Main reasons Sole Supports™ are different:
- Conform perfectly to your arch for support
- Custom calibrated for your weight and activity levels (a Sole Supports exclusive!)
- Engineered to actually control foot function, not just cushion it
- Captures the foot in the ideal position for weight bearing activities
- Top quality materials
One Physical Therapy is a certified Sole Support Practice. With all the different products advertised for relief of foot pain and deformities, picking the right one for your needs can be confusing and difficult. Additionally, the vast majority of products currently sold as foot pain solutions have poor outcomes, especially in regards to eliminating the foot pain long-term.
The Main Problem: Over-Pronation (Flat Feet)
If you are like the majority of people with some degree of arch loss, either from birth or over time, there are some critical facts you need to know before you can make an informed decision. All of the common foot problems, such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, calluses, corns, etc. are usually caused by the lack of enough arch in the foot when we are standing, walking and running. There are a number of reasons why most of us have some degree of flat feet, but mostly it comes down to body weight and gravity. These two forces are constantly flattening the foot down against the hard surfaces we live on. The ligaments that support the bones of the foot get stretched out and our arches drop.
Before Sole Supports
Typical custom orthotics are based on an unproven assumptions about foot biomechanics that seems to defy the laws of physics. These are blindly followed simply because they are “industry standard”, not because they have been proven effective. In fact, the majority of medical studies done on the effectiveness of standard custom orthotics compared with off-the-shelf cushions or other treatments have demonstrated that they are either no better or worse! Standard custom orthotics use wedges under the heel and forefoot to try to correct foot function. Usually the arch-supports in these orthotics are minimal. Because they avoid full and dynamic arch support, they cannot be effective in preventing arch collapse. If you have flat feet, try standing on a small wedge and see if it holds your arch up!
The real question, then, is what is the best way to support the arches, correct the way our feet work, and fight body weight and gravity? That is how we can appreciate the difference between Sole Supports™ and typical custom orthotics. Sole Supports were designed like an engineer would design the best way to build a bridge, looking at real-life forces involved and how to best manage them.
When Dr. Edward Glaser designed Sole Supports, he discovered three critical things that an orthotic has to have in order to be effective. First, orthotics must capture the properly corrected position of the foot: as high an arch as the foot can make with heel and forefoot flat on the ground. Second, the orthotic must make full contact with the entire foot in this position, especially with the corrected arch position, in order to have the mechanical power and efficiency to control the foot. Third, the orthotic must be rigid enough to maintain this corrected position against the person’s weight and gravity and yet flexible enough to “give” the right amount with impact. To accomplish these three main goals, he developed a completely new casting technique to get the right custom foot mold, found new materials that could offer the right blend of rigidity and flexibility for every individual foot, then invented a machine that could custom calibrate the right support. He now spends most of his time training healthcare practitioners the how and why of Sole Supports.
Other Problems: Over-Supination (High-Arched, Rigid Feet)
A small percentage of people have the opposite problem: their arches are too high and rigid due to congenitally tight bone structure. Their feet are very poor shock absorbers and all the force of body weight and gravity gets concentrated on a few points at the bottom of their feet. Dr. Glaser discovered that his full contact orthotic design was also quite effective for this foot type because it re-distributes foot pressure evenly across the entire sole of the foot. For the first time, people with this more unusual foot problem now have a custom orthotic solution.