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Are Pre-Made Orthotic Shoes as Good as Custom-Made Orthotics in Treating Overpronation?

Some people have effectively managed their overpronation with premade orthotics, but does that mean that they are as effective as custom orthotics?

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor
a woman wearing a red sweater and a necklace
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published July 31, 2021.

If you have overpronation that's significant enough to require a pair of orthotics to try and correct the problem, then you're going to face the choice between shelling out a lot of money to get a pair of custom orthotics tailored to your feet, or picking the generic premade ones.

Some people have had their problem fixed with generic over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics, but does this mean that they are as good as custom orthotics for treating overpronation?

Don’t Misunderstand Symptom Reduction From OTC’s

There's a common fallacy that dictates that just because one factor preceded an effect, it doesn't mean it caused the effect. Dancing before a rainstorm doesn't mean that you caused it.

To a degree, the same is true in using OTC orthotics to treat certain foot conditions. True, you might be lucky enough to have your problem fixed, but the same won't necessarily be true for everyone and doesn't prove that premade orthotics are as good as custom ones.

One Size of Insoles Won't Fit Everyone

Custom orthotics are designed and tailored to your specific problem. Even though you might have the same diagnosis as someone else, you can't assume that the manifestation and severity of your symptoms will be identical to everyone who shares your diagnosis.

Pre-made orthotics for overpronation are designed with a general degree of displayed symptoms, but what if yours have manifested to a greater or lesser degree? True, you might be a perfect representation that fits the orthotics ideally, but you also run the risk of over or under compensating, which can lead to more problems.

The Final Verdict

If you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of custom orthotics, and your symptoms are minor, you might have some luck in trying a pair of pre-made orthotics. However, if you want to have the best chance of recovery, you definitely shouldn't skimp on quality. For more info, consult a podiatrist.