Orthotics are special foot supports that help your feet be in the most ergonomically-friendly position possible while you do your activities. They usually provide support to the delicate parts of your foot such as the heels, forefoot, arches and others. They also provide cushion so you will feel maximum comfort when walking or running. Orthotics come in different preparations: custom-made and off-the-shelf shoe inserts. However, if you are considering getting your shoe inserts, experts say that custom-made orthotics is better and more beneficial and your local Land O Lakes chiropractor can help you decide which is best for you.
The Truth About Off-the-Shelf or Ready Made Shoe Inserts
Manufacturers have pre-made shoe inserts that you can just buy off the shelf when you go to department stores. They are practically less expensive than custom-made inserts and are readily available in case you need them badly. The costs of readymade shoe inserts are in line with the materials used including rubber, silicon and cork. Studies have shown that these reduce the risk for plantar fasciitis and prevent over or under pronation of the foot. Despite these advantages, readymade shoe inserts can also have disadvantages such as less specific foot correction because of limited individual modification on the orthotics. Ready-made orthotics are also less therapeutic because they may not be able to cater to the various symptoms of clients. These disadvantages make custom orthotics more beneficial and desired by experts.
The Benefits of Custom Shoe Inserts
These custom-fitted orthotics are individualized shoe inserts; thereby, are made from the exact contour and image of the foot of the user. When people need specific corrections from their foot problems, the corrections are also specifically patterned on the symptom of the client and do not provide a general management like readymade shoe inserts do. The manufacturers and designers carefully make the shoe inserts to the individual needs of their clients.
Custom-made orthotics are usually made in doctor’s clinics so you are sure that your physician carefully designs your shoe inserts just for you. In some cases, shoe inserts are made in orthotic laboratories that specialize in making custom-made shoe inserts. Custom-made orthotics also use more preferred materials than off-the-shelf shoe inserts. Materials include high-tech viscoelastic materials, cork and leather. Some also use polypropylene and carbon fiber, which are top materials for shoe inserts.
Aside from having the best materials and the best people to customize your shoe inserts, you can also have your orthotics customized for your specific shoe type such as loafers, dress shoes, high heels, sneakers, rubber shoes, boots and other special shoes like ski boots and ice skates.
All these features of custom-made orthotics boil down to its main advantages such as:
- Individualized correction of biomechanical deformities
Since custom-made orthotics are made especially for the needs of individual clients, certain biomechanical faults are corrected. This allows for faster relief from symptoms and better adaptation to the deformities.
- Provides more predictable response to symptoms
Unlike readymade orthotics, custom made orthotics provide a more directed management of biomechanical deformities; thereby, yielding more predictable relief from symptoms.
- Deals with foot asymmetry efficiently
Readymade orthotics usually are designed according to foot sizes; thereby, missing out asymmetrical foot features. This is one of the strength of custom orthotics because the technicians can manufacture your shoe inserts according to the actual look of your feet.
Orthotics are really beneficial for foot support. If you have specific foot and other musculoskeletal problems, better consult your podiatrist for custom-made shoe inserts.