Orthoses, or orthotic devices are shoe inserts that are intended to adjust an abnormal or irregular walking pattern. Orthoses are not just “arch supports.” Orthotics perform functions that make standing, walking and running more comfortable and efficient, by altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.


Orthotics are prescribed as a conservative approach to many foot problems; their use is a highly successful, practical treatment form. Orthoses take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All are concerned with improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity and pain.


The differences between over-the-counter, store bought inlays and prescription orthotics can be likened to the differences between magnifiers/reading glasses and prescription lenses. The over-the-counter inlay assumes that the foot problems are identical in both feet. This may not always be the case. Prescription orthotics can specifically address the problem in each foot.

Foot orthoses fall into three broad categories


  • change foot function
  • protect and provide accommodation
  • combine functional control and accommodation



Orthotics are types of devices such as an inlay or brace that are intended to adjust an abnormal or irregular walking pattern by altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.  Orthotics are not just “arch supports.” Although someone else has similar symptoms, the choice of your device is based on your individual condition.



  • After each wear, check your feet for any sores or irritated areas.  Check all areas of your feet including your toes, between your toes, the tops and sides of your feet, the bottom of your feet and the backs of your heels.  
  • Wear your orthotics for about 1-2 hours the first day.  Increase your wearing time to 2-4 hours the second day, 3-6 hours the third day, and so on.  After each day, check your feet again for sores or irritations.  
  • If the orthotics do not fit properly, try them out in other shoes.  Remember, you may have to remove the shoe’s insole for your orthotics to fit.  
  • Bring your orthotics with you whenever you purchase a new pair of shoes.  (Wear socks/stockings similar to those that you plan on wearing with the shoes.)  
  • You will need to follow-up annually for a check on the prescription of your orthotics.  The joints, muscles and ligaments in your feet keep them dynamic and can change position over time.  An annual visit is important to make certain your feet and orthotics are functioning properly together.  With time, the prescription may need to be adjusted.
  • If you notice any red sports or other signs of irritation, or increased pain when wearing the devices, STOP WEARING the orthotics.  Please call our office and make an appointment to have the fit of your orthotics checked.  If there is a problem with the orthotics, please wear or bring in the shoes you intend to wear the devices in.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office at 850.478.8633 if you have any other questions.
  • Remember, your orthotics only work if you wear them.