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Tips for choosing the right carbon fiber orthotic - spring plates.

Part 7 of 7

In January, I wrote a series of six blog posts regarding carbon fiber orthotics, detailing the uses and applications for each of our carbon fiber inserts.  In our staff meeting this week, my boss, business partner and wife gently reminded me, "honey, you forgot to write about spring plates."  Carbon fiber spring plateWow, my bad.  Spring plates are the single most popular carbon fiber insert we sell.  Like the old Steve Martin comedy routine, all I could do was hit my forehead with the palm of my hand and say, "I forgot!"  So, here's part 7 of the original 6 part series.

Like the product description says, carbon fiber spring plates are as light as a feather and as strong as steel.  Spring plates are exceedingly thin and will fit into all enclosed shoes.  The term spring comes from the curvature of the spring plate atCarbon fiber spring plate the ball of the foot.  This curvature is referred to as toe spring.  To describe how toe spring is beneficial, think of how a clog works.  The sole is rigid but the forefoot has a rocker.  So at the toe-off phase of gait, the foot simply rolls off of the ball of the foot, decreasing load to the ball of the foot.  Carbon fiber spring plates work in exactly the same manner.  They create a rigid shank to stabilize the midfoot and forefoot rocker to off-load the forefoot.

The indications for spring plates include most forefoot pathology including forefoot capsulitis, forefoot bursitis, metatarsalgia Freiberg's infraction and Morton's neuroma.  Spring plates are also used to create a rigid shank in the shoe.  A rigid shank can be used to stabilize forefoot fractures such as metatarsal stress fractures.  Spring plates are also great for midfoot arthritis.

Why choose the Carbon Fiber Spring Plate?

  • Versatile - it's so thin that it fits into virtually all enclosed shoes.
  • Semi-rigid - flexible enough to be comfortable but rigid enough to provide support.
  • Durable - wears like steel.

Why not to choose the Sport Carbon Fiber Orthotic?

  • No top cover - many folks like to cover the spring plates with the insert that came with the shoe or a Pedag Soft Insert.

What can I do in a Carbon Fiber Spring Plate?

  • Work - no limitations here.  Should fit most work shoes.
  • Sports - should do you well in all sports.
  • Daily use - should do well depending upon your ability to fit it into specific shoes.  Not recommended for use in sandals or flip-flops.


Dr. Jeffrey Oster

Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM
Medical Advisor

Updated 12/27/19

Leave your comment
3/23/2014 3:35 PM
Dr. O,
I'm a trail runner and want-to-be minimalist.  I've attempted some barefoot running but find I need some degree of protection for the foot and some support.  Last year I was diagnosed by my podiatrist with hallux limitus.  I find that if I limit my activities I'm OK but if I try to up my mileage, the HL starts to act us.  I've looked through your choices of products but wanted to get some feed back from you regarding how best to enjoy my sport but stay true to my minimalist running style.  My research says go with the spring plate?
Your thoughts?
3/25/2014 7:41 AM
From the standpoint of light and stiff, the spring plate is going to be the best choice for you.  The other devices have a place but if you're really going light, the spring plate is the way to go.  Another idea would be to try a turf toe T strap.  The T strap would go directly on the skin and would work fine with minimalist shoes.