Frequently Asked Questions
Many of insole products have one goal – comfort. While this is one of our goals, we also want to help you feel and perform better. What’s Inside Counts™ with insoles. If you look inside a lot of other products, you will find them either full of foam, which can cause instability, or too hard and not dynamic, causing your natural foot function to shut down. When you look inside a pair of ALINEs, you see more than 100 dynamic support and suspension structures that allow your foot to move freely during activities. Our patented technology allows active alignment which means your foot is able to move naturally inside your shoe through every motion you make or activity you do.
Many custom products capture and mold the foot in one shape. This poses a problem because the foot doesn’t have one shape. When you look inside an ALINE, you see more than 100 moving support and suspension structures that restore your foots’ natural functions inside your shoe, aligning your lower body which allows you to move across varying terrains while keeping your feet moving freely!
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Joint Pain
- Foot or Ankle Pain
- Hip or Knee Pain
- Back Pain
Yes! ALINE can help with many movement based foot and lower body issues. Select our Pain Relief section above for details on how wearing ALINEs can help. Pain is your body telling you it’s time to take action. Learn how ALINE can help you manage your pain.
ALINE’s patented design is engineered to work with a range of arches. From flat feet to high arches, ALINEs support your foot and body properly. Designed as a dynamic support, ALINEs work with your body through each movement to allow for consistent and continued support from heel strike to toe off
ALINEs have conforming edges which work well with a range of foot widths. ALINE’s tech fits snug in both narrow and wide footwear accommodating different foot and shoe shapes.
ALINEs are recommended for all ages. In today’s world of unsupportive footwear, it is important to provide the foot with more structure especially in the younger generation. The world’s unnaturally hard surfaces, and the current trend of footwear can be damaging, but using ALINEs will keep the foot activated and help the body grow on a stable base and move correctly.
The right answer is anytime you are walking on a hard, unnatural surface. You walk 2 million steps a year. Make those Quality Steps™ towards a better life!
ALINEs are very low volume and will fit in most shoes, whether they be sneakers, everyday shoes, boots, or house slippers! The general rule is that if your shoe has a removable insole, an ALINE will fit.
Yes, with most shoes, ALINEs will fit best if you remove the existing stock insole. Simply pull out the existing insole from your shoe and replace it with an ALINE. Some insoles are glued into the shoe, so you may need to exert a little more effort if this is the case!
ALINEs are sized by arch length. Generally, this conforms to shoe size. To ensure a proper fit, place your foot on the ALINE outside of a shoe. The lowest point in the ball of your foot should be centered or slightly behind the little window that you see printed on the ALINE. If the ball of your foot is on the window but the ALINE is a lot longer than your feet and curls up at the front of the shoe, trim enough of the material from the front of the shoe until the ALINE lays flat in the shoe.
Secondly, make sure your toes do not go over the front end of the insole. If they do, you need a larger size.
Yes, you can. Take out the stock insole from your shoe and trim the ALINE to match the length of the stock insole. Follow the cutting lines at the top of the ALINE. Discard the stock insole from you show and replace with the ALINE. Also, be sure to take your ALINEs with you when you buy new shoes so you don’t buy a shoe that is the wrong size and volume.
Of course. But if you get tired of moving your ALINEs from shoe to shoe, you can do what many of our customers do and buy multiple pairs for all of your shoes!
Using ALINEs is no different than any sudden change in a work-out routine. There could be some initial soreness in your feet or lower body as you start adjusting to being in alignment. You don’t go to the gym for 8 hours the first day! Similarly, you may need to work your way into wearing your ALINEs a few hours at a time. This is because ALINEs are activating parts of your feet to start working again and helping to put your body back in alignment. If this discomfort persists after your initial breaking in period, it is often due to an improper fit. Be sure that you have removed the stock insole. Also see the FAQ “How do I know I have the correct size” for more details.
We would like to say that ALINEs never truly wear out, but all materials do wear down over time. Due to differences in people and activities, it is difficult to give a definitive time, but we have found that with average daily use, ALINE’s suspension structures will begin to break down within 12 months. If you are on your feet all day, every day on the same pair of ALINEs, or put a lot of time on your athletic shoes (i.e. long-distance running), you may want to replace your ALINEs closer to 6 months.
You can clean your ALINE insoles with mild soap and lukewarm water. Rinse well, remove excess water with a cloth and allow to air dry overnight. For the ALINE or ALINE Traction, you can use standard multi-purpose spray cleaner.
Plantar Fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. When the fascia is inflamed, it can be painful and make walking difficult. The most common complaint is pain along the bottom of the arch and heel. Many time the pain starts in the heel and is confused with a heel spur. Sharp pain is usually worse in the morning and will often subside throughout the day. By the end of the day the pain may be replaced by a dull ache that improves with rest and treatment. Plantar Fasciitis is a repetitive stretching of the fascia from collapsing arches that are unsupported and leads to excessively shearing from no stability.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs can resolve this issue by supporting the foot and creating a suspension system under your foot, the same way your car has a suspension system. This allows your foot to withstand impacts when walking, running, or participating in any other sport. Your forefoot will no longer slide and stretch the fascia bands under your foot. Even if you already have plantar fasciitis, we find that most people using ALINEs experience reduced pain in less than two weeks.
Heel spurs are deposits of calcium that are a result of tension and inflammation in the plantar fascia attachment to the heel. Regular running, jumping, or any activity that can cause the plantar fascia ligament to stretch or extend excessively, can cause a heel spur to develop. The heel spur growth itself has no feeling; however, pain results from the protrusion of the heel spur into soft tissue around the heel.
The ALINE Solution: Similar to Plantar Fasciitis, ALINEs support your foot with a suspension system that reduces the impact forces imparted on the fascia bands. This in turn reduces excessive stretching or extension of the plantar fascia ligament and can reduce the formation or growth of heel spurs.
A bunion is an enlargement of bone at the joint at the base of the big toe .The big toe may turn in toward the second toe, which leads to the tissues surrounding the joint to become swollen and tender. Bunions develop when the pressure of bearing and shifting your weight fall unevenly on the joints and tendons in your feet. This imbalance in pressure makes your big toe joint unstable, eventually molding the parts of the joint into a hard knob that juts out beyond the normal shape of your foot. Poor-fitting footwear is the main cause of bunion formation. Interestingly, when you look at the skeletal record of humans throughout our evolution, no bunions were found until we started wearing shoes.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs allow your foot to redistribute the pressure evenly as it was engineered to do over the course of our evolution. Although ALINEs will not get rid of an existing bunion, they can help slow the growth or initial formation of a bunion.
A blister is a small pocket of fluid, within the upper layers of the skin, which are typically caused by forceful rubbing (friction), burning, freezing, chemical exposure or infection. There are many theories as to why blisters form, but all are similar in their statement that friction on the skin surface causes blisters. When a foot has a suitable range of motion and is properly supported, blisters are usually minimized.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs support the foot and create a suspension system that reduces unnecessary motion and friction. The three suspension zones of the ALINE create a structure that minimizes the motion of the foot in relation to the insole. Problems can occur when the Achilles or other tendons are so rigid that they force the foot to rise up from the surface of the insole. Once the foot is no longer in contact with the insole, it is possible for the foot to move and friction to occur. In addition to a suspension system that reduces blisters, it is important to stretch the tendons of the calf and foot to increase flexibility and reduce rigidity
The term shin splints refers to pain along or just behind the shinbone (tibia). The tibia is the large bone in the front of the lower leg. Shin splints occur during physical activity and result from too much force on the shinbone and connective tissues attaching the muscles to it. Shin splints are common in runners and in those who participate in activities with sudden stops and starts, such as basketball, soccer or tennis.
A primary factor that causes shin splints is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule coupled with improper movement of the foot. This increase in muscle work can be associated with inflammation of the lower leg muscles, the muscles that are used to move the foot. This situation can be aggravated by a tendency of the foot to excessively pronate. Similarly, a tight Achilles tendon or weak ankle muscles are also often implicated in the development of shin splints.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs reduce the tendency of a person to excessively pronate when running, walking, or participating in any other activity. Our system of lower body alignment through the foot suspension and support can reduce any over pronation of a person’s foot. This adjustment in alignment, in conjunction with Achilles tendon stretches can eliminate the causes of shin splints in most people.
Achilles tendonitis, a common injury that tends to occur in recreational athletes, is irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Overuse of the Achilles tendon can cause inflammation, pain, and swelling. People with Achilles tendonitis have chronic Achilles swelling and pain, which results from degenerative, microscopic tears within the tendon.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs position the foot to reduce negative forces on the tendon. This, in addition to stretching the calf muscles once or twice a day, will lead to good short term results. Proper strengthening of the calf muscles can actually reverse the structural changes associated with chronic Achilles tendonitis. For a simple stretch, stand on the edge of a step and slowly lower your heel over the edge and then return it to the start position. Repeat this action for approximately 30 seconds 3 times with each leg.
Morton’s neuroma is a benign neuroma of an inter-metatarsal plantar nerve, most commonly of the third and fourth inter-metatarsal spaces. This problem is characterized by numbness and pain, sometimes relieved by removing footwear. Symptoms include: pain on weight bearing, frequently after only a short time; felt as a shooting pain affecting the space between two toes.
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. One of the most common causes is a shearing movement of the foot inside the shoe due to improper movement. Wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box, or high-heeled shoes can also cause the toes to be forced into the toe box leading to a neuroma.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs provide your foot and ankle with the support needed to reduce pressure and compression on the nerve. Our patented support for the metatarsal arch reduces the pressure on the nerve and decreases the compression when you are active. Proper movement of the foot and ankle reduce the compression of the nerves of the foot.
Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal region of the foot (the area just before the toes, more commonly referred to as the ball-of-the-foot). It is common to experience acute, recurrent, and/or chronic pain with metatarsalgia that is often caused from improper foot movement or improper footwear.
You may experience metatarsalgia if you’re physically active and participate in activities that involve running and jumping. These activities place stress on a foot that does not move well.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs provide your foot and ankle the support needed to reduce pressure and compression on the ball of the foot. Our patented support for the metatarsal arch reduces the pressure on the nerve and decreases the compression when you are active.
Fractures or “breaks” are common in the fifth metatarsal. The fifth metatarsal is the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe. Two types of fractures that often occur in the fifth metatarsal are:
Avulsion fracture. In an avulsion fracture, a small piece of bone is pulled off the main portion of the bone by a tendon. This type of fracture is the result of an injury in which the ankle rolls. Avulsion fractures are often overlooked when they occur with an ankle sprain. Jones fracture.
Jones fractures occur in a small area of the fifth metatarsal that receives less blood and is therefore more prone to difficulties in healing. A Jones fracture can be either a stress fracture (a tiny hairline break that occurs over time) or an acute (sudden) break. Jones fractures are caused by overuse, repetitive stress, or trauma. They are less common and more difficult to treat than avulsion fractures.
The ALINE Solution: The patented ALINE suspension system is specifically targeted at suspending the fifth metatarsal and can reducing the possibility of fracture entirely. When an athlete jumps and then lands, it is not uncommon for the end of the fifth metatarsal to impact the ground first, and therefore bear much of the dynamic force of the landing. The ALINE suspension system creates a suspension zone directly under this area of the foot to support the fifth metatarsal but allows it to drop slightly without actually hitting the ground surface. This allows the larger area of the bottom foot surface to contact the ground and bear the brunt of the landing force. Only the ALINE system has this patented feature to reduce the possibility of this injury.
Turf toe is a sprain of the ligaments at the big toe joint, which works primarily as a hinge to permit push off during motion. Just behind the big toe joint in the ball of your foot are two pea-shaped bones embedded in the tendon that help move your big toe. These bones, referred to as sesamoids, work to enhance the pulley for the tendon of the big toe and provide leverage when you walk or run. They also absorb the weight that presses on the ball of the foot.
The most common symptom of turf toe is pain at the base of the big toe that occurs suddenly from the result of an injury. Sometimes when the injury occurs, a “pop” can be felt. Usually the entire joint is involved and toe movement is limited.
The ALINE Solution: ALINEs to help keep the toe joint from over bending. The ALINE suspension system can create a more stable base for your foot to react against and reduce unneeded motion. This, in conjunction with proper footwear that is supportive in the toe region can reduce the possibility of turf toe.
Many people don’t relate back pain to their feet. Poor movement at the ground causes compensation all the way up through the lower body. This may be seen as tight IT bands or other issues. Once the body begins compensation for poor foot movement muscles tighten all the way to the back. Poor alignment has also been seen to reduce back and hip mobility impacting performance and resulting overtime time in an injury.
The ALINE Solution: The ALINE suspension system can create a more stable base and help align your feet, ankles, hips and lower back. When your body is in alignment and your bones and joints are in the correct position, you move and feel better.