Orthotics: Store-Bought vs. Custom

Orthotics: Store-Bought vs. Custom

Foot pain can keep you from living an active life. When pain stops you in your tracks, it’s time to learn more about orthotic shoe inserts. Keep reading to learn the difference between store-bought and custom, and what custom orthotics could do for health.

Maybe you spend long hours standing at work. Maybe you’re an athlete, and you run regularly to keep up with your training regime. Or maybe, you have a chronic condition like arthritis that simply makes your feet ache.

Whatever the cause, dealing with foot pain isn’t fun. Foot pain can restrict your mobility and your life, but orthotic treatment can help.

Orthotics fit into your shoes to make them more comfortable. There are lots of choices when it comes to orthotics, and you don’t have to do it alone.

At Hansen Foot & Ankle in Mill Creek, Washington, Nathan Hansen, DPM, specializes in custom orthotics. With a comprehensive examination and custom orthotic technology, our team treats foot problems from the ground up for lasting pain relief.

Your orthotics options

Orthotics are shoe insoles designed to improve your foot health and comfort. If your feet hurt, you might be wondering if you should give orthotics a try. There are two main types of orthotic inserts — store-bought and custom — and each type has its benefits.

Store-bought shoe inserts

Store-bought shoe inserts are available at drug stores and shoe shops without a prescription. There are lots of different over-the-counter orthotics to choose from, and they can be effective in relieving mild discomfort from conditions like plantar fasciitis. 

You can find gel and foam insoles for arch support, and they’re often made in half-and full-length for different types of shoes. Along with inserts, you’ll find bunion and callus cushions, moleskin pads, and other devices to cushion your feet.

Store-bought inserts are affordable. They can rebalance your body weight and give you some much-needed arch support, but they won’t correct the underlying cause of your pain.

For customized, durable orthotics that promote musculoskeletal wellness from within, you’ll want to consider custom orthotics from a podiatrist.

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotics are biomedical devices designed for your feet. They go beyond simply cushioning your feet to relieve pain, and they can be very effective for people with chronic foot pain and other musculoskeletal problems.

When you get custom orthotics, our team evaluates the bone structure of your feet and ankles. We take molds of your feet and use all this information to create your orthotics.

Custom orthotics have plastic bodies with customized cushioning to align your feet in the correct position when you move. They fit inside your regular shoes, but they offer unparalleled support, comfort, and durability.

The benefits of custom orthotics

The biggest benefit of custom orthotics is that they optimize the way you stand, walk, and run. They’re designed for your feet, but they do much more than just support them.

When your feet are properly aligned and your weight is evenly distributed, the rest of your body feels better too. Orthotics can help reduce pain in your ankles, legs, hips, and even your back. Our team might recommend orthotics if you have:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Bunions
  • Bursitis
  • Diabetes
  • Flat feet
  • Hammertoes
  • High arches
  • Plantar fasciitis

Foot pain can keep you from enjoying your favorite activities, but orthotics could tackle the root cause of your discomfort and get you back to your life. Call the office or schedule your appointment online today.