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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 02-Apr-08


Wednesday 02-April-08

Fancy footwork

I recently bought a pair of MBT shoes for walking in London. With a fancy design, including convex soles, they help your posture as you walk and are great for back and knee support. This story is not about the shoes, but when I took the shoes back to the shop as there was a slight discomfort. The manager was horrified to find that I had not been given insoles and offered to give me a full check-out.

I was first asked to step onto electronic sensors, at which a computer screen lit up with a map of the pressure across my feet. The manager mm'd and ah'd and pointed out the uneven profile and started talking about the effects this would have on knees, back and other joints. He made a number of measurements of my feet and tut-tutted at the differences. A.skeletal foot was produced and repeatedly used to show how I was being pulled out of kilter.

But never fear -- there was a solution! Custom-made insoles would, over time, correct the troubles and ward off arthritis and other spectres. It was of course the best thing to do and I'd have to act soon. No price was mentioned, and I was alarmed at talk of 'the right thing' and 'the best approach, really' and asked how much. With further preamble about how wonderful and necessary it all was, he eventually told me the price: ?255.

I nearly fell over. ?255 for a pair of shoe inserts? Noticing my pallour, he smoothly moved onto a cheaper option - off-the-shelf orthotic inserts, which I could try now. I did and it did feel better, so bought a pair. It seemed like a snip at ?55. Even as the guy was taking the money, he was telling me to try these first for a month and then come back for the proper solution.

After I got home and when I was beginning to think that ?55 was still very expensive for iinsoles, I looked them up on the web and bought another pair for ?25.

Sounds like I was had? Maybe, but there is some mitigation. The insoles from the web are ok, but not as good as the more expensive ones. And the whole walking experience is now much better, with less aches and pains afterwards. But ?255 for custom insoles? I think not.

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