Foot orthoses or supports are made to correct biomechanical abnormalities of the feet and to improve the biomechanics of the foot. There are several various kinds of foot orthotics and techniques of making them for podiatrists to use and select from. A lot of people require and do reap the benefits of customizable foot orthoses while others could be helped by the simpler and less expensive mass-produced foot supports. Which one is best for each person would be determined by precisely what is causing the problems and what the treating clinician suggests is best for that person. Many different foot orthoses have got diverse design characteristics and a good podiatrist will attempt and match those up to the requirements of the individual. If that is not done the right way, then there might not be any improvement in the symptoms.
Foot orthoses are not without their problems. If they are not the right choice for the individual, then they won't help. You are also restricted by what shoes you need to use, in that you have to be able to fit them into the shoe and there might not be adequate room. There are also kinds of shoes, such as the flip flops that they just can not be used in. This may cause a challenge in hotter climates that make closed in shoes needed for foot orthoses uncomfortable. You can find alternatives, for instance, the Archies that have a foot support built in. The design of the arch supports in these flip flops resemble what you should get in an over-the-counter arch support, but most likely not as good as what you would get from a customized foot orthotic. Using these do give you a helpful option to foot orthoses, based on where one can wear them and the character of the biomechanical problem. If you do need foot supports there is no harm in trying these types of options or raising it with your treating podiatrist to determine what they think.