Did you know that the way you walk can affect everything from your ankles and knees to your hips and lower back?

If you're feeling aches or pains in any of those areas, it could be related to a biomechanical problem in your feet. The good news is, orthotics were designed to correct those issues and make your life more comfortable

If you're attempting to correct the way your feet work with orthotics, you'll have to choose between prefabricated orthotics or custom orthotics. The former is the more affordable of the two and has a range of other benefits.

We'll discuss all of that and more in this quick guide to the benefits of prefabricated orthotics.

What Is an Orthotic?

Orthotics are devices that are worn inside shoes. They may be used to address how you walk, stand, or run.

Orthotics can also alleviate pain in the feet caused by a number of medical conditions. Those conditions include arthritis, flat foot, bursitis, diabetes, and plantar fasciitis.

There are two types of orthotics: prefabricated orthotics and custom-made orthotics.

Custom-made orthotics are made specifically for your foot. They're customized by milling or molding and they solve the biomechanical problems specific to you.

Prefabricated orthotics are more of a one-size-fits-all orthotic. That is, they're purchased over-the-counter and they're not customized to your foot. With that said, for many common foot problems, prefabricated orthotics are equally as beneficial as the customized version.

The Benefits of Prefabricated Orthotics

Prefabricated orthotics are the economical choice between the two orthotic types. But your health and wellbeing shouldn't come down to cost. Fortunately, these orthotics have a host of other benefits that make them worth considering.

1. Correct the Most Common Problems

Prefabricated orthotics are capable of addressing the most common foot problems. That includes raising and supporting your arches, realigning the feet, redistributing your weight, and allowing you to use your foot more fully.

In fact, many podiatrists believe that prefabricated orthotics are just as effective as custom orthotics for foot issues ranging from plantar fasciitis to hallux limitus.

2. The Economical Choice

Considering that prefabricated orthotics are believed to treat some foot problems just as well as custom orthotics, the price difference is an important factor. Because custom orthotics are customized, they come with a very steep price. Not to mention that you'll have to work directly with a podiatrist or other specialist to have them completed.

Prefabricated orthotics, on the other hand, can be purchased at most drugstores and footwear retailers. They're only a fraction of the cost of custom orthotics and they'll last you anywhere from 6 to 18 months depending on their quality as well as your body weight and usage.

3. Variety of Options

While they're considered a one-size-fits-all solution to common foot problems, prefabricated orthotics actually come in a range of options to suit your specific needs. Choose from:

  • 3/4 versus full-length
  • Rigid, semi-rigid, and accommodative
  • Heat molding options

Prefabricated orthotics can also be fitted with a number of modifications. These will help to increase the overall comfort level of the orthotic.

4. Instant Relief

If you're experiencing pain, then you'll want instant relief. And what's more instant than driving to the nearest drugstore and finding the arch support or ball of foot support that you need?

Custom orthotics take a great deal of time. Beginning with a biomechanical evaluation, you'll then need a 3D scan or mold of your foot before even starting the process of manufacturing the orthotic. But with prefabricated orthotics, comfort is never too far away.

More on Healthy Feet

Prefabricated orthotics are worn inside the shoes to correct the way you walk, stand, or run. They're the most economical choice in orthotics and they're capable of correcting the most common biomechanical problems. They're also readily available in a wide variety of options suitable to your needs.

But prefabricated orthotics are only one way to care for your feet. You can find great prefabricated orthotics, designed by a team of foot health professionals, here, and for more information on keeping your feet healthy, keep reading along, in our Blog!.