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What are Orthotics?

6 August 2015

A fancy word you may have noticed while browsing around Shoe Insoles is Orthotics. Sometimes used interchangeably with “insoles”, Orthotics generally have a more medical background and (like many a medical practice) derives its name from an ancient Greek word, in this case Ortho, meaning to “straighten” or “align”. While insoles can be as simple as a layer of fluffy wool to keep your feet warm, Orthotics tend to be more complex, correcting your feet’s positioning.

Orderly Orthotics

Orthotics are able to fix the problems you may have with your feet that cause notable issues in your general mobility. While many insoles can offer technologically advanced materials and cuts, Orthotics are made with a medical background that combines knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and physiology and seek to change the functionality of the foot rather than simply the comfort of the shoe. Used most commonly by patients with a medical issue concerning their feet, they can also be used to give an advanced level of support and performance to sportsmen and women. 

What do Orthotics Do?

Orthotics are capable of a huge range of foot treatments, they are able to be custom made to accommodate just about any foot shape, size or condition, but can also be bought ready-made for a high level of support at a more affordable price. Orthotics are able to:

Assist with joint motions: Whether moving too little or too much, the overall performance of joints is able to be corrected and regulated by the correct Orthotic. An Orthotic for this purpose can help stabilize a joint or assist a weak muscle perform better.

Relieve weight: For feet that bear uneven volumes of weight, an Orthotic can help redistribute  the pressure and help properly balance and align the whole body.

Prevent deformities: Feet that move or flex in unnatural ways can be held in a natural position thanks to an Orthotic, leg length discrepancy can also massively benefit from an Orthotic keeping the smaller foot from overly stretching to accommodate the height difference.

Improve body mechanics: Many professional athletes opt for Orthotics even without any medical requirement to wear them as they can help boost performance thanks to a high level of support and foot alignment.

Orthotics vs. Insoles

If your in-shoe support has been prescribed by a doctor then you can consider it an Orthotic, which means you can also consider it an excellent source of foot support. The same goes for many prefabricated Orthotics, like those we stock at Shoe Insoles, even pre-made Orthotics are produced by companies with a highly specialised medical background, and many of them can be adjusted to deliver a like-custom fit.

Orthotics also tend to be tougher-wearing than insoles, so you can be sure that once you’ve found your supreme level of comfort that you can enjoy it for a long while yet. That said, they can also be harder to adapt to than a simple slip-in insole, first-time wearers may end up with blisters, and at first you might find that wearing it a few hours a day is necessary to be able to break it in.

While we at Shoe Insoles fully promote the benefits of both Insoles and Orthotics, we also want to make sure you know precisely what you’re getting! Our Insoles are great for a huge range of environments, activities and ailments and our Orthotics are a fantastic choice for those who really want to improve the overall condition and functionality of their feet. If you’re unsure what Orthotic or Insole is best for you, our team is always ready to help.

Visit Shoe Insoles to view our whole range of Orthotics.

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