Orthotics Are “In,” But That’s Not Always a Good Thing

It's fine to make orthotics more appealing, as long as medical benefits aren't sacrificedAs a Houston podiatrist. I often recommend custom orthotics to my patients for a variety of reasons—to help with heel pain, to work on biological imbalances or gait issues or even to compensate for low or non-existent arches.

Yes, I love orthotics, but I have never once thought of them as hip accessories—until now, that is. Sols, a new company based in New York City, has launched with its main mission being to “Make orthotics sexy,” says Joy Altimare, their VP of Marketing.

Their brand slogan is appealing to people of all ages, (not just older individuals, who are the stereotypical orthotic customers): ““Improve your posture, align your balance, and live your life.”

Another way the company is getting millenials excited about orthotics? Combining them with 3D Printing, the latest tech craze to sweep the country. Currently, the company allows you to come into a showroom and have a technician take a picture of your feet; a digital model is then created and 3D printed.

But here’s something troubling in the quest to make inserts cool: the brand is working on an app that will get your orthotics made with nothing more than a taken-at-home foot selfie.

While I like the idea of showing a broad range of individuals the potential benefits of orthotics, I’m skeptical about the medical benefits of an insert constructed without the help of a trained podiatric professional. A brand like this will still charge you at least $175; that’s a lot of money for a product that may be no-more-effective than a $20 OTC insert.

Not everyone needs an orthotic, but if you do, it’s worth getting yours from a trained professional. If you would like to be evaluated for a custom orthotic, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.