Adapting shoes for orthotics?


When it comes to running shoes, I've tried loads of them and I'm struggling to achieve a good level of comfort/fit as a result of having new custom made orthotics. The orthotics are roughtly 3/4 length of my foot in size, and made of EVA I think.

I'm presently trying one pair of shoes with the orthotics under the insole - not terrible, but not quite as good as I'd like.


  • If to make more space/height in the shoe, I totally remove the insole, what are the downsides to that?
  • I have bought a second identical pair of shoes and cut away the rear 3/4 of the insole.  This to allow the orthotic to sit behind the toe of the insole at roughly the same level in the shoe.  It presently feels a bit odd where the pieces meet   If you have done this, maybe you could let me know if this settles down and starts to feel more natural underfoot?

Thanks for any help you can offer.


  • Hi DS - sorry your having problems - I'd go back to the podiatrist who made your orthotics.  I too wear custom made orthotics but when I went to have them fitted I was told to take along my running shoes, day to day shoes, hill walking boots and work boots to ensure they fit.  They were then fitted to my shoes as I am supposed to wear them all the time.

    I've now had the orthotics for 3 months and it is only just now that they feel normal to wear.  They altered the way I walked, ran etc and although I didn't suffer significantly (no blisters etc) I definately use my feet muscles differently and different parts of my lower leg/foot come under stress through using them.  I use my orthotics with the whole of the insole still inside the shoes/boots - maybe yours need shaving down slightly?  I'd definately go back to the pod.

  • Hi Tigerlily and thanks. image

    I have made an appt. in September to see the podiatrist again.   When I had my orthotics first fitted, it was in quite old running shoes with lots of give in them, unfortunately I'm finding new shoes aren't quite as forgiving.

    Between being fairly new to running (just completed week 8 of beginners schedule), new to orthotics and trying to make these new shoes work, my feet don't really know where they are at the moment.

    Between now and my next appt, I'd like to be able to do the best job I can of helping them to bed in.  

  • I have fairly thick orthotics that are about 2/3 length. I run in Mizuno Riders and find them fine. You get used to your feet feeling a bit higher out of the shoe. I've kept the insole in just because it feels more comfortable around my toes. Just make sure your shoes are properly neutral. I was running in Inspires that are sold as neutral shoes but actually aren't.
  • LN - thats an interesting comment about your shoes being neutral.  I wear asics kayanos, a support shoe.  My pod was happy with with my running shoes and advised me to carry on wearing that shoe with the orthotic.  I guess custom orthotics are what is right for you not a generic "wear a neutral shoe now you have orthotics".
  • Yes, I used to run in a support shoe as well and the physio/pod at the time said they were fine. I have a new physio now and I was on the lookout for some new shoes as I wasn't happy with the model of the Mizunos I was running in (another of the Mizunos) he suggested i try neutrals. First neutrals weren't actually neutral and I had knee pain. These new neutrals are just fab and feel so much lighter.
  • Ah - that makes sense. I did query why I needed what i thought was "double" the support (shoe + orthotic). He said that the orthotic controlled the over pronation where as the shoe provided the right amount of stability and cushioning. And actually, I meant to say "stability" shoe not "support" shoe...... or is that the same thing????! Anyway - I'm also happy with the results.
  • Thanks.

    I did have a motion control shoe, but have had to fall back on a neutral shoe in order to get a pair that came closest to feeling like a half decent fit.

    Maybe it is just a matter of having to wait a while until I've adapted to the inserts. It's partly why I'm waiting a few weeks until I see the podiatrist.  I don't mind a little discomfort, as long as I know I'm not going to cause problems for myself.

  • TDS - in answer to your question, I've left the insole completely in in these shoes as it's comfier and taken them out in other shoes. In the supportive shoe, my foot felt fine as there was still enough cushioning but it didn't work when I tried the same in the neutral shoes that weren't.

    TL - Different specialists will say different things. In my new physios mind, the orthotic does everything I need and it's best to have a neutral just for the cushioning. Though when I had the support shoes, I felt fine as well. The main difference is that the neutrals are so much lighter so it's easier to run.
  • I wear custom-made orthotics and wear a man's shoe - Nike Equalon as I have large and wide, bony feet.  Women's shoes didn't seem to have much room in the toe box and the orthotics fitted best in these.

    They are also a support shoe, I need both.  I know a lot of people think that because you wear orthotics you "shouldn't" need a support shoe (talking over-pronation here) but it depends on a lot of things, not just the degree of pronation.

    A good shop will help you choose, if you have problems with your orthotics, go back to your pod, you shouldn't be "cleared" until you can wear them, problem-free.

    I used to remove the insole and just use my orthotics, but that meant nothing underfoot and it got a bit uncomfortable when the shoes were wearing down.  You can buy thin insoles (I found Boots were the best) soft and slightly rubbery, which takes the edge off the hardness.  However, I found that once I'd racked up some mileage and flattened things down within the shoe, my foot felt a bit loose and when going downhill, slipping forward in the shoe.  I'm experimenting with wearing my orthotic on top of the shoe's own insole - have tried it twice and so far, not too bad. 

    I have 2 pairs of shoes anyhow, that way, it extends the wear and tear and I alternate them each day.

  • Thanks LN & Jeepers. 

    The shop was really good and the orthotics do seem to have relieved my knee problem.  Up to now at least I don't think I have any cause to second guess them.

    I can manage for now with my old shoes if I have to return to them, at least until I see the podiatrist, but I'm hoping these new ones (Brooks Defyance 3) will work for me.

    Maybe a little more wear will make the difference.

  • I gave up with 3/4 lengths for running - never liked it. Got full length and found it SO much better. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

  • "Sorry to be the bearer of bad news" - you're probably not David - I guess it's down to what suits you.  I have 3/4 length ones and they cause me no problems. 
  • I have 3/4 orthotics. I wear them under the insole and if the shoe doesn't have a removeable insole (like some trail shoes) I take one out of a different pair!

    My new orthotics are excellent, they are much lighter and less bulky than my old ones and fit into every shoe that I have tried them in, even racers!

     My old ones were quite cumbersome and I had problems fitting them into shoes, however Nike Pegasus, Mizuno Wave Rider 13 and Saucony Echelons worked well with them.

Sign In or Register to comment.