Bare feet on concrete

Do I Need Custom Orthotics?

What Are Custom Orthotics?

In the business of life, our feet often bear the brunt of our daily activities. Our feet carry the weight of our world, quite literally. Yet we frequently overlook and ignore their well-being until pain forces us to slow down and examine our feet.

Remember, foot pain should not be ignored. It should not be a part of your “normal” day-to-day life.

Custom foot orthotics, also known as orthotic inserts, or insoles, are custom-designed medical devices that fit inside your shoes. They work like shock absorbers. They differ from over-the-counter orthotics, which are widely available and not customized. They can be made from a variety of materials and serve a variety of purposes, depending on your diagnosis and specific needs. They offer a tailored solution to many foot-related issues.

A person of average weight and height with a generic foot type and issue will often do well with your basic over-the-counter orthotic that is mass-produced for the “average foot”. They are less expensive and will usually help decrease pain and discomfort.

If you’re someone with a specific need or problem, you may benefit from custom orthotics.

Reasons for Getting Custom Orthotics?

Orthotics don’t correct foot or ankle problems. However, they do reposition the structures in the foot to help reduce the likelihood of an injury that would be the result of these biomechanical issues. Custom orthotics are created based on a scan or mold of your feet. Because of this, they are tailored to address your specific foot concerns.

  • Alleviating Pain and Discomfort
    • Foot pain can stem from various sources, including plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or high arches. Foot orthotics offer targeted support to alleviate pressure points, distribute weight evenly, and correct alignment issues. By cushioning and supporting the feet, orthotics help reduce pain and discomfort associated with daily activities, allowing individuals to move with ease and comfort.
  • Correcting Biomechanical Issues
    • Biomechanical abnormalities, such as overpronation (rolling inward) or supination (rolling outward) of the feet, can lead to gait abnormalities and subsequent injuries. Foot orthotics are designed to address these imbalances by providing corrective support and promoting proper alignment during movement. By stabilizing the feet and ankles, orthotics help prevent injuries and improve overall biomechanical efficiency.
  • You’re an Athlete
    • Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often subject their feet to intense physical stress during training and competition. Foot orthotics tailored for specific sports or activities can provide added support, shock absorption, and stability, enhancing performance and reducing the risk of injuries. Whether running, jumping, or pivoting, orthotics help optimize biomechanics and maximize athletic potential.
  • Managing Chronic Conditions
    • Individuals with chronic foot conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or neuropathy require specialized care to manage symptoms and prevent complications. Foot orthotics can play a key role in offloading pressure, reducing friction, promoting circulation, alleviating discomfort, and minimizing the risk of ulcers or deformities. Customized orthotics accommodate the unique needs of individuals with chronic conditions, enhancing their quality of life and mobility.
  • Improving Posture and Alignment
    • The feet serve as the foundation for the body’s alignment and posture. Any deviations or misalignments in the feet can have cascading effects on the ankles, knees, hips, and spine, leading to pain and discomfort. Foot orthotics support proper alignment by providing stability and correcting biomechanical issues, thereby improving posture and reducing strain on the musculoskeletal system.
  • Preventing Fatigue and Overuse Injuries
    • Prolonged standing, walking, or repetitive movements can result in foot fatigue and overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis. Foot orthotics offer shock absorption and cushioning to reduce the impact of repetitive stress on the feet, minimizing fatigue and lowering the risk of injuries. By providing support and redistributing pressure, orthotics help individuals maintain comfort and mobility throughout the day.

Benefits of Custom Orthotics

  • Personalized Support
    • One size does not fit all when it comes to foot support. Each of us has a unique foot structure and gait pattern. Custom orthotics are designed to address individual needs by providing personalized support. Whether you have flat feet, high arches, or a specific gait abnormality, custom orthotics can be tailored to match your foot anatomy, offering the precise support required for optimal comfort and alignment.
  • Foot Pain and Discomfort Relief
    • Foot pain can stem from various sources, including biomechanical issues, structural abnormalities, or repetitive stress. Custom orthotics can help alleviate pain by redistributing pressure, stabilizing the foot, and correcting biomechanical imbalances. Whether you suffer from plantar fasciitis, bunions, or shin splints, custom orthotics can provide relief by reducing strain on affected areas and promoting proper alignment.
  • Improving Performance
    • Athletes and active individuals often rely on their feet to perform at their best. Custom orthotics can enhance performance by optimizing biomechanics and reducing the risk of injury. By providing stability, shock absorption, and improved foot alignment, custom orthotics enable athletes to move more efficiently and comfortably, thereby maximizing their potential on the field or court.
  • Injury Prevention & Long-Term Foot Health
    • Ignoring foot problems can lead to more severe complications down the road. Untreated issues such as overpronation, supination, or improper foot alignment can result in chronic pain, joint damage, and increased risk of injury. Custom orthotics not only address existing concerns but also help prevent future problems by providing support and promoting healthy foot mechanics.

It’s important to see a professional when having custom orthotics made. One of the best places you can go when interested in having custom orthotics made is a podiatry office. Your podiatrist will want to examine your feet and discuss the best treatment options for whatever issue you’re dealing with. Orthotics are made only after a podiatrist has done a complete evaluation of your feet, ankles, and legs. We go through this process so your orthotic can accommodate your unique foot structure and pathology.

At Western Montana Foot and Ankle, our podiatrists will scan your feet at your appointment. The digital scan of your feet will then be sent to our vendor, who will create your custom orthotic and send it back to our office. You’ll then be scheduled for a dispensing appointment. This process can take a few weeks to complete.

Custom orthotics are an investment. They can range in price from $200 to $800, not including the office visit, and most insurances do not cover these medical devices. Custom orthotics will also eventually need to be replaced, although not as frequently as over-the-counter orthotics.

For this reason, many people will try over-the-counter orthotics first to see if they help alleviate their pain. If you have severe pain, or over-the-counter orthotics have not helped alleviate your symptoms, it may be time to see your podiatrist and get custom orthotics. 

Custom orthotics are a personalized approach to foot care. Whether you’re an athlete aiming for peak performance or someone seeking relief from everyday discomfort, custom orthotics can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Get in touch with our office and get scheduled with one of our knowledgeable podiatrists. Your feet will thank you for it.