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What are orthotics?

Posted on 30th August 2016 by

What are orthotics?

Orthotics, orthoses, shoe inserts, insoles……whatever name they are known by, are foot supports which fit in your shoes to help your feet move more efficiently. They are made of moulded pieces of rubber, leather, plastic, or other synthetic material that are inserted into a shoe. The aim of orthotics is to balance the foot in a neutral position and cushion the foot from too much pounding.

There are 2 types of orthoses, over the counter (OTC) orthotics and custom orthotics.

OTC or ‘Off the Shelf’ Orthotics

These give arch support to your foot. However, they are made in a generic shape and may not be suited to all. They may match some people’s arches, but for others the arch support may be too high, too low, or too far back or too far forward. OTC orthotics can work really well in some people, particularly if they already fit your foot well and any issues you may have are very minor. Prices of OTC orthotics can vary massively. Like most things, you get what you pay for. A very cheap orthotic will wear down very quickly and not provide support for any length of time, rendering it pointless! At goPhysio, if you’re not sure about whether orthotics are for you, we can often recommend OTC orthotics to give it a try. We also advise certain OTC orthotics for more minor issues. Our OTC orthotics are priced at around £65.

Custom Orthotics

These orthotics on the other hand are designed to specifically fit your feet and work more efficiently than OTC supports. They are designed specifically for an individual to balance the biomechanical inadequacies of your feet and legs. Here at goPhysio we use a Gaitscan system to measure and analyse how your foot works alongside the skill of your Physiotherapist. They will look at your feet and legs, analyse your movement, measure your foot position and put all this together in the bigger picture with your symptoms & lifestyle. This hug amount of information will enable them to prescribe the best custom orthotic for you and your lifestyle.

Here’s a little bit more about the custom made orthotics we prescribe.


Both types of inserts aim to improve foot efficiency, helping improve lower limb alignment and reduce stress on the problem area, resulting in pain relief. If you think you could benefit from orthotics or would just like a no obligation consultation to fine out more, we offer free foot assessments at our clinic in Chandlers Ford.

Just give us a call to book your free consultation on 023 8025 3317.