Custom Orthotics vs. Shoe Inserts: Which Should You Choose?


Custom orthotics are medical devices prescribed and made for patients by a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. James M. McKee. Some orthotics are firm and designed to provide support; others are soft and intended for cushioning. Podiatrists use orthotics to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • chronic foot pain

  • wounds and discomfort related to diabetes

Some insurance plans cover the cause of orthotics. Other patients have to pay for them out of pocket. If your podiatrist has recommended orthotics, you might be wondering if they’re worth the expense, especially when you see racks of insoles in pharmacies and big box stores. In a word, yes!

Here are three reasons why:

  • Those inserts at the store are one-size-fits-all, which might be one-size-fits-none. They might make it a little softer in your shoe, but they’re not made to fit your feet and address your issue. In the course of creating your insoles, your podiatrist will examine your feet, often-using computer scans or other images, and will use that data to create a custom-molded medical device.

  • You get what you pay for. Those off-the-rack insoles are not designed to last. Orthotics from your podiatrist will serve you well for years to come.

  • It’s critical to involve your podiatrist in your foot care, especially if you’re dealing with a chronic illness like diabetes that can affect their health. The orthotics that you get from your podiatrist will be only one aspect of the care that he or she provides.

If your feet hurt, or if you have a concern about the health and wellbeing of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s time to visit your podiatrist. With years of specialized training and experience, a foot doctor like James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS is the best-qualified doctor to care for this part of your body. Schedule an appointment in Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A.’s modern, comfortable office on Solomons Island Road today. Call our friendly staff at 410-224-4448 or click here to get started.