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Key Differences Between Store-Bought and Custom Orthotics

While at first glance, you may assume that there is no difference between over-the-counter (OTC) insoles and custom orthotics, a closer look reveals several key distinctions. OTC insoles are a “one-size-fits-most,” generic approach to supporting your feet. Custom orthotics are customized, prescription medical devices. Your podiatrist starts by reviewing your medical history, examining your feet and diagnosing your condition. Custom orthotics are then created from molds or 3D images of your actual feet. They are designed to specifically treat your medical condition: from arthritis, flat feet and hammertoes to bunions, high arches, deformities, plantar fasciitis and more. Custom orthotics can also help correct certain gait abnormalities and restore function in your feet and ankles. OTC, or prefabricated insoles, are typically made of rubber, flexible plastic or gel which can often lose integrity quickly. Custom orthotics are constructed with superior materials that are durable, light weight, moldable, and cushioning. If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, or have difficulty walking, see a podiatrist. They will evaluate and diagnose your condition and discuss if custom orthotics can provide the relief you seek.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

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