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Orthotic Liner for Football Boots

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by sesadler, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. sesadler

    sesadler Member

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    Good Morning and Afternoon to you all!

    Looking for some opinions on options for orthotic liner materials for use in football boots.

    I've used the following with drawbacks and am hoping for additional ideas:
    EVA - shock absorbent and moldable but tends to delaminate and hard to get a wet sock back into.

    Spenco - cushiony, but issues with slip and shear with all the cutting side to side.

    Vinyl - similar to the slip with spenco.

    I like the 'idea' of leather but am worried it will get hard after it dries from being wet in the boot.


    Also, any benefit of dropping a 3/4 length insert into a set mid-distance (400 meters) track and field spikes for a teenage athlete with some plantar fascia issues? Since the event is spent on the balls of the feet...

    Thanks all - in advance!

  2. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Football or soccer?

    I did some work with soccer boots a few years ago which worked reasonably well.
    The Club pulled the plug before we could do any kind of valid research, so you are welcome to the idea.....

    The background is that the Club were English Premiership, and of course the usual orthotic devices won't go in the boots.
    Players were sent to me with pre-season blistering, PF, and various met injuries which were receiving or had been receiving Orthopaedic or physiotherapy treatment.

    The answer, I found, was to take a neutral cast of the foot, and correct, by mm's rather than degrees, forefoot medially or laterally. A heel-lift could be added to the device as needed. The device itself, the most successful anyway, was cork butter, cut to the same shape as the boot innersole, which it replaced, and covered in leather - I used red and blue for two different teams, but there are planty of colours to choose.

    I aimed for a low-profile device which had a limited life - perhaps less than one season.
    Players in general were happy with the devices which were very comfortable and certainly reduced the pre-season blister incidence.
  3. I work with a premiership rugby club and use whatever material I feel suitable for the player and their problem. In the main, polyprop, EVA, high density plastazoate, Poron. Never have any real issues with fitting into boots provided the orthoses are custom made for the boots in question; I'll modify chair-side, then take the player over the park across the road to ensure the player is comfortable with the fit on a playing surface. Most modern boots have a removable sock liner which gives a bit of extra room once removed. The main issue with rugby players (similar to American football) is the weight of the players x their accelerations- generally averaging around 200-240lb's in weight, rugby is a series of sprints over 80 minutes and some of these guys are really quick so the forces going through the foot are pretty big. Players are ordinarilly training/ playing 5 days per week. In order to deal with the high loading, the devices I make for these guys are frequently stiffer than I would employ with say distance runners with a similar pathology. The wet in-boot conditions provide challenges in terms of adhesives, some just don't cut the muster. Generally, I replace top-covers much more frequently for these chaps than I do for my marathon runner patients.

    With regard to your 3/4 length orthoses for your 400m runner- depends whether they are forefoot striking or not to an extent. Try low-dye taping first- see if this helps.

    Read this quote somewhere recently: "Football (soccer) players spend 90 minutes pretending that they're hurt; rugby players spend 80 minutes pretending that they are not." Yep.
  4. Phil Wells

    Phil Wells Active Member

    Hi Stephen

    I have been working with a couple of pods for years who had the same problem with both Soccer and Rugby players. This is how we got round the problems -
    1. All the orthotics were CAD designed and milled out of one piece of material - usually PU or EVA - (Variable or single density) . Postings and pads such as 2-5 met bars etc were designed into the shell so didn't need to be glued on afterwards.
    2. No top covers were used - no gluing and nothing to fall off!
    3. To keep bulk/thickness to a minimum at the forefoot, the material was kept as 2mm thick but a .5mm polyethylene bottom cover/sheet was added to the underside of the shell. This does a good job of deflecting stud pressure and to help sliding the insole in and out of the shell as it adds considerable stiffness. (A double layer of this material is very effective when specific stud pressures needs 'deflecting' e.g. 1st met head.)
    Finally expect limited shelf life - some premiership Rugby players sometimes replace theirs every 2 months due to the combination of factors outlined by Simon.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    We have used a 400 EVA for the AFL players we have dealt with in the past, no cover at all.

    For some we modified the actual boot to be deeper to accommodate for any build ups for LLD and to accommodate some of the bulky type orthosis they already have.
  6. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I've started working with a Premier league rugby club just recently. The first chap I saw was a man mountain. Literally built like a marvel super hero. Had similar thoughts regarding shell and top cover decisions. May buzz you at some point and bend your ear about this.
  7. PodAus

    PodAus Active Member

    Leather top and bottom liners can be particularly durable, dependant upon the quality of leather.

    Just as the boot upper is often made of leather.

    Pig skin is often a prime choice.
    Footballs (and saddles) are also made with pigskin... and both are relatively 'durable'.
  8. I work with all types of athletes and have made many pairs of foot orthotics for use in soccer cleats. I use UCOlite foam as a topcover. It is closed cell, so no water absorption. It also has excellent durability and reduces the lateral slipping that is so common with vinyl. Another good choice is called Nickoplast.

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