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Custom Orthotics vs Over the Counter (OTC)

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When you are looking to work on your feet and make sure that your feet are as healthy as possible, you will have a few different options to choose from. Most patients will take a look at the store-bought orthotics or consider whether they need to go with custom orthotics through their podiatrist. But which one is better?


You may hear from your doctor that the store-bought orthotics are inferior compared to the custom orthotics and that you should go for the latter as much as possible. But are the custom orthotics really that much better?


Let’s take a closer look at custom orthotics and see whether they are better than store-bought.

Custom Orthotics vs Over the Counter (OTC): What’s the Difference?

Many people will agree that a pair of custom orthotics is going to be a better option for your feet, keeping them as comfortable and supported as possible. There are a lot of reasons to choose a pair of custom orthotics, but when you hold these up to a pair of store-bought orthotics, you can instantly tell the difference.


But what are some of the ways that a pair of custom orthotics is better than a pair of store-bought? Some of the things to consider that put custom orthotics above the rest will include:


Custom Orthotics Are Better Designed Than Store Bought Orthotics


While it can be tempting to choose a store-bought orthotic because they look nice for the price. But these are less expensive for a reason.


Store-bought orthotics are designed to work well for the general population, mass-produced to work with as many people as possible to make them cheaper and to help improve products. You may need to modify them just to make them fit.


Since the store-bought orthotic is not going to be designed to work with your foot, they can cause balance issues and some issues with pressure points that may make your foot condition worse. You may start to develop pain that was not there in the first place.


In fact, this can get so bad that you were better off without an orthotic to start with. On the other hand, the design of a custom orthotic is going to be much better.


These are crafted individually for your own needs, using a mold impression and they take into account your gait pattern, the shape of your foot, and your symptoms. The doctor can even design it based on the type of shoe you plan to use.


The result of this is that you will get an insole that fits your foot and can actually make you feel better, rather than making things worse.


Custom Orthotics Use Better Materials Than Store Bought Ones


You will find that custom orthotics are going to be designed out of better materials compared to those that you can purchase at the store. Mass design is one of the best ways that producers of store-bought inserts will be able to keep the cost of the product low.


Another method that they can use is to choose materials that are lower in cost as well. Most of the time, the over-the-counter inserts are going to be designed with materials that will not last that long.


You will need to replace them more often than you would with custom orthotics. They can wear out and not give you the support that you need for very long.


When you go with a custom orthotic, you will find that the materials inside will be durable and high-quality. This allows them to last longer than store-bought inserts. These specialized materials will help the professionals craft an orthotic that can provide the relief that you need based on your foot as well.


Custom Orthotics Are Cost Effective Because They Last Longer Than Store-Bought


When you compare the cost of a custom orthotic compared to a store-bought orthotic, you will find that the custom orthotic is a lot more money upfront. Many of these will cost between $200 to $800 depending on the unique features and accessories that you choose.


However, you have to consider how long these custom orthotics are going to last. While store-bought insoles will last six months or less, the custom orthotic can last for three to five years.


Since they last longer, have better materials, and will actually work hard to provide you with the support you need, they can be worth the cost. Even better, your insurance may be willing to pay for some or all of the cost of a custom orthotic, while they will pay nothing for an over-the-counter orthotic, making this more affordable too.

Custom Orthotics

Are There Times When Store-Bought Orthotics Are Better Than Custom Orthotics?

There are times when going with store-bought orthotics can be a good choice. If you are looking more into the comfort of the orthotics and just need something inexpensive and easily accessible to place on your feet to relieve pain, then store-bought orthotics are a great choice.


You will also find that not everyone needs custom orthotics for their feet, however, custom orthotics would be helpful for everyone. Unless you have a major issue with your feet, there may not be a reason to choose a custom orthotic.


They may be made out of higher-quality materials and will last longer, but for many patients, they are a bit overkill and you do not need them as much. Store-bought orthotics are going to be less expensive compared to custom orthotics too


You can pick out a good pair for $30 to $50, which makes them economical for helping you walk around or stand all day when you need to work. It is also easy to gain access to them, whether you purchase them online or go to the store to find them.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Foot pain can be a real drag, impacting everything from your daily commute to your favorite workouts. While over-the-counter (OTC) insoles might seem like a quick fix, Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics offer a world of difference for lasting relief and personalized support. Here's why they outperform generic options:


  • Precision over One-Size-Fits-All: Imagine a pair of shoes designed for everyone, regardless of foot size or shape. That's essentially what OTC insoles are. Bilt Labs takes a personalized approach, crafting orthotics from custom molds of your feet. This meticulous process ensures a perfect fit that cradles your arches and aligns your biomechanics precisely. Generic insoles often offer minimal arch support, leaving conditions like flat feet and overpronation unaddressed, which can be a major source of pain.

  • Targeted Relief, Not Just Cushioning: While OTC insoles might provide some cushioning, they don't address the root cause of foot pain. Think of them as a generic pain reliever for all aches. Bilt Labs orthotics go beyond mere comfort. They provide targeted support to correct imbalances, redistribute pressure evenly, and promote proper foot alignment. This reduces pain not just in your feet, but also in your ankles, knees, and even your back, for a holistic approach to well-being. OTC insoles simply can't match this level of targeted support.

  • Comfort and Choice You Deserve: Bilt Labs understands that comfort is key, especially when dealing with pain. They offer a variety of top cover materials to suit your lifestyle, from moisture-wicking options for active individuals to softer materials for everyday wear. Additionally, their orthotics come designed for various activity levels, ensuring optimal support whether you're a casual walker or a dedicated athlete. Generic insoles offer limited options, often sacrificing comfort for a one-size-fits-all design. With Bilt Labs, you get the perfect blend of personalized support and long-lasting comfort.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Finding Comfort for Your Feet with Custom Orthotics

When you start to notice a good deal of foot pain that can make it difficult to move around and get your work done, you need to find the best type of orthotics or insoles that will provide you with the best relief. You will have a few options but the main concern will come down to whether you choose custom orthotics or the store-bought variety.


Trust our team to work with you when it comes to choosing custom orthotics for your feet conditions. We have been able to help many patients, providing them with the comfort and support that they need, ensuring they are comfortable, and giving the best treatment for their foot condition.


Take our free analysis to help determine what type of orthotics will be best for you. If you have decided that a pair of custom orthotics makes the most sense for your feet, give us a call or leave your information so we can provide you with the relief that you need. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.