A Podiatrist Says That These Insoles Will Have You Saying Foot Pain, Who?

Photo: Getty/Mike Harrington
Like an unexpected torrential rainstorm, food poisoning, or a bee sting, aching feet can quickly ruin an otherwise perfect day. Foot pain can leave you limping from store to store on a shopping trip or grumpy and complaining halfway up a mountain, but the worst part is that foot pain is never isolated. It always finds a way to radiate up your shins, and leave your hips and back aching, too. Enter: custom orthotics.

Orthotics are shoe inserts that provide comfort and relief from foot pain and help to prevent future injuries. According to Adam Kaplan, DPM, a podiatrist and CEO of Arcus Orthotics, "they are an affordable and non-invasive way to address common foot issues including heel pain, plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, knee pain, back pain and more." Whether you're on your feet all day working, or wearing less-than-comfortable shoes for a night out, orthotic insoles can really be a game-changer when it comes to comfort all the way from your toes, through your hips and spine.

Experts In This Article

Orthotics come in all shapes and sizes to fit any foot type, concern, activity, and shoe. They are made to be slipped into your shoes for a little extra cushioning or support, but not all orthotic insoles are created equally. Over-the-counter insoles that you can get at your local drugstore are a good place to start when trying them out, but there are also numerous benefits to investing in custom orthotics. "While over-the-counter orthotics are prefabricated, custom orthotics are designed for each individual and their specific issues and diagnoses. No two orthotics are alike," says Dr. Kaplan.

With custom orthotics, the product is created with your specific foot mold in mind, and because of this, it's able to, not only correct the foot’s alignment, but also add supportive modifications, such as first ray cut-outs for plantar fasciitis, heel lifts for Achilles tendonitis, heel posting to reduce and prevent over-pronation for flat feet, offloading pressure for painful calluses, and more.

Custom orthotics can help relieve pain for people of all ages whether they have an active or sedentary lifestyle from the common foot cramp to professional athletes, all you have to do is indicate your arch type, heel type, medical conditions, and the shoe type you intend to use your orthotics with with photos. Interested? Keep scrolling for custom orthotics options below.

1. Arcus Orthotics

Arcus's custom-molded orthotics are designed specifically to address the issues affecting your unique foot, bone structure, and gait. You make a personal foot mold by stepping on a piece of foam within a box, and from that orthotics are created and shipped directly to you. These inserts help to adjust and improve the biomechanical function of the foot from the heel to the arch which in turn relieves pain, prevents the progression of deformities, and helps to avoid surgical correction. Arcus designs custom orthotics for high heels, flats, dress shoes, sneakers, hiking boots, and even skis.

2. The Custom Fit Insoles

In the same vein, these custom fit orthotics are created from a foam mold of the foot that's sent to you by mail. You simply step on the foam in the box and then the insoles are shipped to you soon after. With close to 85,000 reviews online, these insoles nab high praise from users who have tested and benefited from the custom orthotics technology.

3. Dr. Scholls Custom Fit Orthotic Insoles

While the other two options take a mold of your foot so that its as precise as possible, if you're looking for a prefabricated drugstore option that you can pick up, you might first want to take an online assesment from Dr. Scholls, which makes a wide array of orthotics. From there you can know which option in their catalog is the best for your particular foot needs.

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