How Many Pair of Orthotics are Necessary?

I occasionally have new patients come into the office after visiting an "orthotic store" with three or four pair of off-the-shelf insoles. These unscrupulous stores prey on the emotions of people who are in pain. These victims drop over $1000 on insoles that may provide temporary relief, but ultimately don't help them. What's worse, they could buy similar products from a late-night infomercial for $39.99...and they'll DOUBLE your order!

When that patient comes in to see me, they're dismayed that they can get a biomechanically corrective custom orthotic for LESS than what they already shelled out...with better results. They were told that they needed a different pair for running shoes, walking shoes, dress shoes, golf shoes, etc. How many pair of orthotics are really necessary?

When children require a custom orthotic, one pair is always enough. That orthotic should be made so it can be moved to any shoe the child wears. You'd be surprised that most kids take ownership of wearing their orthotics and are careful to wear them regularly...and not lose them.

Men usually can also get away with one pair of orthotics. The truth is, there's not much structural difference between a men's dress shoe and an athletic shoe. Men who wear specialized footwear, such as western boots or bicycling shoes, do get additional pair of orthotics to wear in them.

When it comes to treating women, most end up with two pair of orthotics. A woman's dress or work shoe and an athletic shoe are very different. For that reason, an orthotic that will fit into an athletic shoe will be too bulky for a dress shoe. Conversely, an orthotic for a dress shoe would be too narrow and flexible for an athletic shoe.

Of course, there are many who elect to purchase multiple pair of orthotics for convenience. Under our "Cash for Clunkers" program, we are offering an additional $25 off of our already reduced price for additional pair of orthotics. If you have an old pair of orthotics or insoles that need replacing, we'll perform a comprehensive biomechanical examination to evaluate you for new orthotics with up to $50 off your final cash balance.

To learn more about "Cash for Clunkers" for orthotics, check our our September and October FREE newsletters. Act qualify for these discounts, you must call for your appointment by November 30, 2009!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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