An innovative bespoke biometric insole was launched by Newcastle-based Podfo Limited on Wednesday 7 March at the Great North Museum: Hancock.Read Article
With insoles being readily available online or off-the-shelf of your local supermarket or pharmacy, as well as those prescribed by your podiatrist,
the choices can be overwhelming.
Getting the right insole is an investment in your health and wellbeing and finding one which meets your individual requirements is critical
– and in some cases not using the right insole can exacerbate pain or discomfort.
To help you choose the right insole our team of experts have provided a guide to understanding the difference between bespoke and off-the-shelf insoles.
Off-the-shelf insoles are non-custom, ready-made orthotics designed to offer some support to the arch of the foot and spread weight more evenly
along the bottom of the foot.
Off-the-shelf shoe inserts are fitted by shoe size and some can be trimmed to fit your shoes. These are readily available insoles which can be bought
online or in stores. As they are mass produced they are not made to fit individual feet or address the user’s individual pain, injury
or biomechanical imbalance.
Podfo bespoke biometric insoles are custom-made orthotics which are designed for the closest fit to your foot and to meet your requirements
whether this is treating an injury or pain, or to improve comfort.
At Podfo, we create your bespoke biometric insole following a consultation with one of our Podfo Partners.
This will involve soft tissue analysis and a gait analysis to identify any biomechanical abnormalities in the way you walk or run. The gait analysis
will look at your joints and bone movement and will allow us to assess your individual requirements.
A precise scan, imprint or cast is taken of the foot and this data is used, in combination with your assessment, to ensure that the insole is bespoke
to your individual prescription as well as your plantar surface.
Before choosing your orthotic it is important to consider why you need the orthotic in the first place – is this to improve your sporting
performance or because of an injury?
It is important that opposed to self-diagnosing a pain or injury you visit a qualified health professional or podiatrist who can identify
and treat this. Buying an off-the-shelf insole can be a quick remedy for immediate pain, however it may not provide a long-term or permanent
solution as it does not necessarily address the underlying root cause of the pain. Whilst foot pain could be caused by a strain or injury,
it could also be due to a gait imbalance that could be identified and corrected with bespoke insoles.
• Fit – Off-the-shelf insoles are offered based on shoe sizes, with some providing the user the option to trim or cut these into shape.
Podfo bespoke biometric Insoles are designed to provide the closest fit to foot, and Podfo fit into the majority of active wear shoes.
• Cost – Whilst off-the-shelf insoles are cheaper to buy, they do not last as long as bespoke insoles and often finding one which
addresses your needs or is the right fit can take time. Whilst they may cost more bespoke insoles provide a longer-term investment in
your health and wellbeing.
• Treating pain or injury – Buying an off-the-shelf insole may provide immediate relief to pain or discomfort however it will not identify
or address the cause of the issue. When you are assessed for a Podfo bespoke biometric insole the issue or injury will be addressed
as well as the symptoms to provide a longer-term solution.
• Hygiene – Some off-the-shelf insoles can be cleaned by washing them in lukewarm water. However, many are made from foam-based
materials which can disintegrate and change shape and the support they offer when they come into contact with water. Podfo biometric
insoles can be washed in the dishwasher without incurring any damage, alternatively they can be washed in hot soapy water
if handwashing is preferred.