Do inserts really work? Some of my teammates have Inserts for their cleats, what is the benefit of wearing them? Will they make my shoes too small?
Thanks for the question. Unfortunately, even though it is an easy question, it is a complicated one. "Inserts" cover a variety of things that fit in your shoes. Everything from a cushion or pad to an over-the-counter arch support, to a prescription orthotic made from a 3D scan of your foot, are considered "Inserts." The key is to find out IF you have a problem that needs an insert, and if so, what type is best. For young athletes, they very rarely need cushioning. They have natural padding, and athletic shoes do the rest. Most of the time, young athletes suffer from pain due to a mechanical/positional problem with their foot. That makes one part of the footwork harder and leads to overuse and pain. Just like people who squint and get headaches due to needing eyeglasses, athletes get foot pain from their feet being out of position. For those, we make a prescription orthotic. Just like eyeglasses, when worn in athletic shoes, it corrects the underlying structural problem and allows the foot to function in its best position. This leads to improved performance, which everyone wants. Many pro athletes wear prescription orthotics, as they want to be the best that they can be.
Every little bit helps! So, if you are having pain, find out the cause, and get the best treatment possible to get you back in the game and improve your performance.
Scott L. Schulman, DPM Indiana Podiatry Group