Orthotics are shoe inserts designed to relieve foot and ankle pain. Custom-made orthotics do this by normalizing mechanics, decreasing weight-bearing stress, and providing cushioning for the feet. Many types of orthotics are from different materials. 

Some orthotics are custom-made, some are from pre-made components, and some are available over-the-counter (mass-made).

Dr. Patel at Foot & Ankle Centers prescribes custom orthotics only when less expensive options have not helped or are inappropriate. 

If custom orthotics are necessary, Dr. Patel takes impressions of both feet, and a local fabricator uses the latest digital technology to convert the impressions into a model of your feet. 

Then, the orthotics are handcrafted using the most advanced materials customized to the specific needs of your feet.

Common Reasons Foot Doctors Prescribe Custom-Made Foot Orthotics:

  • Tendinitis
  • Flat Feet
  • High Arched Feet
  • Foot Deformities
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Arthritis
  • Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain)

What Are the Benefits of Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics offer a range of potential benefits, including:

  • Pain Relief

They can alleviate pain caused by various conditions such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, high arches, bunions, and arthritis. By providing proper support and alignment, orthotics can reduce stress on joints, muscles, and ligaments.

  • Improved Foot Function

Orthotics help correct biomechanical issues in the feet, such as overpronation or supination. They can also improve overall foot function, gait, and balance.

  • Enhanced Performance

Athletes and active individuals may find that custom-made orthotic shoes improve their performance by reducing fatigue, improving shock absorption, and optimizing movement patterns.

  • Injury Prevention

Orthotics can help prevent injuries such as shin splints, stress fractures, and knee pain by addressing underlying foot problems.

  • Comfort

Custom orthotics should fit the unique contours of your feet, providing optimal comfort and support throughout the day.

  • Disease Management

Orthotics can help manage conditions like diabetes by reducing pressure points and improving foot circulation.

  • Long-Term Foot Health

By promoting proper alignment and function, orthotics can contribute to long-term foot health and prevent more serious foot problems.

It’s important to note that the specific benefits of custom-made foot orthotics can vary depending on the individual’s needs and the type of orthotic prescribed. 

A consultation with a podiatrist or other qualified healthcare professional is essential to determine if orthotics are appropriate for you and to ensure they fit correctly.

How To Use Your Orthotics

Proper shoes are a must! Orthotics are bulky, especially if your feet require significant correction. Generally, you will need to buy shoes that are wider and longer by ½ to 1 full size. 

After you receive your new orthotics, take them with you to buy a new pair of running shoes that fit comfortably.

Remove the sock liner and place the custom-made orthotic inserts if you have full-length orthotics. 

Three-quarter-length orthotics should be over the shoe’s insole. If the insole has built-in arch support, you may need to trim it away after you purchase the shoes. 

Custom orthotics generally need “fine-tuning” or modifications after you get them. Suppose your orthotics are hand-made by a skilled professional from a mold of your foot. In that case, they may still require adjustment to optimize comfort and effectiveness.

custom made orthotics

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take For Me To Feel The Benefit Of Custom-Made Orthotic Shoes?

When treating some disorders, at least partial relief is immediate. In other cases, it takes several weeks for the problem to resolve enough to feel relief.

Do I Need To Have Special Shoes?

It is essential to have supportive and large shoes. Your shoes need enough room for the orthotics and for your foot to be comfortable. Starting with a running shoe built to “stabilize” or control motion is best.

Do I Have To Wear Orthotics All The Time?

Yes and no. In some cases, gradually increasing the wearing time of the orthotics over a 2-3-week period is necessary. After that, while your foot is sore because of the condition, you must wear your custom-made foot orthotics and supportive shoes full-time. 

Don’t go barefoot, especially on hard surfaces. After your foot feels better, you may wear shoes without the orthotics for special events. Eventually, you will discover your tolerance for going without the orthotics.

What If I Have An Essential Dressy Occasion? Do I Have To Wear Bulky Shoes And Orthotics?

No, but your foot will likely be sore during and for a day or two after the event, especially if the problem persists.

Will I Have To Use Orthotics For The Rest of My Life?

It depends on why you need the orthotics. Some conditions resolve, and you must only use custom-made orthotic insoles for specific athletic activities or at certain times to prevent recurring problems. 

Other problems are permanent. In those cases, you must wear the orthotics forever to keep your feet comfortable.

When Do I Need To Replace Orthotics?

Adults must replace orthotics when they become visibly worn out or cracked or when the foot changes shape. Children need new orthotics when their feet grow longer by 1½-2 shoe sizes.

Does Insurance Pay for Orthotics?

Some insurance plans pay for orthotics, and some don’t. You should call your insurance to check your benefits. 

If your insurance doesn’t pay for custom-made orthotics, you may be able to use your Health Savings Account (HSA), Medical IRA, or Flexible Spending Account to pay for custom orthotics.

Don’t let discomfort hold you back any longer. Our expert team is dedicated to providing top-notch care tailored to your unique needs. Take the first step towards a pain-free life and schedule your appointment today at Foot & Ankle Centers