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Orthotics
Posted by jerryblu
2/12/2006  7:21:00 PM
I had pain in my feet many years, had several badly fitted orthotics, finally got a pair that really helped, and was able to go on walks, hikes, etc.

Strangely (perhaps someone has an explanation), when I started ballroom dancing 5 years ago, and purchased ballroom shoes in which the orthotics did not fit, I had no pain, and have used those same kind of thin soled shoes now for years for dancing. OTOH, I do need the orthotics for regular shoes.

Are there are orthotics for dance shoes?

My wife and I are about to go to Buenos Aires and I plan to get shoes there. (We've been taking Argentine tango lessons now for about 5 months, so we are slightly beyond the raw beginner stage; sort of lower Bronze level) The tango shoes there are not thin soled, not suede bottomed, and have a great deal more support than my usual ballroom shoes. I am thinking that perhaps I should be getting shoes in which my inserts will fit.

Any suggestions will be welcomed.

Jerry
Re: Orthotics
Posted by Michael
2/13/2006  6:59:00 AM
Jerry, I too used to wear orthotics. I think the comfort you find in the thin soled dance shoes comes increased usage of your feet in "the proper way." In order balance correctly in either no shoes or very soft shoes the muscles in your feet have to work harder. The more support your feet have, the weaker they become. Braces of any kind, orthotics included, though useful and in many cases necessary, are not theraputic, they don't make you stronger. You may continue to need the orthotics long term, I'm not a doctor or familiar with your case. As for myself I previously wore the orthotics, but after making dance a career some 5 years ago and significantly improving the strength and usage of my feet I haven't felt the need for them.
Re: Orthotics
Posted by jerryblu
2/13/2006  1:51:00 PM
I'm glad you no longer need them, but I do, at least when I'm walking or hiking long distances. The difference is the lack of pain. It's a lot easier to hike without pain than with.

And since Argentine Tango shoes are not thin soled like Ballroom shoes, I'm still wondering if there are any tangueros out there who have info about this.

Jerry
Re: Orthotics
Posted by Ellen
2/13/2006  3:29:00 PM
I use orthotics in my ballroom shoes and have found that they improve my dancing quite a bit. I wish I had gotten them earlier, but I got advice from various sources that said they wouldn't work in dance shoes. Then, after a foot injury caused by dancing with improper foot mechanics, I had to get them anyway, so I tried them in my dance shoes. Almost immediately, my posture and balance improved significantly and I feel much more secure on my feet (which roll excessively without the orthotics). I think my feet are getting stronger as a result of the orthotics making me use the correct muscles in my feet. I have had to get a size larger in some shoes for the orthotics to fit. Maybe you should try dancing in some shoes that your orthotics do fit to see what it's like. Even if the shoes aren't ideal for dancing, they would give you a feeling for what its like to do dance steps and movements with the orthotics. Good luck! Have a great time on your trip!
Re: Orthotics
Posted by jerryblu
2/13/2006  5:12:00 PM
Thanks, Ellen. I appreciate the comments
Jerry
Re: Orthotics
Posted by Ellen
2/14/2006  1:43:00 PM
Forgot to mention that I have seen a couple of websites that claim to make orthotics specially for dancing. Can't remember the names, but I probably found them by googling dancing and orthotics.

On an unrelated but amusing note, did you know that ballet dancers can buy arch "falsies"--padding for the front (top) of the foot that makes them look like they have more of an arch than they do?
Re: Orthotics
Posted by dgcasey
8/24/2006  11:53:00 AM
I bought a pair of orthotics from www.ourfootdoctor.com and have had a great time with them. I only started dancing last October (2005) and didn't get the orthotics until around May. I feel that my dancing improved greatly because of the added support I get from them. But, just so you know, I have moderate to severe arthritis in my feet so support is something I needed. My balance improved, my ability to do a decent rise and fall improved and my duration improved.

My only complaint with these orthotics, and I'm not sure if I would find the same thing with others, is the tendancy for the orthotic to slip forward in my shoe as I'm wearing. This could be solved right out of the box by raising the back edge of the orthotic about half an inch. Right now, they're just not high enough. I solved the problem with a little dab of rubber cement in the heel of the shoe. But, it would be nice if I didn't have to do that.
Re: Orthotics
Posted by Dr. Ted
7/16/2006  12:30:00 PM
My name is Dr. Ted Cohen I am a podiatrist in Las Vegas and YES I make dance specfic orthotics!

Doctor@viawest.net
Re: Orthotics
Posted by Pip
8/3/2006  4:55:00 AM
Hi Dr Cohen,
Im a podiatrist in Australia and have a 19 yr old male pt regularly involved in ballroom. His mother is severely pronated. He has aboout 4 deg ffoot varus and calc eversion of approx 7 deg on the foot with 1st mpj pain. could you please suggest an orthotic manufacture plan to suit this gent. Ie poly vs. EVA, or reduced heel height vs. cobra - possibility of cobra with ffoot post? and degrees of posting (AH is 18mm)
Thankyou
Re: Orthotics
Posted by peckmagee
9/8/2011  3:21:00 PM
I am a contemporary dancer who has now been dancing Argentine tango for 5 years. The orthotics I use give some relief from the pain of a bunion, but it seems I should be able to find a way to dance in short heels that would not be so painful. I live in upstate NY and have not found a place to look into orthotics for tango shoes. Any suggestions?
Re: Orthotics
Posted by AFS
8/15/2012  12:56:00 PM
I dance tango argentino and instead of wearing my full-length orthotics inside the dance shoes (I would have to buy shoes that would be too wide; dance shoes need to fit snuggly), the technician at the orthotic centre adapted standard half-length orthotics by adding a wedge on one side so that I do not twist my ankles. The orthotics have arch support (the arch of my feet is too tall) and support at the ball of the foot because my feet are flat there. I cannot wear high heels because they are even worse for people with my sort of problem, so I found that the Dance Steps brand shoes by Freed of London (formerly by Equity) are perfect for my feet and my half-length orthotics. They have 1 5/8" heels. I have fruitlessly tried to find shoes in Argentina with lower heels on several occasions. The argentinian shoes are of beautiful quality and design, but they only make very high heels. I have had shoes made to order in Buenos Aires with lower heels but they ended up making them with 2" heels (higher than what I ordered but lower that what you would find on the shelves) twice. I have ordered Dance Steps shoes several times from qualitydance.com in the UK and they post them to mee. It works out cheaper than buying them in Argentina as well. Unfortunately these shoes are made mainly of synthetics, but the advantage seems to be that those materials adapt to my feet very well and are incredibly comfortable. I hope this helps.
Re: Orthotics
Posted by olderpartner
8/16/2012  6:47:00 PM
Jerry
I wear orthotics also. I have inserts that fit my ballroom shoes but they don't work at all in my latin shoes. Even if they would fit, they stiffen the shoe way too much to do any points.

I worked with my orthotic technician and managed to fit small pads at critical points in the shoe. I get the necessary support to stabilize my feet without loosing the flexibility of the latin shoe.

Moral, inserts are not the only way to get orthotic support. Many years ago I used to construct custom orthotic supports for ski boots. Different from dance shoes but each sport has different needs.
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