June 1, 2016
Dear ALINE Management,
I wanted to take a moment to share my story on how I believe ALINE has truly hit the mark in a paradigm shift from the traditional custom orthotics. I was born with flat feet with hypo flexion in the metatarsals and toe joints. I began having foot challenges around 11 years old, and my father who is a chiropractor fit me with custom orthotics from Foot Leveler, Inc. These orthotics worked very well for me for many years, but as I got older seems to not be supportive enough to optimize my athletic performance. I began having more ankle, knee, and sciatic pain. This also affected my running, and general physical structure.
Walking Down the Wrong Path.
My father was always against custom orthotics sold by podiatrists, as they were too rigid and caused deformation of the metatarsals. These solutions for an athlete removed the ability for the foot to perform its natural spring like function, and ultimately would cause swollen ankles, feet pain, and knee pain. In 2008, and I met a podiatrist in Cleveland, OH who I discussed my challenges with, He assured me his $400 orthotics would not cause those challenges, and He believed my Foot Leveler, Inc. orthotics simply did not support normal structure of my foot. I ended up falling for the trap of a classic rigid custom orthotic, as I was looking for further support. I realized very quickly two things. 1. My father was exactly right that these solutions do more harm than good. 2. Support or Alignment at the expense of allowing the foot natural motion, is robbing Peter to pay Paul. IT DOES NOT WORK. I was talking with multiple friends about this issue, and said I wish that a company could figure out the balance of providing strong arch support, but also giving a spring loaded solution that still allowed for natural movement of the foot strike.
Drawing ALINE in the Sand
Carrie Zika, CHARM Practice Manager, and I were attending the CapTex Tri show in Austin, TX in 2012. I was helping work the CHARM booth, and we also met with many other vendors at the show. The booth right next to CHARM was a chiropractor who was testing leg balance of the pelvis. I was still struggling to regain my running form at this point. I had much low back pain. The chiropractor had me close my eyes, and step on two scales. It was showing that I was holding 7lbs more weight in my right side than my left. This imbalance validated why my hips and sciatic area were sore. An hour later, I walked into the ALINE booth, and got a custom scan of my feet. I tried on the ALINE’s and loved the way they felt. I for the first time in my life was walking with a natural heel toe gait. I was fascinated by the support, balance, and natural movement of my walk. My low back pain was gone immediately. I went back over to the chiropractic booth, and decided to see how the scales measured my leg weight. I was not only .1 lb. difference in my right and left leg on the scales with the ALINE’s in. I was sold, and bought a pair at the show.
I was fascinated with the dynamic ribs of the ALINE. This was exactly the concept of the best of all worlds I had been search for. I told Carrie that I finally think a company figured out the balance of providing strong arch support at the arch, and the dynamic ribs created the natural movement and energy return of the foot in action. I went out and played a round of golf a few weeks later, and as you know balance is the most important aspect of a golf shot. I have always been weak in balance due to the instability of my ankles and arch. I felt completely balanced golfing with my ALINE’s in my golf shoes, and found my balance to be impeccable. My ability to consistently strike the golf ball with ease was enhanced considerably. I was beyond excited about how much ALINE’s helped with golf.
I was finding my ALINE’s to be great for everyday use, work shoes, golf, but still struggling with running. I felt for my personal feet, they were still a little bit too hard when running. I tried to go back to my Foot Leveler Inc. orthotics when running. I was not getting enough support with these solutions, but the ALINE’s hurt my feet when I ran. Carrie told me ALINE had now come out with a solution designed for running. I told her I wanted a pair immediately based on Carrie’s recommendation. I was very impressed with the ALINE Active+. The Active+ solution has made running the best experience in my 34 years of running. This product gave me the total solution for my active lifestyle. I want to thank you for your commitment to excellence at truly revolutionizing an industry that had limited solutions prior to ALINE. I now use ALINE Active in my dress shoes, and ALINE Active+ in my running and golf shoes. I am fully back on the right path and running pain free. I really like your various products for different needs of the active and diverse lifestyles. I believe ALINE is in a class of their own, and running well ahead of the completion.
All the best,