Custom Orthotics

An orthotic is an insert, either soft or firm, which replaces the insole of your sneaker. Orthotics can be expensive; therefore, we recommend not spending much more than $60 on an over-the-counter orthotic. We carry affordable over-the-counter inserts that are $40 or less.

Hundreds of scientific studies have been performed to determine how orthotics work. Orthotics perform three major functions:

First, orthotics help disperse forces across your foot so one specific area of the foot is not getting overloaded.

Second, orthotics help slow down pathologic motion, such as overpronation or oversupination.

Third, orthotics improve what is called proprioception, which is your foot’s awareness of its position in relation to the ground. This is a subconscious, neurological pathway, which probably contributes to why orthotics usually feel good when you put them in your shoes.

Although over-the-counter orthotics work, custom orthotics are sometimes needed for additional support or a need for a custom fit that the over the counter product can’t give. Therefore, we use a combination of both depending on the patient’s needs. Custom orthotics are made out of higher-grade materials that last longer and are more expensive. When a custom orthotic is necessary, it is crucial that a podiatrist is involved, as the wrong type of orthotic can actually make people feel worse or even cause a different problem. Over-the-counter orthotics typically last about one year. Custom orthotics usually last three to five years – sometimes longer. This depends on the type of activity and the material that the orthotic is made from. Also, the more running one does, the quicker the orthotic will wear out. With children, we usually replace orthotics every two shoe sizes, depending on comfort.

We recommend that you contact your insurance company to find out what your plan will pay for. Foot & Ankle Center currently charges $400 for custom orthotics.