Insoles, Orthotics What’s the Difference
Shoes seem to be everywhere...shoe stores, TV commercials, and even grocery stores! So what is the deal with them? Why are they important? When people enter our office, they are confused about terms such as "insole", "insert", "arched support" and "orthosis". They don't know what to use!
Insole, arch support and inserts are synonymous... they all have the same meaning. You can usually find them anywhere in a pharmacy, Walmart or sports store. They provide extra cushioning and light support for your shoes. Because the material is soft and easily deformed, the blades need to be replaced regularly (average 3-6 months).
Orthoses are usually found in specialty stores or medical offices; however, the term "orthosis" is now more freely available and can be found at local grocery stores. The orthosis is a sturdy support insole that usually has some type of plastic material in which the arch is located. This provides better arch support and prevents you from over-flattening the arch while walking.
The "custom orthosis" is directly on your feet. It's really custom made for your feet. Custom orthoses cannot be manufactured at the factory and shipped to the store for your spot purchase. Your foot type must be evaluated, which will determine the type of orthosis you need. Then either use your feet to make a mold, or make an orthosis on the spot to match your feet and meet your foot needs. Custom orthoses are usually not deformed; therefore, they do not have to be replaced as often as over-the-counter insoles.