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Orthotics for foot pain??(7 posts)

Orthotics for foot pain??WCC
Jul 1, 2002 7:03 PM
Years ago I had surgery on a foot. Due to scar tissue I have always had some pain when running, or spending alot of time on my feet. Just recently I developed pain while riding. I have heard of people getting inserts made for cycling shoes. Any suggestions where I can get this done?
Try your podiatrist (nm)namir
Jul 1, 2002 7:09 PM
re: Orthotics for foot pain??jtolleson
Jul 1, 2002 7:16 PM
I've had major foot surgeries, and really appreciate orthotics for walking/hiking footwear. But I don't use them for cycling. They are pricey and bulky.

I do well with a very stiff (carbon soled) shoe (can't tolerate ANY shoe flex) and a Superfeet insole.
not all orthotics are bulkyET
Jul 1, 2002 8:00 PM
I too had foot surgery, bilaterally, as a matter of fact. I could just kill that first surgeon for messing up my right foot. But I'm getting on a tangent.

Just about the greatest custom orthotics in the world are made by Northwest Podiatric Labs, located in I believe Seattle. They have a website ( which, with a little effort and careful clicking (you have to click both on your state and the other box--you'll know what I mean when you get there), will bring up a list of podiatrists in your area that can get them made for you (they take a plaster mold of your feet and send it away to the lab; takes around 3 weeks--it may be important to pick the podiatrist carefully, as how the mold is taken, and decisions as to material, posting, metatarsal pads, and length are important). Unlike most, they're made of high-quality graphite (far superior to OCLV :-)); there's a few different composites based on your needs (mine are called Superglass). They all are superstrong, superthin, and superlightweight, unlike the junky orthotics some may have tried and discarded. After a short break-in period, they are very comfortable too. They supposedly will outlast you (although years later it is possible your arch shape may change, necessitating a new pair). They fit in just about all my shoes, and I wear them in my bike shoes too. They can be made of 3/4 length (as mine are) rather than full if more toe room is needed or if they will be worn in shoes without a removable insert. These things work; I was nearly crippled before I started using them. A big-name orthopedist sent me to a podiatrist of his choice to get the best orthotics around in a last-ditch effort to avoid the type of surgery you'd rather not contemplate, and three months later, well, it's sure nice to walk again. Not sure if I'll ever run again, but still have some faint hope.

Not everyone needs custom orthotics in their bike shoes (and sometimes things like Superfeet work for some) but if you think you do, these are second to none. Oh yes, they are expensive (but not bulky!), close to $400. Fortunately, my BCBS insurance covered all but $89. Trust me; these things are the best.
Some Suggestionsjromack
Jul 1, 2002 7:43 PM
First, try an "off-the-shelf solution, both of these designed for cycling, I like the Peterson's better, I have used both.,259,435&TextMode=0

If this doesn't work, you may need to get orthotics, make sure they have done cycling shoes. These guys have. One of his patients was some dude named Lance Armstrong.
re: Orthotics for foot pain??tarwheel
Jul 2, 2002 4:30 AM
I have worn orthotics in all of my walking shoes for about 10 years. Before getting the orthotics, my feet were going numb and would occasionally "lock up," making it painful and difficult to walk. The orthotics solved the problem. They aren't cheap, and you'll probably spend $400 for the doctor's visits and one pair of orthotics. Sometimes they will make you a second pair for much less, say $150. Some insurance plans will cover orthotics and others won't. It's very useful to have at least 2 pairs so you can keep one set in your work shoes and the other in your regular casual or athletic shoes. I do not use my orthotics in my cycling shoes, however, because they take up too much space and raise my feet too much. Instead, I bought some Superfeet inserts (about $28 at REI) to use in my cycling shoes and they have worked fine.
Orthotics work in my bike shoesMr Good
Jul 2, 2002 9:57 PM
I wear custom orthotics in my regular shoes and my bike shoes. My problem is different from yours: I overpronate. I have totally flat feet, no arch at all, so my ankles turn in. Without the orthos I'm in pain walking or riding, with the orthotics I am pain free, can hike all day, race bicycles, no problem.

The orthotics do take up more room in the heel than I'd like, but it hasn't created a problem. With some brands of cycling shoes my heel would lift out of the back of the shoe a bit. I tried different brands and found Sidi to work well--shop around. I had to go up a half size.