To begin, the positives. Running involves a significant amount of bending of the toes, and this bending can worsen a number of running problems, such as plantar plate sprains, sesamoiditis, and morton’s neuroma. Running demands a significant amount of bending of the toes. Your injuries will heal faster if you wear shoes with a solid plate that spans the whole length of the shoe. This plate will decrease the motion that causes your toes to bend inward.
In addition, the incorporation of a full-length carbon fiber insole into your running shoes can improve energy return, which refers to the action of your foot pushing off the ground while you run. According to the findings of a study that investigated the efficacy of carbon plate inserts for elite runners, the carbon plate helps to “improve runners’ ankle mechanics by stabilizing the joint and reducing the load on calves.” Additionally, the study found that the carbon plate helps “keep runners’ toes nice and straight, allowing them to preserve the energy they would otherwise spend flexing them.”
Now, onto the negatives. These running shoes with carbon fiber plate come with a hefty price tag that may go as high as $250. Second, given that the carbon fiber is an integral part of the shoe, you can only reap the benefits of having it when you are really wearing the shoes in question. However, we have a strong suspicion that you have more than one pair of shoes. Last but not least, these shoes have something called a carbon fiber plate, which is a piece of flat carbon fiber that is sewn into the sole of the shoe. You won’t find any carbon fiber arch support in that location. If you’re seeking for it, good luck.
So, what exactly should you be searching for in an insole for your running shoes? And why are the ones that come standard in most running shoes insufficient for your needs? Excellent questions.
Why Over-the-Counter Insoles Are Necessary for Runners
Mark Plaatjes, a world champion marathoner, a physical therapist, and the proprietor of a running shoe business, will tell you that the insoles that come standard in running shoes are often made of thin materials and can be easily damaged. According to Plaatjes, “An over-the-counter insole will normally last through two or three pairs of shoes and give a significant amount of support and/or cushioning. The type of insole you choose will determine how long the insole will last.” In addition to this, they have the ability to improve a shoe’s functionality and extend its lifespan.
The idea of getting more life out of your running shoes seems fantastic, doesn’t it? The addition of a pair of over-the-counter insoles is simple, but once you start looking around, you’ll find that there are a lot of different alternatives available to you. You will need to spend some time considering a variety of factors, ranging from the materials they are made out of to the levels of stiffness, in order to choose what is ideal for your foot. Here’s your explanation.
What Kinds of Features Runners Should Search for in Their Insoles
According to podiatrist Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, “You want to search for materials that are semi-resistant, materials that truly give support,” as stated in the previous sentence. Even for people with flat feet, he suggests looking for an insert that will both shape the arch and lift the ground up to a higher level.
Just because an insole is constructed and offers strong, rigid support doesn’t mean the battle is won. In order to emerge victorious from this conflict, you will need to combine that support with the appropriate arch height. The arch height of the most majority of running insoles is standardized, which makes it impossible for them to provide any real benefit. Insoles with an arch height that corresponds most closely to your own are going to do the following:
• Encourage correct alignment of the foot and maximize the effectiveness of your biomechanics – Overuse injuries are possible consequences of improper alignment.
• Avoid getting injured when jogging by avoiding things like shin splits and stress fractures.
• Foot discomfort caused by conditions such as plantar fasciitis and posterior tibial tendinitis can be alleviated.
Decrease discomfort in the kinetic chain, particularly those in the knees, hips, and lower back The proper support for the arch of the foot helps to disperse pressure throughout the foot and realign tissues, all of which contribute to a reduction in the amount of discomfort experienced. Foot, knee, and back discomfort are all possible symptoms caused by structures that are out of alignment.
A deep heel cup is yet another important characteristic of insoles in comparison to carbon plates. It does this by optimizing the natural shock absorber in your foot, which is the fatty pad behind your heel. This helps your body feel less taxed after the repetitive effort that you exert on it when running.
The foam overlay that your foot sits on and the structural element that offers arch support are the two primary components that are often found in supportive insoles that may be purchased over-the-counter. Although the materials used in comfort layers can range from gel to poron to cork, the two main types of foam that you’ll find in the comfort layer of over-the-counter insoles are open-cell polyurethane and EVA foam. Comfort layers can also be made of other materials, such as a combination of these materials. It is advisable to use open-cell polyurethane since it maintains its cushioning for five times longer than EVA and breathes better.
Why Carbon Fiber Orthotics Are a Good Choice for Competent Runners
The advantages of using carbon fiber insoles are numerous and extensive, and they are especially beneficial for runners who compete at a high level, such as marathoners, ultra-runners, long-distance trail runners, competitive runners, and runners who want to improve their performance while simultaneously lowering their risk of injury.
Arch supports made of carbon fiber are extremely lightweight, which means that you won’t need to worry about adding a significant amount of weight to your running shoes in order to obtain the support you require. Here is a comparison: the polypro arch supports that are used in our Ramble and Pace insoles are significantly heavier than the carbon fiber arch supports that are used in Tread Labs’ Dash insoles, which are made entirely of carbon fiber.
Because carbon fiber arch supports are so incredibly thin, you won’t have to worry about your running shoes becoming cumbersome as a result of using them. The arch supports that are utilized in the Tread Labs Dash insoles have a thickness of 1.25 millimeters, yet they nonetheless provide support that is extremely firm and virtually stiff. When you compare several types of carbon fiber insoles for runners, you’ll see that different companies use the material in a variety of different ways. While some employ 100% carbon fiber, others include carbon fibers into the structure of other materials. Pay attention to ensure that you obtain precisely what it is that you want.
Arch supports made of carbon fiber are exceptionally long-lasting. Several insoles designed for marathoners and ultrarunners simply cannot withstand the strain that these distances place on them. Arch supports made of carbon fiber can withstand a significant amount of pressure, which means you won’t have to replace them as frequently as you may have to replace insoles made of materials that are not as robust.
Structural supports made of carbon fiber are stiff. You are aware of the amount of energy with which your foot impacts the ground; thus, you require an arch support that is resilient enough to withstand the strain. Arch support insoles that flex can give way under the tremendous levels of force that are typical of running, which defeats the point of wearing the insoles in the first place. You won’t have to worry about buckling or not getting enough structural support since carbon fiber is so incredibly strong and rigid.