8 Common Foot Problems You Can Improve With Custom Orthotics

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If you need a little extra padding in your shoes, those inserts you see at your local retail store fit the bill. But if you struggle with real foot problems, only custom orthotics will do, and here’s why.

Whether you’re an athlete, a parent on the go, or an active senior, you need to keep your feet in top condition to get through your day. When foot problems arise, custom orthotics can often help. 

Dr. Matthew Cerniglia at Ankle and Foot Institute of Texas expertly diagnoses your foot condition, and he can determine whether custom orthotics should be an integral part of your treatment plan. Here, we list several foot problems that orthotics can help.

The difference between custom orthotics and shoe inserts

When you have problems with your feet, wearing orthotics can improve several of them. But before you drive to a nearby big-box store to grab a pair of shoe inserts off the shelf, keep reading.


Although custom orthotics and shoe inserts both slip into your shoes, the inserts available at your local drugstore and online are different from orthotics that you get from your podiatrist in several significant ways:


  • Shoe inserts are mass-produced: Custom orthotics are one of a kind, designed to conform to your unique foot contours
  • Shoe inserts provide cushioning: Custom orthotics provide prescription-level support that improves function
  • Shoe inserts increase comfort: Custom orthotics address podiatric conditions

While shoe inserts can improve your comfort, they can’t improve foot problems.

Foot problems that benefit from custom orthotics

Determining a treatment plan for your foot condition involves several factors, and the best treatment may include bracing, splinting, shockwave therapy, or even surgery. However, nearly all foot problems can benefit from custom orthotics, including the following.

1. Flat feet

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, lack the necessary structural support to keep your body aligned, so you end up with pain, fatigue, and instability. Custom orthotics can restore your arch’s shape and redistribute pressure, making your feet more comfortable and your body healthier.

2. Bunions

Bunions are bony bumps that develop on the joint at the base of the big toe, although they sometimes form on the pinky toe, too. Bunions are painful, and they make it tough to find comfortable footwear. Orthotics designed for bunions alleviate pressure on your toe joint, preventing further inflammation and pain.

3. Plantar fasciitis

This occurs when the tendon on the bottom of your foot — the plantar fascia — becomes irritated. The pain and swelling can extend from your heel to the arch of your foot. Orthotics designed for plantar fasciitis offer additional support and distribute pressure evenly across your foot, reducing strain on the fascia.

4. High arches

Similar to flat feet, high arches can cause foot pain and instability. Custom orthotics give you extra arch support and cushioning to reduce pain and fatigue.

5. Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis causes inflammation and pain in your Achilles tendon, the band that runs from your calf muscle down to your heel bone. Using orthotics alleviates stress on your Achilles tendon and provides support and cushioning.

6. Overpronation

Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls too far inward during standing, walking, or running. Our custom orthotics help correct your foot alignment, provide additional support, reduce your risk of injury, alleviate pain and fatigue, and improve your stability.

7. Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a condition characterized by a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, typically near the third and fourth toes. It occurs when the tissue around the nerves leading to your toes thickens. Custom orthotics reduce pressure there and relieve pain.

8. Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia causes inflammation and pain in the ball of your foot. It usually results from wearing shoes that are too tight or have high heels — placing excessive pressure on the ball of the foot. Custom orthotics redistribute pressure while standing and walking, effectively providing cushioning and reducing discomfort.

Are orthotics the answer to your foot problems? Request an appointment online or call Ankle and Foot Institute of Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, today to find out more about how custom orthotics can help you.