Insoles Vs. Orthotics: Which One is Right For You?

Insoles Vs. Orthotics: Which One is Right For You?
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s common to want to try the most expensive solution to make sure it works and you start feeling better right away. 
This is the logic many choose to employ when considering pain relief for foot, lower extremity, or lower back pain. If your foot pain interferes with your life, you might be tempted to run to your doctor and ask about orthotics. But wait…before you do, make sure you know what orthotics are, how they differ from insoles, and which option is right for you. 

Orthotics Vs Insoles: What’s the Difference?

These terms are often used interchangeably but they are very different products. 
While they have similarities, orthotics are custom made. They will be designed to fit your foot most likely using a mold. These types of inserts will be prescribed by a doctor and come with price tag of anywhere from $200 to $800. 
You will find similar features between an over-the-counter insole like Orange Insoles compared to an orthotic.  Orange Insoles has a deep heel cup, arch support and a metatarsal pad that helps distribute forefoot pressure. These insoles have all the pieces in place to help ease pain. Orange Insoles range from $20 to $38. These insoles take into account the function of your shoe or activity to determine which type (Full, 3/4, or Light) will fit properly.  
The orthotic can be customized right to your foot. In the case of severe discomfort this is the solution you may be looking for to heal the pain.

Orthotics Vs Insoles: Which One Do I Need?

Orthotics can be helpful for very specific conditions and most often for very severe cases of high arches. 
But, many consumers often state they “think they need orthotics” without understanding why or how they would help. According to science writer, Paul Ingraham, "Orthotics should not be prescribed without a thorough examination — at least a half hour, and more if the case is complex.” 
If you’re not suffering from chronic pain or have not been diagnosed with a very specific condition that requires an orthotic, an over-the-counter could be an option, and easier on the wallet.  
If you experience periods of pain that you can attribute to standing or walking too long, or think your pain might be associated with your alignment (hint: it probably is), an insole could be the right solution. 
Harvard Business Review Contributor James P. Ioli, DPM says “the difference between OTC/kiosk and custom orthotics may be likened to the difference between over-the-counter and prescription reading glasses.”
While orthotics can help in extreme cases and for very specific conditions, he says that an average person with generic problems such as heel pain will fair well with an over-the-counter solution (like Orange Insoles). 
Insoles are much less expensive, easier to obtain, and will decrease pain and discomfort. 

What Should You Do?

Loli recommends:
  • Invest in quality, properly fitted shoes for work and athletics 
  • Then, if pain or discomfort continues, try an over the counter insole
  • If pain persists, THEN see a doctor to ask about orthotics
“If you feel you know what is causing your foot pain, you don’t fall into any of the groups that benefit from professional custom orthotics, and you already wear a properly fitted pair of shoes, go ahead and try the OTC,” he says. “For most people, these will provide relief.”
At Orange Insoles, we’ve spent a long time researching how your feet, your alignment, your shoes, and your activity can help you feel better and do more. If orthotics are the best choice for your situation then the investment is worth it. If you’re not sure, you need a little extra support, or you need support that can carry you through your day, try an Orange Insole
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