Making Customised Insoles or Footbeds isn’t rocket science but there are a series of processes and stages we follow to ensure you get the right insole for your particular problem.
Stage 1 – Consultation
The first thing we do is talk (and listen) to what you have to say, what problems you are having be it foot, knee or lower back pain. We will establish what footwear you wear, where you work, what you do for a job, what leisure activity you participate in as these can all have a bearing on foot and foot related problems. We will also look at wear patterns on your shoes to try and get clues as to what is happening when you walk.
Stage 2 – Analysis
The next thing we need to do is analyse the position of the bones in your feet as this will affect alignment. For this we use a piece of equipment called a Podascope. With your shoes and socks off and pants rolled up to your knees we can determine whether you are an Over Pronator, Over Supinator or have normal feet. We can also look at your lower leg alignment and weight distribution patterns under your feet.
Stage 3 – Re-Alignment
The next stage is to correct any alignment problems you may have such as collapsed medial arch, displaced Talus joint, or mis-aligned sub or mid Talar joint. To do this we will usually employ the Windlass method which involves lifting the big toe to induce tension in the Plantar Faschia underneath the foot. This helps to ease the medial arch into a more normal position and, usually places the Sub talar joint back into position. If we are still not happy we will rotate the ankle or manipulate the knee to achieve full alignment. NOTE: We only move on to the next stage when we are satisfied we can obtain a decent medial arch and rear foot alignment. In some instances where medial arch collapse is extremely severe it is impossible to obtain an acceptable foot position. In these cases we may suggest a pre-shaped insole such as the Sidas 3 feet range. Whilst an off the shelf insole will not perform as well, or be as comfortable as a custom option, it can provide comfort and relief from pain and help to re-align feet and lower limbs.
Stage 4 – Moulding
We then move on to the HD Vac to take a mould of your feet. This piece of equipment is simply two rubber bags filled with extremely fine Silicon sand and connected to a vacuum pump. We stand you on the bags, manoeuvre your foot into the correct position and then suck all the air out. This procedure provides us with a perfect footprint from which to make your insole. Whilst we are taking the mould a pair of pre-selected, flat insoles will be warming up on the Modulab, a micro-processor controlled vacuum heating unit. The warm insoles are then carefully positioned onto your foot moulds and you stand on them again, thereby easing the insoles into the shape of your feet.
Stage 5 – Stabilising
The insole is now almost finished but we need to strengthen the medial arch area and stabilise the rear foot. To do this we glue a heel stabiliser to the underneath of the insole which reaches from the back of the heel to just behind the metarsal heads. The stabiliser is ground down flat under the heel to introduce rear foot stability and we then grind under the medial arch. The amount taken out is determined by the weight of the customer and the type of footwear the insoles are intended for.
Stage 6 – Finishing
The insoles are now trimmed to fit into your personal footwear. We usually ask customers to bring in 2 or 3 pairs of shoes or boots and we trim to Best Fit to ensure they can be swapped around.
Stage 7 – Using
Most people can use the insoles straight away, all day and everyday without any reaction elsewhere. However, a small percentage of customers will experience twinges either in the medial arch, knees, hips, pelvis or lower back and should therefore break them in gently, wearing them a couple of hours a day until they are fully accustomed to them.