The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Social Media Reunites NFL Star with Lost Insoles Needed for Achilles Injury

Posted by on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015


Custom orthotics have withstood a lot of flack over the years. The New York Times has reported that “Shoe inserts or orthotics may be helpful as a short-term solution, preventing injuries in some athletes — but it is not clear how.”1 The Chicago Tribune reported on a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine that implied store-bought orthotics may be just as effective as custom orthotics from the podiatrist.2 Barefoot running enthusiasts would go so far as to say orthotics actually “weaken the foot” and are rarely ever needed.3

Despite what naysayers may say, The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC has seen custom orthotics work wonders for certain types of patients — particularly athletes who are recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. The importance of orthotics can be plainly seen in the recent story of a Washington Redskins player who took to Twitter to find his lost insoles.4

custom orthotics

 DeAngelo Hall Achilles Injury

Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall first tore his Achilles in week three of the 2014 football season, which required surgery. Hardly more than a month later, the player re-tore his tendon while reportedly “in his kitchen, getting pizza.”5 Such is the delicate and difficult nature of an Achilles tendon rupture! We see this issue in our Manhattan sports medicine practice all the time.

The robust cornerback underwent another surgical repair and sat out for the remainder of the season. As part of his treatment, he used custom orthotics to take strain off the soft tissues and aid in his recovery. A year later, his Achilles was said to be stronger than ever, but all that could quickly change, as he soon found out.

Lost Orthotic Prompts Desperate Plea on Twitter

After a training camp practice session, DeAngelo Hall gave his autographed size-13 cleat to a young fan before realizing he had forgotten to remove his custom orthotic! “Dang, this don’t feel good,” Hall said to himself the next day when he put his cleats on. He took to Twitter with the message: “Hey guys whoever I gave my cleats to after the practice Monday in RVA can you bring them back please. I forgot my insoles lol I need them.”

Ten-year-old Mason Burke of Seattle, Washington — who had taken a birthday trip across the country to his favorite team’s training camp — responded that he’d happily ship the shoe insert overnight once he had the address. In return, Hall thanked the boy with a game-worn jersey.

“[People] thought it was a joke or I was trying to steal my shoe back,” Hall told ESPN, adding: “I was like, I don’t want the shoe. You can have the shoe…Coming off the Achilles, it helps align my body the right way and takes pressure off my heel and arches.”

Sadly, Hall was immediately out again with a groin injury and later suffered a sprained left toe at practice. On top of that, he received a new pair of orthotics from his doctor anyway. Even so, we couldn’t help but chuckle at this heart-warming story of a football player, his orthotics, and the compassionate young boy who so kindly understood the player’s pain.

Need Orthotics in NYC?

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine offices in Manhattan and Westchester are fully equipped with advanced gait analysis technology and computerized 3-D orthotic scanning devices. Our chief podiatrist, Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, is a consultant with SOLS orthotics, which are revolutionizing the industry with their amazingly comfortable, stylish, corrective, and affordable inserts. Custom orthotics are not advocated across-the-board for everyone; but, for select patients recovering from injury, custom-molded shoe inserts are often the key to preventing re-injury and facilitating a more effective recovery. Contact us for more information.




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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.