Darts farm offers free service to foot sufferers

PUBLISHED: 17:28 29 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:24 10 June 2010

A TOPSHAM business is stepping up its support for activity enthusiasts in the South West by providing a free new service to advise on feet support and posture.

A TOPSHAM business is stepping up its support for activity enthusiasts in the South West by providing a free new service to advise on feet support and posture.

Acting Manager Sarah Wythes of Cotswold Outdoor at Dart's Farm has recently completed a pilot course in biomechanics from the University of Central Lancashire, which was developed specifically for Cotswold Outdoor. With twelve years of experience and her qualification behind her, Sarah will use a specially designed chair that has recently arrived in store to review how individual's feet need to be supported, and then mould bespoke insoles so problems such as aching feet and knees, bunions and shin splints are either avoided completely or treated in the correct way.

Sarah explains: "When feet aren't correctly supported, they tend to over-pronate and flatten out with each step, leading to a host of problems, which can sometimes move up to knees and hips, as well as the back and neck. Our new chair, called the Custom Superfeet Chair, makes sure no weight is placed on the feet, and that all joints are aligned in a neutral position. At this point we heat special insoles and mould them around the exact shape of each foot. This process guarantees insoles that conform to and support feet, ensuring superior comfort, shock absorption and control, and a higher level of biomechanical support. With these insoles in boots or shoes, feet are supported in a naturally balanced position, removing stress and strain from muscles, tendons and ligaments in feet and joints."

Sarah was a medic in the army for three years, which gave her a good grounding in anatomy and physiology. She also fitted specialist sports footwear, including running, tennis and netball shoes each summer, and ski boots in the winter for five years in Australia. For the past four years she has been fitting walking boots for Cotswold Outdoor.

Sarah concludes: "This service is another step Cotswold is taking to ensure people of all ages and abilities are outdoors and active, whilst looking after their joints and muscles in the short and long term. The service is free, but we do recommend people make appointments for our full and undivided attention. We look forward to welcoming anyone interested in learning more to our store."

The patented system, which was developed in the US, is one of the best ways to ensure hikers, runners and walkers can go on longer and stronger, and enjoy their outdoor pursuits even more.

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