Foot orthotics are a widely used treatment for a wide range of foot and lower leg dysfunctional problems. These are developed and used to correct alignment and functional issues. All of the scientific data is they are usually quite effective and also the patient satisfaction type evidence demonstrates that they are well received by those that use them. That does not mean that they don’t have issues. They do have issues. They are able to only be used in a shoe which has the room for the supports to fit into. This means that they are unable to be used in certain varieties of sports footwear plus some footwear used in certain occupations. Also, in some climates closed in shoes are not that popular because of the temperatures. Some people just have a philosophical opposition to foot supports because they look at them to be unnatural and as crutches that should not be used.
While foot orthotics are simple and can readily be made to work in the short to medium term there are options if patients would like to pursue that alternative. Exercise therapy is one choice and muscle strength might be increased and used as an alternative. Having said that, this will take a few months to work and it may be a wise decision to use foot orthotics to begin with because they can help get some improvement nearly right away. If footwear is the challenge and it is not possible for financial, occupational, sporting or chosen lifestyle reasons to alter the footwear, there are choices such as the Archie Flip Flops which come from Australia and have a decent volume of arch support built in. There are other types of footwear such as these that do have arch support integrated, but the amount is fairly small compared to the Archies and may not necessarily do much good. As always it is recommended to speak to your podiatrist about what they feel is the better choice for you.