Stress Fractures and Orthotics

My question:

Any runners/endurance people out there - who out there has positive experiences with orthotics of any kind? Also, anybody else been told they have an even gait, and if so, what are your shoe/injury experiences?

My issue:

I have an even gait (rare, but true - I do not over or under pronate at all), and stupidly gave myself a stress fracture by changing my form too fast and for too long a distance at first. I can pinpoint the exact miles that did it, and what I personally did to cause it. I'd had 200 successful miles in the shoes already, over 2000 miles in "minimalist" shoes in the past two years without injury. It's not the shoes, it was me changing my gait and pushing too far too fast with it.

Everybody who has done a gait analysis on me (long term runners trained as coaches, proper running store shoe people, a paramedic/runner) has told me less shoe - less "support", less "cushion", less whatever - is better. Personal experience on my feet in different shoes agrees with this. However lately, people who have NOT done a gait analysis on me but are extremely experienced (a long term coach (not mine until recently), a sports med doctor, a PT) want me to use orthotics and "more supportive shoes" because of my recent injury and the "likelihood of recurrence". I believe they are misunderstanding the cause of the injury, and are applying a general truth incorrectly to a specific instance. I cannot show them my lovely even gait due to the injury, but I'm really tired of people assuming that I'm an idiot or that I'm wrong - I've got most of 20 years of running under my belt (injury-free other than this and the occasional turned ankle on a curb or broken sidewalk), it's not like I'm new to this.

I know they're trying to help, but it's seriously driving me nuts. Anybody out there have any experiences that might help me understand things better - orthotics, even gaits, stress fractures, or any combination of them?


  • ejwme
    ejwme Posts: 318
    bump - nothing?
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 33,516 Member
    Go with your gut. You know your body better than someone who has talked to you for an hour. Of course a doctor and a PT are going to insist you use their services.

    I have injuries too, not like yours. But they heal. You learn and you don't do that again. I've stopped telling doctors about orthopedic stuff..they always have some expensive unnecessary "treatment".
  • ejwme
    ejwme Posts: 318
    thanks cm. I'm still reeling from the sticker shock of the "removable walking cast" that they gave me (and forced me to limp worse) - and that's after my insurance paid for the bulk of it.

    I love the PT, but I can't help wonder - if they truly believe, contrary to all evidence - that I need orthotics, what other misguided information are they disseminating to me that I haven't caught?
  • jturnerx
    jturnerx Posts: 325 Member
    I was prescribed orthotics many years ago when I did something stupid and caused the arch to fall in my left foot. I wasn’t an avid runner back then. When I did start running consistently 4 years ago I stayed with the orthotics and have used them to this day. During this time period I've had two setbacks, one of them major. In each I can pin point training mistakes I made which had nothing to do with the orthotics. Luckily I seem to have learned from those mistakes and I’ve been running injury/problem free for a while now. I’m an ultrarunner so my volume is high. I have logged a lot of miles on the orthotics and like I said, the issues have been caused by me, not them.

    Could I run without them? I don’t know but it’s not worth it to me to find out and risk an issue when there isn’t one now. I figure if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it. My sports podiatrist who made the initial prescription back in the day is an ultrarunner himself and well regarded in the running community. It’s nice to go to a health care provider who doesn’t look at you like you’ve grown two heads when you say things like 50 mile or 100k. I trust his opinion. I just go back to him every once in a while to check how the orthotic is holding up and have an adjustment made if necessary.
  • spickard34
    spickard34 Posts: 303 Member
    Im not sure if this relates to this or not. But I had purchased Reebok Realflex shoes (they have not arch support) used them for a month for running and insanity and after that I devepoled Plantar Facitics. The balls of my feet and heal kills. They only thing that helped was a harder soled shoe and Custom Orthodics, they were hard at first but now I can not imgaine my life without them. I wear them to work everyday and workout in them. For the summer I have purchased Birkenstocks which are supper hard on the foot bed but make my feet feel amazing.