky and rooty terrain.

    I also really like the Merrell Trail Gloves.

    Have you tried Altra? I’ve not tried their road shoes but the trail models have a huge toebox and zero drop. According to their web marketing stuff the road shoes seem similar.

    Don’t they have a high stack and lots of midsole squish? So yes, zero drop, but not minimal?

    Premier Icon brant
    Full Member

    Can anyone recommend any ‘smart’ work friendly shoes that are neutral with no heel drop to try out?

    I can’t recommend them (as in I haven’t tried them) but I have seen these.

    https://www.vivobarefoot.com/uk/mens/everyday/ra-ii-mens

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Free Member

    Mogrim yes I have paradigms the 3 were spot on for 800 miles til they wore out then newer 4 and 4.5 I cant use my foot rolls too much. I also have a few pairs of lone peaks and they are good I’ve worn a few pairs out, I also use mtkings and Olympus not sure about the Olympus though they are a bit clunky. I’ve just got a set of topo to try but I’m injured at the minute 🙁

    They are padded and high in most cases I like the lone peaks the best out of all of them, I generally walk about in merrell vapour glove but I’ve only done a few short runs in those

    Dt78 have a look at lems shoes too I like my boots

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    I can’t recommend them (as in I haven’t tried them) but I have seen these.

    https://www.vivobarefoot.com/uk/mens/everyday/ra-ii-mens

    I bought some of these when they were cheap on SP. Did not get on well with them. Probably because my feet aren’t shaped like bananas 😂 Much prefer the shape of Merrell minimalist shoes, don’t think they do a “smart” option but usually wear them for general mooching.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    Don’t they have a high stack and lots of midsole squish? So yes, zero drop, but not minimal?

    That’s the one. I found minimal was too much on the stony trails round here, too many sharp stones. I might just be a wuss though 🙂

    Premier Icon MSP
    Full Member

    Can anyone recommend any ‘smart’ work friendly shoes that are neutral with no heel drop to try out?

    How smart do they have to be, I would be happy with the first of these in a suit and tie environment, the second in a more casual office.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merrell-Trail-Glove-Trainers-Black/dp/B07KMBZSDB/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1F07NGIMHB8IA&dchild=1&keywords=merrell+luna+slip+on&qid=1579799335
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merrell-Parkway-Emboss-Trainers-Black/dp/B0719WXNK1/ref=sr_1_1?crid=LWOP7O7WG6N4&dchild=1&keywords=merrell+parkway&qid=1579799477&s=shoes&sprefix=merrell+parkway%2Cshoes%2C170&sr=1-1

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