Custom Orthotics

If you’re an athlete, then you know that having the right equipment is essential to your success. This includes having properly fitted orthotics. Orthotics are inserts that are placed in your shoes to help correct alignment and improve function. Many athletes choose to get custom orthotics made specifically for their feet. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of getting your feet professionally fitted for custom sports orthotics by a sports medicine specialist.

Over the Counter Insoles versus Custom Orthotics

You’ve probably seen supportive inserts for sale at your local drug store. Maybe you’ve even tired some before. They may have made your feet feel a little better than a standard shoe. Still, no two human bodies are exactly alike, which is where the over-the-counter insert falls short.

That’s why custom inserts are an essential solution for many patients with foot problems. At MOTUS, our team of physical therapists can perform an orthotic evaluation that will provide you with custom made orthotics perfect for your feet, your body, and your needs. 3D images are taken in addition to an assessment of your movement and mechanics to provide for the best custom orthotics. Foot orthotics can be used in cleats, running shoes, dress shoes, and regular shoes to provide adequate support and enhance athletic performance.

What are custom orthotics?

Custom orthotics are like insoles that are made specifically for your feet. The difference between a store-bought insert and a custom orthotic is like the difference between generic reading glasses and prescription lenses. Although custom orthotics affect the motion and support of the foot, the adjustments they can make might help with many other parts of the body, like hips, knees, or back.

There are two main types of custom orthotics. 1) Functional & 2) Accommodative. Functional orthotics will adjust the motion of your movements. These might be used to treat shin splints or pain coming from abnormal movements. Functional orthotics are made with a stiffer material, like plastic or carbon fiber.

Alternatively, accommodative orthotics are made with soft, compression materials that can provide support for the joints. These are good for treating conditions like arthritis or diabetes.

How do orthotics work?

When you walk, run, or jump, your feet go through a series of motions. These motions put stress on different parts of your feet and can cause pain or injury if they’re not supported properly. Orthotics work by correcting the alignment of your feet and providing them with the support they need. This helps to distribute the pressure evenly across your feet, which can prevent foot pain and injury.

Orthotics also improve the function of your feet by correcting abnormal movements. This is especially important for athletes who are looking for improved performance. Insoles help you move more efficiently with appropriate cushioning, which can lead to better results on the field or court.

Benefits of Custom Sports Orthotics

Your foot supports your body and supports its weight and stability. A foot injury can compromise stability and make you alter foot position and walking mechanics, which in turn could result in overstress leading to other issues in your hips or back. In such situations, the insole may be a good option. Insoles and inserts in supermarkets and drugstores are not nearly as effective as custom are.

Custom orthotics can help you feel comfortable while you stand, walk, or run. Their superior design is built for you specifically, so you get the best possible support. In this way, they can significantly reduce pain in the foot or ankle, or in other areas affected by foot posture.

Having the right insoles for your feet can also enhance your balance, so you’ll feel more confident and comfortable. This helps keep your body aligned and prevents overcompensation from other areas of the body correcting biomechanical issues that can lead to injury.

Orthotics for sports can not only address a current injury, but will help prevent future injuries. If your physical therapist decides that you could benefit from custom sports orthotics, the inserts may provide you with the adjustments you need to your movement and balance to prevent things like ankle sprains, knee pain, or back strains.

This type of support can be impactful for athletes, as well. Many sports injuries are the result of biomechanical issues. Custom orthotics can help correct these, allowing an athlete to make safer, more controlled movements in their activity.

Are custom orthotics right for me?

Foot problems can stem from a number of different conditions, many of which can directly benefit from custom orthotics.

One example is plantar fasciitis, a painful condition where the tissue connecting the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. This is often the result of a repetitive strain injury from running or walking with poor foot support. Last year, a clinical study found that both custom orthotics and shockwave therapy were effective tools for reducing pain and enhancing functionality for patients with plantar fasciitis.

Metatarsalgia and arthritis are both treatable with accommodative orthotics, which can provide stability for painful joints. Orthotics are also helpful for patients with diabetes, who need to take special care of their feet. Customized support can help reduce foot issues from diabetes.

Orthotics may be an effective treatment for other conditions as well, like shin splints, bunions, and achilles tendonitis. They’re effective not only for foot-specific pain, but for pain that is caused by poor support.

For example, in 2017 a group published a study that looked at whether shoe orthotics could treat lower back pain. They divided their subjects into three groups — one with no treatment, one with orthotics, and one with orthotics and chiropractic therapy. Both groups with orthotics showed the most significant increase in functionality and a reduction of lower back pain.

If you’re a resident in the Orange County area that’s dealing with any of the above, we suggest setting up an appointment at MOTUS to discuss getting custom orthotics.

  1. Sibel Çağlar Okur and Abdulkadir Aydın – Comparison of extracorporeal shock wave therapy with custom foot orthotics in plantar fasciitis treatment: A prospective randomized one-year follow-up study
  2. Jerrilyn A.CambronDC, MPH, PhDa et al – Shoe Orthotics for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Have you been injured at some point in your journey?
Are you not achieving your highest level of function?

We’ve helped hundreds of people at all walks in life
get back to performing their best painfree!

MOTUS Client
Janelly Farias

PT's to the Pro's, Stars and Skeptics

Discover why the pro's, protective parents, and weekend warriors trust our 4P Joint By Joint Approach™.

It's time to toss out the old school
physical therapy playbook.

We'll never hand you a stack of those black and white exercise printouts.

MOTUS Client
Sam Darnold

MOTUS Client
Kyle Allen

Level up on rehab and prevention and
get back to the activities you love

Individual rehab and recovery plans to heal and prevents future injuries.​

Schedule A Call

We'll walk you through our 4P Joint Approach™ and set up your 60-minute 1:1 consultation.


Get Your Personalized 4P Plan

We'll pinpoint the source of your pain and design a plan to restore movement along the entire kinetic chain.


Start Moving Again

Get an edge on injury prevention, relieve joint and muscle pain, and return to activities you love with confidence.

Stop wondering if you'll ever
get back to being you.

I came to Motus for low back pain a little over 1 year after it began. I had seen two other physical therapists and one chiropractor and was feeling pretty hopeless. I started working with Motus in November 2021, and they had me feeling a little better week after week. They did a good job of listening to my feedback and helping me understand why my back might be hurting with specific activities. They also helped me with some much needed tough love on the fact that my progress would be met with occasional flare ups. They helped me work through these flare ups and gave me the tools I'd need to identify them and work through them on my own. I'm happy to say that I'm feeling much better after a few months of regular appointments. I'd highly recommend Motus, and I'll definitely be going back if I ever have PT needs again.
Bob V. - Jiu-Jitsu
Bob V.

3 Ways to Level Up Your Rehab and Injury Prevention With Us

3 Ways to Level Up Your Rehab and Injury Prevention With Us

MOTUS 4P Joint Approach

What Pro Athletes Know About the 4P Approach™ to Recovery and Injury Prevention

Grab this free video, where our very own Physical Therapist shares his secrets.

Don't let pain steal your ability
to do the activities you love

Many active people struggle to find long term relief from joint and muscle pain, because they haven’t been able to pinpoint the root cause of their problem. We created a joint by joint approach to healing that identifies the source of your pain and restores movement with
a personalized plan, so you’re free to move and do the activities you love again.

How can you speed up recovery from injuries and prevent injuries? You can do that by getting evidence-based medicine advice from medical professionals with years of experience. They will be sent straight into your mailbox each month.