What are the best shoes for runners to wear to enhance their performance is one of the most divisive topics in the running and marathon world.


Some experts believe that runners should try to keep their feet as near to their natural shape as possible, and that wearing orthotics and bespoke orthotic inserts will gradually weaken leg and foot muscles.


Is this, however, correct? No. Custom orthotics, on the other hand, do not weaken muscles, but rather the reverse. There’s a lot more to this dispute than meets the eye, which is why the vast majority of studies, podiatrists, and doctors continue to tout the benefits of orthotic devices in the treatment of a range of foot disorders.


Today, we’ll look at how this myth began, disprove it with scientific evidence, and explain why so many people believed it in the first place.


Where Did This Legend Originate?

The general agreement is that this myth arose from running science, specifically the community of runners and researchers who feel that running with minimally-shod feet is the most efficient way to assure proper form.


A report published in Nature Research in 2018 is cited by many people as a source of these rumors. People in rural northern Mexico, as well as urban and suburban areas in the United States, were interviewed for this study. People who walked around barefoot or with limited gear had a stiffer longitudinal arch and greater muscles in particular parts of their feet, according to the study’s authors.


“People who are consistently minimally-shod throughout their lives have stronger foot muscles and stiffer feet than people who are habitually wearing ‘standard shoes,'” they reasoned. “Conventional shoes” were described as “shoes having a combination of elements that alter normal foot mobility, such as tight toe boxes, heel counters, arch supports, and toe springs,” according to the researchers.


The authors of this study concluded that conventional footwear was actively weakening the muscles in subjects who frequently wore shoes for walking and running, based on the fact that reduced stiffness in the longitudinal arch is a risk factor for foot issues like plantar fasciitis and metatarsal stress fractures (metatarsalgia).


This Myth Is Disproved by Research

Many researchers and podiatrists are critical of the 2018 Nature Research study because they believe it fails to account for how our feet respond to different shoes and orthotic devices over time.


Even a novice may see that when we switch from heavy, supporting winter boots to lighter spring and summer shoes like flip-flops, our leg and foot muscles will react differently.


Other research investigated their subjects’ responses to orthotics over several months to verify that supportive shoes and orthotic devices were not hazardous or inhibited muscle development.


They reported a significant improvement in plantar pressure in participants with flexible flatfoot before and after three months of wearing orthotics.


Another issue that the Nature Research research overlooked is that not everyone has strong musculature and proper foot and leg posture. As a result, a large number of people have acquired gait issues. These gait issues, if left untreated, can lead to severe ailments including plantar fasciitis, arch discomfort, heel spurs, and more.


Choose Orthotics if You Have These Foot Issues

Orthotic devices help strengthen our legs, ankles, and feet muscles by supporting them in appropriate alignment, rather than weakening them. These gadgets can also improve joint function and help the muscles in our lower legs work together more effectively.


People with foot problems who do not use orthotic devices will continue to suffer from pain and discomfort, which may worsen with time.


If you have any of the issues listed below, you should talk to your doctor or podiatrist about getting bespoke orthotic inserts for your shoes.



Feet that are completely flat



Morton’s Neuroma is a type of neuroma that affects the brain.


Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that affects the soles of the feet.


Splints on the shins

What are the Benefits of Custom Orthotics?

While orthotics can help with a variety of foot problems, the reality is that many of these problems require more support than ordinary over-the-counter shoe inserts can provide.


For a short time, these implants may assist cushion impact and relieve strain, but they quickly wear out and don’t provide gait correction or support for more serious conditions like overpronation. They’re also made of degradable materials, so you’ll have to replace them at least twice a year.


Custom orthotic inserts are manufactured to your exact measurements and take into account all of your foot problems to guarantee you get the support you need exactly where you need it. They’re pricier, but they last up to ten times longer than OTC shoe inserts, so you won’t have to buy them again for years.


IDEASTEP Orthotics has the best custom orthotics.

At IDEASTEP Orthotics, we’re dedicated to providing bespoke orthotics that allow our customers to confidently walk, run, and exercise.


All of our gadgets are handcrafted utilizing an accurate foam or digital cast of your foot and can accommodate a variety of foot issues. This means that bunions, corns, heel spurs, and other painful conditions will be supported in the future, as well as the capacity to adjust gait and pronation.


Shop our newest collections, send us your digital or foam cast, and get relief from everyday foot pain with orthotics delivered straight to your door.

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