Thursday, October 20, 2011

Help for Flat Feet

Back in July I posted about the pair of Brooks Ravenna that I bought and exchanged after deciding they were a half size too small. That was right about the time I started physical therapy. My physical therapist offered to take a look at my running shoes, I took him up on his offer. After bending them back and forth and twisting them side to side, he basically told me they suck. Not Brooks in general, but the Ravenna is just not a supportive enough shoe for my extreme flat feet. He recommended I get a shoe specifically with motion control. I knew I wanted to do some research, so in the meantime he recommended I check out some over the counter insoles. At Walgreen’s, I tried out the Dr. Scholl's Custom Fit Orthotic Center which somewhat resembles a Star Trek transporter. After a series of super complex pressure calculations, like leaning forward, and backward, it recommended the highest level of support, the 440.
They’re not cheap, $49. But I was desperate for something to support my arches and help reduce the tendon inflammation faster. I plugged them into my Brooks Ravenna and felt a good difference in the pull and strain on my tendon. I figured using insoles was a cheaper and less frustrating option than trying out pair after pair of running shoes. They're 3/4 length, which is ok, I guess. I ended up taking out the insoles that came with the shoe for a more comfy fit. While I continued to research shoes, I used the Dr. Scholl's insoles in my Ravennas for the next couple of weeks of physical therapy. Since I have been happy with the quality of Brooks, I searched their website for motion control shoes. I came up with the Beast/Ariel for men and women. I read through all the reviews on the site. Apparently, this is one of the best motion control running shoes for ”big” runners with flat feet. When I got them, I did the same bending and twisting test my PT did. They're stiff. I can’t say much else about them, since I have yet to do any actual running in them. I’ve replaced the insoles with the Dr. Scholl’s and I’m now using them for walking. I don’t know when I’ll attempt to run again. I coached a running newbie last weekend. We did three mile run walk. I was again sore a few days afterwards. So for now, I think I'll continue to take it easy by doing my strength training and stretching exercises. I think using insoles will be a must for me going forward. The Dr. Scholl's may be a good solution for those with floppy feet like mine looking for some relief.

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