Do you know that there is a difference between insoles and orthotics? Most people use them interchangeably while in the real sense, they are different products that address slightly different problems. The one thing they have in common is that they reduce foot pain and provide relief, but they do that in different capacities. If you didn’t know, don’t worry. You’re only one among the millions who got them all mixed up, and we’re about to fix that!
Insoles are also known to many as shoe inserts, and they come in two different forms. They could be ¾ length or full-size. They are easily available over the counter in pharmacies and other shops that sell healthcare products.
Insoles are mainly made of foam, gel, and other material to increase their support function – mainly rubber and soft plastic. The additional material is mainly added to the insoles that are meant to address specific needs such as fallen arches, or in sports insoles.
Most insoles are mass-produced, seeing as they serve a general market. Because of the material that they are made of, these orthotics inserts offer good support and cushioning that reduces foot pain from standing for long hours and over-pronation among other foot issues. While they are ideal at pain relief, insoles do not get deeper to the root of the problem. People with foot concerns that cause intense pain and instability will be better served by orthotics.
Makers of insoles do not exactly make them to fit. Instead, they group them in size ranges and so the wearer has to trim their pair to make it fit – being also that they are made for the mass market. They are sold in pairs and are quite easy to clean using warm water and some mild detergent. Luckily, you will find the instructions for caring for them in the package.
Innersoles last for six months and within this time, you will have noticed the changes on your feet and posture in general. They are quite cheap too – about $ and so you shouldn’t feel too much of a pinch replacing them twice a year.
If you have minor foot pain and realize that you only need arch support to get things working, then insoles will do. You don’t have to see a specialist for then as they are available over the counter in pharmacies and through selected online dealers. They are also excellent for those who spend most of their time stranding as they have acupuncture points that massage feet as one walks to improve blood circulation. Also, they come in handy when you don’t want to spend too much but still need some foot cushioning and arch support.
Orthotics are not so different from inserts. They are made to relieve pain and pressure as well as provide some much-needed comfort, but the main distinction between the two is that orthotics are custom-made. This certainly means that they are more effective at addressing specific foot problems, and also, they fit the foot as expected. With the customization, you won’t have to trim them to fit. Also, you can have a single piece made instead of pairs if that is your desire – such as is with length-increasing soles. They are worn the same way as insoles and they also come in the same height options – full size and ¾.
What do they do for feet? Well, just like insoles, they are ideal for feet cushioning and they offer arch support too. However, they do it more efficiently because the maker follows the specific needs of the wearer. They not only absorb shock, but they also correct the way one walks or stands when used to correct such defects. They are indeed a medical product that can improve the user’s stability.
How do orthotics do this – change one’s way of walking and standing? One of the reasons why our bodies lack proper alignment is because we put too much pressure and weight in certain parts. The knees, shin, and back are most affected by poor gait, and so orthotics change this by spreading the weighty to the rest of the body. Changed posture could magically turn things around.
These inserts are effective and so you are likely to see results after only a few weeks of using them. Because their bases are usually either semi-rigid or rigid, it may take a little while to get used to having them on. If they are full-length, they replace your existing soles completely, but ¾ ones are worn with the other soles.
They last long too! Up to five years it will be before they need replacement. They are quite expensive – $400 to $600 – but the magic they work on the wearer far outweighs the cost.
If you have been having consistent foot pain that won’t go away even after trying insoles, then you could benefit with more customized types. Orthotics are ideal for those with over-pronation, over-supination, and even as inserts for foot-lengthening. They are also ideal for those who play sports consistently as the material used makes shock absorbers, arch support system, and cushioning too – all in one package.
Well, yes and no. It all depends on why you need insoles in the first place. Is it because your feet hurt due to some foot issue that you cannot control such as over-supination and over-pronation? Or even plantar fasciitis? If that is the case, then you will be served by a customized set – orthotics. You wild also need to talk to a podiatrist to recommend the best for you after checking tour arch type.
If you only need a pair that makes your feet more comfortable when you stand in the queue of walk in your high heels, then insoles are reliable. You don’t need to see a specialist to decide what to buy too.
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