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Are over the counter orthotics just as good?

Posted by Misty S on 11/09/03 at 20:52 (136901)

Hi, I have a question: Are over the counter orthotics just as good as the custom made ones? I have talked with several people who have spent hundreds of dollars on the custom made ones and they actually made their feet hurt even more. I have some heel supports and use the Spenco full foot inserts with arch supports in my running shoes. I work on me feet all day and I am having problems with PF. Anyone got any advice on this issue?

Re: Are over the counter orthotics just as good?

Richard, C.Ped on 11/10/03 at 07:51 (136928)

an off the shelf orthosis may work well for some, but not for others. Very few will give decent support. Powersteps are a pretty good OTS orthosis. The thing is, in most cases, someone who needs a biomechanical functional orthosis will not receive the support and control they need by using an OTS orthosis. The OTS orthosis is not the shape of your foot, where the custom is.

I have found that many people who have trouble with a custom orthosis, were not properly casted, or the person who made the orthosis did not do their job properly. Many have the 'one type fits all' attitude, while not taking consideration the patient's needs.


Re: Are over the counter orthotics just as good?

Kathy G on 11/12/03 at 08:34 (137203)

My son is a tennis pro who developed PF. He wears Powersteps or one of the other OTC orthotics in his casual shoes and has great success but he uses only his custom orthotics for work. I figure that they must work better since that's where he spends the majority of his time and where he spends the most time on his feet.

Some people have had good luck with Birkenstock inserts, Powersteps or various OTC inserts. It all seems to be individual and based on trial and error.

Re: Are over the counter orthotics just as good?

Carl on 11/26/03 at 07:21 (138752)

I happen to like my over-the-counter orthotics more than my custom pair. However, as Richard suggests it may just be that I was not casted properly and or they were not fabricated correctly. I have several pairs of premolded pairs from Ortho-Dynamics, and they are quite helpful. I happen to have flat feet and tend to overpronate. Since I started using Ortho-Dynamics Heel-lite (modified with Extrinsic RF posting?) my plantar fascitis has all but disappeared. The lab suggested the modification based on my weight.