What Are Orthotics including Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthoticsAn orthotic is a device that is placed inside your shoe to help correct foot malalignment. An orthotic, including custom orthotics, is a supportive insert that fits into your shoe.

Orthotics can help people with foot pain and common foot conditions such as: plantar fascitiis, foot pronation, patella femoral pain, bunion deformities, metatarsalgia, posterior tibialis tendinitis, posterior tibialis tendon ruptures / tears, stress fractures and Achilles tendinitis, just to name a few.

3 Different Types of Orthotics including Custom Orthotics

There are three different types of orthotics: 1) custom, 2) semi-custom and 3) off the shelf.

Custom orthotics are the best type of orthotic. Custom orthotics fit your foot perfectly and are specifically designed for your foot type and alignment. A healthcare provider who is certified in making custom orthotics will measure your foot. This typically involves creating some type of cast of your foot to get precise measurements.

The different type of healthcare providers that can make orthotics are: physical therapists, orthotists, and podiatrists. Typically after the custom orthotics are made there will need to be minor adjustments completed once you have tried the orthotic on inside your shoe.

How to Buy Custom Orthotics?

Most insurance plans will pay for custom orthotics. Another option if your healthcare provider does not include orthotics as a benefit is an off-the-shelf orthotic that is heated in the store and molded to your foot. These typically run about $30 to $50 dollars a pair.  A large percentage of running shoe stores will carry this option.

Be careful of “Foot” stores that claim to make custom orthotics and are actually pulling an off-the-shelf device and just molding it to your foot. These places sometimes charge hundreds of dollars and your money is best spent with a true pair of custom orthotics which cost the same amount if you are paying cash.

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