“ Brand: GG Footcare / Type: Foot Care / Dosage Form: Pads „
For about a year now my Physiotherapist has been badgering me to get some form of arch supports for my shoes. As I have Hypermobility Syndrome I have weak connective tissue and although my feet look fine when I'm not standing on them as soon as I apply weight my lax arches just collapse down to the floor. Clearly this isn't very helpful for either my feet or the rest of my body and no amount of arch strengthening exercises has helped. I stubbornly resisted arch supports until recently when I got yet another bout of painful Plantar Fasciitis and realised I couldn't just leave my poor feet as they were.
I've bought several different types of arch supports to see which I get on with best and one of the types were these leather arch pads. The reason I liked the look of these is because it's just the area you need and not a whole insole so you can stick them into any type of shoe, and that really does mean any type of shoe including flip flop style sandals!
The arch supports are available to buy in a number of places so I won't quote a particular place, the price varies wildly however and some places charge about £2.50 a set whereas others go right up to £6 a set so do shop around. The other point to remember is not all these leather pads are high enough so if you buy online and can't see the product beforehand ask how high the actual arch part is and measure your feet to check they are high enough.
The sizing is typically about 3 sizes per support so the ones I buy are for sizes 3-5 as I'm a size 5. Don't be tempted by any that are small, medium or large because that's just too vague! The best type of leather arch pads are ones that fit snugly under the arch and don't spread beyond that, that's where knowing how high the actual arch is will come in handy and measure the length of your arches so you can tell if the length of the support is right too.
These supports have a sticky back so the idea is you just peel off the backing and stick them in your shoes where your arches are. I find it helpful to place them under the foot until they feel right than mark the sole of the shoe with a pen so I get the placement right. I also find it helpful to use superglue in anything open, I superglue these in sandals and flip flops because they come loose pretty fast if you don't but in closed shoes and boots they seem to stay firm without extra glue.
Anyone who's ever tried arch supports will know the first week or two is always agony! My feet particularly didn't like these as my arches were already inflamed and I found for the first few days I could hardly stand them. You are supposed to build up slowly to using them all the time (hold off on the superglue initially or have pairs of shoes without pads in them to wear in between sessions) so for the first few days just 10 or 15 minutes is enough then keep adding a few minutes each day until your feet are used to them and comfortable.
So how did I get on with them? As I said before the first couple of weeks were excruciating and I hated them with a passion but I was determined to get used to them so I forced my painful feet onto them every day and tried to ignore the extra pain. After a week I found I was getting used to them and my feet actually started preferring having these supports under them. By the end of the second week I was wearing them for several hours a day with minimal discomfort and my Plantar Fasciitis was on its way out with no other treatment. I'm now able to wear them all the time and love the way they support my feet which obviously in turn supports the ankles, knees, hips and back so I'm happy with them.
During the first few days I found I had muscle soreness in places where my muscles usually refuse to work properly, the inner quad just above the knee is the area that really springs to mind but I also found my Gluteus Medius (on the side of the pelvis) was firing with alot more effort as I walked too which is a huge plus for me! Expect some post exercise soreness feelings initially because the correct placement of the foot will force some muscles to start working properly, they won't like it but persevere!
For me these stop me having to constantly check in on my feet and correct them, exhausting at best and virtually impossible at worst, they align my legs and hips properly so I don't get as much slipping around of some of my joints and according to my partner they stop my feet looking like "spatula feet"!! His exact words! So apart from the initial pain with getting used to them they've been a huge success. I bought some other types but honestly these leather pads are my favourites so far, they are so easy to use and fit any shoe so you don't have to be without them even during the summer. The leather can be wiped clean and provides a comfortable surface against the foot so no painful rubbing either.
I highly recommend these to anyone who needs arch supports but do shop around for them. A full 5 stars from me and my corrected feet!