Your doctor has recommended that you try custom orthotics and you might be wondering if you can just get a pair of over the counter insoles or foot inserts instead. You have seen a variety of insoles/foot inserts sold commercially at many retail stores such as supermarkets, sports chains and pharmacies. The foot inserts come in a variety of styles and levels of support to suit various foot shapes and activities. They are even designed for each gender. You might be wondering..”Are these good enough? “ or “Won’t they do the same job as custom orthotics?”
You are tempted to just grab a pair of these because they are a fraction of the price of custom orthotics and they are available now…ie. you don’t have to wait for them to be made. These may seem to be valuable benefits but in the long run custom orthotics are still the better choice. In worst case scenarios the over the counter insoles can even worsen existing symptoms or encourage new ones.
The price difference lies in the type of materials used to construct the custom orthotic and the degree of customization. Custom orthotics are custom molded to your foot using equipment specifically designed for the process. The custom orthotic is made just for you and not mass produced in a factory. Also, the material used for custom orthotics is more durable than over the counter inserts to provide you better support. Custom orthotics can last you a few years whereas over the counter foot inserts may only last a few months and you would need to constantly repurchase. Some extended health plans cover custom orthotics whereas they do not cover over the counter foot inserts.
Wearing over the counter foot inserts can even worsen existing problems or cause new ones to arise. Over the counter foot inserts are not made to correct your individual issue. They are mass produced to fit a large number of people. generally. As a result, they may address something completely unrelated to your problem and change your gait mechanics which can cause new problems rather than cure existing problems.
If you would like to get fitted for custom orthotics or have questions, please contact us.