The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Shoe Inserts Made for Your Feet: SOLS Offers 3-D Custom Orthotics Directly to Consumers

Posted by on Monday, November 23rd, 2015

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The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is no stranger to the SOLS orthotics brand. Our very own Dr. Josef Geldwert DPM was on the medical advisory board, sharing his 40+ years of experience in podiatry to help the team create the most ergonomically sound, custom-fit shoe insoles. Unlike traditional insoles, the SOLS brand are manufactured more quickly and designed for the individual using computer technology and 3-D printing, rather than older plaster casting methods that are not only messy but cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive to make. The designs come in a variety of cool colors and designs to meet modern standards for further personalization. The company made news again last month when they announced their plans to sell directly to consumers.

SOLS
SOLS is turning the custom orthotics market on its head by allowing customers to order directly from the company. However, some people may still benefit from consulting a podiatrist. Image source: Flickr CC user HeelsandFeet

Do You Need Custom Orthotics?

You may be an excellent candidate for custom insoles if you suffer from:

  • Generalized foot aches
  • Flat feet / low arches
  • Pain in the forefoot, arch, or heel
  • Pain in your knees, back, and ankles

How to Buy Orthotic Shoe Inserts

Traditionally, there have been two ways to buy orthotics. One is to buy the kind of generic over-the-counter product sold in stores or online. Some shopping centers like Wal-Mart have custom foot mapping kiosks that allow you to get a pair of “custom fit” orthotics, albeit at double the price of the generic versions. Research shows these store-bought products may be fine for mild cases of plantar fascia strain.1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26015327

Another option is to visit your local podiatrist who can develop a mold of your unique foot type for a perfect fit and send the cast to an orthotics manufacturer to create in the factory. The podiatrist ensures that you get the precise fit necessary to alter your biomechanics in a positive way. In our office, we regularly check for wear-and-tear on our patients’ orthotics and for foot changes (such as those taking place during pregnancy) that may affect fit.

More than 650 podiatrists and 43,000 physical therapists across the country (including our NYC podiatry offices) are equipped with the technology to scan the feet with computers and have a pair of SOLS created.

Now there will be a new way to get a pair of orthotic shoe inserts on your feet.2http://www.3ders.org/articles/20151005-sols-flex-brings-3d-printed-custom-insoles-directly-to-consumers-through-iphone-app.html SOLS has announced that their Flex product will be the “first 3D printed custom insoles available directly to consumers.” You will be able to get your pair of custom orthotics without seeing a doctor by:

  • Downloading the iOS app
  • Using your phone to snap photos of each foot in weight and non-weight-bearing stances
  • Running the photos through the software to create over 1,000 data points and produce a 3D model of your instep
  • Ordering the product in leather, neoprene, or wool and selecting the color and finish option of your choice

You’ll then receive your SOLS Flex orthotics for $199 (including free shipping) within 10 business days.

Benefits of Coming to See Us for Your Orthotics

As UK podiatrist Mick Habgood tells Cyclist Magazine, like a good foundation in the building industry, custom orthotics are akin to giving your feet a “a stable, optimally positioned, well-supported platform from which to drive with.” He adds, “The greatest benefit of the orthotics is simply to bring the ground up to the foot, and as such the foot is prevented from rotating or drifting unnecessarily and the pressure is distributed over the whole foot and not just one specific area, which is inefficient and would inevitably lead to pain.”3http://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/464/custom-orthotics

While any insole will offer more support than nothing, Habgood explains that “the difference between a prefab [off the shelf] and a full custom orthotic is basically on a scale of varying levels of support and specificity. With a full customized orthotic we can consider the foot as forefoot and hind-foot separately and stabilize each accordingly. A regular mistake of prefab insoles is to concentrate too much on the forefoot, as this is the area where the power is being transferred through to the pedal, but so much of the forefoot stability comes from stabilizing the hind foot.”

Our patients will tell you that the level of care and peace of mind they receive after visiting our NYC podiatry office is worth every cent. Ruling out more serious concerns, having all your most pressing questions answered in great detail, and getting a full assessment of your gait and pressure points from trained physical therapists and pain specialists is just something that an iOS app can’t provide. You’re welcome to try the latest technology, but when you want next-level care, come see our offices in Manhattan or Westchester.

 

 

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1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26015327
2. http://www.3ders.org/articles/20151005-sols-flex-brings-3d-printed-custom-insoles-directly-to-consumers-through-iphone-app.html
3. http://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/464/custom-orthotics

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.