When people’s feet start to hurt, they often think about adding support to their shoes with an insert picked up at their local CVS, Walgreens, or other retail store. However, for the purpose of supporting your feet and reducing foot pain, orthotics from a podiatrist office can’t be beat.

Why you should save your money and skip the cheap shoe inserts:

If your aim is to reduce foot pain, don’t bother with those cheap shoe inserts you’ve seen at the grocery store, mall, and on TV. Shoe arch support inserts are any kind of non-prescription foot support designed to be worn inside a shoe. Pre-packaged arch supports are shoe inserts. So are the “custom-made” insoles and foot supports that you can order online or at retail stores. Unless the device has been prescribed by a doctor and crafted for your specific foot, it’s a shoe insert, not a custom orthotic device—despite what the ads might say.

Shoe arch inserts are very rarely helpful, and then only in the mild cases. Think of shoe inserts as a better insole. They can cushion your feet, provide comfort, and support your arches, but they’re light duty- not something that has enough support to eliminate foot pain & issues.

Why you should spend a little more and get a custom orthotic from a podiatrist:

Podiatrists use custom orthotics to treat foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendinitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and foot, ankle, and heel pain. Clinical research studies have shown that podiatrist-prescribed foot custom orthotics decrease foot pain and improve function.

Custom orthotics typically cost more than shoe inserts purchased in a retail store, but the additional cost is well worth it. Unlike shoe arch inserts, custom orthotics are molded to fit each individual foot, so you can be sure that your orthotics fit comfortably and do what they’re supposed to do. Prescription custom orthotics are also made of top-notch materials and last far longer when cared for properly.

If you have serious pain or discomfort to your feet or ankles, you should make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Pain is not normal. Dr Leff will assess your overall health and look for any other contributing factors. If an orthotic device will help, we’ll recommend one to you.

When in doubt, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist! We’ll take the guesswork out of purchasing orthotics, and eliminate your foot pain.