Everyone needs orthoses, right?

John is a long term member of BB and also happens to be the owner of two Fleet Feet stores in lovely North Carolina, U.S.A.

Recently John sent me an email with a couple of very insightful questions.

Here is what John wrote:

1. I own a running store and sell orthoses, but I am not a believer in the idea that everyone needs one.  I know there are situations where they certainly provide a benefit, but I would like your general take on the situation, especially in regards to custom vs. off the shelf and using orthoses for comfort vs. function.  Also, I have had difficulty finding any strong studies that support custom orthoses (with the exception of a diabetic population). Have you come across any that you would recommend?

2. What is your take on how the "traditional" running shoe wall is organized?  I would really like to change our wall and get away from the amount of "support" and maybe organize by fit and feel. Would love your take.

So I am sure you, like me, think these are a couple of ripper questions! Number 1 goes against the flow for some tech retail, and I really applaud John for taking the time think about this. Number 2 is a topic dear to my heart, so let’s look at them one by one.

Question 1 is actually a can of worms.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical