If your feet are aching again and are wondering whether or not a simple shoe insert can help, the truth is that it might. However, you might require an “orthotic” instead depending on what the problem actually is.

Inserts bought in stores without the need for a prescription offer support and cushioning. They might be made of materials such as foam, plastic, or gel. Inserts fit into shoes. Unfortunately, they aren’t custom-made for your feet. They provide arch support or additional cushioning on the heel, around the toes, or for the whole foot. Inserts might be designed to make shoes more comfortable but they are not for correcting problems with your foot.

Orthotics, however, are different. They are prescription medical devices worn inside shoes for correcting biomechanical foot issues, which include problems with how you run, walk, or stand. They can even help relieve foot pain caused by medical conditions like bursitis, plantar fasciitis, diabetes, and arthritis. Orthotics can even help you avoid surgery needed to fix flat feet.

Propet Shoes come in a variety of widths designed to fit your feet perfectly. So there may be no need for inserts.

You might, however, not require prescription medical devices. An over-the-counter shoe insert will sometimes work just fine. You will want to ask a podiatrist, who is a doctor that specializes in foot care, for recommendations.

What Will the Podiatrist Check?

During the appointment, the podiatrist will take 3D images of both feet and conduct a thorough examination. This may include watching you walk and noting how your ankles, feet, hips, and legs move.

If orthotics is necessary, the podiatrist will make a precise mold of the feet. It is an important step for getting the fit right. After the mold is ready, a professional will turn it into either soft or rigid orthotics.

Types of Orthotics

Rigid orthotics, which are also known as functional orthotics are typically made from materials such as carbon fiber or plastic. They are ideal when it comes to walking shoes or dress shoes with low heels and closed toes. It is the kind of orthotic that’s designed to ease foot strains and aches along with pain in the thighs, legs, and lower back that you might be feeling in case your foot does not work as it should.

Soft orthotics, which are also referred to as accommodative orthotics are typically made from soft compression materials. They offer cushioning thus taking pressure off sore or uncomfortable spots caused by conditions such as diabetic foot ulcers or even plantar fasciitis. Since they tend to be bulky soft orthotics often have to be worn with prescription footwear.

It is even possible to get special orthotics designed for sporting equipment such as ice skates and ski boots.

How to Wear Orthotics and Inserts

Custom orthotics and over-the-counter inserts should fit the shoe’s contours and feel comfortable too. A packaged insert that rubs the foot in the store won’t get magically better at home. Prescription orthotics, which are made from molds of your own feet fit rather well. If they don’t, you should tell the podiatrist.

Orthotics are obviously more expensive than inserts. However, if you get orthotics, you will also be getting a custom fit, a medical evaluation of your foot problem, as well as high-quality materials guaranteed to last at least several years with the right care. Orthotics are prescription medical devices, which means that your insurance provider might help cover the cost. Check your insurance plan.

You will have to schedule a follow up appointment with the podiatrist to ensure that your orthotics work well for you. You will hopefully find that your feet start feeling better. If not, you should make sure that your podiatrist knows.

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