I get a lot of questions about prescription orthotics vs a custom insert or an over the counter foot bed. The difference is apples and oranges; one is made by a doctor, the other is sold by a shoe store. A prescription orthotic can only be prescribed and fit by a foot and ankle physician. The average foot and ankle physician or podiatrist will have completed 4 years of podiatric medical school and another 3 years of residency. A podiatric physician is the foremost expert on foot and ankle biomechanics and provides the highest quality foot and ankle care.
Typically for a prescription orthotic, a complete medical history is performed, x-rays, a biomechanical evaluation a gait analysis and a 3-D image of both feet is taken. The podiatric physician then combines their years of knowledge and your pathology to make a device that can helps control your foot and ankle pathology. An over the counter inserts or custom insert has no scientific research to support it and is a piece of plastic sold to try and fool the general public. Additionally the average insert ranges from 60-1000 dollars and the prescription orthotic usually has insurance coverage as it is made by a physician. Do not be fooled by a shoe store or advertisement that takes advantage of the general public if you have foot or ankle issues have it evaluated by a podiatric physician .