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A visit to the podiatrist suggested I get custom made orthotics for foot stabilization. He made some temporary pads which provided some arch support that relieved some pressure off the fore front of the foot towards the middle of the foot. This help in not getting hot spots

I'm flat footed and feet pronate inward which causes hot spots on long rides.

For those who use custom orthotics, is it worth the cost and what is their life span. If not using custom orthotics, what inserts have you used.

Current shoes are shimano 106 series I tried the specialized inserts to no avail.
 

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I had some made more than 10 years ago with a 4 degree wedge to solve some knee inflammation problems I was having. The cost wasn't prohibitive, around $150 but it was covered 100% by insurance. I'm still using the same set in my road bike shoes, they've outlasted the shoes (always in Sidi shoes as they were trimmed to fit). I ride quite a lot, around 10K/miles per year so a pretty good investment.
 

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I started using a set of custom orthotics 5 years ago because my plantar fasciitis got really bad. It was well worth it but unfortunately, the set they made which was molded from my feet doesn't fit my other shoes. I ended up using Dr. Scholls ones with those. Anything is better than dealing with daily plantar fasciitis pain.

What also helps is to get fit a set of rubber shoes from a place which analyzes your foot, arch, stride, etc and recommends shoes for you. You try on dozens of pairs until you find the perfect one. With those shoes, I don't need to use any additional insoles.

Definitely go for it. You need to take care of your feet.
 

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The Specialized Body Geometry insoles come in 3 degrees of support. For your flat feet (as are mine) did you choose the correct insole (the red insoles work best for flat feet)?

You may want to try the varus/valgus shims which also come with the insoles. Talk to a podiatrist that understands cycling is a "forefoot posted" activity, or find a bike fitter who's familiar with adjusting cycling shoes. Dr. Andy Pruitt has excellent instructions on correcting for varus/valgus tilt in his book, Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists.
 

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I have the same issue, flat feet, pronation, etc. I had a sports medicine therapist in Singapore recommended by the pilates studio my wife worked at video tape me walking on a treadmill and riding my own bike on a stationary trainer. I ended up with Solestar Custom's which are full length, including a heel cup, arch, metatarsal pads, etc. They are quite thin so their displacement did not require getting a larger shoe size. I've used them for four full seasons now, riding in the rain of Singapore and cold of New England, about 5,000 miles/year and they have held up well. In fact, they've outlasted one pair of shoes, Shimano 220E's. The cost, about $300USD was almost entirely covered by my insurance at the time.
 

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Once upon a time I had plantar fasciitis, but it went away after a week or two. Very odd.

I had purchased insoles for additional support when I bought my last pair of running shoes, but never used them. John uses insoles all the time, so I told him to try them (we're about the same size.)

I'm afraid of trying them and then getting used to them.
 

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I don't use what I would call custom insoles, they are more semi-custom. They are off the shelf and then heat mouldable using a kitchen oven. I have tried almost every off the shelf insole as I have very high arches and most shoes don't provide enough support. I had suffered Planter Fasciitis several times until I visited a local running store who recorded me running on a treadmill bare foot and then played it back in slow motion and observed what was causing PF. They were the ones who told me I had very high arches but the best running shoes for me were Stability shoes but those don't have enough arch support. So they fit me to some of their "custom" footbeds to help with the Arch support, no more PF. But their footbeds were $150 and needed to be replaced about once a year with amount of miles I was running. I found a brand I like more than that stores brand and they are 1/3 the cost, here https://secure.yoursole.com/us/mens/footbeds/signature-viesturs/ . I do know that some REI's carry them if you have one near by. I don't use these in my main cycling shoes as they are a little thick although I know they make thinner ones, I just haven't tried them. I do have a set of the Specialized BG footbeds in my main cycling shoes as recommended by my bike fitter and I love them.

SS-
 

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Another insole option

Another option is Tread labs Insoles. They come in multiple arch heights. Their extra high arch is very high. The support is more like a custom orthotic. The Stride Thin model is ideal as a cycling insole with a thinner top cover for the snug fit of cycling shoes. All insoles are sold with a 30 day fit guarantee.
For those that need a metatarsal pad, ask about their met pad kits. They will be available soon.
 

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I had custom orthotics several years ago when I was running a lot. I was tired of spending $$$ on deep tissue massage that would be a temporary fix the IT band issue I was having (stretching and a foam roller weren't helping). The massage therapist suggested getting my feet checked, which I did, and orthotics were recommended (in hindsight, the two shared an office building so maybe...). The orthotics did help with the IT band trouble but then I started having knee pain that continued to get worse. So I stopped using the orthotics and the knee pain went away. It wasn't long after that when I decided the biking was enough and stopped running so I don't know if the original issue would have returned or not. This isn't a knock against orthotics, just a suggestion to use someone who knows what they're doing for sports-related orthotics. I'm thinking mine probably just needed some fine tuning.
 

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I have been using custom orthotics for about 20 years. I'm on my third pair. I have never been charged anything out of pocket/other than what they get reimbursed from my insurance. I need them, I did a lot of damage to me feet riding dirt bikes (motorcycles) in Chucks (or sometimes bare foot). They have been life savers. They fit in my cycling shoes fine but I figure them into every footepwear purchase. The Podiatric Surgeon I go to handles a lot of elite athletes in various sports.
 
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