Intercare Customized Insoles for Runners

Tuesday, 8 October 2013  |  Gear + Gadgets

I’m a flatfooted overpronating runner. Since 2006, I’ve been plagued by injuries (name the top 5 common runners’ injuries and I’ve had it) so it’s been a constant challenge to run marathons while keeping injury at bay. While other runners can choose from a variety of shoes, my feet tend to be very picky. I also need to wear orthotics (I used Spenco Orthotic Insoles since 2008) to ensure my arch is well supported.

This year, after a Chiropractic session with Martin Camara at Intercare, he recommended I had customized insoles made at his clinic. I thought it was time to finally have one made.

– with Martin Camara after a Chiro session –


Last July 4, I dropped by Intercare Alabang to have my feet measured for the insoles. Here’s the medical process in Martin Camara’s words:

1) First a history of the patients condition is taken and an examination of the foot, ankle, or back ensues.

2) A Weight Bearing Foam Impression is made of the patients foot in Sub-Talar Neutral



3) Measurements are taken of the foot, ankle, knees and hip to determine if corrective postings are necessary



4) Orders are sent out to a lab in Hong Kong made by a Canadian Sports doctor who comes with over 20 Years of experience in manufacturing orthotics

5) The Lab will re-create the patients foot in the lab.

6) The material is heated to make it pliable – then placed over the mold of the patients foot. Both are placed inside a vacuum which makes the pliable orthotic conform tightly around the foot.

7) Corrections and postings are added afterwards.

8) They are shipped back to us for fitting on the patient.

I received the finished product within 3 weeks after I had been measured.  Here’s how they look:

– Top view –

– Back of the insoles –

– Sideview –


I received the insoles a week before Ironman 70.3 Cebu.  I thought it best NOT to use them in an A-race as I hadn’t had the time to break them in.  So, after Cebu and until now, I’ve been using them regularly for runs from 10k to 21k with my Kswiss Kwicky Blade Light, a neutral shoe.  For shoes with more stability, such as my Asics Gel Kayano, I don’t use the customized insoles.


  • Made for your foot.  The product is customized for your foot and your needs. If your injuries are severe and chronic and insoles off the shelves aren’t working for you, then insoles customized for your feet is definitely the best choice.
  • Provides more stability and support.  I didn’t exaggerate when I emailed Martin to tell him: “They work!”  They provide stability for my ankles which had been injured last April.  I feel the strong support for my arch.  My runs have been significantly more comfortable since I started wearing them.
  • Lightweight. I had customized insoles done by another supplier way back in 2008 which were as heavy as wood.  These insoles are considerably lighter.
  • Durable.  I haven’t had mine for more than 2 months, but I’ve been told that this pair is durable.  By the way it’s made I can already tell that this will last longer than my Spenco Orthotics which I need to replace by 8 months to 1 year.
  • Allows for versatility in choice of shoes.  For most overpronating or flat footed runners like me, our choice of shoes are limited to the bulky motion control or stability shoes.  We couldn’t even try many of the lightweight, fast, and not to mention attractive neutral or minimalist running shoes in the market now.  These orthotics may give you the chance to wear neutral or lightweight shoes in safety.  (Disclaimer: Just make sure that you test the product out first.  Gradually increase mileage in these shoes.  Should you feel pain or injury, go back to motion control or stability.)


  • 3/4 length.  I’m not a big fan of 3/4 length orthotics for two reasons: They are prone to slipping during the run and they may cause blisters.  While these don’t slip at all, I did have huge blisters on my midfoot the first time I wore them.  It may be part of the breaking in process as now I don’t get blisters in that area anymore.
  • Pricey.  A pair costs P8,800.  They cost almost as much or more than some running shoes in the market.  But given that they will prevent injury (and subsequent fees from the injury) and they will last for years, then it’s worth the investment.

In summary, I highly recommend Intercare’s Customized Insoles for runners who have severe or chronic injuries.  It provides support, stability, and peace of mind to the runner who constantly has to deal with or worry about pain and injuries.

Below is an interview I had with Martin Camara to help you decide if Intercare’s Customized Insoles are for you and some tips on how to use them properly should you get a pair:

TBR: How can a customized insole benefit a runner?

The orthotics basically can now take any commercially produced cycling or running shoe – and turn it into a fully customized shoe for that runner or athlete.

1) INJURY PREVENTION – I’m sure we have all seen the statistics when it comes to running and injuries. Some studies quote as high as a 70-80% incidence rate. Most pain or injury is simply a symptom of an underlying problem. So if you experience foot pain, knee pain, hip pain or lower back pain which is associated with your running – a logical assumption would be that there is something wrong with your “alignment” which is putting more pressure on one part of your body versus the other. A good, medical grade orthotic will be able to correct your alignment from the ground up. By correcting the alignment of your foot – you are then balancing out the repetitive stresses that build up over time with running so that there is more even wear and tear on your joints and muscles thereby preventing injuries.

2) INCREASE EFFICIENCY – The orthotic helps place your feet in “Sub-Talar Neutral.”  It therefore corrects pronation or supination problems which are all too common nowadays. In this position – the muscles and joints of the body are in the optimum position to perform better over a longer period of time. For example, the achilles tendon (which is the tendon of the calf muscles) pulls from a more efficient angle in Sub-Talar neurtral. This minimizes the pressure on calf, hamstrings and glutes – making the muscle perform better over time and distance.

3) INJURY TREATMENT – Most pain wether in the foot (Plantar Fascitis), Knee ( Patellar Tendinitis), Hip (Ilio-tibial Band), and Lower Back (Sacro-iliac joint dysfunction) are a result of inflammation and irritation. Chiropractic, Physical Therapy or Orthopedics Therapy helps relieve the pain and inflammation however if the underlying problem which brought it on in the first place is not addressed – the condition will quickly return after the runner returns to activity. Orthotics help support the treatment so they don’t continue to re-injure themselves.

TBR: How does a runner know that he/she needs customized insoles? What are the symptoms that he/she should get himself checked?

Pain is a definite sign that they will be needing Orthotics. Recurrent trips to the Physical Therapist, Chiropractor or Orthopedist for problems affecting lets say one side of the body more than the other is also an indication of imbalances which would require corrective insoles. Heel pain, Shin Splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Lower Back Pain are all common conditions that may require orthotics.

If there is no pain present – You would look at the wear patterns of your running shoe. If you consistently wear out one shoe faster than the other – or on one side faster than the other – you may need an orthotic. For example – a pronator will wear out the outside portion of the back of the shoe and the inner portion of the front of the shoe faster. If your running shoe shows those patterns – you may need one.

Another sign is excessive bunion formation on one side versus the other (As a side note – the first time i examined your back I knew you needed them just looking at your big toe bunion formation)

Also if you feel that there is a discrepancy in your leg length – or you come down harder on one side – Orthotics can balance them out.

The analogy would be like the tires on your car – when misaligned you wear them out unevenly over time. When your body is out of balance – you wear out one side faster than the other. Orthotics can help balance you out.

TBR: For the Intercare customized insoles, where are these made? How different are these from other customized and off the shelves insoles in the market?

These orthotics are very different from what is available off the shelf or even made to order orthotics currently available in the Philippines. Most of what is available simply match your shoe size with the size of the orthotic and make the faulty assumption that everyone’s foot is the same. The other type of orthotic I see is a simple arch support with cushioning. Cushioning without correction just softens the landing but does nothing to correct the alignment.

These orthotics correct all components of the foot: Most semi-customized only have a mid foot or arch correction. These orthotics have both mid foot (Arch), Hind foot, and Forefoot corrections. Posting is added to correct leg length discrepancies or pronation or supination problems.

TBR: Can you give us tips on the proper use of customized insoles?

I would recommend you use them with all your shoes.

There are full supports that I would recommend you use for your running and or cycling shoe. I recommend a shoe without excessive correction or cushioning. I personally like a shoe with some padding then I add the orthotic to completely customize that shoe for me. Too much cushioning will lead to the runner losing connection with the ground.

They also have a version for dress shoes – The corrections do not have as much posting – but you can fit them into a dress shoe or even a minimalist running shoe. As I mentioned – for Trail running, I prefer to feel the ground so I use a smaller orthotic.

They also have a hook version for ladies heels.

I would recommend you use them for 3-5 hours day and slowly increase your utilization over a 3 week period until you are using them all of the time.

For running, break them in with 3-5km runs and after 3 short runs – you can start building up longer runs adding 3 km per run.

It is common to go thru an adjustment period. This is because you will be using your muscles differently. This is a Good Thing or a Good Pain. Like muscle soreness after a good workout.

Twisting and Rocking at Intercare

Tuesday, 18 December 2012  |  Therapy + Injury

Amidst the Christmas chaos, I braved the traffic from the South to Makati and successfully made it to the Intercare Blogger’s Night. It was a worthwhile event where I learned about the services that Intercare has to offer (whoa boy, they have a lot!), received a free, and long delayed, consult with popular Chiropractor Dr. Martin Camara, and finally had Rocktape applied on my plantar and calves.


Before the presentations began, I finally got to chat with Dr. Martin Camara, one of the founders of Intercare, who is an avid mountain biker and triathlete and, surprise surprise, was once a contributor of TBR Magazine. Ironically, we had only met briefly for the first time at the airport last August as we checked in for our flight to Cebu for Ironman 70.3. It was only this evening that we got to talk more about running (he’s a run-walk believer! Woot!), triathlon, and, of course, Intercare.

– Dr. Martin Camara talks about Intercare –

INTERCARE was founded in 1993 and is now a global healthcare service center specializing in pain management, sports medicine and injuries, and functional fitness. Intercare was involved in the 2006 Turin Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, and most recently, the 2012 London Olympics. They also treated athletes at several events, such as the SEA Games and Ironman 70.3 Philippines in 2011 and 2012.

Services offered by Intercare:

  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Physical therapy
  • Myotherapy
  • Acupunture
  • ICSS
  • Ismart
  • Rehab consultation
  • Optogait
  • Kinesio Capture
  • Stress management
  • Pilates
  • Sports Taping

For more information on the services above, visit Intercare’s website by clicking HERE.

After Dr. Camara’s talk, we were all invited to try some of the services of Intercare.

– Banjo of Ulikblogrunner tries out myotherapy –

– Bards of Banana Running learns more about Optogait –

I had tried Myotherapy and Acupuncture at the Intercare Alabang branch way back in 2009 (read more about it HERE), so I decided to give the Chiropractic Treatment and Rocktape a try this time.


Chiropractic treatment is a natural, drugless branch of the healing arts which deals with conditions that affect our bones and muscles, ligaments and cartilage, and even the nerves.

Since 2010, right before I ran the NYC Marathon, good friend Jim Saret advised me to see a chiro because he suspected I was “misaligned.” Stubborn ol’ me (sorry Jim!), I didn’t visit one because—just as many runners think nowadays—if the wheel ain’t broke, why fix it?

Luckily, this evening, I was treated to a complimentary consult with Dr. Camara himself.  I told him that, while I currently wasn’t suffering from any serious injury, my left leg has been through most of the running injuries: shin splints, ITBS, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and post-tib tendonitis.

– The smart doctor has a few tricks up his sleeve to make himself look taller than me. Hmph. –

Dr. Camara first checked my hips and had me lie on my stomach.  In less than 5 minutes, Dr. Camara confirmed that I was misaligned. My left leg was shorter than the right!  (Whoa boy, you should’ve heard good friend Vima, Kulit Runner, yelling from behind: “Di pantay! Di pantay!”)

Dr. Camara told me to relax and, with a swift twist here and a quick snap there, he corrected my hips and my spine.

– Hip check. It’s at this point that you try your best to suck in all the fat, even the one on your back –

– There was slight pain that lasted less than a second. Nothing we runners can’t handle. Hah! –

Then, he checked my neck and twisted it towards the left and right, too. Honestly, it was slightly unnerving to have my spine and neck treated by anyone, but I just had to remind myself that I was in good hands.

– Upper back and neck. These adjustments made me feel great after –

True enough, when we checked again, my hips had been aligned and my legs were the same length. (Again, you should’ve heard Vima oohing and aaahing!)  I stood up and I felt great; I felt lighter, almost like I had a spring in my step when I walked.

I ran 10k intervals on the treadmill the following day and, with absolutely no exaggeration, I’m telling you it was one of those great runs were you feel like your run is smooth and easy.

Dr. Camara reminded me that it usually took 6 to 8 sessions for a complete alignment.  Hey, after that trial session, I definitely think this is worth the time and money.


After my Chiro session, I hopped on over to the Rocktape room.

RockTape is a special kind of tape known as kinesiology tape. First used by acupuncturists and chiropractors in Japan, today kinesiology tape is used by practitioners throughout the world to treat injuries and improve sports performance.


In the past, I wrote about Kinesio Taping HERE and compared two kinesio tape brands: Muscle Tape and Kinesio Tex Gold HERE.  During our Intercare meeting, Rocktape was also presented as the favored kinesio tape of Intercare; they are also the distributors of Rocktape.

According to Intercare, Rocktape is the best performance enhancing sports tape on the market. It helps enhance performance when applied to a specific muscle group by:

  • Promoting blood flow to the muscles
  • Promoting lymphatic drainage
  • Assisting in the removal of lactic acid
  • Reducing muscle vibration

One of the therapists, Mike, applied Rocktape on me. I chose to have them apply it on my left arch since my plantar has been feeling tight lately.  Dr. Camara also had them tape my ankles because he noticed that the left ankle was very inflexible.

My initial thoughts on the tape: The material of Rocktape is slightly thicker than the leading brand, Kinesio Tex Gold.  The weave of Rocktape seems to provide more adhesion and breathability; it also looks more durable.  Dr. Camara said the tape  can stay on for over a week and can withstand a swim in a triathlon.

– Kinesio Tex Gold on the left, Rocktape on the right –

The following day, for the first time in weeks, I woke up in the morning without any discomfort from my Plantar!  It was a-ma-zing.  I tested my “Rocktaped legs” on the treadmill as well and it felt great!  I had a shoot two days after this event so, much to my disappointment, I had to remove the tape so I wasn’t able to test how long it would’ve stayed on.  (Um, definitely longer than KT Tape’s one day of adhesion!)

I plan to head on over to Intercare soon to have myself all taped up again.  Rocktape, you’ve got yourself a new fan!

Intercare Branches:

Intercare Building,
 8420 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.
Tel Nos: (632)890-3378 -79
 | Fax: (632)890-2547 | 
Mobile: 0922-811-3651
, 0917-850-9486
Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
 | Saturday, 8:00AM – 12:00 NN

26-A Eisenhower Street, 
Greenhills, San Juan.
Tel Nos: (632)724-6631
 | Telefax: (632)722-1846
 | Mobile: 0922-811-3650
, 0917-859-9479
Monday, 8:00AM -3:00 PM
 | Tuesday to Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM | 
Saturday, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Unit D, Upper GF, Westgate Tower, 
Investment Drive, Madrigal Business Park
, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Tel Nos: (632)807-6863 | 
Fax: (632)809-4163 | 
Mobile: 0922-811-3649, 
Monday to Friday, 10:00AM – 7:00 PM
 | Saturday, 9:00AM – 4:00PM

Facebook: Intercare

Myotherapy at Intercare

Friday, 6 March 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

Thank God for thoughtful friends.  Concerned about my injured state, Kim, our 2nd mommy during the Singapore Marathon last year who is currently training for the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon, called yesterday to offer some wise advise: Get a deep massage…regularly.  Her doctor advised her to get a massage after EVERY run and she swears that were it not for this one-hour indulgence she would’ve been sidelined by tight leg muscles by now.

I followed 2nd mommy’s advice.  In a little over two hours (I move fast, don’t I?), I was already lying on the massage table of Intercare Center, awaiting my very first Myotherapy session. 

Myotherapy, according to the Intercare website, aims to isolate specific problem areas and fixes it, something that your typical massage therapist is not trained to do. Myotherapy is a muscle treatment and relaxation therapy that results in the reduction of tension; with the direct effect of releasing muscle spasms, improving circulation and bringing about proper functions and a healthy tone to ailing muscles.

I was excited.  I thought this could be the answer to finally popping those stubborn nodules that weren’t hit by dry needling.  At the same time, I was nervous and apprehensive.  Thoughts of me screaming in pain, collapsing, or fainting floated about in my head.  I shut my eyes and repeated the mantra, no pain, no gain.  Then, to add to the anxiety, my therapist enters the room and he is…a man!  I had never been massaged by a guy before!  Clad in a robe with only my underwear underneath, I lay on that massage table, closed my eyes again to repeat a new mantra:  Bahala na!

The therapist first asked me to lie on my stomach while he placed heavy heating pads on my back for around 10 minutes.  I felt like I was melting; I actually fell asleep here.  

He re-entered the room to begin the deep massage session.  He used slow, steady strokes, as if he was squeezing all the tightness out of my body.  He started on the right leg and found nodules in my calves and hamstrings.  What?  That wasn’t even my injured leg yet.  As he tried to pop those bubbles, he asked me if it was painful.  He said I could scream if I wished, as others have done in the past due to the pain.  Surprisingly, the pain was manageable for me.  I learned that taking deep breaths as he pressed on a nodule helped to ease the discomfort.

Now for the exciting part.  He started massaging the left injured leg.  He found nodules almost everywhere: calves, hamstrings, ITB, hip, and up to the back.  I pointed out some lumps on my ITB and asked if he could pop those nodules too.  He pokes at them and says “Oh they’re not nodules ma’am.  They’re just fat deposits.”  Great.  I believe that was the one time I wish I had nodules instead.

He went on to massage my back and shoulders which were all, as expected, very very tight.  I end the session in exactly one hour, completely relaxed and satisfied.  

By the time I got home, the kneecap pain which bothered me for two full weeks (even at rest) was completely gone.  GONE!  Not even a hint!  I woke up this morning and cheered as I realized that it wasn’t a dream.  The leg is still completely pain free as I write this.  I could do cartwheels right now but I run the risk of tightening my ITB again, plus being laughed at by the baristas here at Starbucks, so maybe I’ll do a little happy dance in a week or so.

The Myotherapy session at Intercare is P1,100 a session.  Pricey, if I may say so, but truly worth it.  I have promised myself a massage session (not necessarily at Intercare unless I win the lotto) every other day until Condura race.


MAKATI – Intercare Bldg.,
8420 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.

Tel Nos: 890-3378 – 79           
Fax: 890-2547
Mobile: 0922-811-3651, 0920-953-2309

ALABANG – Unit D, Upper GF, Westgate Tower, Investment Drive, Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Tel Nos: 807-6863    
Mobile: 0922-811-3649, 0917-866-4156

GREENHILLS – 26A Eisenhower Street 
Greenhills, San Juan. 

Tel Nos: 724-6631

Telefax: 722-1846
Mobile: 0922-811-3650, 0917-859-9479

Big big thank you to Kim!  You didn’t have to call, but you did.  And, it made such a big difference!