How to Buy Shoe Orthotics

Two Methods:

Purchasing shoe orthotics can make a huge difference in how you walk, your foot support, and any foot or back pain you may have. But where do you start? Do you purchase custom made orthotics or all-ready made store-bought ones?


  1. Decide if you are purchasing custom orthotics or over-the-counter orthotics.Depending on your orthotic requirements and budget, you have options either way. In general, if you have severe feet issues, you will need more customized orthotics.
    • Custom orthotics are more on the expensive side, but provide better support for you as they are made to fit your feet. These may require a fitting with a trained professional for best results.
    • Orthotics are also available at most pharmacies, online, and some are available at better athletic shoe stores as well. These generally offer mild-to-moderate support, and for common foot issues such as plantar fasciitis. While these are often a good and thrifty solution, you also do not get the guidance to pick out the best one nor necessarily the one that suits your needs the best.
    • Be careful not to buy insoles which only absorb odors; these are not orthotic insoles.
    • For best results, each pair of shoe should have its own set of insoles. Over-the-counter insoles are often much more affordable if you do not need very particular insoles. When you buy a new pair of shoes, get a pair of insoles as well.

Custom Orthotics

  1. Go to your medical professional and get an evaluation on your needs.This could be a chiropractor, physical therapist, medical doctor, or a number of other professionals. There are many factors that cause foot issues, and without knowing what the problem is, you are unlikely to compensate for it.
    • Depending on the professional, the testing will vary. Some will simply have you stand on a sensing pad to see where you need the support while others may have a sensing pad that you walk across (this type is better). Many will watch you walk, and some may have other tests.
  2. Pay for your custom orthotics and wait for them to be delivered.
  3. Put them properly in your shoe.If you have longer orthotics, put the longer part (fabric-y part) under the actual harder orthotic part and stick it in you shoe. Once you get the heal part in place, release the fabric-y part towards the toe end.

Purchasing Ready-Made Orthotics

  1. Decide if ready made orthotics are a better option for you.Ready-made orthotics are pre-made with a certain arch type and support system.
  2. Do your research.Remember youdo notwant gel-like orthotics. Many people make the mistake of purchasing gel insoles thinking that that will help their foot pain; this is typically not true. It could actually make your feet worse and hurt more later.
  3. Ask a chiropractor what type of store-bought orthotics he/she would recommend for your foot type (whether you have a high arch, low arch, etc.).
    • Remember, if they recommend a gel or air cushion one, don't take their advice.
    • Brands such as Doctor Scholl's are gel or cushion based and are not recommended.
  4. Go to different stores or their websites and compare prices for the same type of orthotics.
    • Some sports stores may have better ready-made orthotics but may cost more.
  5. Purchase the orthotic of your choice that best fits your feet.Some stores may allow you to try them out for a certain number of days. If they are hurting your feet after a few days you should try a different kind. A day or two of discomfort as the feet adjust to a new pair of insoles is often normal, but much more indicates a mismatch. The wrong insoles can hurt your feet more than no orthotics at all!

Community Q&A

  • Question
    I have a small startup that makes custom orthotics. We are unique in that we can make the devices from a weight-bearing footprint. How do I get started?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Advertise on social media and in the newspaper (older people read the newspaper). You can also make flyers and ask to leave them in places you know older people frequent (the library, any restaurants with senior discounts, etc.). Visit any medical supply stores in your area and ask if they'd be interested in stocking your orthotics. Bring the product with you so you can show them its features.
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  • Determining your budget beforehand can help you decide on whether you should go with custom orthotics or ready-made ones.
  • Some shoes may require you to take out the insoles/inserts in the shoe before you put in the orthotics.
  • When trying on shoes, if possible, take out the insole that's already in there and insert your orthotics to see if they are comfy.


  • Do not purchase orthotics that are gel-based or cushioning/comfort based. These orthotics will not give you the proper support that your foot needs and may cause more pain to your feet and back.

Video: Do orthotics work? What kind of shoes are best?

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Date: 02.12.2018, 15:25 / Views: 42245