are many Orthotics on the market to choose from. Most people don't know
what the difference is from one to the next. There are vast differences
in orthotics in function, effectiveness, longevity and economy. Two
automobiles may look similar but drive, respond and cost completely
different. Same holds true for Orthotics, they may look similar but feel
completely different. Listed below are the most common Orthotics
available on the market today.
Dr. Scholl's, Spenco and other over the counter insoles:
These are basically single arches, the little side arch you find in your
shoes is essentially the same design. If you weigh more than 100 pounds
they are good for about four to six weeks. Most people don't realize you
have four major arches in your feet, but you seldom get support for them
in shoes or over the counter products because two people with the same
size feet have different arches. The only way you can support all four
arches is to stand on sand. So is the solution to put sand in all your
shoes? Of course not! You need orthotics that are fit properly to all
four major arches.
Phase 4 / Walk Fit
Not a bad product, but there are several problems with fittings. When
you order their product, it's by shoe size not arch size. What you’re
not told is your shoe size and your arch size are two different
measurements. Two people with the same size feet have different length
arches so you really can't get a correct fit by shoe size. They are
sometimes offered with a "Lifetime Warranty" (even though they are
produced with a limited lifespan to promote reorders) and "Free Bonus
products", but by the time you try to return your orthotics you have
more tied up in S&H fees than you could ever recoup from the warranty. A
further problem with their product is that it is sold by mail order and
on the internet only; you are basically talking to "order takers", not
Barefoot or “Alzner” Orthotics:
This is a good Orthotic and is sold by retail franchises such as “Good
Feet”, “Foot Efx” and others. The Barefoot is the lower line copy of the
Alzner. They advertise on TV for $59.00, but when you go into the store
they really want to upgrade you to the $350.00 Alzner. The Barefoot is
only good for about 6 months; the Alzner for about 5 years. If it is
fitted correctly it can be a good product, providing the wearer with
support, balance and comfort.
Feather Spring Orthotics:
This company mainly does mail order and large commercial ads in
magazines. Last time we checked their prices were around $250.00. The
good thing about this company is they have a refund policy. There are
two significant features about their product. One, their orthotics are
metal and metal is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Two, the
heels of their orthotics are flat-across and thus do not cup your heels,
so there is a tendency for your feet to slide in your shoes. Also, if
you can't control the heel, you can't keep the foot from rotating inward
or outward. For those of you that wear out your shoes on one side of the
other, your heel needs to be cupped to control this kind of wear.
Custom Molded Orthotics:
These are the conventional Orthotics that Foot
Doctors usually sell to patients. They are hard, non-flexible and rigid.
I am not a big fan of these types of Orthotics. In the first place if
you have a bad foot and you do a
cast mold of that foot, you now have a perfect copy of a "lousy foot".
Secondly since your foot wants to flex, it doesn't want to be
held in one position. Instead, it wants to move around. There are
exceptions to this: if you've had major surgery on your feet, many times
the only solution is to hold that foot still in its position. (If your
feet don't fall in to that category your better off with a flexible
Orthotics.)These types of Orthotics, if professionally molded and
produced, usually sell for $500.00 and up.
The Better Feet Store Foot Correctors™ / Premium Arch Supports:
These orthotic arch supports are special. As the user walks on the
devices, the foot gradually conforms to them. These devices do not fit
the foot, they correct the foot, then support that foot in a corrected
position. In the process, they help with the problems created in the
foot and the body while the foot was not properly supported. Our
Correctors/Supports are made from a proprietary blend of the highest
quality materials and proudly produced in the USA.
We most often recommend that our clients use the maximum flex
Premium Foot Correctors™. However, the medium flex Premium Arch
Supports™ should be used in specific situations; such as, where the
client is diabetic, older, sedentary, or may potentially have
trouble adapting to the maximum flex Premium Foot Correctors™.