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Shoe inserts are know as insoles or orthotics; they are intended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern, by altering slightly the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.
Orthotics can be issued after a full biomechanical assessment has been completed and a prescription has been made.
The correct footwear is needed for orthotics to be functional. The shoes need to be wide and deep enough to accommodate them and ideally in a shoe with a fastening. When purchasing shoes a removable insole would be very beneficial so the insole can be removed and an orthotic can be inserted.
As an orthotic is putting the foot at a different angle it is advisable to gradually 'break it in' as it may be uncomfortable and can take some getting used too. Wearing for short periods at home then gradually going further and wearing for longer periods would be recommended. If the orthotic causes too much pain or begins to cause pain in the knees or hips; it would be advisable to remove and contact the clinic as it may just need to be altered slightly.