If you are researching orthotic inserts because you plan to be on your feet for a long period of time or you are experiencing chronic lower back pain or foot pain, then yes — orthotic inserts are absolutely worth it. Your lower back and feet are necessary for just about any activity, which means investing in orthotic inserts means investing in your quality of life.
How expensive are orthotic inserts?
The price of orthotic inserts for shoes ranges from very inexpensive to a bit pricier depending on the type and whether they are custom-fit to your feet. Many over-the-counter inserts can cost as little as $25, while custom orthotics can cost a couple hundred dollars. The difference in quality is as drastic as the difference in price, though.
Over-the-counter inserts can range in padding, meaning you may spend money for minimal added comfort to your shoe. The purpose of opting for orthotic inserts is to help cushion the arch of your foot — the plantar fascia ligament that connects your heel to your toes — so you can reduce or prevent foot pain and lower back pain as a result of standing on your feet for hours. If you choose an insert that is cheap and poorly made, you may be throwing your money away.
However, more expensive over-the-counter inserts are typically made of better material that is thicker and doesn’t wear down with continual use. Over time, the cost to replace the cheaper ones continually will outweigh the initial cost of the better insert. Keep that in mind if you are planning to wear these inserts daily.
Custom shoe inserts are the most expensive, but they are designed specifically for your foot. Experts take a cast image of your foot and use that to custom-mold a pair of shoe inserts. These will offer the best support and prevention for foot and lower back pain.