Researchers found that pricey devices were generally no better than inexpensive store-bought inserts -- or any other "conservative" treatment -- when it came to managing plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel, due to irritation in the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes.
People who put a lot of "wear and tear" on their feet are more prone to the condition, according to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). That includes runners and people who work on their feet -- especially without good, supportive shoes -- and those who are obese or who have very high arches or "flat" feet.
In most cases, the pain goes away within six months, and simple measures, like stretching exercises, are the best way to manage it, the AOFAS says.
Doctors also often recommend "orthoses" -- shoe inserts that support the arch and cushion the heel. The inserts range from basic, off-the-shelf supports to expensive, custom-made versions.