Custom orthotics also known as custom insoles or even custom foot beds are commonly prescribed and used in the treatment of running and other athletic injuries involving the lower extremity. Your lower extremity consists of your hip, thigh, knee, leg, calf, ankle and foot. Custom insoles can be used to correct abnormal alignment of your foot which can have a negative effect on the rest of your lower extremity. For example, if your foot pronates excessively it can cause your ankle to roll inward while walking and even more so when running. Because your knee is attached to your ankle via your leg/calf your knee will also twist inward if you pronate excessively. Of course your hip is connected to your knee via your thigh and it will also twist inward if you over-pronate.
What is the difference between over the counter insoles like Dr. Scholl’s and the Custom Orthotics you make? This is a common question I get. The main difference is that the over the counter orthotics or insoles such as Dr. Scholl’s or Superfeet are molded to a generic foot. Since most people have a difference in foot size from right to left it is common for the insole to not support the correct areas of one foot and can also be uncomfortable or ineffective. A true custom orthotic is molded to your foot so that it hits you in all the right spots resulting in symmetrical support. This is accomplished through a molding process. There are many ways to take molds. Some still user the 1950’s plaster of Paris mold then ship it off to a lab where they transfer the mold to plastic. Some use a foam box that takes your foot impression. The foam box is then shipped off to the lab where they transfer the mold to plastic. Some even use a computer scanner that you stand on or walk on. That image is transmitted electronically to a lab where they convert it to plastic. At San Diego Running Institute Dr. Allen either heat molds the plastic to your foot while you are here or use an injected mold and molds it to your foot while you are here for your appointment. Your orthotic never ships to a lab because we have our own lab on site. This ensures quality control and expedites orders. When we use to use a lab it would of