Custom Orthotics vs Store Bought Orthotics: The Wrong Choice Could Cost You

Do your feet hurt? There are plenty of reasons for foot pain, and you’ll need a podiatrist in Austin, TX, to examine them and make a diagnosis. The podiatrist will then recommend a treatment that might include orthotics. But what are orthotics, and are they an over-the-counter solution or a custom solution?

Let’s take a look.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts that are placed in your shoes to help correct any number of foot issues and to help ease the pain and discomfort of those issues.

Are Custom Orthotics Better than Store-Bought Orthotics?

Just as with anything else, a product that is customized to fit your specific needs will always be better than a one-size-fits-all solution. First and foremost, custom orthotics are custom-made to fit your feet like a glove and correct your specific issues.

The Benefits of Using Custom Orthotics

Here are some of the benefits of using custom orthotics in Austin, TX, rather than a store-bought shoe insert.

  • Better design
  • Better materials
  • More durable
  • Less expensive (yes, really, more about that in a moment)
  • Custom-fit
  • More comfortable
  • Better support

Are Store Bought Orthotics Ever Recommended?

Yes, in certain cases, your podiatrist might tell you that wearing a store-bought shoe insert will suffice for your situation, but not very often. If you have minor foot pain and discomfort, or you have a mild case of flat foot deformity, you might not need a custom orthotic. However, custom orthotics are always better for your feet because they are made specifically for you.

Additionally, custom orthotics are cheaper in the long run because store-bought shoe inserts are frequently ineffective, leading to additional foot issues. And, store-bought orthotics are less durable than custom orthotics, so you will have to replace them more often, making them a less cost-effective option. Additionally, custom orthotics are sometimes covered by your insurance, so you won’t have many, if any, out-of-pocket expenses.

Do You Need a Podiatrist in Austin, TX?

If you are searching for a podiatrist in Austin, TX, please Contact Jeffery Lamour, DPM, PA today. Dr. Lamour has 20 years of experience treating acute and chronic foot issues, which includes providing custom orthotics to his patients. The offices are comfortable and relaxing, and you will be treated with all the care and respect you deserve!

When NOT to Use OTC Shoe Inserts

The companies that make over-the-counter (OTC) shoe inserts also make a lot of promises about what these products can do and who they can help. The question is when should you use them and when should you see a professional about the problem? We’ll look at how you can figure out if these products will do what they promise and whether they’re worth the chance.

Foot Pain and OTC Inserts

Most people will buy inserts when they have some type of foot pain, and this can include moderate heel pain from a condition like plantar fasciitis. However, while It’s true that inserts may relieve temporary discomfort, they don’t typically address the underlying problem that’s causing the pain.

So, let’s say that you’re gearing up to be on your feet for 8+ hours during the day. You could reasonably buy inserts to protect your feet from the constant pressure and friction. You might also use them if you have occasional knee pain to help stabilize your gait while you’re out. For more complex or chronic foot pain in Austin, TX, it’s better to see a podiatrist.

Customized Orthotics in Pflugerville, TX

Customized orthotics from the right podiatrist in Pflugerville, TX will be made specifically for your foot, making it more likely that you’ll get the treatment that you’re looking for. When you delay medical care, you typically save money and time in the short term. Over time, though, you can end up spending more on temporary solutions while your foot is actually getting worse.

If you’re looking for a podiatrist that can walk you through the orthotic options for you, the staff of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA can tell you more about how your foot will react to the support and what you can expect after the recommended course of treatment.

3 Reasons to Use Orthotics 

Orthotics are shoe inserts used to relieve discomfort in the foot or heel, and they’re worn for a number of reasons. The most common reason for orthotics in Pflugerville or Austin, TX is pain or swelling (or some combination thereof). We’ll look at when they’re the most helpful, so you know if they’re a good investment for your feet.

1. You Have Plantar Fasciitis

This common condition occurs when the band of tissue in your heel becomes inflamed. Orthotics provide a cushion and more stability to your arch, which can help relieve the discomfort. If you’ve ever experienced this disorder, you might be surprised at just how much relief you can get.

2. You’re Having Trouble Balancing

Orthotics often come down to the strength of your arch. High arches can lead from anything to calluses to ankle instability. Flat arches can cause balance-related issues. In both cases, an insert can help correct your arches, so you don’t have to worry about falling over.

3. You Have Diabetes

Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which can make it difficult to notice problems in the foot before they get worse. Orthotics can help you evenly distribute pressure along the foot, so you can correct your posture and reduce the odds of swelling or corns. They may even be able to help you control back pain because your weight will be more evenly distributed.

Podiatrists in Austin, TX

At Dr. Jeffrey W. LaMour’s office, you’ll find a staff that can help you with anything from bunions to hammertoes. If you have questions about whether orthotics are right for your foot ailments, we give you a thorough assessment before making a recommendation. If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX, contact us today to see what we can do.

What Are Orthotics?

When your podiatrist in Pflugerville or Austin, TX, does your exam, an abnormal movement of the ankle or foot may be discovered. Often, this abnormal movement is the root cause of pain or discomfort in the body. Interestingly, some people try to alleviate discomfort on their own, thinking that they need a softer insole in their shoes or simply a new pair of shoes. However, trying to solve this condition with over-the-counter insoles from a drugstore is not going to help the problem and may even make matters worse.

Off the Shelf, Inserts Are Not Orthotics

You may have thought that you needed more cushion if you are experiencing foot pain. While a softer sole or more cushion may feel great, it does not address the root cause of foot pain. Many people make this mistake when they purchase orthotics. Simply bending your shoe insert will reveal its purpose of it. If you can easily bend or roll your shoe insert, this type of insert provides cushioning, not support.

Custom Orthotics in Austin, TX

Custom orthotics in Pflugerville or Austin, TX, are completely different. Custom means that a podiatrist may take an impression or scan of your foot to make the orthotic. Your ankle and foot’s alignment and function will be properly adjusted when you get a custom orthotic from your podiatrist. The abnormal movement of the foot can be improved by these types of orthotics. In addition, you may feel less pain and have fewer other alignment issues. Custom orthotics can also make cardio and other exercise activities safer, more effective, and less painful.

If your feet or ankles always hurt, a drugstore trip won’t help in the long run. Before you spend money on a shoe insert, see a podiatrist get a proper diagnosis. Contact us today for an appointment.

Are You a Good Candidate for Custom Orthotics?

You can go out and buy shoe inserts in just about any store that says they will relieve a full list of problems. Unfortunately, these one-size-fits-most solutions rarely deliver everything they promise. Custom orthotics are shoe inserts that are specifically created to support the size, shape, and step of your foot personally. You can only get custom orthotics from a professional, and these shoe additions can be almost life-changing for some people. Would you be a good candidate for custom orthotics from an Austin podiatrist? Here are a few things to consider.

Do you have a lot of issues with foot or heel pain?

The number one reason patients look for custom orthotics is because they have a lot of issues with pain in their feet or heels. Some people simply cannot get comfortable in a general pair of shoes because the sole and cushion inside the shoe does not accommodate the shape of their foot. For instance, an individual with steeper arches, a more rounded heel, or even hammertoes may need custom orthotics.

Do you have issues with your feet due to diabetes?

Diabetics can be more prone to problems with their feet than most. Calluses, risks of infection, changes in shape, and more can introduce a lot of problems when wearing shoes. Further, someone with diabetes must do everything they can to protect their feet, and some shoes simply do not supply enough protection from things like pressure ulcers or bunions.

Have you ever experienced a bunion or pressure ulcer?

Bunions and pressure ulcers are painful issues that often come along with wearing shoes that do not fit quite right. These problems may lead to a lot of pain and discomfort when walking, but the right kind of foot support can help alleviate the problems. If you have ever experienced either issue, custom orthotics could be a good solution.

Talk to Podiatrist in Austin About Orthotics

Custom orthotics can completely change how comfortable you are in your shoes and how well you stay mobile in your everyday life. If you think you would be a good candidate for custom orthotics for your shoes, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA to schedule an appointment in our Austin office.


Relieve Back, Ankle, Knee and Hip Pain With Custom Orthotics

It may be surprising to learn that your foot may actually be at the root of your back, knee or hip pain. As a result, custom orthotics – so much simpler and safer than pain medications or surgery – could be the remedy you’ve been waiting for.

At Family Foot & Ankle in Austin, Texas, Dr. Jeffrey Lamour provides individualized foot and ankle care, using the latest treatment techniques and top quality custom foot orthotics. Learn about the variety of benefits you didn’t know custom orthotics can have.

Custom foot orthotics: A superior level of foot care

Custom orthotics are significantly superior to one-size-fits-all, over-the-counter options. These shoe inserts can’t relieve the variety of symptoms that custom-made orthotics can.

Made-for-your-foot orthotics address foot issues that are specific to you, using state-of-the-art technology that screens your feet for structural irregularities like high or low arches. Dr. Lamour knows that each patients’ feet are as unique as their personality. For that reason, generic foot inserts from the drugstore don’t provide the specific corrections needed to alleviate pain.

When we say pain, we don’t just mean foot pain either. Instabilities or gait problems caused by structural issues in your feet can create ankle, knee, hip and even lower back pain. Your feet have a hefty task, carrying you everywhere you go. That said, it stands to reason that starting from the ground up can help alleviate the pain you have in other parts of your body.

Custom orthotics carry plentiful benefits

Many patients who invest in custom orthotics for foot pain find additional benefits. After wearing their orthotics for a while, they often notice such perks as:

  • Diminished ankle or leg pain
  • Improved balance
  • The ability to walk farther or stand without pain for longer periods of time
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Fewer calluses, corns, and bunions
  • Better posture

When your feet enjoy optimal support, so does the rest of your body.

A domino effect

Chronic lower back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults in this country, and among the most frequent reasons for missing work. If everyone with back pain wore custom-fitted foot orthotics, the domino effect could take place from the ground up. The reason:

If your arches are too high or too flat, or you have other structural abnormalities in your feet, it forces your feet out of alignment with your shins. If your feet and ankles turn inward or outward instead of staying in alignment with your shins, eventually, your knees also become misaligned. Once your knees shift, it can cause your thigh bones to shift and become misaligned where your thigh bones meet your pelvis.

As a result, the problem that began in your feet has affected your hips and posture, which makes your spine less stable. When your feet, legs, hips, and spine out of proper alignment, chances are you will experience lower back pain. Foot orthotics can correct this misalignment of bones beginning with your feet, creating a positive domino effect upward, until your posture improves, alleviating back pain.

Custom orthotics change the way your body moves. They also absorb impact when you walk, run, or stand. Along with alleviating back pain, this additional shock absorption may alleviate pain in your ankles, knees, and hips. And that could very well improve the quality of your life.

Your feet may not be the first area that comes to mind when you’re trying to get to the root cause of your back and joint pain, but it’s certainly worth investigating as part of the problem. To learn whether custom orthotics may be right for you, call or book a consultation online with Family Foot & Ankle.

Managing Pain With Orthotics

One in four adults has a foot-related problem, according to the Arthritis Foundation. And an irregularity in how you stand or walk can affect more than just your feet. A foot problem can lead to ankle, knee, hip, or even back pain if left unaddressed.

If you’ve experienced pain in your lower back, hips, knees, or ankles, you know that it can harm your quality of life. Pain can interfere with your ability to enjoy daily activities, but you don’t have to live with it.

Custom orthotics — shoe inserts created just for your feet — provide pain relief for many people and help them remain active throughout their lives. While each patient is different, Jeffery W. LaMour, DPM, PA, can help find the best treatment for you.

Kinds of pain orthotics can relieve

Custom orthotics can help you manage pain caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Bunions and hammertoes
  • Bursitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Flat feet or high arches

Foot pain can make you dread activities you used to enjoy, and many of the above conditions can affect your balance or gait and cause pain in your legs and back as well. Custom orthotics can correct underlying problems with your feet, ankles, or gait, alleviating the pain that resulted from those problems.

Types of orthotics

Dr. Lamour can prescribe rigid or soft orthotics depending on your needs. Rigid orthotics are often slim, and you can wear them inside your regular shoes. Typically made of plastic, they help keep your foot properly aligned. Rigid orthotics are common for conditions like painful high arches.

Soft orthotics cushion your foot and take pressure off painful spots that can be caused by diabetes, plantar fasciitis, or other conditions. Soft orthotics can be bulkier than rigid orthotics, so you might need to wear a different type of shoe with them.

The benefits of orthotics

Orthotics adjust weight distribution on your feet and relieve pressure on sensitive points. They help your feet work correctly, reducing stress and pain caused by biomechanical issues. Orthotics are a drug-free option to help you manage chronic pain, and they’re safe to use for as long as you need them.

Store-bought shoe inserts may provide some relief for certain problems, but they aren’t customized for your feet and typically don’t last long. These over-the-counter inserts provide arch support or extra cushioning for your feet, but they don’t work to correct the problems that are causing your pain.

How custom orthotics are made to address pain

The orthotics Dr. LaMour prescribes help manage a variety of pain conditions at the source. To fit you with orthotics, Dr. LaMour first performs a thorough assessment to understand why you have pain — whether in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back. He watches you walk and may take images of your feet.

If he prescribes orthotics, he takes a mold of your feet that the lab uses to create high-quality customized inserts. Your orthotics are designed to correct any biomechanical abnormalities in how you walk, run, or stand.

By providing your feet the correction they need to work naturally, orthotics help relieve pressure and pain. You can expect a small adjustment period after you begin wearing orthotics, but many patients report much-needed pain relief soon after they start using them.

Orthotics are a proven option to help manage your recurring foot and lower body pain. If you want to find out how orthotics might help you, call our office or request a consultation online.

3 Surprising Facts about Orthotics

Whether it’s foot or ankle pain or foot ulcers related to diabetes, when you have difficulty with your feet, it can stop you from doing the things you love. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, we understand mobility issues and are here to discuss a nonsurgical and noninvasive solution to your foot and ankle problems: Orthotics.

Sometimes referred to as orthosis, orthotics are devices prescribed by podiatrists and other medical doctors that either correct or accommodate your walking pattern, helping to improve your gait and posture. Orthotics can increase how comfortable your feet are and how efficiently you move. What’s more, these podiatric appliances can alter the angle that your foot strikes the ground, absorbing shock, improving balance, and taking pressure off of sores and irritated areas of your foot.

While many people take walking without discomfort for granted, those who struggle with foot and ankle pain, diabetes, or other foot issues understand how frustrating and debilitating it can be. It’s estimated that 12-15% of the American population can benefit from orthotics, including those who want to reduce pain or protect their joints. And with a growing industry that’s expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2020, it’s no wonder more and more people are considering orthotics to assist with their mobility issues.

That’s why at Dr. LaMour’s office, we talk to men and women about orthotics and the benefit they can bring. Here are three facts about these mobility devices that many people are surprised to learn.

Orthotics are Custom Made

Unlike store-bought insoles, prescription orthotics are custom made to fit your foot and tailored to address your specific needs and foot issues. When you visit us at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic for an orthotic, we take a casted mold of your foot, guaranteeing that you get the most benefit.

No matter your foot concern, we can address your needs and find a solution to reduce your discomfort. Since no two people have exactly the same foot problem and structure, each case is handled on a one-on-one basis, and we make each orthotic independently.

Orthotics are Multifunctional

Too many people compare prescription orthotics to over-the-counter shoe insoles and arch supports. While custom-made orthotics can also help with arch support, they do so much more than over-the-counter inserts.

Orthotics are multifunctional. They can offload weight from certain parts of your foot that are impacted by bursitis, calluses, or foot ulcers. They can improve your foot’s function, especially when it comes to hypermobility associated with tendonitis and fasciitis. Orthotics can also support and align your foot, as well as the rest of your lower extremities, which reduces the frequency and severity of foot, ankle, leg, and lower back pain.

Orthotics are not Just For Athletes

When it comes to orthotics, most people associate them with athletes and distance runners. And, sure, orthotics can improve issues these people suffer from, but that’s not all they do. As a matter of fact, orthotics address a wide range of common foot and mobility issues from bunions and hammertoes to plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

They can also assist those who suffer from frequent sprains, people whose toes aren’t straight, and those whose feet come in or out when they walk. Depending on your issue, we may recommend orthotics if you have a chronic heel, knee, or lower back pain, or if you wear one side of your shoe’s sole more quickly than the other.

To learn more about the many benefits of orthotics and how they can help you, call us at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic or book an appointment online.

Should I use an insole?

Stores everywhere carry a variety of insoles for shoes that claim to reduce pain and help your feet. It seems like a great idea: slip these gadgets into your shoes and you’ll get extra cushion and shock absorption. But should you use them? And how do you choose one?

Types of Insoles

To determine whether an insole might work for you, it’s best to know what insoles are intended to do. Comfort insoles are basically extra cushioning and padding that can reduce foot fatigue if you’re on your feet all day. They help absorb shock and may benefit people who have standing jobs. But, they won’t correct shoes that have inadequate or poor support.

Sport insoles are not “cushy” feeling, but are usually firm and designed for a specific purpose. Many are designed to provide arch support, correct overpronation (inward rolling of the feet), or to otherwise help align the foot in the shoe. To use these properly, it’s important to first be aware of your foot issues and what you need to correct them. Using an insole improperly, or the wrong type, can actually make some foot pain and problems worse.

How to Use Insoles

Try these tips for proper insole usage to minimize any problems:

  • Put the insole on the floor and stand on it as if it’s in your shoe. Stand on each insole, one foot at a time, to see how it feels.

  • Make sure you have room in your shoes. Any time you add an insole, you make your shoe a little tighter. Sometimes people buy shoes a half size larger to accommodate an insole they like. Just make sure your feet have enough room to move. In general, there should be a quarter to half inch of space between the tip of your toe and the end of the shoe.

  • Before wearing any insole for long periods, try it out for a short amount of time to ensure it isn’t making you uncomfortable. Foot pain is a red flag that you have the wrong insole!

Start with the Right Shoes

Insoles can be beneficial for people who need a little extra padding or support. But they aren’t a cure-all if you have wor-out shoes or those without proper support to begin with. In many cases, switching to a properly fitting, supportive shoe can reduce or eliminate foot fatigue and pain. Look for shoes that have the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

If the right shoes aren’t enough and you still have foot pain, it may be time to see your podiatrist. Certain foot problems can be corrected with proper support from insoles or orthotics, but you’ll need a podiatrist’s expert opinion on your individual foot issues. He or she can provide a recommendation on what you should wear to correct foot issues and get you back to living without foot pain.

Take charge of foot pain – contact Dr. Jeffery LaMour to schedule your podiatry appointment today!