The Different Types of Orthotics that you Should Know

Orthotics are modified shoe inserts that can be used to address several health issues, from foot problems and back pain. A podiatrist usually evaluates your foot to see if you require a customized orthotic device or a standard shoe insert. Orthotics are made from material like plastic and put in shoes with low heels to ease your foot strain. Similarly, some provide a soft cushioning to help patients with plantar fasciitis and diabetic foot ulcers. Such orthotics are bulky, hence requires a special type of shoes. Although orthotics are more expensive than shoe inserts, they last longer. Let us examine different types of orthotics;

Customized Orthotics

Also referred to as rigid orthotics, customized orthotics are recommended for quite advanced cases. Supination, when the foot rolls excessively outwards when it comes in contact with the ground, and Pronation, then the foot rolls too inwards, as some of the problems treated by customized orthotics. Besides, personalized orthotics are made individually by the podiatrist. The podiatrists get to examine your feet thoroughly and depending on how your feet are twisted, create inserts to force them back in the right position. Therefore, they are the most effective and fastest method to treat a wide range of foot problems.

Heat Molding Orthotics

Heat molding orthotics can be used in less advanced cases. Also, they are less expensive compared to customized orthotics. Moreover, they operate similarly as the customized orthotics, only that they are not made by podiatrists but are available off the shelves for purchase. Heat molding orthotics are made of Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). EVA can be described as a specialized plastic with a soft rubber feel and provides incredible support. In other words, the inserts are heated to soften the material, mold them into feet’ shape, and cool down. However, they are available in the stores; it is recommended that you see specialists get guidance before purchasing and using heat molding orthotics.


For your foot problem, there is also an option of getting insoles. They are the cheapest of them all, with a good reason. Insoles are mass-produced to suit as many people as people, reason as to why they are more affordable. However, they are not effective when dealing with individual problem than need special services. Also known as inserts, they can easily be found in pharmacies and other healthcare stores.
Furthermore, they are made of soft gel materials that offer cushion and support to the foot. Additionally, note that insoles are meant for short-term relief. If your problem persists, seek other advanced alternatives.

The orthotic types can range in materials from rigid to accommodative. Some orthotics are full-shoe inserts, while others are smaller heel inserts that fit the final cup of the shoes. Moreover, some are ankle-foot, with the shoe insert and an upright portion extending from the heel to around the calf. Doctors may recommend the use of orthotics together with braces or taping, such as kinesiology taping.