Orthotics information, Price and where in the North West


   I am an over pronator and have been told that some custom Orthotics are probably what I should be looking at investing in.
I've been off running for the last 6 weeks due to an IT Band injury which still isn't better and I want to make sure when I do start running again I do all I can to stop any other injuries.

Can anyone give me advice on Orthotics please. How much are they? One website I looked at suggested first consultation would be about £180 and then to get the Orthorics made it would be a further £130 so that is over £300 in total.

Is this an accurate figure or not?

How long should they last as I don't think £300+ every year or so is going to be nice to spend, or will they last 10+ years?

Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for places to get Orthotics done in the North West as I live in Cheshire.



  • IMO you do not need orhotics if you are an over pronator, you need shoes that suit your running style

    You may need orthotics if there is another issue that is in need of correcting,  I would do some research before shelling out a lot of money

    Find out the cause of your injuries, biomechanics or over use ..  see a physio, do the usual RICE, dont increase distance/time to rapidly and hold fire on the orthotics
  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Does sound expensive.

    Mrs Puffy & I have both seen the same podiatrist in Deeside after seeing the physio in the same practice.  She has orthotics and I don't. He's been there for years and isn't interested in ripping people off.  I paid £30 but that was a few years ago.They were£80-ish, and she still uses them.

    If you google physio/podiatrist in Deeside Leisure Centre you'll find them or I can PM you the details if you want.

  • I also agree you should not need orhotics for being an over pronator. My physio also told me she would never prescribe orthotics to an over pronater and those that want to are most likley try to make money out of you.

    I have been seeing my physio with IT band issues since feb. Main cause of IT band issues are weak glutes and tight quads. Lots of stretching, foam roller and exercise to firm up your buttocks is the way to go. 

    You are better off spending ~£100 for a one off gait analysis that look at your foot strike AND your running form from the hips downwards. 

  • My experience is somewhat different. I overpronate quite badly and was reommended by a physio to see a podiatrist due to the pain in both knees I had been experiencing for about 2 years. It was painful the day or two after a run even walking up / down stairs and getting to the stage where I was thinking that I would have to stop running shortly.

    I was assured I would nor be prescribed them if they did not think they would do any good.

    It was suggested that I try them by the podiatrist so I did.

    That was 18 years years ago and I am still running more or less pain free now except when they need replacing, so I get a new pair - last me 12 - 18 months depending upon use.

    What was explained to me then was that shoes have things built in for pronation but the manufactures wil not publish the degree of adjustment in the shoes. Therefore you do not know if there is enough or too much adjustment for your individual needs. Getting properly assessed and prescribed orthodics means that you get what is right for you.

    Sounds expensive what you have been told. I think a consutation for my podiatrist is around about £40.00 - £50.00 for the first consultation and orthodics are approx £70.00 IIRC.


  • I recently paid £40 for an initial consultation with a podiatrist and was quoted £325-£425 for the orthotics.

    Took some helpful advice from the consultation but didn't bother buying their orthotic: ridiculous price.

    Bought some off-the-shelf orthotics for £15 instead and symptoms seem to be easing.

  • Depends who told you that you need orthotics - shoe shop?  Doesn't sound as if it was someone who is really qualified to advise.  If it was a physio, then I'd have thought that they'd have recommended you to a pod for an initial assessment.

    As M.eldy says, not everyone who pronates needs orthotics.  I do and I've been wearing them for years, but then I've ruptured tendons in my feet due to my overpronation - it happened through chronic wear and tear.  When it happened, I was referred to a specialist and I now have to wear them permanently. 

    If Mr Puffy can recommend someone, then that's a good place to start.  My pod (I'm down south, so no good to you I'm afraid) charges around £50 for initial consultation, then the cost of orthotics depends.  Mine cost £200, are made of carbon fibre and last for years.  My first pair were made for me in 2004 (when I ruptured my tendon), I found a new pod when I moved area and started running.  I had some new ones made and she refurbished my old ones as the said that they were still very good and I'm still using them.  She reckoned that I'd get 5 - 10 years out of them and I just go and see her once a year to make sure they're still OK.

    If you genuinely need them, then it's worth paying for them, but if you don't, then get some decent shoes, but take the word of a properly qualified pod.  If you've got ITB problems, then look at exercises as AP said, shoes may help pronation, but that won't prevent / cure injury.

  • About £50 for consultation and £180 for the orthotics here. Orthotics can vary in price a lot. It depends on what you have them built out of. Carbon fibre is normally more money than plastic.

     As I haven't chnaged prescription in the last 3 years, I'm still using the same ones. I have a £35 recheck every 18 months or so.

  • I would try off the shelf orthotics first.

    The brands I've personally tried are Boots own brand, Orthaheel, Conformable and Superfeet.

    Superfeet work the best for me and are available in several styles for different types of shoes. I wear them in hillwalking boots and sometimes in running shoes if I find I'm getting (abnormal) aches and pains while running

    One thing to be aware of is that orthotics are not just for overpronators and can be used by netral shoe wearers as well. What they do is align the body and support the feet correctly.

    Start slowly in them as you would any custom orthotic. You're as likely to feel aches in your hips or back as anywhere else and that is your body readjusting.  

    These orthotics must cost peanuts to make and to be honest shoe manufacturers could easily include their own versions in running shoes rather than the flimsy pieces of foam they currently provide.

  • Thanks for the replies guys image

     I've been recommended a Podiatrist from someone I know who does sports massage so am tempted just to go to them and see what they have to say.

    When I had a Gait analysis done the first time I was told I over pronate quite a lot and she recommended to look at Orthotics as the most supportive trainer they had probably wasn't enough (Brooks Beats I think she said?!), so it was no real benefit her saying this as they would get no money from it.

    I went for a second opinion and had another GAIT analysis done and this guy just suggested a pair of Asics GT-2150 which aren't really that much of a stability shoe.

    Hopefully this Podiatrist will be able to tell me better what I actually need so I don't get other injuries from this again.

  • moiri wrote (see)

    I would try off the shelf orthotics first.

    I disagree - that may work for you, but it wouldn't work for me due to the severity of my problem and the fact  that both feet have different shaped arches.  I don't really see how you can advise that on the little information that the OP has provided.

    You wouldn't buy glasses OTC, so why take a risk with something like orthotics?

    Also, orthotics have nothing to do with shoe type - the orthotic is fitted without the shoe, to the foot.  Then, if you have orthotics, it's up to you to find the appropriate shoe.  Some people find that they can wear neutral shoes with their orthotics, others, like me, need a more stable / controlling shoe. 

    I wouldn't dream of telling anyone what to do re orthotics, I'm happy to pass on info gained from my own experience, but whether it's relevant or appropriate for them is not for me to guess.

  • Personally, I did have custom orthotics supplied on the NHS in the early nineties. I now, as stated above, use off the shelf ones.

    I really don't think there is any great technical wizadry involved here.

    The hospital supplied ones  were not much more then a mould shaped to fit my feet.  Therefore all they do is stop your feet collapsing/moving too much from their default shape/position.

    When I asked for a bit more support on the outside of my heel (after a month of using them) the doctor super glued a bit of plywood onto them.

    And finally.I do buy reading glasses of the shelf from Boots. And a colleague is always telling me I'm being ripped off as you can get three pairs for £10 from Costco !!

  • I forgot to add that off the shelf orthotics are relatively cheap and I suggested that the OP try them.

    If they don't work then you haven't lost too much and you may save yourself an awful lot of money over your running life.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    and mess up your feet/knees/legs in the process?  I think the point is that a little bit of time and money invested in  a professional opinion before forking out will   avoid the spending of hundreds of pounds on unnecessary orthotics.  A decent optician will test your eyes and if you no need no more than reading glasses from Tesco then they'll tell you. But if you need a complex lens to correct your overall vision they'll tell you that too. 
  • Thanks Mr Puffy, my point exactly, just put more succinctlyimage.

    Plus, moiri, reading glasses are totally different from corrective spectacles.  I get my (corrective) glasses and contact lenses from my optician, my reading glasses from Superdrug.

    I went to a recommended but inexperienced pod, she prescribed orthotics that were little better than OTC ones, they were wrong and caused me considerable damage and injury to both legs.  When I found my existing pod who gave me the correct orthotics, I had to miss 3 months of training and have 3 months worth of physio to correct the damage caused by the wrong orthotics.

    Expensive and painful.

  • I have them

    they have transformed me

    no seriously, I used to spend pretty muc every day in pain with knee, shin and hip problems

    Have a look at Harris and Ross, they are probably near you

    They have a specialist Biomechanist, podiatrst and as amny sports physios as you can shake a stick at.  Have a look at the people they treat and you'll see, they go on reputation, they are not out to get what they can.  If you dont need anything, then they'll tell you.

    PM me if you want.

    I have two sets of orthoses, a carbon pair for everyday, but they aren't too clever in running shoes and some for my trainers which cost me about £200.

  • I don't think we are too far apart in our opinions. I was just suggesting the OP try and fix the problem himself before seeking professional help. Maybe a difference in attitudes where I would  only seek professional advice after trying the alternatives first but no different from most peoples experiences when trying to find shoes that suit them which is usually a matter of finding what works for you.

    As for getting injured, most injuries don't happen suddenly and are caused because people choose to ignore their bodies. The majority occur through overuse rather than biomechanical deficiencies but I suspect the attitude nowadays is to look for the magic bullet that is going to solve all their problems.

    I'm not suggesting that this applies to the OP or posters on this thread, just a general observation.

    Off topic.....I go to a proper optician as well and wear contact lenses for distamce work as well as prescription glasses. It's just that when I wear contacts I now need reading glasses as the contacts make my reading worse and I'm not yet ready for bifocals.

    However there is no reason that the majority of people who have straight forward prescriptions could not buy over the counter if they were available. Unfortunately there is a great mystique over which is in reality very simple optics, It is also the reason why a lot of prescriptions can be supplied in an hour with the appropriate machines.

    Another hobby of mine is photography and I can buy a zoom lens for a camera that involves 15 pieces of high quality multi coated optical glass that is corrected to higher standards than spectacle lenses, across a range of focal lengths , for almost the same price as many opticians charge for a pair of spectacles.

  • Thanks for all the advice folks, I have been advised to get othotics by doctor and physio. Have had some made by NHS, but get bad blisters with them at 4 miles. Now just want to find a solution that works
  • Salford University will make custom fit for a relatively cheap price as they have othotics school so you will br assessed and measured up by students who are overseen by teachers a couple of appointments and custom fit cost me about £50

    You will have to search their website for the contact numbers as I cannot find it in my big draw of junk

  • Nice one "Slowfoot".

    Got an orthotics apointment on Thursday so will see what he has to say and if he suggests orthotics I shall try and find the number for Salford Uni and see what they can do! image

  • HR - sorry that you've got a blister, you shouldn't have - imagine you've already done this, but take them back, they obviously don't fit properly or are covered in a slippery material.  Either get them to refit or perhaps recover - mine are covered in something that is similar to leather and is non-slip.  My pod and I discussed the material for the construction of my orthotics and the material covering it based on my use - we talked about the kind of running that I do, surfaces, frequency, mileage, pace etc and then the same for the use of orthotics in my "ordinary" shoes.  I was offered a number of choices for cover material, but opted for this one for comfort, practicality and feel.  My orthotics are so comfortable that I can (and do) wear them barefoot all the time - summer in shoes, winter in Uggs.

    For the blister, my favourite treatment is to dry the blister off using surgical spirit image then using chiropdist's felt, cut a piece larger than the blister so it covers it completely.  Cut a hole the size of the blister and stick the felt onto you skin surrounding the blister.  The felt is thick and acts as a barrier, taking pressure off the blister and the hole allows air to circulate so the blister can dry and heal.  You don't have to do the surgical spirit bit though.image

  • Thanks Jeepers. My orthotics are covered in almost a rubberised type of finish, which is anything but slippery. Phoned NHS, but as it is more than 3 months since I saw them, they have closed my file and I have to get a new refferal from my GP, and go on waiting list. Will try and see them again
  • Thanks for blister advice jeepers, I will give that a go. Many thanks
  • When I had NHS orthotics I used to cover them myself. But they were hard fibre glass ones.

    I just used to buy odor eaters and attach them with a dab of superglue.

  • Went and saw a pod at Harris & Ross in Wilmslow. After watching video of me running on treadmill, he felt my problem was caused by my hips dropping when I run, which is causing my legs to rotate. He suggested physio to relax muscles, then core strength training.

    Pleased he is not just trying to sell a product, and he explained it really well, but does this make sense to everyone else?
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