One thing that gets us hopping mad here at the WalkEZStore is companies (either brick-and-mortar stores or online businesses) that promote over-the-counter (OTC) arch supports as an orthotic device. A true orthotic is a custom-made orthotic device like the ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic.
The orthotic industry is a multi-billion dollar business, so every company is trying to outrival its competitor in order to get your business. That’s the main reason why you see so many different brands of OTC arch supports on the market. Each company wants you to think their product or technology is the best when it’s often not. Plus, as we said in our last blog post, most people who sell OTC arch supports are just sales people. They either don’t have the training to know the difference; or they’re just saying the arch support is an orthotic because that’s what someone else told them to say.
Fact: OTC Arch Supports Are Mass Manufactured and Are NOT True Orthotics
An orthotic is a custom device that is specifically made to fit your specific body part. For example, there are back orthotics, knee orthotics, hand orthotics and, of course, foot orthotics. Even braces made to straighten your teeth are officially called orthotics.
So, if an orthotic is a customized device, then an OTC arch support should never be called an orthotic. It’s not custom made in any way. In fact, it’s a mass-manufactured product in which the left and right arch supports are mirror-matched images. However, your feet are not identical to each other.
You can buy a wide variety of OTC arch supports, depending upon:
- Arch height and foot length.
- Whether they’re firm or soft.
- If they have a built-in wedge for people who overpronate when they walk.
- If they provide metatarsal support. This type of arch support comes with a bump in the middle of it that supports the metatarsal bones, the group of five long bones located in the mid-foot between the tarsal bones and the phalanges of the toes.
- The type of material they’re made from such as cloth, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) rubber foaming material or plastic.
- If they’re heat moldable.
Since OTC arch supports offer “some” shock absorption, your feet may feel good for the first few days or weeks of use. However, for the most part, OTC arch supports don’t provide any biomechanical support since they’re made to a generic arch height and foot shape that’s not suited to your specific foot type. Over time the arch supports wear down causing your feet to not feel as good as they did when you first purchased the supports.
Actually the manufacturers are counting on the arch supports wearing down – especially the ones made from softer materials, so you’ll have to buy new supports. And if you’ve bought firm OTC supports, these can actually change your foot’s bone structure – not for the better. In fact, OTC arch supports can make some foot conditions worse, especially if you tend to supinate (roll your feet outward) when walking, leading to muscle strains in the lower legs.
Other issues with OTC arch supports include:
- Supports that don’t fit in your shoes, so you have to trim them or buy bigger shoes.
- Supports that are thick in the heel, so they don’t allow your foot to sit deep enough in the shoe, causing slippage to occur.
Custom orthotics, like ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics are designed to help support the medial, lateral and trans-metatarsal arches of your feet, providing you with pain relief. They also guide your feet into better alignment for greater stability and control. Plus, they can improve your balance and posture, while absorbing shock and relieving pressure and pain on your feet.
ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics can be purchased via the Internet; therefore, anyone from anywhere, can own one. These custom orthotics come with a 90-day, money-back guarantee. So you’ve got nothing to lose, but your pain. Try them today!
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.