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Custom Orthotics vs Over the Counter (OTC)

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?

Custom orthotics better than store-bought

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.

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.

Custom Orthotics Designs for All Needs

You will also find that there are a few different styles that you can choose when it comes to a pair of custom orthotics. When you choose to work with your doctor to make the custom orthotics, they can even be designed based on the shoes that you are going to wear most of the time, providing comfort in all the right spots.

For example, if you need to wear a special work boot, or if you are into athletics and need to wear those shoes, then the custom orthotic can be styled to work with that the best. There are even orthotics that are designed to work with high heels, providing you with all of the comfort and support that your feet need, no matter the type of shoe.

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.