Custom Orthotics vs. Over-the-Counter Inserts: What's the Difference?

Custom Orthotics

Ever feel like your shoes just aren’t doing enough for you, even the comfy ones? Enter custom orthotics, the game-changers for your feet. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill inserts picked up from a store shelf. Custom orthotics are like a tailor-made suit, but for your feet. Custom orthotics in Edmonton help to tackle your specific foot woes, be it flat feet, high arches, the dreaded plantar fasciitis, bunions, or other pesky foot-related issues.

Difference Between Custom Orthotics and Over-the-Counter Inserts

Custom orthotics and over-the-counter inserts might seem like they’re playing the same game—both aim to amp up your shoe’s comfort and support. But dig a little deeper,  they differ significantly in terms of customization, materials, and effectiveness.


Custom orthotics in Edmonton are crafted based on a deep dive into your foot’s unique blueprint—everything from the arch of your foot to the way you walk gets a look-see. This means you get a fit that’s spot on and support that’s aimed right where you need it most. Our custom orthotics excel in addressing various specific cases of complex foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis or diabetic foot problems, correcting gait abnormalities, meeting occupational or sports requirements, and accommodating unique foot anatomy.

On the flip side, over-the-counter inserts are more like picking up a suit off the rack. They’re made for the masses, so they come in standard sizes and shapes that might get close to a good fit but don’t quite nail it. Sure, you can trim them down or tweak them a bit, but it’s not the same tailor-fit experience. They’ll provide swift relief and get the job done and are easier on your wallet, but they won’t cater to your feet’s specific quirks like custom orthotics do.


When it comes to what they’re made of, custom orthotics are in a league of their own. Think premium materials—durable plastics, high-grade foams, or advanced composites. These aren’t just chosen at random; they’re picked to match your unique foot needs and what you’ll actually be doing while wearing them. Our custom orthotics come in various types, including rigid, soft, accommodative, and functional, each tailored to address specific foot conditions and individual needs. Rigid orthotics offer firm support for severe pronation or supination. Soft orthotics provide gentle cushioning for conditions like arthritis. Accommodative orthotics relieve pressure on deformities like bunions, and functional orthotics correct biomechanical issues.

On the other hand, over-the-counter inserts tend to play the short game. They’re usually made from softer stuff like basic foam or gel, which might feel great at first but don’t tend to hold up as well over time. They can be precisely what you need for a prompt solution if you’ve got minor aches, but if you’re looking for something to go the distance and offer solid support day in and day out, they might leave you hanging a bit sooner than you’d like.


Our custom orthotics really shines and they’re not just made to fit your feet; they’re designed to sync with your entire walking style. This means they can do more than just ease the pain; they can stabilize your stride, align your lower limbs, and give you back a bit of pep in your step. It’s like they’re engineered just to get you moving better, tailored to tackle anything from slight discomfort to more complex biomechanical issues.

Meanwhile, over-the-counter inserts are like the basic band-aid of foot support. Sure, they’ll give you a cushy feel and some general support, which is great for everyday wear and minor gripes. But if you’ve got specific foot problems or need something that addresses more than just cushioning, they might not quite hit the mark. They’re good in a pinch and easy to come by, but they’re not going to go the extra mile for your feet like shoe orthotics can.

Biomechanical Correction:

Custom orthotics are the real deal when it comes to sorting out the issues in your gait—like overpronation, supination, or any bad foot alignment that throws you off balance. They’re tailor-made to tackle these specific quirks, providing just the right support and correction to smooth out your step and ease any pain that comes along with it. It’s like having a personal trainer just for your feet, fine-tuning your every move.

Now, over-the-counter inserts? They’ve got some tricks up their sleeves, mainly offering a comfy cushion and a bit of arch support, which isn’t nothing. But when it comes to realigning your biomechanics or making precise adjustments, they’re more like the friendly gym buddy who gives you general tips—they can help, sure, but they don’t have the expertise to really correct the deeper issues. They’re great for a general boost, but for serious alignment issues, they might fall a bit short.

Enhance Your Foot Health:

Custom orthotics in Edmonton offer several distinct advantages over over-the-counter inserts, making them a preferred choice for individuals seeking effective relief from foot pain and biomechanical issues. Through personalized design, high-quality materials, and professional fitting, Momentum Physiotherapy in Edmonton provides targeted support and correction tailored to suit the specific requirements of each person. While prescription orthotics may require a higher initial investment and professional consultation, their long-term benefits in terms of comfort, stability, and improved foot health make them a worthwhile investment for those dealing with chronic foot conditions or seeking optimal support for their feet.

To explore these benefits directly, try searching for “custom orthotics near me.” This step can aid you in embarking on a path towards enhanced foot health and overall well-being. By prioritizing your foot health with custom orthotics, you can be proactive in tackling concerns by taking proactive steps, preventing potential complications, and embracing a more comfortable and active lifestyle.
Schedule an appointment today for our custom orthotic fitting session with our certified orthotic specialists, and take the first step towards improved comfort, support, and mobility for your feet!


Terwillegar – Edmonton

5108 Mullen Road NW
Edmonton, AB
Call: (587) 409-4495

Windermere – Edmonton

1301 Windermere Way SW
Edmonton AB
T6W 2P3
Call: (587) 400-1113

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