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Orthopedic insoles - how to get them into my shoes?

epa

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When visiting the doctor yesterday, following a NMR scanning of my left foot, some kind of evil arthrosis was detected. To avoid (or at least postpone) major damage, I was recommended to get myself some orthopedic insoles. And to use them.
I have some from about 15 years back, but I found that those and my feet do not fit into my shoes at the same time (except in the case of a pair of dark grey captoe oxford Santonis which I (luckily enough) bought a tad large).
So what can I do?
I guess that the good thing about it is that I now have an excuse to buy new shoes. The old ones I can then still use now and then on "insole-free days" for the purpose of not making my feet too accustomed to insoles.
The bad thing is that in these times, I do not want to spend too much money: you never know until when you will continue receiving a salary.
Any tips?
 

boo

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2Scoops

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Most orthotic companies will have an option of ones specifically made for dress shoes. Most extended health/insurance providers will cover at least a portion of the cost. The 'orthotic' dress shoes that I've seen were all pretty hideous.
 

epa

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Good and bad news:

I finally got the insoles. The guy told me he would make them as thin as possible, and I believe he did a good job. The bad thing is that I still will not be able to use them in most of my previous dress shoes. Actually, it seems that I can only use them in one of my old pairs of dress shoes.

The good news are:

- I believe that I will be able to use them in a pair of Santonis that I already had and that I quite like.

- I now have an excuse for building a new collection. The items so far are:

1) The Santonis I mentioned. Black (well, rather very dark grey) captoe oxfords.

2) First new buy: a pair of wonderful very dark brown antiqued Sutor Mantellassi oxfords; wholecuts, but with a nice and discrete "decoration" along the middle of the upper, in the longitudinal direction. EUR 680, a bit more that what I use to pay for shoes, but what the hell, I wanted to give me a treat to compensate the bad feeling about having to wear orthopedic insoles. I know that some people find wholecuts ugly, but these ones look really great. Also, I prefer wholecuts for the feet as they tend to adapt better than, for example, captoes.

3) A pair of dark brown or chocolate brown suede derbies by Carmina. Rubber soles, so it will be a winter shoe.

My next buy will probably be a pair of black Carmina wholecut oxfords, as a "staple" for business. The Santonis are still a bit "tight" and the fact that they are captoes make that I fear that they will not adapt perfectly to my feet now when I have to squeeze the insoles in, and that they thus will not be appropriate when I have to travel for a couple of days.

In any case, the thing is that I now intend to build up a basic collection of 6-8 pairs of shoes, including one or two "winter" ones (the rubber sole derbies and maybe a pair of ankle boots) and one or two "summer" ones, as soon as possible. At least some of them will be of fairly conservative designs.

And then I will consider fancier stuff. The "fancier" stuff may include a pair of blue Mantellassis of the same model as my brown ones...
 

StolenCar

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Originally Posted by epa
Good and bad news:

I finally got the insoles. The guy told me he would make them as thin as possible, and I believe he did a good job. The bad thing is that I still will not be able to use them in most of my previous dress shoes. Actually, it seems that I can only use them in one of my old pairs of dress shoes.


I got 3/4 inserts a couple of months ago. They fit into all my shoes. The guy who made them asked me to bring in my narrowest shoes for the fitting a a few days after the castings. I did and had no problems with them at all; they fit comfortably in every type of shoe I've worn since then, including my ski boots.

I'd suggest taking the inserts and some of your shoes back to the guy.
 

epa

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I discussed the option of 3/4 inserts with the insert maker, but it seems that it would not be the best solution in view of my specific arthrosis problem. He actually told me that he could make inserts that would suit my shoes OR inserts that would suit my feet, but not both at the same time. He might be wrong (you never know with these people), but he seems to know about the stuff and I prefer to spend a bit on shoes if this can help my health. Also, if it wasn't for the insoles my wife would not be very happy with my recent purchases. Now I can tell her that I bought the Mantellassis because I had to, not because I wanted to.
 

andyw

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Check out the Alden Foot balance line of shoes, some of which are designed and sized to accept orthotics without making your foot look like a blob.
 

mensimageconsultant

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Time for a PSA:
Materials such as graphite can be used to make very thin orthotics. Also, unless the toes have some special issue, orthotics don't need to cushion them, i.e., don't need to be full length. Between the two, probably any shoe with a normal amount of room will accomodate such orthotics.
 

Xiaogou

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Epa, this is why I have decided to buy bespoke shoes, so that the issues with my feet can be worked in the shoes. When I wear inserts, my foot is raised too high for the shoe. Another issue to consider is that inserts wear out. Just my 2 cents.
 

meister

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Originally Posted by epa
I discussed the option of 3/4 inserts with the insert maker, but it seems that it would not be the best solution in view of my specific arthrosis problem. He actually told me that he could make inserts that would suit my shoes OR inserts that would suit my feet, but not both at the same time. He might be wrong (you never know with these people), but he seems to know about the stuff and I prefer to spend a bit on shoes if this can help my health. Also, if it wasn't for the insoles my wife would not be very happy with my recent purchases. Now I can tell her that I bought the Mantellassis because I had to, not because I wanted to.


As someone in a similar position you usually have to go up a 1/2 size and a width unless they are generous in interior volume. I have no problem fitting UK /AUS F fitting (regular width) and Italian shoes. They have about a generous 1/4 inch extra regularly in the width unlike the US shoes with their difficult D fitting which is like a UK/AUS E (slightly narrow) fitting.

Originally Posted by Xiaogou
Epa, this is why I have decided to buy bespoke shoes, so that the issues with my feet can be worked in the shoes. When I wear inserts, my foot is raised too high for the shoe. Another issue to consider is that inserts wear out. Just my 2 cents.


This is my other problem= high arch but the above shoes usually allow for this with ther extra width across the lacing FWIW.
 

epa

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I can now report that I am very comfortable with my recent Mantellassi and Carmina purchases. Both size 10, that is, 1/2 more than the 91/2 I used to wear.
About a week ago I also bought a pair of Mantellassi monkstrap ankle boots. They were a bit tight in the beginning, but now I have broken them in.
By the way, I do not think that another material would help to make my inserts thinner: the width (or height) is necessary in order that the foot be loaded correctly.
 

philosophe

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I'm glad to hear that things are working out. Injured feet are bad news--and foot surgery kills the idea of decent shoes for at least a year.
 

academe

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Glad to hear everything is working well for you. I made a similar transition over this year. Even with 3/4 length orthotics, because of the type of correction required for my feet, there was no way that I could fit them into my existing formal shoes. I've been slowly adding to my collection, and rotating between new (orthotic compatible) and old (orthotic incompatible) shoes, basically trying to make sure I wear my orthotics 4 or 5 days out of 7. The only frustrating thing is that it means spending much more time in shoe stores, trying different shoes, and not always being able to buy the ones which I might like most from a design perspective. No more discounted internet shoes for me!
Now it's full retail, brick and mortar buys. I suppose my local shoe stores like me for it, though. So far, I've found that derbys work better than oxfords. Most C&J shoes fit my orthotics, so long as I size-up by about 1/2 size. EGs on the 202 last seem to work OK, although with oxfords I have to buy a slightly wider shoe (UK F width) than with derbys. Loakes and Barkers also seem to work. Most of the Italian shoe companies are out, as they generally don't have enough height in the top of the vamp and are cut more narrowly than English shoes.
 

epa

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Originally Posted by academe
So far, I've found that derbys work better than oxfords.

Right. At Carmina I was actually looking for a pair of suede oxfords, but the salesperson, who I found out also used orthopedic insoles, said that I would be better off with derbies. I tried both, and he was right. I am extremely happy with my Carmina suede derbies: actually, one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I ever had. Of course, it is partly due to these insoles with which I, maybe for the first time in my life, actually distribute the load correctly when walking.

Originally Posted by academe
Most of the Italian shoe companies are out, as they generally don't have enough height in the top of the vamp and are cut more narrowly than English shoes.

Interestingly enough, I have the feeling that Mantellassi size 10 with the insoles fit me better than Mantellassi 9.5 did without insoles (and my problem with Mantellassi 9.5 without the insoles was that they were to "slim" and hurt my wee toes a bit). And one of the two Mantellassis I bought is an oxford, and it fits great (it took me one or two days to "break it in", though).

I have now four pairs of shoes that go with the insoles (not counting my ugly but comfortable Clark shoes that fit me without insole and now also with insole). I will use them most of Monday-Friday, maybe now and then using some of my older shoes once a week.

In spring, I intend to by two pairs of shoes for summer.

Now, while building up this new collection, I will really make sure that I only buy shoes I really like. I now know that good shoes last me so long that it is not worth buying something I like less just because it is cheaper.
 

Metlin

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Having been through this, I did two things - 1. I bought one of those shoe size extenders and tried making some of my shoes a little bigger. That worked for some, but not all. 2. I simply could not wear others and had to go buy a few new pairs.
I would also recommend that when you wear your shoes, if you tied the laces a little less tightly, it feels a lot more comfortable than with tight laces. Also, I do not know what your problem was, but I had a bad case of Plantar Fascitis, and I simply wore splints at night and very comfortable shoes during the day (with the insoles). Massive difference - I can truly see a big reduction in pain. Edit: I also realized that wearing boots (or something with ankle support) is a lot more comfortable. Most boots also have vertical give, which is very useful if you are using insoles. Chelsea boots for the win.
 

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