Five Reasons Custom Orthotics Are Better Than Store-Bought Inserts

You may have noticed shoe inserts for sale at the grocery store in their little pharmacy corner. These inserts may be better than the insole that came with your shoes, but the benefits are nothing compared to the potential gains that you get from custom orthotics.

What is a Custom Orthotic?

Custom orthotics are devices you wear inside your shoes that are made specifically for you and your feet. They are similar to inserts, but they are customized to help your feet.

Custom orthotics can fall into one of two categories.

  • Accommodative orthotics provide comfort and support. They can be helpful for painful calluses or ulcers.
  • Functional orthotics try to correct an abnormality in your feet. These plastic inserts can also help treat injuries such as shin splints or tendonitis.

Both types of orthotics have their place and help under different circumstances. Your podiatrist can help you determine which orthotic is best for you.

Over-the-counter inserts (like the ones you see at the store) are made to fit the average foot. They are not specifically designed for your feet or to help you with your foot problems. These can help, but they won’t be nearly as effective as having custom orthotics made.

Benefits of Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics cost a bit more than over-the-counter inserts. To make the splurge, it needs to be worth the extra money. And (spoiler alert), it is. Here are the top five reasons why you’ll want to choose custom orthotics.

  1. Reduced risk of injury – When you wear custom orthotics, you support your feet where they need the most support. You are providing your foot with a stable surface which can help protect it from strain. While over-the-counter inserts might provide some support to your feet, they won’t have the injury-preventing results that custom orthotics will. Your chance of developing a stress fracture, plantar fasciitis, or knee pain decreases considerably when you wear custom orthotics.
  2. Better feeling feet – Not only will custom orthotics help you prevent future injuries, but they will also support anything you are dealing with right now. Orthotics can ease the pain caused by these and more:
    • Bunions
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Arthritis
    • High arches
    • Flat feet
    • Hammertoes
    • Heel pain
    • Corns
    • Calluses

    Custom orthotics don’t just help you feel better, though; they actually promote healing. All while not allowing further injuries to take place.

  3. More comfort – Even if you don’t have a specific foot problem you’re currently dealing with, custom orthotics are just more comfortable. Since a technician designs these specifically for your foot, they help distribute the pressure exactly where it needs to go to help your foot feel its best.

    The added comfort won’t end at your feet, though. You may not even realize it, but your body often compensates for painful feet in other ways. Your knees or back might be in pain as you try to accommodate your painful foot or ankle. You might not even realize you have started having pain there until these orthotics help relieve it.

  4. Exact fit – Custom orthotics are precisely that: custom. A technician designs them to fit your foot exactly. Your podiatrist can take your lifestyle into account, as well as what types of activity will be done in these orthotics to help them be the best fit for you.
  5. Improved weight distribution – Because custom orthotics fit your feet perfectly, they help your weight become evenly distributed on your feet. This can help with pain not just in your feet but also in the rest of your body. Your legs and spine can become painful if the load of your weight places too much stress on one part of your body. This can be especially helpful for someone who is participating in sports.

How Are Custom Orthotics Made?

The process of creating custom orthotics starts with a trip to the podiatrist. After a thorough exam of your feet, ankles, and legs, the doctor makes a plaster mold of your foot. This mold can create a replica of your foot.

A technician can use this, along with your doctor’s prescription, to create a device that will be perfect for you. It will provide support where you need more of it, resolve any discrepancies between your two feet, and help with any current pains you may be experiencing.

The first step toward your feet feeling their best is to call your podiatrist. They will set up an appointment to analyze your needs and go over your options.

And just walk right on by the over-the-counter inserts at the grocery store.

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