Click here for the latest on RunEatGossip »

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Since my first injury in 2006,  I have been using some sort of orthotics for my shoes. Over the years, I have chosen not to use the insoles that comes with the running shoes and chosen to use my own. But ever since I moved on to mid foot running, I stopped using them and just went with the conventional insoles. However, with the latest injury, I have switched back to using orthotics again.

Here is a rundown of the orthotics that I have used or am using (left to right):

1. Sole Footbed. This was one of the earliest orthotics that I got. It is heat moldable. Just put it in a toaster or oven and heat it up. Once it soften, stand on it and volia, an insoles that mold nicely to the foot.  I worn this pair for a long long time back in those days when I was a heel striker.  Like most typical orthotics, it is semi rigid and do not allow for any flex at all. Looking back, I wondered how in the world I got used to it but it certainly does provide very good cushioning and support. Till today, I am still using it, but not in running shoes but my heavy duty walking shoes. The Sole Footbed is available at Running Lab outlets.

2. The 2nd orthotics is the small little Vasyli Orthaheel  prescribed by my osteopath and cost an arm and a leg. It is also a heat moldable insole but instead of the full insole, I was prescribed the half insole. The osteopath's reasoning was that a half insole can fits most shoes and provide adequate support for the arch and heel. And that is really the truth. This pair of insoles has raced with me through almost all my earlier races right up to 2009. It provides extremely good heel cushioning and was so comfortable that I don't even feel the weight. But that was when I was wearing heavy chunky shoes like the Asics 2120 and a very hard core heel striker. Today this pair has been consigned to the shoe cupboard never to see the light again.

3. After my latest injury, I decided that I need some sort of cushioning and one day while walking through a mall, I saw this guy demonstrating an amazing feat. He dropped an egg on to an insole and to my wonder, the egg did not break at all. Okay, I am well known in the family for being a sucker for these street stalls' products so naturally I bought one pair. No. Actually 2. Not really cheap. But it cost $30.00 for 1 and $50.00 for 2 so it make sense to buy 2 right? This is a pair of Taiwanese made air-cushioned insoles. It bottom is filled with many air sacs which supposedly provide good support by absorbing all the impact. In addition, according to the product information that comes with it, it is made accordingly to foot reflexology principle and in addition to reducing impact, it is anti-bacterial, provides acupuncture therapy and has deodorizing effect by "far infrared radiation" (whatever that means). Is it effective? Let's just say I have since bought another pair. The kid was complaining about knee pain in his early days of BMT and I asked him to switch to this instead of the army issued Asics' insole and believe it or not, his knee pain disappeared!  The sidekick is also using it in her shoes and has no complains so far  and is in fact recommending it to her friends. Me? since I discovered the next pair of insoles, I have switch these to my daily work shoes and no, I haven't tried dropping any egg on it. Yet.......

4. Finally, my latest pair of wonder. The Formthotics Shock Stop insoles. It was prescribed by the podiatrist at CGH during my last visit. How good is it? Today after my visit to the podiatrist, I asked for another 2 pairs so that I don't have to keep switching them among my shoes. This, accordingly to the product info, is a custom medical orthotics but as far as I am concerned, it is absolutely the best I have ever used. It is soft and yet provides very good cushioning and support. It is very flexible as well and it molds to the feet without needing to go through any heat treatment. The website said this particular model is for the elderly and diabetics etc so I guess I have come to the stage where I am now deemed elderly. So sad :( But hey they really works so who care! I know its going to sound sacrilegious but I am going to use them with my minimalist shoes.  They cost $60.00 a pair but unfortunately is only available from the hospital and are not sold in any retail outlets here in Singapore. 

So that's about it for the time being. Until something better comes along.

And finally, except for the Sole Footbed which was given to me by Running Lab, I paid for all the other insoles.


  1. I really enjoyed reading your post about the types of orthotics and insoles that you have tried. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Where to get the third option?
    I think I need that for my own sidekick too. ;)

  3. Hi Daniel, Congrats on the IM! I got the insole from one of those kiosk at the Raffles Place Xchange. I think it is there like almost permanently.

  4. Exactly, these insoles offer very good heel cushioning and was very much comfortable.

    Insoles Support

  5. Cool yeah my feet or ways hurt and really bad pain when i run but thanks to orthotics i wont have to worry no more do you think? orthotic insoles and other footcare products superoit is where i buy most of my insoles and even ehight increasing insoles from... it is fast to delivery

  6. what is the difference between sports and running insoles and orthotics?