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Insoles Vs Orthotic Inserts: What Is The Difference?

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If you have developed a foot-related problem due to either strain or lack of support, you may be considering investing in some insoles or orthotics. However, if you are like most people, chances are you are using these two terms interchangeably, as you assume that the devices perform the same function. Although both the insoles and the orthotics do work to address postural problems and other foot related ailments, they are not the same type of solution. This article will highlight what makes the two different, which should help you in determining what is the ideal course of treatment for your foot problem.


Insoles are shoe inserts that can be found over the counter at any pharmacy or local wellness store. These devices are manufactured using a soft, gel-like material, which makes them easy to fit into any shoe. You may also come across some insole varieties that comprise soft materials such as flexible plastic or foam, but these are typically used to contend with fallen arches. The main aim of insoles is to provide the wearer with increased cushioning in their shoe. The insoles are also designed to offer pain alleviation depending on what ailment you are suffering from.

Nonetheless, it is critical to note that insoles are mass produced and are primarily useful in providing relief from the discomfort that is caused by your foot problem rather than being a remedy to contend with the principal cause. Therefore, there is always the chance that symptoms will persist even after using insoles for a while, at which point it will be advisable to seek professional attention from a licensed podiatrist.


Orthotic inserts are also inserted in your shoes, but they have the primary distinction of being custom made rather than being bought at the store. Thus, although orthotics may look similar to insoles, these devices are utilised when dealing with a specific foot problem that the patient has developed. With orthotics, proper sizing and fitting have to be done so that the insert can be individually suited to your foot. The design of the orthotics will then depend on what issues you want to be corrected.

For example, orthotics can be used to ensure proper distribution of weight in one's feet, which in turn can help to remedy bad posture. On the other hand, orthotics can be used to provide you with increased support, which resultantly can prevent any deviation in the positioning of your feet when you walk or exercise and reduce your risk of overpronation. Overall, orthotics are medical devices prescribed to address foot problems that have been diagnosed by a podiatrist.