It’s often claimed that foot orthotics will make the muscles in your feet weaker reducing arch strength.
But actually the opposite is true.
Feet that are poorly positioned will have compromised muscle function, meaning that some muscles will operate over their intended activity level while others will operate under their intended activity level.
Think about someone who is flat-footed. Due to their poor foot positioning while walking more stress will be put on certain muscles, but a reduced demand will be placed on other muscles within the foot when compared to a normal arched foot.
Now think about the same flatfooted patient. However, now they have been fitted with foot orthotics. The foot orthotics cause a decreased demand on the muscles that were previously being overworked but also causes an increased demand in muscle activity from muscles that were previously being underworked.
The above scenario demonstrates that someone with poorly positioned feet will have compromised muscle function, but wearing foot orthotics assists in returning faulty foot function closer to normal, improving muscle function. Improved muscle function often results in improved muscle strength and the ability for muscles to continuously strengthen themselves.
Multiple studies* show increased activity of certain muscles when patients wear orthotics, demonstrating that orthotics can actually make your feet stronger. All while off-loading overworked tissues.
Orthotics don’t act like a crutch in turn they are improving foot function and therefore increase muscle strength! Debunking the myth that foot orthotics lead to muscle atrophy and weaken the muscles of the foot and leg - not true!