FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is this product?
Orthotics (arch supports that go in your shoes) are designed to align the body and balance weight properly helping to alleviate trouble with knees, hips, and your back. They are designed to evenly distribute your body weight in the arch of your foot reducing heel pain and bunions.
How much do they cost?
The regular price through our offices in the UK is £250 (plus £10 postage & handling). Chiropractors and other doctors may charge more or less than this price and may charge a consultation fee. Each pair has a life expectancy of around 15 years (10 year guarantee against breaking, cracking or splitting).
Can you wash them?
Use warm soapy water, wipe them dry (or let them air dry) and they are good to go!! They are not made of foam, which breaks down with time, nor are they made of leather, which holds moisture.
Can you run in these? Will they help?
You can run with our orthotics. Certainly orthotics will help realign bones, evenly distribute body weight and allow the body to function in proper alignment. Keep in mind our orthotics are not a miracle cure - you cannot put them in and run a marathon straight away. One needs to break into them. After you are in them all day, then you can start a second easier break-in with your high impact activities.
How long does it take to get used to them?
That depends; some people wear them all day almost straight away, while others take upward of a month or more. It can take up to three months - not common, but possible. The usual break-in period is about three weeks. We provide a written schedule to break into them. The few people who have trouble adjusting to our orthotics are nearly always those who try to wear them too much too soon.
Do these work for a diabetic?
YES! They increase circulation and aid in reducing pressure ulcers. The non-absorptive material can be washed daily if needed.
How do they work?
The Step Forward orthotic is the shape of a normal healthy foot. By working the muscle groups the foot adapts to that correct shape.
We select the correct size to match the length and width of your foot. The hard form is designed to support body weight to align your knees, hips and back. The flexing action of the orthotics is designed to exercise muscle groups, toning and stretching, increasing circulation (a diabetic benefit), thereby reducing fatigue.
Do they work?
They kept Step Forward Company in business for over 38 years. Many of these arches are sold through medical professionals (chiropractors, therapists, orthopaedics and sports medicine doctors). Yes, they DO work!
Have Clinical Trials Been Done To Prove They Work?
New drugs come on the market only after extensive "clinical trials" to prove their efficacy and safety. We are sometimes asked if Step Forward Orthotics have been proven in such clinical trials. No one wants to be a guineau pig! We want to know that a treatment is both safe and effective. Medical devices, and drugs in particular, may not work or could lead to undesirable side-effects. Clinical trials have an important role to play in their verification before general use. However, they also have their limitations. Issues of history, specificity and cost make clinical trials for Step Forward Orthotics not only unnecessary, but also irrelevant.
Step Forward Orthotics were developed over a 20 year period commencing in the 1940's. They have now been used extensively by the public in many countries for decades. We already have a forty year track record with a very high success rate.
While many devices are intended to affect only one specific condition, Step Forward Orthotics play a role in a wide range of problems. Many people report benefits beyond the primary area of concern. How could this be assessed in a strict clinical trial?
Many drugs and devices are expensive because they require constant use or regular replacement. Step Forward Orthotics cost around one pound a day for a year, then are free for the rest of their life (typically around 10 to 15 years). To conduct clinical trials to prove that Step Forward Orthotics assist in correcting bunions would cost a minimum of £20,000. Then we would have to do it all over again to prove that they assist with back pain, then all over again for knee pain, then all over again for heel pain, and so on. These costs would end up as an increase in the price you pay.
Do you take a cast or a mould?
Our orthotics are NOT custom-made. That is the last thing we want to do! If we were to start with a copy of your bad foot we would start with all your misalignment. We want your foot to change. Regardless of the current shape of your feet (since that is wrong anyway) we provide your foot with the template for the perfect shape. With this bio-engineered balanced form we will work the muscle groups of the foot to adapt to the correct shape. On the other hand, we certainly do NOT say 'one size fits all'. On the contrary, we have dozens of different sizes so we can match the size of the bone structure of your feet.
Why don't podiatrists sell them?
Our orthotics are worn and sold by a wide variety of medical professionals, including podiatrists, who have recognised the shortcomings of custom-made orthotics. Enquiries from podiatrists are welcome.
All feet are different. How can one shape be correct?
Feet do come in all shapes and sizes, not because they should be, but as the result of a failing of the muscles! The bones are essentially the same shapes, but the feet are different shapes because the muscles, ligaments & tendons have pulled the bones into those shapes, or have let them fall into those shapes. The Step Forward shape was perfected over about 20 years of research, analysis and experimentation in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. It has proven to be successful during the decades of extensive use since.