The arch support, that mainstay of barbers, postal carriers, and anyone else who stands or walks a lot, may have a similar support role for runners.
At least, suggests Lowell D. Lutter, MD, such shoe inserts can cushion the foot from the surface on which the running is being done. In a half-hour of running, he says, a foot hits that surface 2,700 times. (At San Francisco's Shrine Hospital for Crippled Children's gait analysis laboratory, Roger A. Mann, MD, has concluded that a 70 kg runner absorbs a cumulative impact of 220 tons for every mile run.)
At best, adds Lutter, these orthoses may aid an injured runner's recovery. But this remains to be proved. The reason, Lutter explained at the American Orthopedic Foot Society's meeting in Las Vegas, is that he and colleagues at the St Anthony Foot Clinic, St Paul, Minn, practice sports medicine, "where the goal is