What Are Orthotics?



By Dr. Ken Lefkowitz

I’ll begin by clearing up a common misconception. Everyone should be aware that shoe inserts are not the same thing as prescription orthotics. If you buy shoe inserts from a store, they will not treat the same issues as the orthotics from your podiatrist do, and will not provide the same quality of treatment. Shoe inserts can only be useful if you need arch support, extra cushioning, or a barrier to prevent your feet from rubbing against your toes. Prescription orthotics treat a much wider range of issues.


Custom orthotics are specially made for you. They are crafted to match the contours of your feet and are customized for your specific way of movement and pathology. This is what makes the major difference in effectiveness as compared to over-the-counter shoe inserts. There are two kinds of prescription orthotics; functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics. Functional orthotics can treat shin splints, tendonitis, and foot pain caused by abnormal movement. Accommodative orthotics are employed to treat diabetic foot ulcers, painful calluses on the bottom of the feet, and a variety of other uncomfortable conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and general foot and ankle pain.


Here at Quality Foot Care, we use advanced technology combined with an in depth exam to create orthotics that are perfect for your feet. Most importantly, we listen to your concerns and complaints to deliver the treatment you deserve. Visit us at our Doylestown office this fall. To make an appointment today, call 215-230-9707.

Foot Orthotics Vs. Shoe Inserts: What’s the Difference?

By Dr. Ken Lefkowitz

The first thing you need to know is that shoe inserts and orthotics are not the same thing. You may see shoe inserts advertised on television or online that are “custom made” for arch support, but unless they are crafted for you by your podiatrist, they are not the same as custom orthotics. Non-prescription shoe inserts have a limited amount of uses; they can be utilized for arch support, extra cushioning, and as barrier against rubbing shoes. Custom orthotics made by a podiatrist can treat a wider range of issues.

When you visit your podiatrist to purchase orthotics, he or she will conduct a complete evaluation of your feet and ankles to make sure the inserts are crafted perfectly for your unique foot structure. There are two kinds of prescription orthotics that are available: functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics. Functional orthotics are fashioned to control abnormal motion. They can also treat injuries such as shin splints and tendonitis. Accommodative orthotics provide extra cushion and support to treat diabetic foot ulcers, calluses on the bottom of the foot, and other conditions that can cause pain such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and tendonitis.

Although custom orthotics from your podiatrist cost more than shoe inserts from a retail store, they are well worth the price and are often covered by insurance. These orthotics are custom made from 3-dimensional images of each of your feet, so you can be sure that they fit and are serving their purpose. In addition, prescription orthotics are made from high quality materials and last much longer than store-bought inserts.

If you would like to be evaluated for your own pair of custom orthotics or have any other foot and ankle concerns, call Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707. We hope to see you soon at our Doylestown office!