Please drop me a comment if you find this post useful..love to hear from you whereever you are!
The weather for Eugene is looking better today: mostly cloudy. Temps about the same..50-60 during most of the race.
Disclaimer and Warning: Don't blame me if wearing or making shoe lifts injure you. I am not a doctor. If you make one and it hurts you it is your fault for not asking your doctor if it makes sense for you. Use common sense!
My left foot "shim" or lift has been successful for my running, so much so that I am now wanting to make more for my other shoes. I have evened out the wear on my feet and engaged my glutes more during fast running. I have gotten tired of moving the one lift from shoe to shoe ;)
One person commented to me "I think you could afford an orthotic, no?".
It's not the money...I really don't need any arch support or anything else, just a raising of the innersole up about 1/8" to correct a slight congenital leg length discrepancy. (I probably need a bit more than that, but I'd rather under-correct to start.)
I like making things and it is much quicker for me to make a lift than deal with the fal-der-al of getting one out of the medical establishment 8) This lift can be made anywhere in the world that has cardboard and duct tape. Today, I made 5 more lifts and it took me less than 1 hour. What you need is:
corrugated cardboard (single layer type)
marking pen or pencil
good scissors to cut cardboard
duct tape (fresh and sticky, not old)
Mallet for 'pre-crushing' (optional)
Step 1) Take your running shoe innersole and make outlines on the cardboard. If you look at cardboard you'll see a 'grain' to it..there are ridges that make it stiff. You want your lift to be able to bend easily as the shoe flexes so you want the ridges to be running side to side in the shoe, not toe-to-heel, got that?
Step 2) Cut out the cardboard....it's not easy on the hands so I did 5 at a time...more and my hand would give out.
Step 2a) Before taping stick try the lift in your shoes and make sure it's not too long or too wide. Don't worry if it seems too thick, it will compress with use.
|cut, cut cut!|
Step3) Wrap the cardboard with duct tape to make it waterproof. Start by doing a strip down the middle and go right around the backside and back around to the front before tearing the tape and sticking the edge down.
Step 4) Continue with long-way wrapping the two sides of the cardboard..don't worry about the overhanging tape! You want that to stick to the tape on the other side of the loops to make the whole thing sealed tight and waterproof. When you are done, the lift looks like it is 'vacuum packed' in tape!
Step 5) Cut off the excess tape leaving at least 1/8-1/4 inch of border around the edges.
|You can see the ribs (holes) on the sides here|
Step 6) Optional: Take a wooden or rubber mallet, put the lifts on a hard surface that can take it and bang on them to 'pre-crush' the cardboard somewhat. For my first one I didn't do this and I just went running on it..after a mile or so I had done the same thing 8)
(PS: the oak mallet in the photo belonged to my grandfather. It is probably 80 yrs old and has seen a lot of use 8)
|taping around the whole thing in a big loop|
|cut off the excess|
|beat on 'em if you want!|
I have worn my original shoe lift now for several weeks and found it survived pretty well on a wet day. I think it would survive a marathon even in downpour conditions...might need to throw it away after that though 8) (Note: Yes.)
I have found that as the lift moves around it rolls back the edges of the tape on the bottom just a little bit and then the exposed stickem adheres to the shoe and anchors the lift. When I went to transfer it to another shoe, I found it was stuck in very nicely ! I was able to peel it out but I would rather leave it in and stuck down.
If you need a really thick lift it might be possible to add a layer of other stuff to the shoe before taping. Let me know if you do that and how it works out.
Note: The shoe with the llft will need the laces loosened a lot so that your foot has room to move around.