Last year when doctors writing for the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association wanted to conduct a study of the effectiveness of fitted shoe insoles they turned to people who really know foot pain: beat cops.

In the study, 122 NYPD beat cops who walked an average of three miles per day on the job were asked to wear customized shoe insoles for an average of seven hours a day. At the end of five weeks, the researchers concluded that wearing fitted shoe insoles reduced the tiredness and pain in the cops’ feet at the end of their shifts. More importantly, 70 percent of the officers involved in the study contin-ued to wear the insoles after the study was completed.

“Over-the-counter insoles are a cost-effective way to relieve foot pain and make shoes more comfortable,” say the study’s primary authors Dr. Ellen Sobel and Dr. Steven Levitz. But for people who really work on their feet like beat cops, the researchers prescribe fitted insoles customized for the wearers’ specific foot problems. “When foot pain persists, customized insoles should be considered. These insoles use a more effective shock-absorbing material that will reduce the impact of the heel striking the ground more effectively,” they say.

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