Orthotics Online

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You can get orthotics that are designed for your feet without going for an expensive biomechanical assessment.

You just fill out this questionnaire and then you get sent a box that you take a cast of your feet with.

Then you get sent your orthotics.

And it only costs around £35!

It definitely worked for me and improved my running a great deal. I can definitely recommend it.


  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    £35? I looked on that website a couple of weeks ago and didn't see that. Wherabouts on the site?

    (or is it really obvious and I am just blind?)

    By the way, youre not connected with them in any way, samuel, are you?
  • Had a look at the site - the podiatrist chap behind it all is called Graham Read, so Samuel might just be related...

    But...35 quid does seem a reasonable price for the service especially when you hear horror stories of runners being fleeced for hundreds. And even if the orthotics don't make a great difference, you can chuck em without toooo much financial pain.

    (By the way, I'm not related!)

    Personally I'm lucky enough to find that sorborthane doublestrike insoles are enough for me.
  • Depends what's causing the problem as to wheter or not this could work.

    You pays your money....and get fleeced usually. The number of 'it's only £35' I wasted trying to find a cure for my shins via physios / osteopaths / RW Doctor (£75)/ podiatrist etc - and who ever asks for their money back from them ? (well ok - I did actually - got a £25 refund from the RW dr for useless Spenco orthotics which didn't address the leg length discrepancy he missed)

    Yet £165 all in for as many consultations as it took - as many pre and post orthotic video gait analaysis as needed and endless after care, advice and support made getting proper preofessional expertise - when I eventually found it - invaluable

    Quite how this online service could diagnose leg length discrepancies / a twisted pelvis, spine and neck - which my podiatrist clearly saw when he saw me (and also MiniSS) walking, beats me.
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    weird-the site has changed since I looked at it last.

    but t+tm, the orthotic maker is called Bob and Toast man - are you sure you aren't related to him?
  • I'm with SS here - I think
    if your gonna go down that route you might as well try diagnose yourself and then shove some felt or foam down your shoes in the roughly right area ??
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    ive emailed them for a questionnaire- interesting to see what is going on here

    Bearing in mind I am very aware of my pattern of overpronation, as it is my line of work to know these things, I am going to see what they are like, ill let you know if I go ahead or not, once theyy ask me to part with money.

    Bit cheeky of Samuel not to ackowledge a connection, if there is one, though.

    Alan - if I tell you where I want the foam, and in what height/angle, would you make me a set for a fiver?!
  • I'm with SS too. A proper pod needs to see you run, for fairly obvious reasons. And then s/he needs to know about the biomechanics of running. And then s/he needs to be able to analyse all the info to come up with the right orthotics and recommend other treatment, if needed.
  • Fair points everyone, but the site doesn't promise a "magical cure". But £35 is a good price for professional advice without the £75 wasted for private consultation.

    I couldn't afford to go for a full consultation and splash out £100 to £200 to have full insoles made but it beats making your own and " shoving some felt or foam down your shoes in the roughly right area" and making the problem worse! As I have at times.

    As I said it worked for me.

    And no I'm not related, sorry to dissapoint everybody. Jolly good name that chap's got though!
  • Very interesting...
    As a runner and podiatrist who specialises in podiatric biomechanics, I find it worrying that my profession has not helped with so many.
    Firstly , orthoses should be prescribed by a specialist, I would never recomend self diagnosis, for example adding a heel lift for a supposed leg length difference could seriously damage your running!
    It is worth noting that there are alot of podiatrists who claim to specialise in biomechanics... frankly I would go with a personal recomendation and always ensure that they are at the very least state registered (SRCH).
    Ideally they should have gained or are studying for post graduate accreditation in podiatric biomechanics eg Diploma clinical podiatric biomechanics or Msc etc.
    it is also worth noting if they have an interest in sports biomechanics, although not necessarily just running.
    If yours doesn't find one that does.
    On a personal note, orthoses do work,if they dont do as the pod hoped I would suggest you go back and ask why?
  • It depends on how serious a runner you are. I'm not a hard-core runner I just do it to keep fit so the OO system worked for me.

    But, having spoken to friends who have had professional biomechanical assesments if you're a serious die-hard runner then I agree with Graeme above.
  • Samuel - I'm glad it worked for you, but I feel very strongly that this is potentially (a) a waste of money and (b) setting one's self up for injury later down the line. If someone is having a problem with their running I think it's essential that they get a proper face to face assessment, from a highly-qulified professional. Running involves so many muscles, tendons, ligaments etc and any misalignment or imbalance just can't be diagnosed without being - literally - seen.
    And I think this applies all runners, whatever their ability.
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    hey lets not attack samuel too much on this- my perspective on this is that I am well-informed about how my running style is, and I like the idea of getting a cheap pair of orthotics to fit my feet, then I can wear neutral (i.e. cheaper) trainers, rather than wearing overpronation trainers that usually feel heavier (not that I have a pair of beautiful adidas neutral trainers sitting at home just waiting for orthotics, or anything...!). The difference in wearing orthotics or wearing overpronation trainers would be relatively slight. If you trust your own knowledge of your running gait, and the orthotics makers seem to know what they are doing (no judgement on that as of yet, no experience of them), then this isn't a bad service.


    I totally agree that this is not a way to sort out any gait-related problems that are causing injury. If you are having problems that you need to seek professional help for, then this 'fitting service' would probably not be a good route to follow, for the reasons mentioned above by a number of people. This is when you need to have yourself checked out properly (i.e. someone looking at you)
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    my picture came up!!!

    (sorry, off topic, -but Im excited!)
  • Hi annajo - I'm not attacking Samuel at all, just cautioning against using the service he's very enthusiastic about. I've spent way too much money on duff advice and duff orthotics and don't want anyone else to do the same.

  • This sort of thing is now rife on the net.

    As a Podiatrist, I cant get custom made moulded foot orthoses for this price and having run a custom foot orthotic laboratory hand made orthotics cannot be made this cheaply. Im not saying what your getting is not moulded to your foot impression but I know of at least one such company where the foam box impression is thrown in the bin and a pre-formed othotic shell of the appropriate shoe size is picked up off the shelf, covered with pvc and sent out. They dont add any wedging, posting or any modification whatsoever but they tell you they do. I cannot name the company because although this is widely known amongst Podiatrist they are so litigious that they have attempted to sue individuals that repeat this info on forums such as these.

    Quite frankly it is imposssible for this company to produce orthotics have been designed to control foot motion otherwise they would get it wrong more times as they get it right. A lawsuit would be winging there way very quickly. (My opinion only, Mr Lawyer)

    Applying wedging or padding to your shoe sockliners would probably be much better, if you could be sufficiently objective about yourself - I prescribed othotics for myself and got it wrong despite doing it successfully for others day in, day out!! Got a colleague to sort me out.

    I personally offer free inital consultations and a open-ended adjustment service with money back guarantee if you cant wear them or get zero relief (provided you give me them back!) I get very little abuse of this, yes I prescribe less orthotics but I sleep easier.


  • Lawrence - now that is REALLY worrying.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Graeme, Lawrence,

    I hear what you say about qualified podiatrists. Unfortunately, there are sharks in your profession. I had a full treadmill running gait analysis, tailor-made orthotics, the whole shebang, with a guy near Harley Street.

    The problem I went to see him about remained unsolved. In the meantime, he found a whole range of other problems that led to X-rays, special manipulations, you name it. I eventually quit and went elsewhere, but not before I'd left hundreds of pounds with him over a period of a few months.

    He had more letters than the alphabet after his name, and a consulting room in which you could barely see the walls for certificates. I found him through an ad in RW.

    I really can't see how I was to know he was a charlatan. He had all the patter and embodied the old saying that if you can't dazzle 'em with diamonds then baffle 'em with bullsh*t. The last I heard was that he'd been struck off.

    It's stuff like this that drives people towards the kind of solution that Samuel has highlighted.

  • Muttley - you poor thing. Are you sorted now??
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    I am! Well, more or less. It was a dicky knee (damaged in a childhood incident) that will probably need internal examination at some point. In the meantime, a basic support strap bought in Boots for £7 is doing a nice job of holding it in place. Wish I'd tried that before leaving my wedge with the poddie.
  • A personal view here from an orthotic wearer.
    I had shin splint problems a year ago, and couldn't seem to go above 20 miles a week without pain. I paid £200 for the full assessment incl treadmill tests, the orthotics themselves and whatever follow up assessments I needed (3 as it happened). They've fixed the problem completely and I've since done the london marathon, with 40miles a week plus training and no recent problems.

    What struck me though, was how long it took me to get used to the orthotics - over 6 months. I had to ease myself in very gently, but even so kept injuring my calf muscles as they had been shortened by years of running with a flat footed rolling gait (so I'm told). It was very noticable from all the tight muscles how the stress on my legs had been shifted to the outside of my legs.

    My experience has taught me to be very wary of putting anything in my trainers which could alter gait, without the supervision of a specialist. I never realised how much effect these little bits of plastic can have on your just about every one of my leg muscles.
  • Muttley
    I totally feel for you, sounds like you had a very bad experience, i can only sympathise with you. i am saddened because that reflects badly upon my profession as whole.
    There is a growing concern among podiatric biomechanics specialists that there should be a recognised qualification to differentiate a biomechanics specialist (with experience and approved qualifications) from a podiatrist,i wont bore you but there is a huge difference.
    Unfortunately, the current status is that anyone can call themselves a'biomechanics' specialist and set up in harley street.

    On a lighter note , winsurfin susie's comments are very appropriate, a little bit of plastic can make a difference,that should be a bio positive difference, but incorrectly can be bio negative, and this is why a foot orthoses should be prescribed by a podiatrist.
    However, just as appropriate is recognising why the anatomical structure is 'injured'. thus you should expect a diagnosis ie what structure and how (weakness or a short muscle/tendon unit e.g.). Thus exercises and stretches are,in my humble opinion, are more important for the long term, and orthoses in alot of cases a short term rehabiliatation therapeutic, to aid healing, prevent further tissue stress and improve dynamic muscle balance.
    if your still awake after all that, thank you and goodnight!

  • I think that extra qualification would be a grand idea, Graeme. The first pod I went to was a nice man but I don't think he knew much about running biomechanics. The second one I found was excellent, and said I should also see a physio, which was brilliant advice. In my case, you're spot on about the stretches and exercises.
  • Hi everyone...
    I am both relieved and sympathetic to read your comments !
    Relieved because I realise that its not just me being awkward and picky about my orthotics....its a common problem !
    and Sympathetic because I've had orthotics for about a year and they still are not right (in my opinion)I started with arch blisters and knee pain. I saw a podiatrist who is a great bloke and seems to know whats what. He prescribed orthotics and after I had had casts made of my plates of meat he made and supplied them. The blisters remained, infact they got worse due to the extra support on the arch ! anyway after nearly a year and several "tweeks" of the orthotics he seems to have gotten rid of the arch blister problem...but...I now have blisters on my toes (one turned black, fell off and has'nt been seen since!) also on my big toe at the top and the outside, and under (to the side) of ALL the others on my foot ! oh and the knee pain is back now with longer runs.
    I am simply at the end of my tether. Is it me ? I am sure that in "tweeking" them he has somehow compromised their efficiency with ref: to the knee pain ? Also when i called into my local running shop for shoe advice (thinking that they may be unsuitable) they said that my orthotics were ...welll...not very good since they are only 2/3-3/4 length. They said that because of that my foot was moving forwards and causing the toe probs ! I dont know but has anyone else any view on this ? has anyone had orthotics that were not full length and had problems that were cured by making them full length ? Any advice would be welcome.

  • Mac you poor poor thing. What a shitty time you've had. I hope Graeme will be back with an answer, but for what it's worth, my orthotics, which fit fine, are 3/4 length. My ongoing knee problems, which the orthotics only partially helped, are actually caused by muscle imbalance and mistracking patella, so it's back to the stretches etc for me. Have you seen a good running physio too?
  • Thanks for the sympathy Meercat ! I don't know if the 3/4 length thing is the cause of my toe problems but I have an appointment with my podiatrist in about 3 weeks (earliest I could get in due to work commitments) so hopefully that may shed some light on it. Knowing my luck he'll mess with the orthotics and lengthen them and my arch blisters will come back ! DOH!!!
    Guesse what !!! my wife tells me that I have "inspired" her since I did the FLM and has taken up running. I have taken her out on several occaisions for between 30-60 mins doing 5 mins jogging and then 1-2 mins walking just to get her into it softly. Guesse what !!! she has a bad knee now !!! I can't believe it...no blisters so far but then again she is'nt doing the mileage yet.
    She has bought some supportive running shoes and maybee its just that shes not used to running and the knee problem is not a permanant thing. She did damage the ligaments in that knee (on the inside of her right knee, right on the joint) many years ago (about 15 years ago)so I wonder if thats the cause i.e scar tissue etc....
    She's coming with me to see the pod so I hope we can get her sorted, I'd hate for her to be put off running as I know that like me she'll get a lot out of it despite all the "niggly" crap that we all put up with !
  • Hi Mac - poor Mrs Mac! Have you thought about her visiting a physio rather than the pod? I mention this because my physio, who is wonderful, told me that what I should really have done is to have had a physio check up before I started running. Then the muscle imbalance etc could have been sorted right at the start. I'm in my 40s and hadn't really exercised for years. But maybe Mrs Mac is well fit! Just a thought.
  • Hi everyone...
    I have just started to wear orthotics (just getting used to them at the moment, I haven't tried running yet..) as I am overpronating and I have also got a slight leg length difference...
    I need to buy another pair of running shoes and I don't really know what to go for... Is it true that with the orthotics you can wear neutral shoes or should I go for stability or motion control shoes?
    Some stability shoes (like Asics 2080) are suited for overpronator.
    Would motion control shoes be too much with the orthotics?
  • I think it depends on what your pod recommends, Nick. My pod told me to carry on wearing my Mizuno Mavericks. He reckons I need all the help I can get. But I know other pods recommend wearing neutrals. So much for running being simple, eh?
    <<meerkat shakes her head in a confused manner>>
  • Hi Guys, Hope you all had a good BH ?
    First of all, Meercat....Mrs Mac seems to have got over her knee problem ! A few days rest did the trick. Whats more on her 1st run after the rest she ran for 32 mins without stopping at a respectable pace for a newcomer & without any knee twinges ! (Shes's very slim and I think quite fit to start with).
    Secondly...Nick30...Whether or not you get away with Neutral shoes with orthotics depends on your needs. I am like Meercat, I used support shoes (Kayano, Air structure Triax etc..) even after getting my orthotics. I tried neutral shoes (Asics "Nimbus 4) (because all the experts in the shops said that the whole point of wearing orthotics is that they effectivly make you a Neutral runner.
    WRONG...WRONG...WRONG....Well at least in my case. I never felt right in them and ended up with an Achilles injury which cleared up as soon as I went back to Kayanos. Everyone has different needs and I needed (as Meercat said) "All the help I could get !) I am not saying that you would have the same problem but I would deffinatly check it out and get proffessional advice 1st, afterall decent running shoes aint cheap are they? (Do you know anyone who wears Neutral shoes in your size? I know its not ideal but if you could borrow them for a couple of easy runs at least you would have an indication....just a thought.
    At the end of the day (apart from getting dark!)running is all about felling good so you should wear what feels right.

  • I'd agree with most of the comments above in advising caution with the self diagnosis orthotics. On the face of it, £35 is not much, in fact you can pay nearly that much for off the shelf orthosis from BOOTS. However, I would only recomend them for walking.

    I've been wearing orthosis which I was prescribed following several treadmill sessions, linked to follow up physio sessions. Apart from the shin splints they picked up a leg lenth imballance and the fact that my right foot was pointing inwards. 18 months on, I am cuurently free of the shin pain, although I think this is linked to the shoes that I am currently using.

    When I had my assessement I was running in Mizuno Wave Convictions which were a Stability shoe. The Pody said he would normally have suggested a neutral shoe but the Mizunos seemed to be fine. When I needed to repalce them I went to a shoe shop with a treadmill and tried The Mizuno Mavericks and at the salesmans recomendation I also tried the Wave Legends, both with my orthosis. The result on the video playback was that with the Mavericks my heal still rolled inwards quite a lot but with the Legends the movement was much reduced. They are relatively light for a motion control shoe and very flexible. I'm now on my second pair. This may not work for everyone but it's worth keeping an open mind when buying shoes.
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