Walkfit Orthotics Review
I was sitting around on a Sunday morning reading the Seattle Times with the TV on in the background when an infomercial came on for Walkfit Platinum Orthotic Arch Supports. I decided to order a pair and give you my review.
What’s Good About Walkfit?
- These arch supports are almost indestructible and will last for a long time.
- They have a well placed metatarsal pad and can be quite helpful for people with ball of foot pain.
- Walkfit arch supports are fairly priced at about $20. These are essentially the exact same devices sold by Good Feet, Neo Vita and Ideal Feet stores for, literally, hundreds of dollars more. If you are thinking of trying arch supports from these stores, avoid getting ripped off and try the Walkfit instead. In the Walkfit vs. Alzner or Walkfit vs. Good Feet debate, Walkfit wins hands down. Same thing – a LOT less money. The information in the infomercial about how these are the same arch supports at less cost is absolutely true.
What is Not So Good About Walkfit?
- Walkfit arch supports provide limited support of the mid portion of the arch. A number of studies show that to treat plantar fasciitis, heel pain, heel spurs, and big toe joint problems (such as bunions), arch supports should conform tightly to the arch of the foot to provide the best relief for these conditions. So for those problems, the Walkfit is not be the best choice of prefabricated arch supports. We usually recommend PowerStep ProTech Orthotics for those conditions as they have a higher arch that more effectively decreases force on these structures.
- Although the metatarsal pad on them can help with ball of foot pain there have been many studies showing that a metatarsal pad works best in combination with a higher arched arch support and these really have a pretty low arch. So although they might help with ball of foot pain there are better OTC arch supports on the market at about the same cost.
- They advertise that Walkfit Platinum arch supports will align the spine and help with back, hip and pelvic pain. This really isn’t supported by any research. Most research indicates it takes much more support than provided by the Walkfit to accomplish this. In fact, to really make a difference you would likely need a custom orthotic. On the other hand, it may help a few people with mild back problems and they are cheap.
- The infomercial is, well, really stupid. But I guess that is the nature of infomercials. The test where they push you without the arch support and then push you with the arch support and show how much more stable you are is simply a sales game. The only reason that people feel that they are more stable is because they are aware that someone is going to shove them. They play the same silly games in the Good Feet and Neo Vita stores.
- The advertising makes these seem like the perfect arch support for everyone. The fact is, there is no perfect arch support for everyone. One brand may work better for your feet, another brand will be better for mine.
Overall Recommendations on Walkfit Arch Supports:
- Fairly priced, moderately effective OTC arch support.
- Probably work best for people with ball of foot pain (but still not the best support for those people).
- Not so effective for those with heel pain, big toe joint pain or back pain.
For those conditions we recommend an orthotic with a higher arch that has more potential to reduce abnormal force on those tissues. A good choice is the FootChair Podiatrist Designed Orthotic. FootChair has a more supportive arch and the ability to add pads under the cover to increase the arch height for a very customized fit that offers maximum support.
Pretty Much the Same Shape as Good Feet Arch Supports at Much Less Cost
- Walkfit orthotics (see them here) are a particularly good deal when they are compared to arch supports from Good Feet or Ideal Feet stores. Along with purchasing the Walkfit orthotics, we have had many opportunities to evaluate Good Feet arch supports that our patients have brought into our clinic. In our opinion from close evaluation of both Walkfit and Good Feet arch supports these are essentially the same shoe inserts at less than a tenth of the cost. While we feel that neither Walkfit or Good Feet are particularly good OTC orthotics compared to others on the market at least Walkfit are fairly priced. Our opinion is that Good Feet arch supports are obscenely over-priced.
Since they are inexpensive, it probably can’t hurt to try Walkfit although, again, there are better supports at about the same cost. If they don’t work, see a podiatrist for a professional evaluation. A good podiatrist can help guide you to the best OTC arch support for your foot type or, if you have more severe biomechanical problems, provide you with custom orthotic devices. If you are in the Seattle area, make an appointment to be seen in our foot and ankle clinic.
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