Is there anything more important to runners than their feet? Well, maybe legs, but your feet control what happens to your legs, so once you take care of any bio-mechanic foot imbalances, you’ll have a strong foundation.
And that’s exactly what Bill Stone does. Stone, a Board Certified Pedorthist based out of Ready to Run, is sometimes called the “foot whisperer.”
But first, a bit about Bill. He is a sometime triathlete, having dome a number of Ironman races as well as running events of all distances. He grew up in Pleasanton, CA. and rode and raced dirt bikes/motocross from the age of seven to twenty-two. After high school he went to a technical school to become a motorcycle mechanic before returning to school and graduating from Ohlone College.
These days he has a fondness for trail running, as well as mountain biking, so he knows all about active people, especially runners.
“In 2001 I went to school and passed my intensive testing to become a Board Certified Pedorthist,” said Bill. “I must maintain 55 hours of continuing education every five years. A Pedorthist is trained to treat injuries through shoes and custom-made foot orthotics or insoles through a doctor’s diagnosis/prescription. An orthotic is a device that restores function to the body, commonly known as braces.
Bill observes that feet are like our hands in that they need to move three dimensionally, unlike the knee, so a foot orthotic may play many roles in restoring proper foundational movement and support. Pedorthists for the most part make custom foot orthotics for the medical industry.
What Bill does is start with an in-depth analysis of your gait and—if you need them—set you up with orthotics. He will take a custom three dimensional mold of the foot, and makes his orthotics by hand. Sometimes all a person needs is a different shoe, and Bill will help with that as well.
“Shoes are the first tool for running,” says Bill. “That’s where it starts. Having a good selection of shoes like Ready to Run does is a great starting point.“When it comes to shoes, it’s all about moving freely. You need the right amount of support and fit. Things are continuing to evolve.”
As Bill explains, “Most foot orthotics are made in an assembly line process by unskilled laborers. If they need to be adjusted or re-made it can sometimes take months of waiting time. I have gained the trust by many medical practitioners in town to complete the entire process for the patient – a 45 minute in-depth history, physical and biomechanical exam, casting or molding of the foot, manufacture of the device as the final fitting within one week after initial appointment which often includes picking out new shoes (because their current shoes are often the culprit to the problem) to go along with the device. For almost three decades I have hand-made custom foot orthotics for thousands of people and fit tens of thousands of people with running shoes. It is a continual inspiration for me to help people get back to normal, cross that finish line or win an Olympic gold medal.”
Bill owns Foundations Footwear, which “offers solutions to any kind of barrier an athlete may encounter.” Working with runners at Ready to Run, Bill’s services include complete foot examinations and gait analysis; custom functional and accommodative orthotic insoles using the latest state-of-the-art techniques and materials; and shoe modifications.
He’s available by appointment Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 am – 5 pm at Ready to Run, and happy to serve you. You’ll find his contact information here.
Upcoming races: Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 a.m., the Burnet Bluebonnet 5K/10K at Burnet Chamber on the Square in Burnet. Saturday, April 13 at 8:30 a.m., 13th Annual Lockhart Kiwanis 5K Stampede, 315 W. Prairie Lea St. in Lockhart.