Everywhere you go, it seems like you can purchase an arch support – grocery stores, drug stores, gas station convenience stores, and Walmart®. Some companies have actual brick-and-mortar stores, where a salesperson will measure your feet and help you choose an arch support. And, there are even machines now that will tell which support is the best one for your feet. You’ve probably seen the commercial for these, where the “experts” behind the machine, jump out, and tell the guy what kind of foot he has and what support he needs.
The Reason Why There Are Many Different Brands
Have you ever wondered why there are so many different arch supports to choose from? Mostly, it’s because the orthotic industry is a multi-billion dollar business. Each company tries to outrival the other with its products and technology. They even market their products, in such a way, to make you think you absolutely need them and couldn’t possibly live without them. However, in actual cases, the over-the-counter (OTC) arch support purchased created more problems than it corrected.
You can buy a wide variety of OTC arch supports, depending upon:
- Their arch heights and foot lengths.
- Whether they’re firm or soft.
- If they have a built-in heel 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 are made of, such as cloth, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) rubber foaming material, or plastic.
- If they are heat moldable.
Your OTC Arch Support Purchase and Beyond
Since there are so many OTC arch support products on the market, how do you choose? How do you know which one is right for your feet? Do you trust the person at the store or the machine to be correct? Do you try them on in your shoes, and if they feel good, do you purchase them? Do you realize that most people selling OTC arch supports aren’t trained in what’s best for you but rather how to make a sale. After all the sale is the most important thing to an arch support company.
After you buy your OTC arch supports, your feet will usually feel good for the first few days or weeks of use. Then, the arch supports will begin to wear down, and your feet won’t feel as good as they did when you first purchased the supports. Softer OTC arch supports wear out quickly in the pressure points of your feet. Once this occurs, it’s time to buy new ones. Therefore, this process can get expensive. However, that is exactly what the orthotics company wants – your repeat sales. If you’ve chosen the firm OTC supports, these can actually change your foot’s bone structure and not always for the better.
There are also other issues with OTC arch supports. Sometimes, the arch support won’t fit in your shoes, so you have to trim them. Or sometimes, you may have to buy bigger shoes to accommodate the arch support. And sometimes they are so thick in the heel that they don’t allow your foot to sit deep enough in the shoe and slippage occurs.
An OTC Arch Support Is Not Really an Orthotic
The word, “orthotic,” by definition, applies to any custom device that is specifically made to fit an individual’s specific body part, such as 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, an OTC arch support should never be called an orthotic. It’s not custom made in any way. It’s a mass-manufactured product in which the left and right arch supports are mirror matched images, feet are not. The fact they’re not customized to the specification of your individual feet is the root of why they don’t work for long term use.
ezWalker® Performance Insoles Provide Customized Foot Support
If you suffer from arch or heel pain, you should consider purchasing ezWalker® Performance Insoles instead of OTC arch supports. ezWalker® insoles are biomechanically designed to help support the medial, lateral, and trans-metatarsal arches of your feet, providing you with pain relief. ezWalker® custom performance orthotic insoles are proven to improve foot health in as little as 6 months. Unlike OTC arch supports, they’re designed by using our unique 7-step custom-impression process that will create a functional orthotic ready to guide your feet into better alignment, by providing you with greater stability and balance, reducing stress and strain on your leg joints and lower back, and helping to improve your overall posture. Read our raving reviews.
The ezWalker® Performance Insole can be purchased via the Internet; therefore, anyone, from anywhere, can own one. We also offer one-on-one fittings at no extra charge for local customers and free consultations via the phone or Skype for non-local customers. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
The ezWalker® insole comes with a 90-day, money-back guarantee. So, you’ve got nothing to lose, but your pain. Try it today!
Once you put an ezWalker® in your shoes, it’ll put a smile on your face. Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.
I have had low back and buttock pain for 6 mothns. Previous to that I had semi rigid orthodics for 11 years. Took them out and put insuper feet, 2 weeks later hurt my back, buttock and ITB. My physical Therapist and podiatrist keep telling me to try over the counter orthodics; but, I can’t find any that fit my feet right. I have a low or collapsed arch on the left and high arch on the right. What should I do? Who should I see for orthodics? Can you mix brands-puting one over the counter orthodic in the right and a different brand in the left? I live in Colorado and can’t figure out who would fit me right?