A few weeks ago I published a video of me on Instagram running down the road with THE squeakiest trainers ever. Honestly they were driving me nuts, It’s here if you want to see it. A couple of days I walked into the gym making the same noise and seriously the whole room turned round. Enough was enough. Something had to give so I got on the phone to podiatrist David Eardley from Peacocks Medical Group who make orthotics and asked his advice. ‘If your orthotics and your shoes fit well together this won’t happen,’ he told me. ‘But if there’s a gap at any point between the orthotic and the shoe the orthotic will move and that causes squeaking.’ The good news was that there seemed to be lots of solutions that could help….
- Talc. Simply sprinkling this inside the bottom of the shoe and placing the orthotic back on top can reduce the friction and stop the squeak. ‘It doesn’t always work though,’ says David. ‘And you do have to keep renewing it.’
- Velcro: Because the problem is the orthotic moving in the shoe putting something in place to stop that movement can also help. David suggests sticking a strip of velco furry side up on the base of your shoe, then sticking a second postage stamp sized piece on the base of the orthotic at the point you can feel the movement or gap. If you’re lucky the two will stick and your squeak will stop.
- Moleskin: If the squeak occurs at the heel, stick a square of moleskin on the bottom of your shoe. It cushions the orthotic and can stop the problem.
- If you’re getting new orthotics, then the absolute best solution is to send your shoe along to the orthotic manufacturer so they can fit the inner sole to your shoes as well as your foot. Sadly that one is too late for me.
At this point I was inspired – I thought the moleskin trick sounded like my best solution and I was ready to go get some, but then as part of my day job I went to find out about a new treatment for arthritis called Apos therapy which uses specially crafted shoes to alter the way you walk reducing pain. Part of the visit involved having a gait analysis to see how I walked, I scored really well which surprised me and so we started discussing my pronation – at this point I happened to mention, ‘the squeak’. The physiotherapist took one look at my trainers and said ‘they are a shoe designed to correct your pronation, I actually don’t think you need your orthotics in them. Maybe a few years ago when trainers weren’t as good at correcting gait you did, but now, in this shoe, with your level of pronation, I don’t think you actually need the orthotics.’
That was about six weeks ago and that very night I took the orthotics out of my shoes. I admit I was nervous. I can’t even remember why I got the orthotics in the first place but I know it was because something had started to hurt. My first run was fine, my second run was fine – and, while I’m by no means rackiing up the miles right now, the other runs have been fine too – so, hooray. I no longer squeak.
Making tip no5: Buy a shoe designed to correct your problem, take out the stupid squeaky things and see what happens.
Oh and while we’re on the subject of all things insole related. While I might have divested myself of my trainer boost, I’ve had to add some added support to my daily walking plimsols. I’m still trying to rack up 10,000 steps a day on top of my normal exercise and I admit it’s taking it’s toll on my feet a little bit. When I walk in my shiny new black plimsols I’m definitely feeling twinges that signify the return of my old friend plantar fasciitis but thankfully, I’d been sent some Sole Footbeds to try. These use the heat generated as you walk to mould the inner sole to the base of your feet and give your arches some extra support. It’s early days, but so far, so good and I’m not getting so many twinges. You can also use them in running shoes so, if you’re having foot woes they might be a good in between solution between getting customised orthotics and nothing. As an added bonus, they don’t seem to make any sound either.