The Adventages of Custom Made Insoles
Over the counter (OTC) orthotic insoles are foot supports made from various materials including foam, leather,
and plastic. OTC insoles are designed to go inside your shoe and provide some type of relief. OTC insoles are
popularized by clever branding and packaging techniques and can be bought at local pharmacies and grocery
stores. Some are marketed as providing additional comfort. Others promise to relieve pain from common
conditions like bunions, plantar fasciitis, and arch support issues. Additionally, you can buy OTC insoles for a
variety of shoes like high heels, athletic shoes, and boots, so as to seemingly work with every consumer’s lifestyle.
While custom orthotics have been a scientifically proven way to overcome pain and discomfort, OTC insoles are
dangerous and can cause more harm than help to your body. Although many people do not realize their feet
could be the cause of their knee, hip, or back pain, the feet are the foundation of the body. This helps to explain
why Chiropractors often treat issues like plantar fasciitis through lower back adjustments and pay particular
attention to the feet when diagnosing and treating a patient’s discomfort. More importantly, custom orthotic
insoles are typically a great solution and addition to someone’s lifestyle. However, patients must be cautioned
against self-diagnosing and treating through OTC solutions. These are the top three bad things that OTC insoles
can do to your body. We also added some advice for avoiding OTC insoles and getting better treatment.
1. OTC Insoles Provide Ineffective Support
Each person’s body is unique. We are all different heights, weights, and have different body compositions. This
means that each one of us also has unique feet, with some of us even having two feet that barely seem like
distant relatives. Due to each person’s unique body composition, there is rarely ever a one-size-fits-all cure for an
issue. Therefore, when it comes to the feet, customization is key. Using OTC insoles, however, does notprovide
custom care for your body and cannot provide you with effective support. Ineffective support leads to increased
pain and discomfort and can even transfer your pain to a different part of your body to make you think the insoles
The best way to avoid ineffective support is to seek the advice of a professional first. Although there are often
scanners inside stores to help you purchase an insole, these are designed solely to sell products, rather than
provide treatment. Getting a foot scan by a professional who can assess your body and feet in person is ideal.
They will communicate with you directly about treatment options and will help you find the best solution.
2. Increase Physical Discomfort and Cost You More Money for Treatment
OTC insoles are typically made of inexpensive materials. Therefore, OTC insoles wear down faster than custom
orthotics and require replacement more often. The problem is that as OTC insoles wear down, your physical
discomfort will likely increase. Or, even worse, you could purchase the wrong type of OTC insole, and create more
pain and discomfort for yourself. Dr. Kevin Wong indicated that many OTC insoles provide far too much rigidity
for our feet and make our feet go numb. This would lead us to believe our discomfort is cured when in reality it is
simply masked. This “solution” would also make us dependent on an OTC solution for relief – rather than get
When we experience pain or discomfort, our bodies are under stress. Stress also increases from non-physical
issues, like financial burdens and seeking medical treatment which can be time-consuming and riddled with
uncertainty. However, seeking treatment for issues, in the beginning, can save a great deal of time and money in
the long run. Instead of self-diagnosing your issues while standing inside a store, relieve your stress by seeking the
help of an expert. Consider a custom orthotic option that will last longer (about one year) and provide the relief
you are seeking. Custom orthotics are also covered by some insurance programs.
3. Diminish the Function of Your Foot and/or Ankle
Body function actually diminishes when insoles are not properly prescribed or fitted to someone’s foot. The
wrong insole can make a well-fitting shoe suddenly too tight. The wrong insole can also redistribute our
bodyweight in such a way that our foot pain seems alleviated, but our ankles are now sore or we cannot bend our
feet with the same ease. Bad insoles can also make it difficult for us to run or walk at certain paces. Perhaps most
importantly, wearing the wrong insole can create new injuries due to the impact OTC insoles have on the function
of our feet and ankles.
Orthotics alter the way our bodies move, affecting how we walk, stand, and absorb shock from the ground.
Therefore, selecting the right orthotic for your feet is essential to how our body functions each and every day.