How much do custom orthotics cost? While prices vary, they usually run from $200 to $800. That’s quite an investment when it comes to footwear or insoles, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the most for your money.
The first step is knowing exactly what you’re paying for, so you can decide whether it’s a good fit for you. In this article, we’ll go over:
While prescription orthotics’ sticker price runs from $200 to $800, you should also factor in additional costs.While these devices can last for years, the top surfaces will wear out and have to be replaced. This can cost $50 to $100. At some point the plastic or firm EVA foam materials will give way indicating that it is time to get a new pair of orthotics.
If you're covered by health insurance, you'll usually only have to pay 10-50% of the total price. However, it's important to know that insurance often doesn't cover them. You'll want to check your insurance plan before considering custom-molded orthotics.
The manufacturing cost of custom orthotics (including materials) is normally $100 or less. So where does the hefty price tag come from, and are custom insoles worth it?
As the podiatrist Dr. Robert Eckles of Manhattan notes, “It's hard to see the value in the plastic.” But he reminds us that we’re “paying for a comprehensive diagnosis of present and future problems” and not simply the orthotic itself.
It is helpful to ask your podiatrist to break the cost down for you, so you can understand the exact cost of each element. Be wary if the price of custom orthotic insoles is high but your podiatrist isn’t thoroughly examining your feet or even taking a cast.
While podiatrists often promote the need for custom orthotics, some sports medicine doctors aren’t convinced they are worth the cost. Dr. William O. Roberts, a sports medicine physician in St. Paul, Minnesota says:
“If your main business is feet, and part of your income is prescribing orthotics, then you might prescribe them 90, 100 percent of the time. It’s a financial issue, and I don’t think there's a huge need for custom orthotics.”
Orthopedic surgeons often agree with this line of thinking about custom insoles for shoes. Dr. John G. Kennedy, an orthopedic surgeon in Manhattan contends:
“There is a big problem with orthotics out there and people are not aware of it. The number of orthotics that I see prescribed in this city is far greater than is warranted by the number of pathological reasons.”
One factor in this difference of opinion between medical doctors (MD) and podiatrists (Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, DPM) is their training:
A 2009 study came to the following conclusion: "At two to three months and at 12 months, prefabricated orthoses were as effective as custom orthoses ... There is no evidence that custom orthoses are more effective than prefabricated ones."
We believe for most people, a semi-custom solution like the Tread Labs Stride insole is the best choice.
Stride insoles are constructed with the same medical-grade materials as many custom orthotics, offering a similar level of comfort and support. However, they are much more wallet-friendly. All Tread Labs insoles come with our satisfaction guarantee - try them for 30 days and if you're not completely satisfied, we'll exchange or refund them. We'll even pay the return shipping.
That kind of guarantee is hard to find in the world of custom orthotics. Unless you have extremely deformed feet, give Tread Labs a try. You have nothing to lose - and comfort to gain.
Want to learn more about orthotics before deciding on the right fit for you? Explore our other resources:
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