Unlike over-the-counter orthotics (OTCs), which are generic, custom orthotics are specially designed to address your specific foot conditions. They’re made to improve, support your foot posture or treat any foot pathology you’re experiencing.
Custom orthotics are functional, accommodating, and therapeutic. You won’t feel them when you walk, but you will feel the benefits of putting less stress on your joints and a stable gait. Because they’re highly customized, they tend to be pricier. How much are custom orthotics, you ask? Read on to find out more about these life-changing medical devices.
The Average Cost of Custom Orthotics vs. Premade
How much do custom shoe inserts cost? The cost of custom orthotics depends on the size, shape, and materials. As such, average prices range from $200 to $800. Making custom orthotics is a multistep process — that’s why they’re pricier.
Premade insoles are significantly cheaper, costing around $20 to $80. However, they should exclusively be used for mild conditions. They’re not as effective because their materials are of inferior quality. Therefore, they don’t perform as well or last as long.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Custom Insoles?
- If you have health insurance, you can expect to pay between 10% — 15% out-of-pocket of the total custom orthotics price.
- Please note: Custom-made orthotics prices are only covered by custom orthotics when orthotics are in place in a shoe attached to a leg brace. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Advantages of Custom Orthotics
Customized feet support is designed to keep your feet, ankles, and knees in their proper position when moving. Of course, the average cost of custom orthotics is more expensive, but there are many advantages to having feet insoles made especially for you:
- Increased support of stretched muscle tissue, which helps reside muscle fatigue, especially for those who have fallen arches or overpronation.
- Podiatrist orthotics can also increase endurance, strength, and performance when playing sports because they relieve stress from excess weight placed on ligaments, feet, and legs.
- While custom insoles cost more, they do a better job of reducing the pain associated with diabetes, arthritis, and chronic pain.
- Custom feet insoles are designed to fit you exactly. They’re made with careful consideration of your feet, ankles, and the kind of shoes you wear, as well as any relevant and unique health history considerations.
- Importantly, custom orthotics also alleviate pain due to biochemical misalignment and promote healing without causing strain on other joints and parts of the body.
Disadvantages of Custom Orthotics
As you’ve probably realized, custom-made orthotics prices are one of the most significant disadvantages among others:
- Wearing custom orthotics causes your intrinsic foot muscle to work less because an insole supports them. While this is good for pain relief, wearing them for prolonged periods of time can actually weaken your foot, ankle, or knee.
- Most custom orthotics do work; however, this isn’t 100% guaranteed. There is a small chance they won’t provide the optimal relief you need.
- Orthotics can keep costing you, even after getting them, as they need to be updated from time to time.
- The turnaround time needed to create your foot imprint and create the orthotics themselves can take longer (between two weeks and a month) compared to buying insoles off the shelf. This can feel drawn out, especially if you’re suffering.
Why Are Custom Orthotics Pricier than OTCs?
How much do orthotics cost? Custom orthotics cost more than OTCs — and justifiably so — for the following reasons:
#1. The Manufacturing Process
Fabricating orthotics is a multistep process that factors in your symptoms, pathology, activity, and footwear. Your podiatrist will design an orthotic for your individual needs and purposes, like children’s orthotics or orthotics for athletes. Before doing so, you’ll need to have a foot examination, which may require additional imaging to assess underlying pathology, after which the manufacturing process begins.
#2. Specialist Doctor Visits
Custom orthotics are fabricated by specialists — usually podiatrists, sports medicine practitioners, or orthopedic doctors. They will take a cast of your foot (or foot impressions). Once the plaster is set, they’ll remove the cast from your feet. This is then sent to a state-of-the-art orthotic laboratory where it’s handmade by highly skilled technicians, which is why the cost of custom insoles is higher than already-made orthotics.
The first thing many of our orthotic patients ask is, “how much do custom-made orthotics cost?” This depends on the types of materials used, like polypropylene or graphite, and various cushioning options, such as neoprene, silicone, and ethylene-vinyl acetate. These materials are rigid with some flexibility to provide enough range of motion while reducing the chances of injury.
Custom orthotics differ not only in the materials used but also in their shape. Once the design work is complete, your orthotics need to be milled. This process entails carving an orthotics shell out of the materials your podiatrist has prescribed. This customization process takes time and skilled labor which is factored into how much your custom insoles cost.
Are Orthotics Worth It?
Instead of asking, “how much do custom insoles cost?” you should ask if they’re worth it. Custom shoe inserts are made of high-quality, durable, longer-lasting materials, even if you need readjustments down the line.
So, are insoles worth it? Yes, but only if you buy good quality ones. Think of it as an investment in your health that returns multiple dividends. Having good physical health improves your mental health and saves you money as you won’t need to constantly replace cheaper orthotics.
Moreover, OTCs are not meant to address your specific foot issues. Yet, custom orthotics have greater longevity and are uniquely designed especially for you. If you’re considering custom foot inserts and require some guidance, PrimeCare can help. Contact New Mexico orthotics providers to schedule your free consultation today.