The Cost of Custom Orthotics: Are They Worth It?
Updated April 3, 2023.
Unlike over-the-counter insoles, which are generic and can be easily purchased by walking into a store, different types of custom orthotics are specially designed to fit a particular foot and address specific foot conditions. Because of this, they tend to be more expensive compared to over-the-counter orthotics.
That being said, what are they worth? And how can they be so costly? We will find out in this article.
The Average Cost of Premade Insoles vs. Custom Orthotics
Insoles and custom orthotics come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. As a result, they have different prices. Generally, you can expect to pay $20 to $80 for a premade insole. These premade insoles can be useful for mild conditions and bring immediate relief, but are less cost-effective in the long run due to the inferior quality of materials. Contrarily, the average custom orthotics cost between $200 and $800 and are worth every penny.
See for yourself if custom orthotics are worth it:
Why Are Custom Orthotics More Expensive Than OTCs?
Custom orthotics are justifiably more expensive than OTCs because of the following 4 reasons:
1. The manufacturing process
The fabrication of custom orthotics requires a multi-step process that begins with a physical examination of the foot. It continues with taking a report of symptoms, a personal history, a cast of your foot (or foot impressions), manufacture, and design. It’s always best to find a provider who has been making custom orthotics for years so that you can be sure you’re in good hands.
2. Specialist doctor visits
Custom orthotics are not usually made by random people. Rather, they are usually fabricated by specialist doctors who have hands-on experience with different foot problems and understand specific biomechanics. This could be a podiatrist, sports medicine practitioner, or orthopedic doctor.
This is decided based on your individual need. A good podiatrist will factor in your lifestyle, habits, and foot conditions. To get the optimal result, your orthotics must be designed from materials that can withstand the stress you put on your feet and are suitable for your particular condition. These can be rigid enough to control your feet or flexible and comfortable enough to provide cushioning and support during activities. Usually, the materials are either plastic or graphite.
These custom orthotics are designed to fit your foot contours and provide support from one end of your footwear to the other. This customization takes time and skilled labor, which costs more money than generic one-size-fits-alls.
» Read the review of the best Upstep orthotics for flat feet
How Much Should You Be Spending on Custom Orthotics?
To determine if an orthotic is worth its price, you must assess the orthotic strength, contour, and balance. The orthotics must be strong enough to bear varying body weights and prevent abnormal motion of the foot. It is okay if there is a close contour between the bottom of the foot and the orthotic plate. To determine if the orthotic is properly balanced, you'll need to take a foot measurement and see if the tilt or correction is the correct amount.
Upstep orthotics will easily pass this quality check. The process of fabrication at Upstep begins with answering a few questions about your medical history and lifestyle. Afterward, a foot impression kit will be sent to you to take an accurate cast of your feet, guaranteeing you won't have any issues with the contouring or strength of the orthotics. Once the foot impression is received, our team of podiatrists will fabricate a unique pair of orthotics for you using the best materials and advanced technology.
Are Custom Orthotics Worth the Price?
Absolutely. Pain relief is always worth its price.
Despite the cost being between $200-$400, Upstep’s custom orthotics are cost-effective. This is because they are made of high-quality materials which are more durable and longer-lasting than most other orthotics, and we even offer readjustments and a 120-day back money guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with the product.
Invariably, when you buy custom orthotics, you invest in your health. And your body will pay you back with good health and helps save you money long-term. On the other hand, prefabricated insoles are cheaper because are made from lower-quality materials.
They are not designed to fit or address any specific issues in the foot. They are also more costly in the long run as you may need to change them multiple times, whereas custom orthotics should last months or even years.
» Still not convinced? Take a look at our review of the Upstep Normal Everyday Activity Insoles.