I recently discovered that my foot troubles are due to the structure of my feet. This means that even if I had surgery, my bunion and arthritis problems wouldn’t be solved. What is a viable solution? Arch supports. My wallet had a panic attack upon hearing this news because I’ve heard that arch supports or insoles can cost an upwards of $300. Yikes. A friend of mine told me she solved her foot troubles with a $100 pair of clogs. Getting better….but, I hate wearing shoes.
Origins of an Arch Support Problem
In my twenties I wore heels to work. On my lunch breaks I’d take a walk. Since I didn’t want to be the woman in the suit and sneakers, I was the woman running stairs in heels. No kidding. Since my bunions developed in my thirties I naturally thought it was my twenties catching up to me. After visiting a pediatrist I have a new theory. Ten years of working from home, free of shoes has caused all this lopsided pressure on my feet, which in turn created bunions and arthritis in my feet. It makes total sense. Is this a hereditary problem because my mom has bunions, too? Or is it because my mother was a stay-at-home mom for thirteen years? Hmmm. This theory may be explaining why women are more likely to have bunions.
The DIY Solution
Hopefully you know me well enough to know I’m too frugal to hand over $300 for arch supports without a fight. Especially when it would mean I’d have to wear shoes everyday. And think of the hassle of moving arch supports around to different shoes. No thanks.
I made DIY arch support bands that wrap around my arches and have a small pad that rests below the ball of my foot.
Start with two Futuro Comfort Lift Ankle Support, Small - one for each foot. They’re less than $8/each.
Stitch rip the seams so that you have a long, straight band.
Wrap the band around your foot to measure where to trim. You want to have a snug sleeve around your arches. I marked my band with a washable marker, then cut off the excess material.
With the excess stretchy material that you cut off, cut a piece about the size and shape of a lens of aviator sunglasses (that’s the best description I could come up with). Then cut two pieces of felt slightly smaller than the band material. This will be the pad that goes below the ball of your foot.
Sew the pad part onto your arch band in a position where the pad will land under the ball of your foot and the seam (Step 6) will land on the top of your foot.
Hand stitch your band in a loop so that fits like a sleeve around the center of your foot. Reinforce with a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.
Before I made my arch support bands, I was dead set on getting bunion surgery. Wow, what a waste that would have been. These bands have completely taken away my pain. I’m on my feet from morning until night – running up and down the stairs, power walking and raising two boys. I really didn’t have the leeway to be out for several weeks with surgery. Now I thankfully don’t need to. These bands stay securely in place and take the pressure off my foot that was causing the arthritis pain. For less than $20 and about 45 minutes of cutting and sewing I have pain-free feet and arch supports that move with me throughout the day!
As you can see from the above photo these are very utilitarian – AKA orthopedic, Nurse Ratchet-looking. So to put a little fashion sense into our project I did two things:
1. Choose Rit dye packet of your choice, follow box instructions and give your arch support bands a splash of healthy color.
2. Next, to cover the scar-like stitching on the top of the bands, use tacky glue to glue down a pretty ribbon. Hand stitch the edges of the ribbon to secure it on.
Have you ever created a DIY medical fix?
Do you have your own solution for foot pain?
We’d love to hear it! Share your story in the comments section below.
*The link for the Futuro ankle supports is through my Amazon Associates account, but it is the same product I used in this tutorial.