Trial and Error

Joe is a local high school swimmer. On the advice of his family Physician, Joe’s parents brought him to Lucky Road to be fitted for a good pair of over the counter orthotics. Joe has a very unique gait cycle, one I may have seen about 10 times in my 20 years of conducting biomechanics assessments. Normal foot biomechanics are such that our feet will invert about 4 degrees before initially striking the ground on the outside of our heels. Joe’s feet do the opposite. His feet evert in air phase and strike the ground to the inside of his heels.

An orthotic is not a bad idea but, it is only as supportive as the shoe where it is placed. If the shoes are not stable the orthotic will not be stable either. So before we considered fitting Joe with orthotics, we wanted to see his physical response to wearing shoes with a little more support. First we tried the Asics 2000, a reliable shoe with a mild degree of stability. After a few steps in the Asics 2000, Joe’s feet started landing on the back of his heels, not to the inside. This was a step in the right direction. (pardon the pun). Next we tried the Sequence Boost from Adidas. Another reliable stability shoe with a slightly different configuration on the medial post. After a few strides Joe’s feet started landing on the outside of his heels… the exact biomechanics response we were looking to achieve!

Joe began to smile, so did his parents. He said his feet and legs felt funny. Thats a natural response to his muscles being worked in a different range of motion. It will take some getting used to but his legs will get stronger and Joe’s new way of walking will become easier. More importantly, his pain is subsiding and Joe is well on his way to a healthier life.

~ Jeff Van Horn, Lucky Road

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