Despite my mind thinking I’m somewhere in my early 40s, I’m 57 years old. I’m an active person, but due to a torn ACL and knee reconstruction at the age of 26, I’m restricted. A few years ago, thinking myself invincible and ignoring my surgeon’s advice, I took a tumble on the ski slopes in Japan and broke the top of my tibia, requiring more surgery.
Turns out Osteoarthritis had weakened my bones around that knee joint. While I wait for the ‘right’ time for a knee replacement, my goal is to keep being as active as possible and keep my knee and lower back pain to a minimum. I enjoy staying active and do Pilates three to four times a week and I particularly enjoy bushwalks up and down mountains (but rarely to the summit). So, when I saw the advertisements for Good Feet on TV mentioning the Good Feet Arch Supports if you have knee, hip, or back pain, I was instantly hooked. And so naturally when Starts at 60 approached me and asked if I wanted to pop into the Good Feet Store at Mt Gravatt for a personalised fitting, I said yes!
Keen to find out how they’d be able to help me deal with my knee and lower back pain, allowing me to keep doing the activities I love, I rang and made an obligation-free appointment.
When I arrive at the Mt Gravatt store, I’m greeted by the Area Manager for Good Feet, Amber Tull. During the initial consultation, a trained Good Feet Arch Support Specialist will get to know you and your feet, your activities, lifestyle, and the type of footwear you prefer to wear. I brought my favourite running shoes and hiking boots for Amber to look at.
For arch supports to work effectively, your feet need to be correctly measured, and the supports need to fit precisely into your shoe. Altogether, the consultation and fitting can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, no longer.
In my appointment, Amber explained to me that walking incorrectly from misalignment can cause pain and inflammation of the knee.
“Stabilising the foot with a good arch support can help minimise or alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by common foot and knee-related problems.”
Amber shows me a small display board with a diagram of the foot and points out the foot’s four arches, which help create more comfort, balance, and support. In my ignorance, I didn’t even realise the foot had four arches! When your feet are not properly supported, your entire body becomes misaligned; this can create tremendous discomfort and pain – which is exactly what’s been happening to me.
The Good Feet Arch Supports are designed to relieve foot, knee, hip, and back pain by keeping your foot in its ideal position. When your feet are in this ideal position, they then become better aligned, which helps to relieve joint pressure, discomfort, and any associated pain. The realignment process starts through your ankles, and then stabilises your knees hips and back, helping to improve your posture and balance.
Amber asks me to remove my boots and socks and hands me a pair of fluro orange ankle socks. I place one socked foot on a pad that takes a pressure impression of my foot and arches, providing information on my arch type. She then measures my feet using a Brannock Device (we’ve all seen these in footwear stores). Turns out my feet were another half size larger than what I used to be a few years ago.
We run through what I want my arch supports to achieve and I tell Amber about my knee incidents from the last few years. I explain to her that I want to continue hiking and slowly get stronger all over, so when it’s time for my knee replacement, my rehab time will be less. I inform her about the ache in my knee I usually experience after a few hours of hiking, and ask:
“Is there anything that can be done to alleviate the pain?”
Amber is confident there is.
Good Feet arch supports are pre-moulded and individually tailored to your optimal foot position.
The Good Feet Store offers a unique three-step system that includes three different pairs of personally fit arch support inserts:
This three-step system works by starting off wearing the strengtheners for half an hour a day for the first week, then gradually transitioning into the maintainers for a few hours each day.
When the maintainers come off, you can slide in the relaxers – great for outings due to their slimmer design, allowing them to fit into sandals, thongs even your dress shoes. There isn’t a shoe that won’t fit one of the Good Feet Arch Supports. All you need are the little velcro dots supplied by Good Feet to fit into your footwear, or you bring your shoes into the store and one of the friendly team members will fit them for you.
One of the great things about the Good Feet Arch Supports is that you can try before you buy. You get to walk around the store in the arch supports, testing whether they work for you.
“It’s going to feel weird at first but it’s a good weird,” Amber says as I try on my inserts.
When I walk the length of the store, I feel the difference immediately. I feel the massage sensation from the mound support under my arch; there’s less pressure on my toes and heels, but the one thing I really notice is my posture and how I am moving. l feel different -taller.
The best part about this whole experience is you get to wear your new arch supports as you walk out of the store.
You get peace of mind knowing that team at the Good Feet Store is there to help you throughout your adjustment process, checking in with you to make sure you’re happy. If you find you’re having trouble with your arch supports, they offer a free re-fit, and if you find that you’re better in a different pair of shoes, they’ll exchange them for you free of charge.
“Our Good Feet arch supports are the foundation of your body, so we want to know how you are going with them. As you adjust to these supports, we are here to help you. We will be in contact with you at least three times over the next 30 days. We will check in with you in a week and 10 days after that and then at the 30-day mark.”
Good Feet arch supports also carry a Lifetime Manufacturer’s warranty – if they split, crack or break, they’ll be replaced. Just knowing they stand by their product offers peace of mind. By following Amber’s recommendations on how and when to wear my arch supports, I leave the store with my arch supports fitted into my new shoes. There’s a spring in my step and a feeling of confidence for the difference they can make to my knee and lower back pain.
I know my feet are going through a transition because I can feel my body posture slowly realigning. I’ve set my standing desk back up, after not being able to use it for 18 months, and immediately noticed I’m able to stand for long periods of time without my knee bothering me.
While it’s only been a week since my visit to The Good Feet Store, I can already feel the difference in my knees and feet. I can’t wait to take my new arch supports on a spin bush walking, venturing off on longer hikes and exploring new trails. It’s such a relief knowing that I can continue doing the things I love – minus the pain.
If you suffer from lower back, knee or hip pain, I suggest that you book in for a free fitting at your nearest Good Feet Store. Just 45 minutes with an Arch Support Specialist can really change your life.
P.S. The Good Feet store is giving all Starts at 60 readers an exclusive offer of 10% off any purchase at their local store. Simply mention this ad to receive this exclusive discount. Offer only available until 30 September 2022.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.
The Good Feet Store's personally-fitted arch supports are designed to relieve foot, heel, knee, hip, and back pain often caused by problems relating to your feet. Book your free, no-obligation, personalized fitting and let us help you live the life you love.