Millions of years of evolutionary struggle made humans biped, making them perfect for running long-miles without much mobility challenges. As a runner, you know the role shoes play in your performance. Just like you, most of the runners pay special attention to motion control, stability, cushion, and injury prevention. Depending on your foot type you can buy shoes with custom insoles to prevent injuries and enhance performance. Before buying you have to find your foot type and arch anatomy, whether high arch or low arch.
Foot arch supports your body weight and acts in coordination with other bones to produce spring-like function to help in running and walking. Whether your foot is a normal, flat, or high arch, the basic role of the arch is to absorb and compress in response to the ground. Studies suggest that compression and recoil of the arch in coordination with tendons and ligaments save 17% of the mechanical effort. Any deformity or injury in the arch will affect your running efficiency. The shape, height, and width of the arch differ from person to person, so you have to be very careful while buying running shoes. A custom-made shoe with arch support insoles gives your feet optimum cushion and support to make running enjoyable.
If you are an athlete, then it is better to consult a podiatrist for biomechanical examination and get the exact requirement for the custom arch support shoes. Custom-designed shoes with insoles have several advantages, but purchasing the wrong insoles could cause long-term damage. Here are some of the benefits of custom running insoles.
Shoes with custom insoles protect runners from the overuse injury as it offers optimum cushion-support and comfort. Arch support helps in posture correction and balance to people with flat feet. It offers proper stability and alignment to people with a high arch and those with normal arch get help as it absorbs shock and prevents muscular stress. If you are in the recovery stage, arch support insoles could help in pain management and speedy recovery.
The effort one puts in running measure the economy of running. In simple terms, the running economy is the measurement of energy consumed in covering a specific distance. If your running economy is good you will consume lesser energy and cover a long distance. Several factors like physiology, running style, and muscle power come into play but if all these factors are made constant then shoes with arch support help in boosting performance by reducing torsional forces. Since it helps in pattern-balancing it cuts the stress load leading to a boost in performance.
Comfort plays a very important role in making your running enjoyable, but the effectiveness of arch support insoles in running is a little controversial. Experts are of the opinion that it isn’t universal as anatomy varies from person to person. One should consult a podiatrist so that exact custom arch support could be designed for better running experience.
Your body posture and running style are very important when it comes to performance. Your custom arch support insoles can help you get the right posture and proper body alignment giving you more flexibility and strength. Your body balance helps in maintaining the stride and develop a right strike pattern for running.
Most of the long-distance runners suffer from lower extremity injuries. Custom insoles can help in relieving the pain from Plantar fasciitis, as the affected area gets cushion-comfort.
The inward and outward rolling of the ankle can cause a sprain, which has the tendency of recurrence. Arch support helps in reducing the load on Achilles tendon resulting in the prevention of the ankle sprain. People with flat feet suffer from shin splints and arch support is very helpful in controlling foot pronation. Since custom insoles help in shock absorption it reduces the pressure on shins.
So, do you need custom arch support? Frankly, every runner needs a good quality shoe with insoles, but only when your anatomy demands. Your high arch or flat foot isn’t a problem in need of fixing; all you need is little support while running so that injuries could be prevented. If you are suffering from a chronic arch or heel pain, the arch support could help you recover faster. If you want to improve your running economy you have to look beyond the wet test and focus on custom insoles. Ultimately, it is not your shoe but you who wins the race, so focus on your strengths and boost physiological parameters.