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Foot Health Blog

Find expert articles from physical therapists and podiatrists to help understand, diagnose, and treat different foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and more.
Arch Support Custom Orthotics — 2023 Review
ArchArch Support Custom Orthotics — 2023 ReviewIf you have feet with high arches, you know the frustration of navigating certain everyday activities. Having high arches means that additional pressure is placed on the ball of your foot and your heel, making standing, walking, and running painful. However, arch support custom orthotics have benefits that can help to alleviate this. Custom insoles are professionally made to the specific shape of your foot, addressing the unique needs of your feet. This includes sufficient arch support to redistribute weight throughout your foot as well as cushioning and shock-absorbing qualities to reduce high-pressure areas. » Do you need arch support? Consider these reasons to get arch support ProsReduces high-pressure areasImproves arch supportCustom-made to your needsMolds are made in the comfort of your home180-day money-back guaranteeFSA and HSA eligibleConsShort waiting period before receiving insolesDon't last indefinitely How Do Insoles for High Arches Work to Support Your Feet? Custom-made arch supports are specifically tailored to the shape of your feet and the exact height of your arch. This will improve the stability of your foot, your balance, and weight distribution throughout your entire foot. Arch supports are made with durable and shock-absorbent materials to improve movement and foot biomechanics and reduce your chances of developing an injury. Maximize Your Results It's recommended that you wear your orthotics on a daily basis and that they don't move around inside your shoe as you partake in walking, running, or jumping activities. Acquiring the right size and shape orthotic for your foot is essential for reaping the maximum benefits out of your arch supports and relieving foot pain. Orthotics that are too big for your shoes may lead to curling edges around the orthotic. This damages the orthotic and can cause discomfort in your feet. It's important to remember that arch supports are not considered a method for curing the condition that you have, but rather an effective way to manage it. You may not find the same positive results when the orthotics are removed from your shoes. Pricing Considerations Upstep's Arch Support Custom Orthotics are affordable. The price for one pair of arch supports starts from $209, with the price per pair decreasing as you buy more pairs. In comparison, the average price for custom orthotics ranges from $400-$800 in the traditional market—which results in a price difference of 60% or more. Upstep also offers regular seasonal discounts, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, allowing you to save even more on a pair of custom orthotics. Finally, Upstep boasts a 180-day money-back guarantee on orthotics bought on their website and will aid you in any alterations to the orthotics after you've received them—making their insoles risk-free. Payment is also not a problem. Upstep’s orthotics are eligible for FSA and HSA as well as interest-free payment installments through Klarna. Why You Should Choose Upstep's Custom Orthotics All of Upstep's orthotics are designed by professional podiatrists, ensuring their quality. Using Upstep’s casting method is convenient and easy. Create imprints of your feet in the comfort of your home with Upstep's impression kit that you'll receive within 4 business days of starting the process. Shipping and returns are free, placing no extra financial strain on you. Being both affordable and durable, Upstep’s orthotics will provide your feet with the support and comfort they need throughout the day to ensure maximum comfort and stability. These custom orthotics are specifically designed to fit your lifestyle optimally and provide an effective long-term solution to managing your foot condition.  Arch Support Custom Orthotics
7 Best Insoles for Hiking Boots—Get Arch Support for Long Walks
Arch7 Best Insoles for Hiking Boots—Get Arch Support for Long WalksWhile many people aren't bothered about the insoles in their shoes, athletes, runners, and hikers need all the extra support and comfort they can get. The average hiker wants a firm, supporting insole in their hiking boots to guarantee a pain-free experience during and after hiking. When you're faced with many choices, you may choose the wrong insole on a whim. To avoid such an uninformed guess, we have carefully selected seven insoles for you to consider. Let’s look at their benefits and differences. » How beneficial are arch supports? Arch supports are beneficial to your feet and ankles 1. Upstep Fitness Walking & Hiking Custom Orthotics For maximum support and comfort, Upstep fitness walking and hiking custom orthotics are molded to fit your feet. Each pair of insoles is designed by expert podiatrists using foot impression kits from the customer, high-quality materials, and cutting-edge technology. With Upstep insoles inside your hiking boots, you can hike on any surface without experiencing inadequate support and cushioning. What’s more? Upstep insoles come with a 120-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with the results. Getting Upstep insoles is a win-win situation any day. » Do you need insoles for other sporting activities? Discover the best arch support insoles for running and cycling shoes 2. Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort Insoles Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort insoles often have a deep heel cup and medium to high arch support to stabilize the foot on different terrain. Invariably, this reduces the stress on the feet, ankles, knees, and lower back. Superfeet insoles are cushioned well enough to make the foot comfortable. They also have heel impact technology for optimal energy transfer during difficult ascents and descents. Unfortunately, they sometimes squeak and shift around in the boots as they may not fit properly, causing hot spots and blisters. However, they are trimmable to achieve fitting. 3. SOLE Active Thick Insoles with Metatarsal Pad SOLE insoles have been clinically proven to be effective store-bought insoles, reducing the loading of the foot. Apart from a well-cushioned footbed, SOLE active thick insoles have a built-in metatarsal pad to increase the cushioning of the feet and forefoot comfort. SOLE insoles come in varying sizes and are suitable for most arch heights, ensuring one with a natural foot arch. They also fit well in hiking boots and are an affordable option. 4. Protalus M-100 Elite Insoles While not specific for hiking, the Protalus M-100 Elite insole provides maximum alignment and support for all kinds of activities. It has a firm insole that guarantees pain relief and comfort. Protalus insoles come in varying sizes so that you can get something as close to your foot size as possible. But they're not very durable as they flatten out within 4 to 6 months, compared to others that last as long as 12 months. 5. Tread Labs Pace Insoles Tread Lab Pace insoles are one of the easiest insoles to accommodate. They provide arch support and improve foot alignment, thus relieving pain and making hiking more comfortable. Tread Lab insoles come in four different arch heights: low, medium, high, and extra high arch height. They also come in different sizes, so you can find the best fit possible. However, this isn't as effective as custom orthotics that are made for your feet specifically. 6. URthotics Comfort+ Insoles Other than a higher cost, URthtotic insoles are very good for hiking boots. Particularly, hikers who have sensitive feet may find that URThotics comfort insoles will serve them well. These insoles give loads of support and cushion to ease pain and discomfort. They are custom-designed based on individual needs, foot shape, and activity level using 3D imaging. 7. FitMyFoot Full-Length Insoles (Tan) FitMyFoot full-length insoles are comfortable because they're custom-fit to give you the best arch support and flexibility possible when you perform your daily activities. This means they're firm enough to support you while hiking, but also flexible enough so your muscles can move appropriately in response to changing terrain. Barring its sub-par returns policy that only lasts 30 days and requires you to pay for your shipping when returning an item, FitMyFoot insoles are a good choice for hiking boots. Final Verdict Now that we’ve done all the hard work, you can weigh up your options and make an informed choice. While your decision is based on your specific needs, we recommend custom orthotics as the best choice. As the most accommodating and durable option, custom orthotics will provide the most support while hiking. » How do you know if you need arch support? These factors can indicate you need arch support
7 Best Cycling Shoe Insoles to Provide Arch Support
Arch7 Best Cycling Shoe Insoles to Provide Arch SupportCompared to general running insoles, cycling shoe insoles provide better arch support, metatarsal padding, and deep heel cups, thereby reducing the strain on the foot during cycling. With the wrong cycling insole, you'll underperform and may also develop musculoskeletal problems that can hinder your cycling in the future. Choosing the right cycling shoe insole can help you avoid this. That’s why we’ve combed through the market to help you identify the best cycling insoles for your foot. Here are our top seven and why they qualify. » How do you know if you need arch support? Find out which factors indicate you need arch support 1. Upstep Cycling Custom Orthotics Upstep Cycling custom orthotics are perfectly molded to individual foot shapes and provide optimal support and cushioning during cycling. Apart from being made with high-quality and durable materials, they're also quite affordable. Perhaps the biggest plus is that Upstep offers a 100% money-back guarantee on its product for 120 days with free shipping and returns. Additionally, Upstep insoles are eligible for HSA and FSA. » Will cycling orthotics help your performance? Explore the various benefits of cycling orthotics and arch supports 2. Tread Labs Lael Wilcox Cycling Insoles Tread Labs Lael Wilcox performance-enhancing insoles are made from 100% carbon fiber arch support which keeps them rigid and allows optimal energy return during motion. They're best for shoes with thin or no inserts. While Lael Wilcox insoles are one-size-fits-all insoles, they don't fit the foot shape firmly. Instead, they come in 4 different arch heights for different arch support requirements. Therefore, these insoles provide less effective support when cycling because you'll have to choose the best fit from the selection as opposed to custom orthotics that will fit your foot perfectly. 3. Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort Insoles The rear foot is central to the design of the Superfeet Trailblazer custom insole. The insoles improve the overall power transfer during movement, limit internal knee rotation, and reduce hip and lower back discomfort. Superfeet insoles come with a wider forefoot and a deep heel cup, making them suitable for wide cycling shoes. However, they're not designed with a specific arch height in mind, reducing their effectiveness in dealing with individual foot problems during cycling. 4. SOLE Performance Medium Insoles with Metatarsal Pad SOLE performance medium insoles with metatarsal pads improve forefoot comfort in medium-fitting shoes used by athletes. They are carbon-negative and are made from recyclable wine corks, which increase their shock absorption. Unlike the SOLE Active insoles, the performance insoles are wear-moldable, meaning the fastest way to get them into shape is by wearing them on your foot. Therefore, it will take time to mold to the perfect shape of your foot, whereas custom orthotics would be wear-ready for your specific foot shape. 5. Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles Protalus T-100 elite insoles come in different sizes and are ideal for low-volume shoes with removable inserts. While they're thinner than the M-series, they work well for people who need cushioning and alignment but don't have the space in their shoes for thick insoles like the M-series. However, because they come in specific sizes, fitting is not always 100%, even with trimming. This can affect performance and limit their effectiveness as cycling insoles. 6. URthotics Active/Sports Insoles URthotics Sports Insoles have a custom arch support that follows the contouring of your foot. Its top is made from EVA material, guaranteeing maximum comfort and durability. It also has a deep heel cup to maximize protection and pain relief. These insoles can be more expensive than others on the market, but are eligible for HSA and FSA plans. 7. FitMyFoot Full-Length Insoles (Red Hexagon) As the name implies, these insoles are made to fit the foot using the latest 3D technology. While they're great for athletic shoes by helping to improve body alignment, cushion the foot, and reduce pain, they're not specific to cycling. They also prevent foot and leg fatigue, allowing the continuation of activities without needing to add pace. FitMyFoot insoles (Red Hexagon) cost about $99 a piece and can be paid in installments using Shoppay. You're also eligible for a reimbursement if you're on the HSA and FSA plans. Final Verdict If you would like to improve your performance, reduce your injury risk, and change cycling from being just an activity you perform to an experience you relish, the best choice without a doubt is custom orthotics. Because custom orthotics are molded to your feet, you'll be able to get the best support from them. » Should you consider over-the-counter insoles? Compare custom orthotics vs otc insoles
How to Stretch the Arch of Your Foot
ArchHow to Stretch the Arch of Your FootThe arches of the foot make everyday movement possible. They help keep the foot flexible, making it possible to walk or sprint. Additionally, they allow the foot to support bodyweight properly. Sometimes, the arch can become painful due to flat feet, stress, overuse, injury, or using shoes with poor arch support. Regardless of the cause, stretching the arch helps keep the foot in optimal condition for movement. Benefits of Stretching the Arch of Your Foot Stretching can improve several conditions. It can be used to correct supination, strengthen arches, and relieve pain associated with metatarsalgia. Stretching the arch has several benefits, including: Increased blood flow Stretching can loosen any tight muscles and make muscle action relatively better. The increased blood flow can even help heal the arch.Improved flexibility While tightness can cause low flexibility, stretching the foot arch improves flexibility, making your gait easier and more efficient.Pain relief Stretching can have a soothing effect on pain in the arch and the ankle and leg muscles.Improved balance Stretching the arch of your foot can improve balance.Reduced risk of future injury Along with strengthening exercises, stretching reduces the risk of future injury. 1. Seated Foot Stretch Pain in the plantar fascia can be alleviated using a seated foot stretch. Here, the plantar fascia is relieved directly by stretching it. To perform the stretch, follow these steps: Sit on a chair with the affected heel over the opposite leg.Pull your toes towards your shin until you feel a moderate stretch. This will create tension in the heel.Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 2–3 times. 2. Plantar Fascia Stretch The plantar fascia stretch is useful for those who have arch pain due to plantar fasciitis. To perform one of these plantar fasciitis stretches, follow these steps: Stand against a wall.With one leg in front of the other, rest your toes against the wall. Keep your foot at a 45-degree angle.Push against the wall with the ball of your foot. Continue until you feel the tension in your arch and calf.Hold this position for about 30 seconds before relaxing. Switch to the other foot and repeat.Repeat the stretch 2–3 times daily. 3. Crouch Stretch The crouch stretch addresses any pain in the arch of the foot. Here's how to perform the exercise. Begin by crouching on the floor, yoga mat, or carpet. Ensure you’re supporting your body weight with the balls of your feet. Keep the backs of your heels pointing up throughout your stretch. Without lifting your feet, lean forward to place your hands and knees on the floor. Your buttocks should be just above your heels. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in your arch. Hold the position for 15–30 seconds.Repeat 2–4 times daily. 4. Stair Stretch Apart from stretching your arch, the stair stretch also stretches your calf muscles, increasing flexibility. You'll need a low step for this stretch. Here’s how to perform the exercise: While standing on the edge of the step, lower your heels so that they hang over the edge of the step. Find something to hold on to for support.Lower your heels until you feel a slight stretch in your arch and calf.Hold your position for 15–30 seconds before raising your heels back up.Repeat 2–4 times daily. 5. Loop Stretch The loop stretch is effective at relieving arch pain. Here's how to perform the stretch: Sit on the floor or a mat with your leg stretched out in front of you.Loop a towel around the ball of your foot, holding it at each end.Using the towel, pull your foot towards your body until you feel a stretch in your arch. Hold the position for 15–30 seconds before relaxing. Repeat 2–3 times per foot for maximum relief. 6. Towel Scrunch The towel scrunch is very helpful in improving the foot flexibility, stretching the foot, and maintaining foot range of motion. To perform the stretch, follow these steps: While seated on a chair, place your feet over a towel.Using your toes, scrunch the towel towards you, lifting your heels. You should feel a stretch in your arch.Return to starting position.Repeat up to 10 times or as much as your pain allows. 7. Marble Pick-up The marble pick-up works in the same way as the towel scrunch, helping to improve foot flexibility, maintain the range of motion of foot joints, and stretch the arch all at once. To perform the stretch, follow these steps: Begin in a sitting position with some marbles and a cup on the floor in front of your feet.One at a time, use your toes to lift the marbles from the floor and into the cup.Repeat at least 10 times on each foot.
Collapsed Arches vs. Flat Feet: How to Tell the Difference
ArchCollapsed Arches vs. Flat Feet: How to Tell the DifferenceMost people use the terms "collapsed arches" and "flat feet" interchangeably. While there are similarities between the two, there are also distinct differences. A collapsed arch is a case of flat feet that develops in adulthood as a result of the weakening of the ligament that supports the arch or as a result of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. On the other hand, flat feet begin in childhood and result in the improper formation of the foot arch. Let’s consider the specific symptoms of the two types and how to distinguish one from the other. Symptoms and Causes of Flat Feet A flat foot is an abnormality that is present from birth. Often, it poses no problems and requires no treatment. However, complications may develop over time, leading to discomfort in the foot. Possible symptoms of flat feet at this stage include your feet tiring easily, arch or heel pain, swollen feet, difficulty in moving the foot, and pain in the back and leg. Symptoms and Causes of Collapsed Arches A collapsed arch is sometimes referred to as an acquired flat foot because a flattened arch develops later in life. Some possible causes of collapsed arches include stretched or torn tendons, dysfunction of the posterior tibial tendon (either due to inflammation or damage), broken or dislocated bones, health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, or nerve problems. Obesity, diabetes, aging, and pregnancy can also be contributing factors. Symptoms of a collapsed arch include heel or arch pain like plantar fasciitis, problems standing on tiptoes, ankle swelling, a flat appearance of the feet, and uneven wearing of shoes. » Wanting to treat your heel pain? Purchase a pair of Upstep's Custom Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis. Signs of Collapsed Arches and Flat Feet A diagnosis of collapsed arches or flat feet is easy to make. Signs to expect include pain in the foot, swelling, stiffness, and general difficulty in moving the foot. Pain may be restricted to the foot and ankle or spread to the calf, knee, thigh, hip, or spine. By looking at how you stand or walk, your healthcare professional can easily observe if you have collapsed arches or flat feet. If the goal is to identify it yourself, wet your feet and see if the entire sole of your foot shows in your footprint on the floor or on paper after making contact with the ground. Also, you can observe the pattern of wear in your shoes. Any unusual wear pattern may be indicative of a collapsed arch. Apart from this, pushing your big toes back as far as possible would normally cause the foot arch to appear; however, it does not in the case of a collapsed arch or flat foot. Lastly, testing the strength of muscles and tendons, such as the Achilles tendon or the posterior tibial tendon, can help you determine what is functioning well and what isn’t. Treating Collapsed Arches and Flat Feet Most times, you don’t need treatment with collapsed arches or flat feet. However, if you have pain, stiffness, or experience other issues because of your feet, your healthcare provider will recommend a conservative treatment plan to manage the symptoms of flat feet and collapsed arches. This can include one or a combination of the following; Rest This is especially important when the cause of the collapsed arch is overuse. Getting off your feet will give them time to recover.Activity modification This could mean avoiding high impact sports like jumping and running.Weight loss If too much weight is being placed on the ankle and arches, it may force the arches to drop. Consequently, losing weight will reduce the weight being placed on the foot.Supportive footwear that fits well Shoes with a low heel and wide toe boxes are the best footwear for flat feet.Exercises for collapsed arches and flat feet Exercises that strengthen the right muscles in the arch of the foot, such as toe lifts and the towel scrunch, can help treat collapsed arches and flat feet.Physiotherapy This can be useful to correct compensatory gait patterns that tend to develop in instances of flat feet.Custom orthotics and arch support insoles These are useful when there is severe muscle weakness or nerve damage. Good custom orthotics and arch support insoles help cushion and support the feet, relieving pressure on the arch and preventing compensatory gait patterns. These are some of the many benefits of arch support. If the conservative treatment fails to ease the symptoms, surgery is might be recommended. Surgical methods include bone fusion, removal of bony spurs, tendon enhancement, and bone grafting. The doctor will need to take a careful look at your medical history to determine how it started and what treatment method should be used. » Take control of pain from flat feet today: Read our Flat Feet Orthotics review and get yourself a pair.

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