There is a big difference between orthotics and insoles. Insoles are designed to provide a cushioning effect and shock absorption. They may feel comfortable but they are not designed to prevent or treat biomechanical problems such as over-pronation. Certain insoles do provide an arch support but the material that they are made from is too soft to be able to provide the necessary support to your foot thus having little or no effect. The easiest way to describe an insole is to compare them to the insole that you get in most shoes when you purchase them, particularly training shoes. Insoles can also be used for odour control.
Orthotics work to relieve pain by realigning and supporting the ligaments and bones of the foot properly, so that the foot can function as normal. Orthotics are used to reduce pain, redistribute pressure and to prevent problems with our feet. Orthotics are also used to restore natural foot function and to cure conditions such as flat feet. Although orthotics also provide some shock absorption this is not their main purpose.
An orthotic can be custom made by a Podiatrist or bought off the shelf. Custom orthotics are unique to each individual patient and are made from a variety of materials so whether you need the smallest lighest device or a very controlling cushion device we can meet your needs. No two orthotics are the same, they are made for your feet and your mechanics alone.
There are 3 main types of orthotics:
To summarise, an insole is a device to cushion and absorb shock whilst an orthotic is a device which can relive pain, redistribute pressure and restore natural foot function.
If you think you may need orthotics make an appointment with your Podiatrist to discuss the correct orthotic prescription for you.