« on: August 16, 2010, 07:20:55 PM »
I've been using orthotics for about a 3 years now, and I can say they have helped a great deal. There's no possible way for me to shorten up the tendon responsible for me to get an arch. No matter how many times I go barefoot or do any sort of workout in my calves or shins will any bit of arch show up. My issue is genetic, and really only can be fixed by surgery or the artificial arch supports (orthotics). The orthotics allow my ankle and feet to move with proper mechanics when moving, keeping them from pronating outwards. The only thing that will decrease chance at injury in my feet ankles knees hips and back is by wearing the orthotics and using my calf muscle along side to hold my weight on the outside of my foot. As for the price, they're seen as a necessity and are covered by health insurance and only cost about $50 and last about six months until I move on to the next prescription.
I also agree with Steven Low, if doing foot strengthening exercises is non-painful then do them. But if you have feet like mine, you can't start out without support in trying to improve foot strength. I use the orthotics as an aid to keep my foot in the correct place, and then I use my muscles to hold it in that place since orthotics only work when your feet are on the ground but barefoot just doesn't work for me.