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3624 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2012 6:21 AM by Billsr
racing snail Rookie 2 posts since
Oct 23, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 23, 2012 7:59 AM

Custom shoe inserts question

Hello Everyone,


I just found this site after signing up for my first 5k. At 50 I feel like I need to do something to slow the belly fat creeping up on me.

My question has to do with custom shoe inserts. I went to the runner's store and got new shoes and was fitted for inserts, but the first time I tried them I ended up in agonizing pain from the soles of my feet up through my shins. I tried again a week later, same thing.

Don't know what to do. How do you know if the shoes are right when you shop for them? I am a walker hoping to become a runner and any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 26, 2012 2:18 PM (in response to racing snail)
    Re: Custom shoe inserts question

    Here's a good read for figuring out which shoe you need to buy...


    After you read this article you should have a good idea of the kind of shoe you're looking for.  I think I'd forego adding inserts until you run in a shoe designed for your foot type, you may not need them.


    Good luck!

    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

  • expatCanuck Rookie 7 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 24, 2012 12:15 AM (in response to racing snail)
    Re: Custom shoe inserts question

    Why are you using inserts? What specific issue(s) do you need to address?

    Because, all other things being equal, all things are never equal, and one man's

    (or woman's) cure is another's poison.


    My experience -- I have remarkably flat feet (and have had for ~30 years), and over

    the past few years, I've developed arthritis in my big toes, which walking exacerbates. 

    So much so that, a year ago, I was in so much pain that I started limping when I walked. 

    Saw my physician, who referred me to a podiatrist.  He prescribed Powerstep inserts,

    which provided some relief.  As did the (prescribed) Ibuprofen, which I used for a few weeks.


    On my own, I tried SOLE inserts, which also worked for me -- replaced the stock inserts

    in my Merrells (Moab & Ventilator) with blue SOLE inserts, and used red in my Saucony Ride 4s. 

    I now use the Powersteps for my dress shoes.  (I also tried Superfeet, which provided me

    with no relief at all.)


    Flash forward 4 months -- inspired by some colleagues (and wanting to lose 5-10 pounds),

    I started running (as well as strength training).  See this link:


    Arthritis started improving, which I attribute to both the inserts and the running. 

    After running for a few months while (working my way up to runs of 2 to 4 miles),

    I went to a local, well-stocked running store.  Picked up a relatively neutral shoe

    with less heel-to-toe drop and a more cushioning under the forefoot (Brooks Ghost 5).


    I find that I can run & walk in these shoes without inserts.


    So, again -- what issue(s) are you trying to address with inserts?  With the right shoe,

    you may not need them.  Consult your physician if you haven't -- don't just go by what

    store personnel advise, even if they're honest & well-meaning.


    - Richard

  • BradW44 Pro 119 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 26, 2012 2:06 PM (in response to racing snail)
    Custom shoe inserts question

    Congrats on starting a program that will bring you great benefits.  I am very curious what running store sold you inserts to go with your new shoes.  The bottom line is that everyone is different.  There are some that can run forever with god aweful running form and never get injured while others who appear to be poetry in motion get injured very easily.  it is very important to have your running gait evaluated at a reputable running store where they will reccomend a shoe for you.  Because you are just starting out, you need to try running with just the shoe and the insert that came with the shoe.  By adding the aftermarket insert, you are attempting to fix something that is not even broken yet.  Give the new shoes a shot and let us know how it goes and then we can assist you in the next step if you still have an issue.  Kappy running!


  • Haselsmasher Legend 538 posts since
    May 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 30, 2012 6:34 PM (in response to racing snail)
    Custom shoe inserts question

    I'll agree with the others on the points of 1) congrats for getting started and 2) start messing with shoe inserts when you know you have to. 


    The point I'd like to emphasize is push the limit on on trying lots of things before you get to that point of heading down the shoe insert road.  I think many people *and doctors* are too quick to suggest them.  Even if, as you go along, you get some foot or even knee pains I wouldn't assume inserts are the answer.  Lots of times those issues are rooted in problems in the hips, or running form, or a variety of other things.  So if you're getting aches and pain I personally would put shoe inserts fairly far down the list of things to try to get resolution. 


    Good luck!



    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • Billsr Pro 159 posts since
    May 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Nov 14, 2012 6:21 AM (in response to Haselsmasher)
    Custom shoe inserts question


    Good for you for wanting to get into running. I agree with the previous poster that inserts are not important at this stage. In fact for my first year of running I just used cheap shoes from KOHLS.  I think it is possible to get infornation overload as there is just so much out there. When getting started it comes down to a very basic formula. If I am going to run what is the best way to get myself to stay in a routine. The best advice I can give is start small.  As you get more into it you can fine tune things.


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