There is a big debate about whether insoles or orthotics are going to be the right solution to make your feet happy. Whether you are dealing with persistent pain that will not go away when you walk and stand all day long or you have a specific medical condition of the foot, you will hear plenty of opinions of which one will be right for you.
There are benefits and drawbacks of both the insole and the orthotic, which can make it more confusing to know which one is going to be right for you or not. Each foot is unique, which means that a product that may work well for one patient is not going to be the best solution for someone else.
Both insoles and orthotics are going to be great options to help provide support and comfort to the foot while helping to keep your foot healthy for a long time to come.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these products to help determine whether you should pick out an orthotic or an insole for your foot health needs.
What are Insoles?
The first option that we will take a look at is insoles. There are a lot of people who like the idea of using insoles because they are convenient and easy to find.
You can go look online on Amazon, or even at your local pharmacy and find a wide selection of different insoles that just slip right into your foot. For the most part, these insoles are going to be great for your feet.
While they are not designed specifically for the shape and issues of your foot, there are many varieties that can provide comfort and help if you have slight pain, need some arch support, or need to walk or stand on hard surfaces all day long. The best part about this is that the insoles are going to be less expensive than a custom orthotic.
However, there are a few drawbacks and you will not have the exact support as the custom insole, but these are still a great option for a price of $30 to $50 for most of the options that you would choose. Plus, you will not have to wait up to 4 weeks to get a pair to your home. If you have a severe issue with the foot, then it is better to go with a custom orthotic to provide the support and help that you need.
For minor aches and pains in the foot, you will find that over-the-counter insoles will provide you with everything that you need. Make sure to read the reviews and shop around to find one that will meet your foot health needs.
The Benefits of Insoles
- Can work for many foot problems if they are minor
- Easy to access
- Many options based on the foot condition you have
- Can order online or get it at your local store
- They do not last long, with many needing to be replaced within six months or less
- Can’t treat specific issues of the foot like plantar fasciitis or alignment issues.
- Will have to be careful to not go for types that are cheaply made
- Made out of less expensive materials compared to custom orthotics
What are Orthotics?
The next option that we will look at is what orthotics are all about. These are a pair of unique inserts that go into your shoe, but they are custom-made for your feet.
You will need to go in and visit a podiatrist, who will complete a 3D scan or a mold of your foot, along with a gait analysis and a comprehensive exam to learn as much about you as possible. All of this information is then sent to the lab and a custom orthotic is going to be provided to the patient.
It can take two to four weeks to make these orthotics and it is likely that the device is going to cost between $200 to $800 depending on the unique features of the orthotic and any additional parts that you need to add to it. These orthotics are going to be more effective than wearing some of the insoles since they are specifically designed to fit into your feet.
You can choose from a soft orthotic that provides additional cushioning where your pain points are, or a rigid option that will force the foot back into proper alignment. These orthotics can last up to 5 years, which makes them worth the cost.
For those who are looking into surgery for the severe pain they face, those who need to play intense sports, or those with previous injuries they would like to avoid in the future, custom orthotics can seem like a great option to protect the feet. However, if you are just dealing with a little foot pain, the process of getting a pair of custom orthotics is not worth it.
The Advantages of Orthotics
- Designed to work well for the unique issues that are found with your feet.
- You can work with professionals to create the orthotic to fit your foot perfectly
- Can last three to five years in most situations
- Great for specific issues of the foot
- More effective
- Work to prevent injuries or protect if you are healing from an injury
The Disadvantages of Orthotics
- They are more expensive compared to some of the other options
- It can take two to four weeks to get the product done
- Not everyone will need these.
Which is More Beneficial for My Feet, Insoles or Orthotics?
The type of insert that you are going to need for your feet will depend on the problem that is wrong. For most patients, an insole is going to be a good choice, especially if they choose one for the specific pain that they have.
They are inexpensive and provide some of the comforts that you will need for your day. However, if you have a major issue with your feet that needs specific care and support, then it may be worth it to look into a custom orthotic.
This will make sure that you are able to provide the right support to the foot, ensuring that you will effectively heal it well. For chronic pain, injuries, and other issues that don’t seem to heal, the custom orthotic is a great choice.
Maintaining Healthy Feet with OTC Insoles vs Orthotics
When you need to provide the feet with some of the protection and help that they deserve, keeping them healthy and avoiding issues with pain and injuries, you will need to decide whether insoles or orthotics will be the right one for your needs. Each patient is unique and some will find the insole is the best and some think the orthotics are the best.
For those with more serious foot problems, maintaining healthy feet will be easier with the assistance of custom orthotics, rather than over-the-counter temporary solutions, like insoles.
No matter which inserts you think will work the best for you, getting the professional opinion of one of the members of our staff can make a big difference. We can ensure you get the healthy feet you deserve. Take our free analysis today to see what type of custom orthotic is best for you.