Custom Orthotics vs Orthotic Shoes
Custom orthotics are medical devices that fit inside of your shoe and that are prescribed when your doctor decides that you need extra support for your ankles or feet. Orthotic shoes, on the other hand, are not widely custom made and are worn on the feet for the same reasons as orthotics are but with varying degrees of success. If your doctor has mentioned custom orthotics to you, here are a few key differences between the devices and the shoes.
Custom orthotics explained
If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain in the ankle, foot or other areas of your lower extremities, your doctor might consider prescribing custom orthotics to be worn inside your shoes for additional support and to promote natural healing of the area. They are custom made for patients and are done so by making a mold of your foot and then creating an insert that accommodates deformities or injuries causing pain and perhaps walking difficulties. They can be successfully used to treat arthritis, bunions, back pain, heel spurs, hammertoes, flat feet, diabetes, bursitis, and more.
Orthotic shoes explained
Orthotic shoes are created to treat many of the same foot, ankle, and leg problems that custom orthotics do, but they can be purchased by anyone without a prescription, they might be a little more budget-friendly if paying out of pocket, and they can be worn by every age group. These shoes tend to have a removable insole so that others can be substituted if need be, they come in wide widths and a large size range, the uppers are uniquely designed to accommodate common foot deformities, a supportive footbed, and specific impact absorption properties.
Which one to pick
In all likelihood, your doctor will advise you which of these products will better address your condition. However, for your education, orthotic shoes might help with healing from an injury or chronic condition, but they don’t offer the patient-specific care that custom designed orthotics do. Unlike custom orthotics, they don’t offer the flexibility of being worn with a number of different pairs of shoes rather than the same shoe all the time. Orthotic shoes do represent a more affordable option for treatment and can be all it takes to get your feet, ankles, and legs back to normal.