Custom foot orthotics, shoe inserts, and insoles can reduce foot pain and increase comfort for people suffering from various foot conditions. If you want them done right, you need to see a podiatrist. A specialist can not only provide the pain relief you need, but also treat the underlying cause of your foot or arch pain.

Houston foot specialist and custom orthotics fitter Dr. Ken Dennis has been helping people suffering from foot, ankle, and toe pain find relief with foot orthotics for over 30 years.

The cost of custom shoe inserts and orthotics for feet and ankles vary depending on the person’s needs and the type of health insurance or healthcare coverage they have. Because custom inserts and insole orthotics are prescription, they are covered by many insurance policies. However, you should verify your insurance coverage before ordering the orthotics if you are unsure of your policy’s coverage.

Everything You Need to Know Before Ordering Custom Insoles

What is the Difference Between a Custom Shoe Insert & Foot Orthotic?

Shoe inserts, aka orthotics or prescription insoles, are also known as functional orthotics in the medical world. Although they go by many different names, if they are prescribed by a doctor they are the basically the same thing. Functional orthotics are a precision prescription shoe insert, customized to treat the underlying cause of your condition or alleviate the pain caused by a medical issue. Functional orthotic inserts are prescribed and designed by the doctor and they are custom made by an independent orthotic lab, to the doctor’s specifications. The orthotics are constructed from either a computer generated or a plaster of Paris impression of each foot.

A functional orthotic is a custom made arch support designed to control gait from heel strike to toe-off. The goal of orthotic therapy is to help redistribute body weight and decrease the abnormal forces and pathologic motion, which is a significant factor in foot pain. Sometimes they function as arch lifts, sometimes to lower high arches, sometimes to correct inward facing toes or pigeon toed gait.

What Gaits and Foot Types Do Orthotics Help?

Properly fitted orthotics are effective in providing relief for people with various foot types including:

  • Flat Feet
  • High Arches
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel Pain
  • Arch Pain
  • Pronation
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Hammer Toe
  • Heel Pain
  • Bunions

And many other gait or alignment abnormalities.

What are the Benefits of Wearing Custom Orthotics?

Professionally designed and molded orthotic shoe inserts are effective in treating posture problems and pain caused by misalignment of the spine, hips, pelvis, knees, and shoulders.

What Type of Pain Can Functional Orthotics Relieve?

  • Back Pain
  • Foot Pain
  • Heel Pain
  • Pain on the Ball of the Foot
  • Hip Misalignment
  • Hip Pain
  • Instep Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Ankle Pain

And many other conditions that cause these types of pain. In fact, custom orthotics are typically a recommended treatment for plantar fasciitis heel pain, and highly effective in reducing pain and increasing mobility in patients with the condition.

How Long Does it Take to Make Custom Orthotic Inserts After My Visit?

It takes 10 days to 2 weeks to receive the orthotics from the lab. Please bring one or two pairs of shoes to the office when the orthotics are dispensed, so we may check fit. This visit should take about 15 minutes, and is usually completed by the staff. The doctor will not see you at this visit.

How Long Does it Take for Functional Orthotics to Work?

That depends on the patient’s condition and lifestyle. You should start feeling a difference within days, but orthotics feel funny at first. Like a new pair of eyeglasses, you will be quite aware of them at first. Wear your orthotics for no more than one hour the first day – DO NOT go out and run in them the first time you wear them!! Each day increase your wearing time by about one hour. Once you are wearing them for 4 hours comfortably, you may exercise in them or go ahead and start wearing them all day.

My Shoe Inserts Keep Squeaking, What Can I Do to Make it Stop?

If your orthotics squeak in your shoes, simply put some baby powder in the shoe before placing the orthotic in.

When Should I Wear My Custom Shoe Inserts?

It is not absolutely mandatory that you wear your orthotics 24 hours a day. However, they may improve your comfort enough that you want to wear them.

Can I Get Weak Arches that Collapse From Wearing My Orthotic Inserts Too Much?

No, you will not get “dependent” on your orthotic shoe inserts, and they won’t cause you to have “weak arches.” They simply will help to support what you already have.