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Over The Counter Orthotics

Posted by John H on 4/21/05 at 09:50 (173488)

I have a drawer full of over the counter orthotics and three pair of expensive custom orthotics. Two weeks ago I was in a hurry and pulled out a pair of over the counter ones I had only worn a couple of times. Cannot remember why I did not use them unless it was Birk season.

Anyway, I have been wearing them for two weeks now and for whatever reason they seem to be the best ones I have (including my $350 custom) and my feet are more comfortable. Probably as comfortable as in Birks. They are SOLE Custom Footbeds. When you get them ($39.95) you heat them in the oven at 200 degrees for 90 seconds after which you place them in your shoes. They adapt to your foot at that point. You can repeat this process up to 3-4 times. They have a deep heel cup. I would suspect depending on how much you wear them they should last a year

They make several models depending on what type of shoes you will use them in. Their web site is informative and they carry a 90 day return policy. I, like most of you have been taken in by many pairs of orthotics and I do not promote many orthotics but after 2-3 weeks of wearing these they get my stamp of approval. Scottr take a look at these. Web page follows:


Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Tina H on 4/21/05 at 15:06 (173505)

Running store sold us these and my daughter and I both like them. If you have a high arch it's not necessary to oven mold them, they aren't going to get any higher. We used them out of the package. Also finally saw the foot orthopod for my daughter today. We had these with us, he said they were fine but her $300 custom made footmax orthotics were not worth
_ _ _ _!

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

john h on 4/21/05 at 17:21 (173508)

Actually they have a two year warranty.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

john h on 4/21/05 at 17:25 (173509)

Right you are Tina. The instructions indicate many will not need to bother heating them. The deep heel cup sure helps stablize your foot. I realize they are not for everyone but what is. They are worth a go if you do not want to invest a lot of $. I have a pair of those $350 Footmax and wore them for a couple of years but they are not as comfortable as the Sole. I ordered a second pair for my walking shoes.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Elyse B on 4/22/05 at 08:38 (173530)

John which type did you get the Ultras? They are $99.00 are they 'hard' or 'soft' orthotics. I have medium to high arches and am not wearing the $600 orthotics from the podiatrist.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

John H on 4/22/05 at 11:51 (173536)

Elyse my Sole orthotics were $39.95 as were the pair I just ordered. I thought they were all $39.95. they are not of the ice scraper variety but provide very good support and comfort. You can always return them if you are not happy.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/22/05 at 23:45 (173565)

Just when I think I haved seen all the prefabs out there, one that I have not heard of pops up.
They seem to be worth evaluating.

Just curious, John, as to the total number of orthotics you have tried both prefab and custom?

It is largely an issue of fitting the right shape to the right foot at the right time which happened to you, John, but I would not necessarily conclude that this specific prefab is the best for everyone.

I usually start patient off with modified Superfeet orhtotics while awaiting custom orthotics. I use the Superfeet due to their deep heel cup and ease of modifiability allowing me to approach the biomechanical end effect I am looking for.

I have patients that return with a 50% cure from Superfeet, going on to a cure with custom but see them a year later, back in their initial Superfeet and doing okay. Timing, biomechanical needs, stage of the disease, the after effects of other treatments all go into the mix to bring patients to a certain point where needs change over time. What works at one stage of the disease/treatment process does not always work at another stage and vice versa. Sometimes, it can be an ongoing process of testing and changing treatments to meet the specific patient needs at a paritcular time. A bit of an art but a lot more testing and listening to the patient...

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

john h on 4/23/05 at 19:46 (173603)

I certainly agree with you Ed. I would never suggest that because it works for me it would work for someone else. Just trying to present other options for people to look at. You never know when lightining might strike. The Sole may fall on its ear for me in a month but at this point it has been the best one I have tried and they are numerous. I have always believed there is no one treatment that will work for all or even most. Considering what I have spent on some treatments a $39.95 refundable investment seemed like a pretty good deal if one is considering orthotics. I have tried the Super Feet which seem to be popular but they made my feet worse.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/25/05 at 18:35 (173719)


That certainly is a reasonable amount to spend particularly with the generous return policy (since they probably cannot be sold again once used).

John, I would say that I modify the Superfeet about 60% of the time before handing them out.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Maxx on 5/03/05 at 09:44 (174166)

Ill tell you honestly that Sole foot beds have worked great for me. I have 2 pairs of custom orhtotics. One made by a very good CPED. The custom CPED orthotics are good no doubt but i tried these Sole footbeds and they work so much better. I made the switch to SOLE and ended up buying about 6 pairs to put in all my shoes. I love them. I like the ultra model and they have been great to me. They last a pretty long time and i put them through a ton of punishment in the gym and running on the field. I am infact surprised at how durable they are. For $40 i truly believ you cant go worng with these and i will continue to use them. No complaints what so ever from me.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Monte on 5/03/05 at 12:22 (174174)

i first mentioned these insoles here over a year ago. I have them on right now and they are more tolerable than any other OTC or custom orthotic.

I have about 4 more pairs at home to put in my other shoes.

I heat mine to mold them because my arch is not high. But i think you could get used to them out of the box if you break them in properly.


Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

John H on 5/04/05 at 11:07 (174229)

SOLE orthotics remain my favorite Maxx. I have two pair of them and durable they are with a money back guarantee that is hard to beat. They manufacture three different ones. Which of the three do you use? One pair I heated up but the other pair I used out of the box. Did you heat them or not? I am switching shoes for the first time in some years. I am going to the Asics 2100 and the new upper end Asics. I tried them around the store for a while and liked the way they feel. they accommodate the Sole orthotic very well. Runners World gives them high marks. They are a good stability shoe with excellent cushioning. I have been in New Balance for about 10 years.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

Maxx on 5/05/05 at 14:09 (174310)

John, i use the Ultra ones. They are my favorite but i have the regular ones as well as the ones that fit into dress shoes. All of them have been good for my feet. I do not even bother heating mine. i use them as they are right out of the box. the arch support seems suprisingly strong and durable compared to any other over the counter orthotic and as ive said they even feel better than a good pair of softer orthotics custom made by a quality CPED in my area. The only shoes ill wear are either new balance or asics. I have the scics 2100 in black and i love them. It literally feels as if im walking on water with the shoes and the SOLE insoles. The ascics gt 20 series are all great shoes. For new balance i rewally like the 1122's, the 1221's and the 855's. Shop around on the net and you will find some pretty nice prices. Also check ebay. You can find some brand new pairs of exactly what you want and usually get them for much much les than what you would pay at the store or on an internet site.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

john h on 5/05/05 at 19:02 (174331)

I ordered the Asics 2100 and also a pair of the more expensive ones. I found some of the 2090's which seem to be just like the 2100's for only $59 on ebay as the new ones were now on sale. I think they are a regular $99 shoe. They new upper end Asic is hard to find on sale. Best I could find was a $10 discount. I also have the Ultra and regular Sole orthotics. Today I actually jogged 1/2 mile. First time in 8 years. So far my feet feel ok. I will try to do this ever other day uping my mileage by 10% a week. I run a lap and walk a lap. If any pain occurs I will back off.

Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

elliott on 5/05/05 at 20:41 (174345)

john h, I could be wrong, but I think this is at least the third time in the last six months you've posted that you actually jogged 1/2 mile for the first time in 8 years. :-) A true runner. Hope it lasts.


Re: Over The Counter Orthotics

John H on 5/06/05 at 09:41 (174375)

Elliott: I hope not! but at my age anything is possible. Anyway, perhaps others did not read the post and we all need all the hope we can get. Your point?