Clear your mind of all the old concepts and ideas concerning “arch supports” and corrective shoes.

Since the bones of your feet are permanent structures and the sidewalks, concrete and wooden floors you walk on are non-resilient, we must custom make a new walking surface for your feet to function properly.

This new surface must take in account all your individual variations in bone structures and foot motion. This is essentially what the functional orthotic accomplishes. We are now concerned with what happens to one foot while the other foot is in the air, just prior to making heel contact.

The idea is to gain stability with toe off for a more balance forward recovery in motion. The new concept (already granted a United States Patented orthotic) helps foot related ankle, knee, hip and lower back problems.

There have been approximately 15,000 orthopedic cases, and many have returned 20 years later with good results for follow-up. We take into account all foot symptoms and how they affect the entire lower extremity.

Now, the shoe manufacturing industry is slowly beginning to realize this is needed and are beginning to place an arch inlay in sneakers, as well as men and women’s dress shoes.

Some of us need custom made orthotics since wearing the wrong type of insert can be detrimental to the feet, which are the foundation of the body. Your feet influence all joints leading to the lower back.

Orthotics are recommended for children with gait problems (toeing-in and toeing- out) and pronation problems (rolling in of the ankles). This may be thought of as growing pains, but in all actual fact, it may be the pronation of the foot.

Orthotics are also suggested for adults with functional foot problems.

Athletes in most sports activities could benefit from orthotics to protect and prevent injuries, such as wasted motion with foot imbalances that affect the overall performance. It is extremely important for people who suffer from common foot problems to wear biomechanical orthotics.

Such foot ailments would include bunions, weak ankles, heel and arch pain, painful joints and recurring injuries. This improved concept has changed for the better many people’s quality of life, especially children.

If we can change early abnormal gait patterns, they will not have to suffer in adulthood. It would be most beneficial for anyone who suffers from foot related issues to consider this new patented orthotic insert concept.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathon & has a practice in Darien; affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle. For info visit his Web site at www.stamford, and find a Physician-Dr. Robert F. Weiss.