What are they, and how do they help?
Orthotics are inserts you place in your shoes, to provide simple cushioning or to modify the impact of forces on your foot position during activity.
Orthotics are made from a varierty of materials, depending upon their function, to be soft and cushioning, or more rigid and resistant to movement (or both!).
What is D3O?
D3O is a material with very special properties. As you can see in the diagram, when exposed to small forces, the material can compress and flex.
When D3O is exposed to sudden large forces, such as when running or jumping, the material stiffens or locks.
As a result of this, you can have different properties in the material during different activities - when subject to larger forces, the material can resist force effectively (such as in trying to limit the rolling motion of an over-pronating foot).
When the forces are low, as in standing, the orthotics becomes soft, therefore providing cushioning and comfort