Custom Orthotics vs. Over-the-Counter Models?

Custom Orthotics vs. Over-the-Counter Models?

Are you having foot pain? Do your feet ache at the end of the day? Perhaps you’re flatfooted or have extremely high arches. Your feet have a tough job. Think about it. Your feet and ankles bear the weight of your entire body. 

What you probably don’t know is that when walking, your feet and ankles bear about 120% of your body weight, and when you run, the force is equivalent to 275% of your weight. 

Shoe inserts can help relieve foot problems. But there are two different kinds, each with different purposes. Store-bought and custom orthotics aren’t the same. David J. Kaplan, DPM, with FootCare Specialists in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay, California. provides the foot care you need and lets you know which type of insoles are right for you. 

Do you need custom orthotics, or will store-bought inserts do the trick? 

Over-the-counter insoles

If your feet don’t have faulty biomechanics, you’re not flatfooted, and you don’t have other problems like overpronation or underpronation, you may be satisfied with shoe insoles you can buy at a drugstore. You’ll see a variety of insoles there. All of them are made of soft material, often a gel-type substance. 

These insoles come in a large standard size. You’ll need to cut them down with scissors to fit your shoe. Store-bought shoe inserts can help you achieve one important goal: adding cushioning to shoes that need it. If you have shoes with hard soles that bother your feet, a store-bought orthotic gives you an easy way to add a soft layer.

That’s the extent of help store-bought shoe inserts can provide. They’re not fitted to your foot or made to correct your foot problems. 

Custom orthotics

Dr. Kaplan diagnoses your specific foot problems in order to correct them and relieve your discomfort. You may need more arch support, extra cushioning in the heel or ball of the foot, or guidance so your foot works the way it should to correct overpronation, underpronation, or other problems with your walking gait. 

We take an imprint of your foot to customize your orthotic to fit your foot precisely. You may need a functional or an accommodative orthotic. Functional orthotics are made of more rigid material that guides your foot, helping it to correctly distribute weight as you walk. 

Accommodative orthotics provide extra cushioning if you have painful conditions like a bunion or neuroma. Both types of orthotics are made from high-quality materials designed to last for several years. 

Custom orthotics can address a broad range of foot issues, including 

Dr. Kaplan is the expert to see if you have foot pain. He’ll promptly diagnose and design a plan of treatment for your foot condition. And custom orthotics may be the way to go, depending on the diagnosis. 

Call our Footcare Specialists office most convenient to you today or request an appointment online to get started.

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