Custom Orthotics, Shoe Inserts or Insoles?
Nearly everyone can benefit from arch supports of some kind. But with a variety of products on the market, it can be difficult to know what type of arch support you need. Are you a good candidate for custom orthotics, shoe inserts, or insoles? How do you know? Think about arch supports, feet, and walking the way you think about eyeglasses, eyes, and seeing. Most people (especially as they get older) benefit from some kind of corrective lenses to improve vision. In the same way, most people benefit from arch supports to optimize their stride.
But depending on your eyesight, you might need a specific prescription or a simple pair of generic reading glasses found at the drugstore. Generic reading glasses are similar to shoe inserts that don't have much variety in sizing and fit.
If you require more than drugstore reading glasses (or drugstore inserts), you will need an eye exam, after which you get a prescription for lenses. The prescription is written in a detailed scale because added precision enables better sight. Like with glasses, having precision sizing with insoles enables a higher level of support and better biomechanics. For many people, an eye exam and simple prescription is enough, much like after-market insoles with precision sizing works for most people in relation to arch support.
Let's continue the analogy between vision and forward motion. Sometimes, a prescription for lenses gets very complicated. It may have a basic correction for distance vision, a correction for astigmatism, and a correction for reading. A complicated diagnosis for your feet might point towards a custom foot orthotic, which is an insert for your footwear that is made especially for you based on the exact needs of your feet. It would be smart to seek out this kind of custom orthotic if you weren't achieve comfort and performance in footwear using simpler methods.
If you feel that you need a complete custom solution, give us a call (781) 435-0662. We may be able to help you find a good provider, or at least give you the tools to evaluate the options.
If your needs are less complicated, Tread Labs provides excellent foot support for most people. High arches or flat feet, we have insoles to support your active lifestyle.