Are You Gellin’?

You have seen the television commercial about the gel shoe inserts that make you feel completely relaxed, or Gellin Like Magellan. Are these the right inserts for you? There are many types of inserts on the market, so how do you know which one is the right one?

Two Main Types of Inserts:

1. Cushion

  • The cushioned insert does exactly what its supposed to: cushion. This type of insert typically provides no support or stability. Its main function is to help reduce pressures on the bottom of your foot by dispersing the forces. This is achieved with gel, air, softer materials, etc. Cushioned inserts do not alter/correct the mechanics of your feet, they simply provide extra padding. The best way to determine if you insert is a cushioned insert is to try and bend it. If the insert flexes in any direction, meaning you could tie it in a knot, it is more than likely a cushioned type of insert.

2. Support/Stability

  • Your supportive/stabilizing inserts are designed to alter/correct the function of your foot. These inserts are by nature more rigid, meaning you cannot bend them in multiple directions, if at all. Stabilizing inserts help hold your arch up and by extension can help reduce pressure to areas of your foot and can aid in pain reduction. There are different levels of support which are dependent on your arch type: low, medium, or high. Some of these do offer a little extra padding, but this is not their true design.

The big question Im sure you are asking is, How do I know which is the best for me? The easiest way to find out is trial and error. However, what you have to remember is that over the counter (OTC) inserts do not last forever and do not correct deformities. The more miles you put on your inserts, the quicker they need to be replaced. If you are an avid exerciser, then I would say you need to replace your inserts when you replace your shoes, which should be about every 6 months. If you find yourself buying inserts on a regular basis then it might be prudent to have custom inserts, or custom orthotics, made. These are more expensive and you do have to visit a local Podiatrist, but they last much longer than OTC inserts.

As always, if you have any questions regarding shoe inserts, OR if you are tired of buying OTC inserts and want custom inserts, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit Houston Foot Specialists website.

Category: Footwear

Tags: Cushion Inserts, Foot Arch, Foot Deformities, Gel Inserts, Orthotics, Shoe Inserts, Support Inserts