When treating pain in the foot area, podiatrists often consider whether their patients can get the relief they need through off-the-shelf shoe inserts or whether they need more tailor-made options as treatment. There is also no single solution for foot pain or a one-size-fits-all option which can be tried on to relieve all foot aches and pains. A podiatrists generally needs to assess the severity by studying the patients gait, pronation, and other health issues to make the best possible recommendation for the patient.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Shoe Inserts

Most of the off-the-shelf orthotic inserts are designed according to standard shoe sizes. But some offer the ability of being trimmed to fit. The most distinct advantages are that they can be purchased easily and as they are made of relatively inexpensive material they are comparatively less costly. Also these inserts can be replaced much more easily so you don’t have to worry about having to wait for long periods of time if your existing pair of inserts get damaged.

A drawback associated with off-the-shelf options is faced by those who don’t fit into standard sizes or have asymmetrical feet. As modifications are limited, these patients can’t get the corrections they need for the biomechanical imbalances and symptoms they experience. Also there are some specialized inserts which have added features such as massage balls and magnets. They would be slightly higher priced than the regular options.

Analysis Of Custom-Fitted Orthotics

Custom orthotics are made based on an image of the patient’s feet taking in to account the specific corrections that patient requires. They are made of a wide range of materials such as viscoelastic polymers, carbon fires and rigid plastics. Although this may seem like the perfect solution due to some noteworthy advantages, there are also some drawbacks. The following are some of the pros and cons associated.


  • Personalized fit which would even factor in imbalances between both feet of the patient
  • Appropriate materials would be used for each specific condition
  • Offer correction for many biomechanical faults
  • Response to the insert would be more predictable and more long term relief can be obtained


  • As this involves expert input on specifications and would require specialized laboratory services to manufacture, there would be consultation fees associated
  • Material cost could be relatively higher
  • Often involves some lead time as they need to be made based on order
Author's Bio: 

Jerome Julian has expert knowledge in foot-care, and writes about the orthotic shoe insoles and the arch support insoles, also recommends to check out FORMInsoles.com