Gearing Up Like an Ironman with Orthotics

Earlier this month, the 35th Ironman World Championship was held in Kona, Hawaii. Some of the best athletes in the world compete in this event every year, a day-long race that features a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile foot race (a full marathon). This year’s winner, Frederik Van Lierde, finished the race in 8:12:29. All of the 2,100 elite athletes who competed in this race were impressive, but what really stuck out in Sports Illustrated’s recap of this year’s Ironman race was the high level of attention paid to the process of gearing up.

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As author Tim Newcomb points out, “preparing for a 140-mile long race started long before race day.” He points out the racers’ attention to equipment, making sure that they had the proper athletic equipment ready to go before the race began. It just goes to show how even the best-conditioned athletes rely on the right gear to get them to the finish line. There is a lesson here for even the novice athlete: if you want to finish the race, you had better make sure you gear up right.

You may not be looking to compete in a marathon, but if you want to get the most out of your run, it’s important that you wear the right shoes. As podiatrists, we routinely fit our patients with advanced custom orthotics designed specifically for their feet. Not everyone needs custom orthotics, although everyone can benefit from the protection and support that these devices provide. If you are in the market for running shoes, you should make sure they fit properly and provide adequate arch support. If you have any existing foot conditions, such as flat feet, you should consult a podiatrist to help prevent possible injuries. There are many athletic orthotics that can custom-molded to your feet, protecting the vulnerable parts of your feet and correcting any improper foot movements that could lead to injury.

Our patients run the gamut from regular people to professional athletes at the top of their game. But regular activity is important for everyone’s health. No matter what level you’re at, we want to know: how do you gear up for your exercise?

If you are interested in custom orthotics and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our foot and ankle specialists, call 877-989-9110 or visit us at

Dr. Bob Baravarian

Dr. Bob Baravarian

Dr. Bob Baravarian is a Board Certified Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist. He is currently a member of UCLA Medical Group, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica/UCLA medical center and Orthopedic Hospital and an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as co-director of University Foot and Ankle Institute. He is Editor Emeritus of the international medical journal, Foot and Ankle Specialist.

Dr. Baravarian been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He servers as a consultant to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, multiple running organizations and several shoe manufacturers. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Hebrew),

Podiatrist Dr. Bob Baravarian is available for consultation at the Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and UCLA Westwood offices.
Dr. Bob Baravarian

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