Free Resource:
To Request an appointment with Dr. Schneider

Houston podiatrist discusses the insole or sock liner that comes with your running shoesOne device that I recommend to many in my practice is a custom orthotic. Some think that the insole that comes with an athletic shoe is already providing support. My name is Dr. Andrew Schneider, and I'm a podiatrist in Houston, Texas. When I recommend an orthotic,some question why they would remove the insole that comes with their shoe. In today's video, I'm going to discuss where and what kind of support comes with the typical athletic shoe. 

When you buy an athletic shoe, I'm sure you sometimes balk at the price you're paying. This is especially true for the higher end running shoes. So imagine, someone taking your new, expensive, running shoes and taking out a vital piece of this shoe and throwing it out. It would kind of freak you out, wouldn't it? Believe it or not, we do it every day. We take out the removable insole from your shoe and replace it with one that's more functional. 

Now, even though I just called this floppy piece of foam and insole, what it really is, is a sock liner. It's one and only job is to provide a cushion interface between your foot and the shoe. Without it you'd be running on a hard rubber, foam, and stitching. That's bad for business! 

So the athletic shoe companies devised the sock liner that resembles that something that should give support, but really provides none. That's okay. That's not where the technology of a good shoe is located. The support from a running shoe is in the midsole. 

How the sole is structured dictates what kind of support or running shoe will provide. A motion control running shoe is geared to people with flat feet who overpronate significantly. These shoes have a much different midsole to provide more support. A stability shoe has less support than a motion control and is geared for someone with a more stable foot. This shoe allows the normal amount of pronation. A neutral shoe is designed for runners with a high-arched cavus foot. This foot has little ability to absorb shock. So the shoe has extra cushioning to provide that shock absorption. It also provides little to no arch support. This is because support in the arch will throw the towards the outside. 

Each type of these shoes will have this same sock liner. That's because the sock liner provides no additional support to the shoe. In fact, it's made removable so the shoe can easily accommodate an insole or a custom orthotic when it's appropriate for the individual. 

The other thing to remember about running shoes and insoles or custom orthotics is how they work. There are two different points of control. The shoe is the interface between your feet and the ground. It works to support your foot as you go through your walking or running gait cycle. If you wear a custom orthotic or insole, consider them to be part of your foot when it comes to how your foot functions inside the shoe. An insole or custom orthotic works to position your foot within the shoe. They're designed to ensure your foot is working in the most stable and efficient position. 

When your feet work properly within the shoe, and you have the proper type of shoe chosen for your foot function, you'll be able to go farther and faster without your feet slowing you down because they hurt or are tired.