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The benefits of Formthotics in cycling and running

30 September 2014 - posted by Rebecca Gifford

Formthotics are my secret weapon; they could be yours too. As a podiatrist and athlete I have experienced first-hand the benefits Formthotics can play in injury prevention, rehabilitation and general performance during sporting activity.

A lot of people use orthotics for running but don’t realise how much load and pressure they also put through their feet with cycling known as technically ‘low impact’. As with running, cycling is a series of repetitive movements, which when performed poorly can lead to overload, irritation and injury – commonly in the knee, ITB or foot.

Recently the Formthotics range has expanded to include a cycle shoe specific range and I couldn’t be happier. I began using Formthotics in my cycling shoes a few years ago when my knee starting hurting during longer rides, this was attributed to my foot overpronating (rolling in) during the downward pedal stroke. The excess pronation movement was causing my knee to collapse inward which was aggravating the patella tendon and causing discomfort. 

In the past other products from the Formthotics range have been used and adapted to fit my cycle shoe. The biggest benefit I have noticed with the Cycle Formthotics the ease of fit attributed to the subtle shape change and lower profile. Having both single and dual density options available also means those needing it, such as patients with bony prominences and those experiencing higher impact such as mountain bikers, have the option of more cushioning in conjunction with optimal mechanical alignment and control.

Due to the increased stability of my foot with Cycle Formthotics, I no longer suffer from any knee pain, my pedal stroke is a lot more fluid and my power output is much higher. I also find my legs are less fatigued at the end of a long ride due to the improved alignment. 

Benefits of Cycle Formthotics:

  • Improved fit through having the contour of Formthotics under your foot. This improved fit increases contact between your foot and the shoe meaning the downward phase of the pedal stoke produces optimal force
  • Improved biomechanical alignment reduces risk of injury
  • Light weight and not bulky compared to other types of orthotics
  • More insulation during the winter months means numb toes are not such a common occurrence
  • Really durable. I usually get a few years out of one pair of Formthotics in my cycle shoes

My not-so-secret weapon recently helped me complete my first half iron man injury free. Based on my history of injuries I know I wouldn’t have achieved the training miles or results I did without Formthotics supporting me in my shoes through the bike and run. 

If you have never thought of using a Formthotic for cycling, and something I have said gives you that wee light bulb moment, I encourage you to head to the Formthotics website) to find more information and a practitioner near you. 

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Rebecca Gifford is a podiatrist at PodiatryMed and triathlete based in Christchurch, New Zealand