Myth About Custom-Made Orthotics

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions surrounding orthotics, shoes, and foot care. Sometimes, with all of the myths milling around out there, orthotics can get a bad reputation. While some of these myths simply have eroded due to improvements and research over time, others were never based in fact from the start. At Assured Health Group, our practitioners frequently debunk these myths for the benefit of our patients…

MYTH #1 — Orthotics are for seniors

Custom Orthotics have been stereotyped for ages as only being for older adults, and often also associated with big, ugly orthopaedic shoes. While it is true that as we age the tendons and ligaments become more lax and condition like arthritis more prevalent, foot dysfunction, injuries, and other ailments occur across age groups and are just as debilitating for younger individuals.

Orthotics can be helpful for anyone experiencing foot or lower limb pain resulting from an overuse injury (such as plantar fasciitis), chronic condition (arthritis or diabetes), or other condition (bunions, knee pain, etc). Orthotics are an effective, conservative treatment for foot and lower limb conditions for people of all ages.

MYTH #2 — All Orthotics are hard, and will hurt my feet while they “break in”

Orthotics are intended to help your feet, not hurt them! While some orthotics are firm and corrective, that style is certainly not the only one available. At Assured Health Group, we like to think of orthotics being on a spectrum of soft to firm. Depending on what you need, your orthotics will be as soft or as firm as you need to recover from your injury. Furthermore, orthotics should be adjustable for both fit and comfort throughout their lifespan. Depending on your needs, a wide variety of materials can be used to create a device that is just right for you.

Orthotics should never increase your pain, cause blisters or create new problems during the break-in period. Mild discomfort may occur as you get used to the new devices, but this discomfort should be no more than mild—similar to a bit of discomfort you might experience with a brand new pair of shoes.

MYTH #3 — Off-the-shelf devices work the same as custom

Off-the-shelf (OTS) devices and insoles often found at the drugstore or grocery store. The biggest difference is that none of these insoles consider your individual needs, nor are they made to properly for your foot. While some of them use pressure-mapping mats to give you the sense that you’re getting a custom product, it is still only a computer’s estimation of your foot shape—a pressure mat can’t see how high or low your arch is, it can only tell what parts of your foot are pressing down.

OTS devices are always sold at a lower cost than custom, but like many other things; you get what you pay for. While OTS devices might be easy to fit and easy on the wallet, they simply don’t stand up to a custom made device. OTS devices are made to fit an “average” foot, so if your foot is not similar to their device, it may not be of much help.

At Assured Health Group, custom made orthotics are made 100% custom to your foot. Our Practitioners will cast your fit and the materials used to manufacture your orthotics are formed directly to that mould, making a custom insole. We will choose a combination of materials and support features that fit your exact needs, and they can be adjusted throughout their life if your needs change over time.