Did you know…foot-related problems affecting knees, hips and backs, are the most common work-related health problems in the UK?
We believe that supportive insoles could make the critical difference between pain, and productivity. These problems account for a startling 8.8 million working days lost to sickness each year but the solution can be simple, as Paul outlines below:
“As clinical research has progressively proven that work productivity in labour intensive environments is increased with the provision of better health care, footwear has become an increasingly important concern. A lack of correct support leads to comfort issues and pains that result in poorer performance and efficiency. Adding a fitted insole to the footwear of employees is a cost effective tool to increasing work productivity and comfort and is something that shouldn’t be ignored.”
Paul O’Malley | Musculoskeletal Podiatrist and Clinical Biomechanist
WHICH INSOLES SHOULD I CHOOSE FOR WORK?
Sometimes it’s hard to know. It seems as if everyone is promoting insoles that offer various benefits, but what makes some better than others? We’ll help you by dispelling a few myths, so that you can understand what to look for when selecting insoles for your work shoes.
DO INSOLES REALLY MATTER?
Yes. And it’s worth getting it right – insoles and orthotics can; improve shoe comfort and balance, protect joints, support arches, reduce fatigue in the legs and lower back, reduce foot pain, prevent corns and calluses and distribute pressure more evenly to prevent pressure “hot spots”. In this article we’ll focus specifically on over the counter insoles rather than custom made orthotics which may be required for more advanced or serious foot disorders.
CAN I USE ANY TYPE OF INSOLE IN MY SAFETY SHOES?
Firstly, your safety shoes are manufactured to protect your feet, in the event of an accident, and have been tested and certificated to EN20345:2012 with an insole already in place. If you do not replace this with an insole that has been approved and certified for use by a manufacturer, you may negate the safety standard. Secondly, your work shoes are likely to be anti-static or even ESD (Electro-Statically dissipative), so it is important that your insoles also meet this standard.
IS A CUSHIONED DESIGN GOOD OR BAD?
One of the most common myths is that cushioning is the answer to foot problems, but in fact, cushioning alone is seldom the answer. Firm but gentle support is needed to maintain the proper alignment of the foot and joints and also helps the body to absorb step impact. Excessive cushioning actually increases strain on muscles and tendons by causing joints to fall out of line as the cushioning compresses. It also uses more energy, rather like walking on sand, increasing fatigue. So, in the same way that a very soft mattress may do more harm than good to your back, a soft footbed may also do more harm than good to your feet. Most people benefit from a firm insole with moderate cushioning particularly under the heel impact area. A good test of an insole is the “pinch test”. Take the insole between fore-finger and thumb. If it can be pinched flat then the insole is neither thick nor dense enough to provide therapeutic cushioning.
HOW MUCH WILL GOOD QUALITY INSOLES COST?
Generally speaking, the best insoles will cost between £20 and £40. Insoles costing less are not generally designed to provide the level of durability or support needed to help prevent or ease early stage foot disorders. Soft foams are often low priced and appeal to consumers but do little to provide the support needed to offer help with foot problems such as plantar fasciitis or falling arches. Like most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for!
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: V12 DYNAMIC ARCH SUPPORT INSOLES
Designed with comfort, safety and durability in mind, our Dynamic Arch insoles can go a long way towards reducing foot fatigue and injury, and what’s more, they have been designed to work with every style of V12 safety boot.
WHAT PROBLEMS COULD THESE DYNAMIC ARCH SUPPORT INSOLES HELP?
- PRONATION – Manage overpronation by evenly distributing pressure and strain
- DROPPED ARCHES – Bespoke arch types that cradle the foot, providing gentle support that helps relieve pain and discomfort
- PLANTAR FASCIATIS – Dynamically shaped to the contours of your feet, with a shock-absorbing heel cushioning to minimise stress and stretching of the plantar fascia that occurs when you stand or walk
- DIABETES – A soft, stitch free and anti-static cushioning reduces friction and pinching of the feet which often leads to blisters and other open wounds that increase the risk of infection
- SUPINATION – Deep heel cups help control the position of the ankle to assis in reducing knee and hip pain
- TIRED FEET – An eco-friendly recycled foam helps reduce aches and pains as well as being fully breathable material to keep feet dry and ventilated
To find out more about these insoles, or any other styles, get in touch with our friendly team today on [email protected] or 0115 9252261!