There are a multitude of different insoles available on the market. Often called orthotics, arch supports or insoles, prefabricated shoe inserts come in all shapes and sizes. The most basic insoles only offer additional cushion and no substantial support, but others can offer quite a bit of relief. Varying in materials, size, shape and construction, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you.
There are three basic categories of devices that offer different levels of support, correction and/or pain relief:
Off-the-shelf prefabricated insoles
Insoles in this category are those that you may find at a shoe store, drug store or sporting goods store. Made on a “one-size-fits-most” model, these cut-to-fit insoles provide light support and are appropriate for individuals looking for more comfort with their daily activities or with minor foot pain. These insoles may also be helpful for children with minor foot pain associated with growth or minor injuries.
Some of SoleScience’s Pedorthist’s favourite brands of prefabricated insoles include Birkenstock, SOLE and Superfeet. These three brands offer a high-quality off-the-shelf insole that is durable, yet very affordable. Your Canadian Certified Pedorthist may also be able to further customize these devices to suit your specific needs.
Heat molded insoles
A step up from the basic off-the-shelf device is the heat moldable insole. Often found at speciality shoe or sporting goods stores, this style of device allows the user, or their foot care provider, to heat mold the insole for a closer fit to the shape of your foot. This closer fit means a higher level of support which typically provides more relief. Your Canadian Certified Pedorthist may also be able to further customize these devices to suit your specific needs. While not as supportive as a fully custom device, this alternative is great for individuals with minor foot pain, or for shoes where custom orthotics are not compatible.
Custom foot orthotics
These are the king of insoles! Fully custom made from a three-dimensional cast of your foot, custom foot orthotics are specially made for you and you alone. Your Canadian Certified Pedorthist is fully equipped to assess, design and manufacture these devices. Made from materials chosen specifically for your needs, custom foot orthotics are made from a mould of your foot, and fit specifically to your footwear.
These devices provide the best possible support, correction and comfort and can be used as part of a treatment plan for dozens of foot and lower limb injuries and diseases. Depending on your specific needs, your SoleScience Pedorthist will choose features and materials in a combination that best addresses your needs.
Which one is right for me?
For minor foot pain, light support or non-complicated injuries, an off-the-shelf device or a heat moldable insole may be all that you need for relief. For more complex cases, or for persistent, severe injuries, a custom foot orthotic may be the better option.
For a comprehensive assessment and to learn more about which option is right for you, contact your SoleScience Pedorthist today for a complete assessment!