As a runner, you may wonder from time to time whether you should be wearing orthotics in your shoes. Maybe you have friends who have worn them and recommend them, and perhaps you have read about some in a runner's magazine. Many runners do benefit from orthotics, but not every runner actually needs them. Here are some key signs that you could benefit from orthotics as a runner.
Your shoes are worn unevenly.
Take a pair of your running shoes, and turn them over. Do that have more wear on one side than the other? This means you are landing unevenly on your feet. Ideally, you would buy running shoes that are padded differently to correct for this gait imbalance. However, if you want to keep wearing the shoes you have for the time being, a pair of orthotics could correct the fit well enough.
You frequently get shin splints.
If you've ever had shin splints, you know! They can be really painful, even though they are not considered to be a very serious running injury. Shin splints largely arise due to the concussion and trauma that running puts on your legs. Adding some orthotics to your shoes can absorb some of this shock, which will help your shin splints fade away and heal. This is especially helpful if you run mostly on hard surfaces, such as concrete and asphalt.
You've getting blisters.
If your shoes seem to fit, but you are still getting blisters on longer runs, then adding some orthotics to your shoe can help. They'll take up a little room in the shoe so that your foot does not move around as much, which should cut down on blisters. Even with orthotics, though, you should make sure you're wearing socks that wick moisture away from your skin to prevent blisters.
You've had a lot of injuries in general.
Do you feel like you've been cycling through a range of injuries over the past few months? Maybe it started with a case of runner's knee, and a month later, you had Achilles tendinitis. Or perhaps you suffered from plantar fasciitis or IT band syndrome. This many injuries usually mean you're not striding properly or that your shoes are not adequately cushioning your feet, and orthotics can help with both problems.
If you think you may need orthotics, head to a local podiatrist or orthotic professional, like Bio Tech Prosthetics and Orthotics. They can assess your needs and prescribe a pair of orthotics that are right for you.