Inserts are a common treatment that many people require to prevent pathologies, to alleviate certain pains, to walk better, or to potentially improve in a certain sports discipline. There are prefabricated inserts, which we find in sports stores, in the network itself and other establishments, and custom-made inserts, called plantar supports. The first and main difference between both types is that prefabricated inserts are standard, made in production lines; On the other hand, the plantar supports are customised for each foot and for each subject, and can only be purchased in clinics, podiatry centers and orthopedics. Always under the prescription of the doctor, the Podiatrist and the doctor exclusively.
Here at Happy Feet Pedorthics we can help you find the best option for you, we’ll assist you in the selection of shoes for your daily routine.
Standard inserts versus customised inserts
Another difference between standard and custom-made inserts, or customised ones, is that the first ones are sold according to the client’s size, it is the only point to consider. In the case of plantar supports, the specificity is much higher, they are exclusive and adapt to the morphological and functional characteristics of the patient’s foot; Hence, they require a prior study and the preparation of a foot mold or live adaptation techniques.
Rest inserts versus corrective inserts, preventive or palliative inserts
A third distinction between the two types is that prefabricated insoles should only be used in cases of feet without pathology, and only for the purpose of providing rest or comfort. In contrast, plantar supports (custom insert) have a corrective, preventive or palliative function. For this, the previous mold of the foot with which it is made must contain certain corrections and modifications, according to the podiatric analysis or study performed to determine an accurate podiatric diagnosis and therefore the needs of each patient.
The price of the inserts and their durability
Because of its usefulness, the study and previous molds, and its durability, the plantar supports are more expensive than the standard inserts. Some are manufactured “in bulk” and others are tailored and with guarantees in the use of the best materials for each case, tested and with all hypo allergenic guarantees.
In any case, the half-life of some plantar supports is three years in the adult, being recommended an annual podiatric review; in which the plantar orthosis is frequently reinforced or modified. In the case of children, the treatment will be changed according to the evolution of the pathology and the growth of the foot, being recommended, a review every six months in the first years and an annual one in adolescence.
Differences between prefabricated inserts and custom inserts, which one is better?
Inserts are a common treatment that many people demand to prevent injuries or correct the tread. There are prefabricated insoles, which we find in sports stores, in the network itself and other establishments, and custom-made inserts, called plantar orthoses. The first and main difference between both types is that prefabricated inserts are standard, made in production lines; On the other hand, the plantar supports are customised for each foot and for each subject, and can only be purchased in clinics, podiatry centers and orthopedics. Always under the prescription of the doctor, the Podiatrist and the doctor exclusively.
Next, we will present the main differences between these two inserts:
Personalisation: The standard or generic inserts do not adapt to the shape of each person’s foot, or their way of stepping on, specific pathologies, patient needs, etc. Simply take into account the size and, if you are an athlete, if you are a pronator or supinator.
Custom inserts are made to the exact size of each foot. When designing them, not only the size is taken into account, but other important criteria such as the exact way of stepping, the loads supported by the feet, the points of greater and lesser support on the ground, the existence of deformations or injuries such as a flat foot, cavo foot, bunions, etc.
Analysis: Custom inserts are not performed based on the data obtained from a Biomechanical Study of the Tread. It can be said that generic inserts are rest inserts, not intended for the treatment of a pathology. Custom inserts are made based on the data obtained from a Biomechanical Study of the Tread. Through this study, which only a podiatrist can perform, it is analysed how each patient steps (far beyond if he is a pronator or supinator) and possible ailments or injuries related to a bad footprint are prevented.
Where to find them: Standard inserts are sold in sports stores, department stores, parapharmacies and pharmacies, sports clubs, etc. So, there is no specialist medical figure that can give you the necessary advice. They are acquired only in a podiatry clinic, since they surely have a wide range of the best personalised inserts, both for athletes and non-athletes: accommodative inserts, children’s inserts and therapeutic inserts.
Professional follow-up: Once you acquire your generic inserts, there is no professional figure that will give you a good follow-up of your inserts. The process of adapting to inserts is progressive and different in each case, so it is important that a podiatrist can follow your evolution and advise you the need to make possible adjustments if you need it. The passage of our patients does not end when we deliver their customised inserts. When the patient starts using them on a day-to-day basis, or for training, etc. Our professionals give the necessary follow-up and carry out all the revisions and adjustments that the patient requires until their total adaptation and comfort.
Material: The materials with which the generic insoles are manufactured do not guarantee the highest quality in most cases, hence their durability is less than that of custom insoles and, in many cases, they can be damaged by footwear, sweat, or simple use. But most importantly, not being tailored to the patient, they can even damage our feet, aggravate existing injuries, cause discomfort in other areas of the body, etc. Custom inserts are made with the best materials and with the characteristics for the treatment of a specific physical condition. Some materials we use are easy to adapt by heat and pressure such as EVA, resins or polypropylene, carbon fiber or glass. These materials are supplied in plates of different thicknesses so that you have to choose the thickness of the plate you want to use, and that thickness will be the same throughout the insert. This makes the insert customisation limited.
Bear in mind that here at Happy Feet Pedorthics we will help you feel comfortable wearing the right type of shoes according to the activities you do.