Off-the-shelf orthotics (often called arch supports) are usually found in retail stores – including sport stores, shoe stores online stores and pharmacies. They are non-custom devices designed to provide gentle support to the arch of the foot and help spread weight more evenly along the bottom of the foot. They are sometimes called “prefabricated orthotics.”
There are many different arch supports on the market. Like everything else, some are better than others. And one brand might work well for your feet while another brand works well for your friend’s feet. Quality off-the-shelf orthotics usually cost $30.00 – $60.00.
Our Recommendations for Over-the-counter Arch Supports
We have evaluated many of the arch supports on the market and carry some high-quality OTC supports in our office and in our online store at www.FootAnkleStore.com.
We have found the PowerStep Medical Grade Orthotic the most supportive and the best choice for heel pain, arch pain and ball-of-foot pain. It runs about $65.
The Superfeet Synergizer is not quite as supportive, but it less expensive and the best choice in the $30 range.
We also have found a supportive flip-flop sandal that incorporates an arch support. We recommend these products to our patients.
Arch Supports to Avoid
There are some shoe stores that advertise heavily on radio and TV selling what they call “custom fit orthotics”. These are not custom orthotics and are simply over-the-counter arch supports – but they charge well over $100 for them. Don’t get ripped off – avoid these places. You should never spend more than $60 for any arch support unless it is a custom orthotic made by a medical professional.