Affordable Custom Orthotics

Are you struggling with foot pain or instability? Explore custom orthotics solutions to improve balance and function in your feet.

Feet are among the body parts that take the most daily abuse. In fact, you have to carry your entire body weight around on your feet. If you are on your feet all day, such as when working behind a store register, you may think achy feet are an expected part of the job. However, aches and pains can occur in your feet  at any time, even if you do not have such a job. In either case, you do not always have to live with foot discomfort. Instead, you may need to invest in custom orthotics.

Custom orthotics can provide you with the support your feet need to function properly. They can assist you with balance, posture, and endurance throughout the day. In fact, many falls are caused by improper footwear or foot pain. If you want to avoid such an incident yourself, the right orthotics are essential. Here is what you need to know about shopping for custom orthotics.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

The term “orthotic” is another name for a shoe insole or orthopedic insert for a shoe. A custom orthotic is technically an orthotic created by a medical professional. A true custom orthotic device usually requires a medical examination and a prescription. However, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics that are also sometimes referred to as “custom” and do not require prescriptions. They are referred to that way because they come in many different styles and sizes, allowing consumers to choose the orthotics that suit their feet best. For minor foot problems, such orthopedic inserts are often effective. They are also comparatively inexpensive and convenient. Orthotic devices come in several types, including:

  • Rigid

  • Semi-Rigid

  • Soft

What Are Some Reasons You May Need Orthopedic Inserts?

One reason you may need custom orthotics is if you have a job that requires you to stand all day. Doing so places extra stress on your feet. That can cause pain in your feet over time. It can also cause changes in your posture, which can lead to soreness in your back or other parts of your body. Other common reasons to get orthopedic inserts include compensating for or correcting issues like:

  • Foot Injuries

  • Foot Malformations

  • Complications from Diabetes

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Fallen Arches

  • Bursitis

  • Tendinitis

You may also have general pain in your feet that has not been diagnosed. If so, you can try OTC custom orthotics. However, you may have to use trial and error to find a type that works for you. If the pain persists after trying several OTC options, you may need prescription custom orthotics to fix the issue.

How Do You Know if You Need Custom Orthotics?

The most obvious reasons to get custom orthotics are complications from foot injuries or illnesses, such as diabetes. However, even f you do not have a diagnosed foot issue, you might still need orthotics. There are several ways to tell. They include:

  • Falling or Tripping Frequently

  • Feeling Off Balance

  • Having High Arches

  • Having Flat Feet

  • Experiencing Foot Swelling or Pain

  • Experiencing Heel Swelling or Pain

Each of those are bodily symptoms, but there is one more obvious indicator you can use. Check the bottoms of your shoes frequently. If the wear patterns and rate of wear are vastly different, it indicates you are favoring one foot over the other. That creates an uneven gait and added stress on one side of your body. Custom orthotics can help you correct your gait, improving your health and causing you to waste fewer shoes.

What Are Some Popular Custom Orthotics Brands?

If you want to try non-prescription custom orthotics, you can visit a drugstore or the health and beauty section of a large chain store, such as Walmart. You can also check online websites like Amazon. Alternatively, you can order custom orthotics directly from the manufacturers. Here are some top custom orthotics brands:

  • Dr. Scholls is perhaps the best known OTC orthotics manufacturer due to the company's reputation for high-quality products and product versatility. The company offers inserts for multiple types and sizes of shoes. It also offers a special P.R.O. line for customers with certain specific foot conditions.

  • Superfeet is a company known for creating orthotics designed to provided all day support. They are usable in various types of shoes, but most Superfeet products are not meant to combat specific foot ailments. Instead, they are provided to help those who spend many hours standing get reliable relief from general fatigue and aches. 

  • Spenco provides various orthotics lines designed to increase comfort, support, and stability in the feet. Spenco products are designed to stand up to a lot of abuse because most of them are meant for use in athletic shoes.

  • The Foot Chair is a company that attempts to combine the beneficial components of OTC inserts and prescription custom orthotics to create the best of both worlds. Its products are each designed for maximum comfort, style, and support.

How Much Do Custom Orthotics Cost?

The cost of custom orthotics often depends on the materials used to make them. Some orthotics consist of inexpensive foam or gel. Others are made using stronger, more costly materials like plastic. The purposes of the insoles also often dictate their costs. For example, many Dr. Scholl's inserts designed to improve general comfort cost approximately $13 to $20. More elaborate or niche orthotics typically have higher costs. For example, some Spenco sports orthotics can cost $50 or more. Prescription custom orthotics are typically the most expensive at the outset. However, if you have certain medical needs your insurance may cover some or all of your prescription orthotics costs.

How Can You Save Money on Custom Orthotics?

Although many OTC custom orthotics are relatively inexpensive, costs can add up. You may go through a lot of trial and error to find orthotics that suit your needs when experimenting on your own. Most basic OTC orthotics also need replacement on a fairly regular basis. One of the best ways to save money on custom orthotics is to identify the type you need quickly. A podiatrist can help you do that. You can also save money on custom orthotics in the long run by spending it initially. Once you identify the general type of orthotics you need, purchase orthotics in that category designed to last for long periods of time. Do not waste money on cheap insoles requiring frequent replacement.