Custom orthotics are specially designed to support and comfort your feet. Produced from plastic, cork, and carbon fiber, they’re a key treatment in several podiatric conditions, from bunions to diabetic feet.

Unlike regular orthotics, these are created based on a mold or impression of your foot. These medical devices match your foot’s structure and contours precisely, adjusting the pressure and movement of your foot. 

Because of their bespoke nature, many people struggle to find them — you cannot buy them off the shelf. Little wonder that so many patients ask us, “Where to get custom orthotics near me?”

We’re answering that question below — and we’ll explain the different types of prescription orthotics and why they’re important.

Custom Orthotics

Types of Prescription Orthotics

These medical devices come in all shapes and sizes — based on a complete podiatrist evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs. Broadly, prescription orthotics are divided into two categories:

  • Functional orthotics control abnormal motion. Commonly prescribed for shin splints or tendonitis, these are usually made from semi-rigid materials like plastic or graphite. 

  • Accommodative orthotics provide cushion and support. You’ll find custom made orthotics to treat diabetic foot ulcers, painful calluses, bunions, and more. They’re made from softer materials, like foam, gels, and cork.

Within these categories of custom-made foot orthotics are shoe inserts. Shoe inserts are often worn to raise the foot within a shoe that is marginally too big — they’re usually mass-produced. Unless it’s been specifically designed for your foot, most shoe inserts are not specialized orthotics. 

These are extremely helpful for flat arches and foot and leg pain. They cushion feet, support arches, and provide comfort depending on the shoe insert. They include:

Arch supports

For people with high arches, low arches, or flat feet, arch supports allow or create the foot’s natural arch shape within a shoe.


Custom foot orthotics, including insoles made from gel, foam, or plastic, provide cushioning and support to the shoe, tailored to the wearer’s individual foot needs.

Heel lines

Also known as heel pads or heel cups, they add cushion to the heel region. That’s especially helpful for people with age-relating thinning of the heel fat pads.

Foot cushions

Creating a barrier between your foot and shoe, foot cushions reduce rubbing and blistering.

Over-the-counter Orthotics: Which to Choose

Choosing between over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics and customer orthotics depends on the nature of your condition. The more severe the condition, the more custom orthotics are needed. 

In more severe diseases, particularly those involving diabetes or poor foot circulation, the risk of ulcers and other foot problems means orthotics should be the chosen treatment.

If you do choose an OTC orthotic, here are some things you can do:

  • Try them on. Wearing it around can ensure it’s comfortable and well-fitted. Otherwise, ask about the store’s return policy if you cannot try them in-store.

  • Bring your shoes. You should always bring the shoe you wish to wear with the insert. Ensure it’s the right size and fits with the contours of the shoes, especially for more rigid shoe inserts. 

  • Consider the purpose. The device you choose will vary depending on whether you need extra support day-to-day or are planning on running a marathon.

Custom Orthotics

Where to Get Custom Orthotics?

You can get these from your local podiatrist or doctor. They’ll first thoroughly evaluate your foot, ankle, and leg to understand your biomechanical issues better. They’ll also ask about your medical history, condition, and overall health to determine the best treatment option.

They’ll take an impression of your feet if they prescribe a custom orthotic. They’ll create the medical device from this impression to match your foot’s shape and contours. Where necessary, the shape created will relieve pressure from certain areas of the foot. 

Finally, you’ll get to try out your orthotic in practice. If you have any issues, you should speak to your podiatrist. They can reshape or alter it to ensure it fits (and works) perfectly.

Final Thoughts

Orthotics are tailor-made devices that relieve, support, or comfort the foot.  If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in your feet, take action now and consider investing in custom foot orthotics. 

Schedule an appointment with a qualified podiatrist or orthopedic specialist from Foot and Ankle Centers to get a personalized assessment of your foot needs and discover how it can help improve your mobility, alleviate pain, and enhance your overall quality of life.