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Hannah's Closet: Orthotics

Welcome back to Hannah’s Closet. This month we are going to talk about shoes that aren't orthopedic, but you can put inserts into them. I have always been a fan of shoes. I have quite the collection. Being able to take care of my feet and not needing to have an orthopedic shoe on it is amazing. Sometimes you just want to wear your fun or cute shoes!

I know that there are so many different brands of shoes today we will talk about three of them that I have considerable experience with: Vans, Converse, and Skechers. All these shoes are super popular brands but do they give you the support you need or want?

Let’s start off with Vans and Converse, the shoes known for skaters. I grew up near the beach in California and most everyone had Vans or Converse on. There was always a debate about which one is better. I have always been a Vans girl, most of my friends are Converse lovers. BUT do they give you the support that you really need? That would be a big NO - really not any support. Arch support is very needed for so many reasons, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma and pronating. Do you need to think about this at my age - YES you do. It can make all the difference. I wear my old shoes now without the inserts- and I thought my feet were going to die. Once you start wearing better support - its hard to go back to nothing.

Yes, both Vans and Converse have high tops that can hold your ankles, but your feet can still pronate. Having ankle wrap or support doesn't actually keep you foot from turning in. You need something underneath to keep the ankle stable. After a long day my feet can start to hurt, but if I put inserts in my shoes I can wear them all day long with no problem. Vans and Converse do not have a natural toe box (wider area at the front of shoe). So I like to use the Powerstep Pulse Sport

3⁄4, in my Vans or Converse so I can use all my toe box and not squish my toes more with a full length insert. You can also wear these inserts in other shoes that do not provide enough toe space, like ballerina flats, fashion boots or pumps.

The next brand I'm going to talk about is Skechers. They are an amazingly well known brand of shoe for any age. They have plenty of cushion in their shoes, but do they give the correct support you need? Cushion can be great but let's your foot continue to do whatever it is doing - just with more cushion. So if you are having pain, you're just treating symptoms - not the problem. I have had many pairs on Skechers in the past. They break down too fast for me, never giving me the long daily support I need even though they have some arch support in them.

A lot of the casinos here in Las Vegas partner with Skechers helping the workers get shoes for work. I have many of their workers coming in because their feet hurt before the end of their shift. Most of the time the workers say the shoes don't last more than a few month and when they wear them more than a few hours their feet start hurting.

With many shoes by Skechers the insole removes very easily so I recommend a full insole. Most of the shoes they make offer a wider toe box so they can have an insole with a metatarsal bump in it. Insoles that have metatarsal bumps are used for Morton’s neuroma, a pinched nerve in the ball of the foot. What the metatarsal arch does is arch your ball of your foot so that your toes go straight. I recommend the Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx. Another great insole option for plantar fasciitis is the Vionic Active Insole.

Orthotics (arch supports) are an easy way to change the feel of your current footwear into something so much better! Of course I have a ton of other shoes now with the arches all built in - but I couldn't part with some of my old ones from my "before Desert Birkenstock" time. I love them and really wanted to keep them - so I figured out a way to make them work and not be in pain.

Need more information about Orthotics . Check out another blog - to get the scoop.

Don't forget to bring your shoes in with you so you get the right feel. Sometimes you just don't end up with the one you thought you were going to get and having your shoes with you helps with the process.

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