Sports Performance

Putting the Power Back in Push-Off

Can a Foot Orthotic Help My Performance?

In order to understand how an orthotic can help your athletic performance, an understanding of basic foot function is necessary. Your feet are your interface with the ground and make up a complex system of bones and joints that are a major contributor to shock absorption and propulsion. The shock absorption component comes into play when your foot hits the ground, the propulsion phase occurs while you are pushing off and using your foot as a rigid lever to propel you forward. These are two very different functions with different biomechanical requirements. During the shock absorption phase, your foot must be relatively pliable and mobile. During the propulsion phase, your foot must regain structural integrity or stiffness for mechanical efficiency. This is a beautiful system design but even small inefficiencies in this system can produce detrimental effects on performance including injury and poor propulsion. Conversely, even small improvements in this system can have a positive effect on performance measurements such as speed, power and balance.

What Your Foot Needs

A foot orthotic needs to provide a rigid lever for propulsion while allowing for shock absorption and terrain adaptation. This need is only magnified in athletes. Whether you are on a bike, in running shoes, or in ski boots, your foot is always working on shock absorption and propulsion. To assist in these functions a foot orthotic needs to be properly calibrated to your weight, foot flexibility and activity level. Different athletes and sports require different orthotic sizes and properties, but all require the same biomechanical control and function. Currently, the Sole Supports™ foot orthotic is the only one on the market that addresses these needs. They are based on a completely new and unique model of correction and orthotic design.

I’m Not Injured, Do I Need a Foot Orthotic?

This depends on how you would like to approach your training. Would you like to only worry about injuries after they happen, or after they cause a reduction in training? Or would you like to have a more proactive mindset when it comes to your health and performance? In addition to all of the overuse injuries we are familiar with such as shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome and patellar tracking dysfunction, inefficiencies in foot func- Sports Performance Putting the Power Back in Push-Off How is Your Foot Power Stroke? Flattened Arches Can Turn it Into Mush! What Part of Your Forefoot Do You Launch From? From the Inside Under Your Big Toe (Left) or From the Outside (Right) Correct Weak 2 tion can cause sub-clinical problems (meaning that they haven’t shown up as a symptom yet). It makes more sense to correct these problems before they have a chance to cause tissue breakdown and injury. There are two ways to look at sports performance and injury: 1) You can react to overuse injuries with ice, anti inflammatory medications, braces, rest and surgeries or 2) You can prevent these injuries with the use of a device that makes your foot more efficient.

How are Sole Supports™ Different?

Most “custom” orthotics are made based on outdated theories that do not significantly change foot function and do not take into account the demands of the modern athlete. Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, these orthotics usually end up as expensive soft cushions or hard-as-rock braces that are respectively either ineffective or too uncomfortable for aggressive use.

Whether you are a competitive or recreational athlete, your foot is unique and requires specific calibration for the right mix of flex and rigidity.This is the real custom factor absent in standard “custom” orthotics. At Sole Supports, we have put the years into re-thinking and redesigning custom foot orthotics. We know how much extra work it takes to make a device that actually delivers on promises. We love it that we can offer a competitive edge to athletes that depend on powerful feet. We are the only orthotic company doing research at major universities to back up our claims of increased performance, and we are excited to have an increasing number of professional athletes who are using our device to gain a competitive advantage.