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Foot Orthoses – What Design is Best for You?

In the thick of winter, the last thing many of us are thinking about is going out for a walk or keeping up with physical fitness. But let’s be proactive with our health. Foot health is a critical component to our overall well-being. Without the proper support and care, we can develop pain not only in our feet, but in our knees, hips, and back as well.  

An easy way to ensure proper foot care is to wear supportive shoes and foot orthoses (insoles). Who needs foot orthoses and what is the best design for you? There are three general categories for insoles, each with their specific uses.

  • Off the shelf foot orthoses – designed to serve many individuals with varying needs
  • Custom accommodative foot orthoses – designed to redistribute pressure throughout the foot away from ulcers, calluses and painful regions (common in diabetic population)
  • Custom functional foot orthoses – designed to control the foot and lower extremity biomechanics


Off the shelf orthoses are much cheaper. These insoles are generic and mass produced to help as many people as possible for a fraction of the cost. Usually, these orthotics are pre-made, matched to your foot size and trimmed to fit into your shoes. The arch may not be in the correct location for each individual and the amount of support may not be adequate depending on your needs and activity levels. Off the shelf foot orthoses can be beneficial when you have a classic foot shape, with no biomechanical or mal-alignment concerns. They can be purchased at local pharmacies, some athletic stores and orthotic facilities.

Custom orthoses are made specific to individual needs. At the initial evaluation, the clinician will do a comprehensive patient history and discuss your health concerns. Your clinician will then take a scan/cast of your feet to fabricate your custom foot orthoses. Your level of pain and how you walk will determine the materials and alignment of the orthoses. If your feet and/or knees are in extreme pain, you have wounds or sores, or you experience fatigue, custom orthoses are the more appropriate solution. 

If you have any questions about how foot orthoses can help you, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are able to order off the shelf foot orthoses or we can custom fabricate foot orthoses to help serve your needs.

The Custom Orthotics Team (519) 850-4721 | office@customorthoticsoflondon.com | @cool_bracing


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