Custom-Molded Orthotics vs. Dr. Scholl’s “Custom” Inserts

We have all walked into our local convenience store or near a pharmacy and seen the kiosk for Dr. Scholl’s “custom” inserts, advertising precise foot-support selection via 2,000 pressure sensors and a “FootMapping” evaluation. Whad’ya know—it’s the answer to all of your foot problems!

Sound too good to be true? Well—surprise, surprise—it is.

And it’s time to call a spade a spade. Dr. Scholl’s manufactures non-prescription, pre-packaged arch supports that aren’t the least bit tailored to the shape and needs of your specific foot. Unless a device is prescribed and crafted by a doctor just for you, it is a standard shoe insert, not a custom-fitted orthotic device. While shoe inserts can provide some comfort, cushioning, and support for the arches, they cannot correct biomechanical foot problems or cure long-standing (get it?) foot issues.

Every individual’s feet are unique to them and them only; even the left and right feet are different from each other. This is why having a doctor prescribe and mold custom orthotics is the only way to correct chronic problems. Custom-orthotic castings are performed in an office of a specialist and are done by using either plaster or digital capture to match the contours of your feet and accommodate the way you move.

Podiatrists use custom-molded orthotics to treat plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and foot, ankle, and heel pain, as they can decrease pain and improve function. Because they are designed specifically for your feet, custom orthotics are pricey—but they are worth it. They’re made of high-quality material, so, when cared for properly, orthotics can last for 5-7 years.

When something sounds too good to be true and claims an off-the-shelf insert can relieve your plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, diabetic foot ulcers and other foot pains, it is wiser to see a medically-trained professional and get fitted for custom-molded orthotics instead.