Types of foot orthotics

Footech President

Jacques Martin, D.S.S., B.Sc., C.Ped.
President, Footech Inc., Certified Pedorthist

Depending on the need, there are 2 general types of foot orthotics:

1. Over-the-counter (or off-the-shelf)

Over-the-counter insoles are mass-produced retail items intended for general use and typically available in pharmacies, supermarkets and shoe stores.

Although they are inexpensive and do provide some relief for shock absorption, the potential for individual modification is very limited and does not serve well when patients need to correct specific foot conditions.

2. Custom

Custom foot orthotics, by contrast, are intended to fit a particular foot, for a particular purpose and come in two categories:

a. Customized (or personalized)

Customized orthotics are pre-fabricated insoles that benefit from added features that allow the consumer to adapt it to themselves, such as heel wedges or arch supports.

b. Custom-made

When the situation calls for maximum performance and comfort, custom-made orthotics are recommended to ensure a perfect fit. Made from castings or computer-assisted analysis of each foot, custom-made orthotics can also be modified with specific added corrections, allowing for the enhanced treatment of a variety of conditions and biomechanical imbalances.

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