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Do I need custom orthotics?

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Custom Orthotics are a popular dispensed item usually prescribed by podiatrists for many different heel deformities. Heel pain, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis can all be reasons a podiatrist may prescribe custom orthotics to a patient. There is to this day great debate over the effectiveness and utility of custom orthotics even among practicing physicians.  Let's take a look at the pros and cons of purchasing and wearing custom orthotics as part of a long term foot pain solution.


What exactly are custom orthotics, or even pre-fab orthotics? Well, An orthotic is sort of like an insole for your shoes that molds your foot into a better position while you walk. Most mass produced shoes come with an insole that is designed to not put pressure points anywhere on your foot that might cause pain. They are also designed with consideration to a broad range of foot styles and shapes, since they are marketing the same shoe to the entire market.

Orthotic Comparison Chart

So who exactly needs custom orthotics? Well many podiatrist's will tell you "everybody" does. There is truth and "non truth" to these statements. I have talked with many podiatrists from different backgrounds, training curriculums, ages, parts of the country, and philosophy's. Answers to my questions varied greatly.  


Some say custom orthotics are the only thing "biomechanically" that will fix some people's feet. One school of thought points to many different theories about how we walk in shoes and on hard surfaces are feet weren't really designed for. Others use custom orthotics sparingly, and even have a machine that you can walk on which senses your foot shape and pressure points, then a company makes your orthotics to fit your feet. 


Either way, custom orthotics can cost a pretty penny, anywhere from $300 to over $600! So before you drop your hard earned money on them, you should do your research and really make sure you are going to benefit from them. It always helps to have a good relationship with your doctor. Heelpainexpress sells over the counter "prefabricated" orthotics called PURE STRIDE Orthotics that do a great job for most injuries and deformities. Give them a try before considering the more expensive route.

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