While orthotics are used by many people globally to address and manage symptoms from a variety of foot conditions, there is a common conception that custom orthotics are expensive and that the time and effort spent to get assessed and fitted is overwhelming.
This can lead many consumers to look for a "self-help" alternative like making their own custom orthotics at home.
Can You Make Custom Orthotics at Home?
Yes, there are multiple ways to make your own custom orthotics at home and with materials that can be easily purchased.
However, these orthotics will be made inaccurately and without precision.
Home-made custom orthotics will not necessarily be the correct shape or fit and may not provide the required support your feet need.
Instead, they can potentially exacerbate your symptoms further and contribute to the pain or discomfort you may be experiencing in your feet.
How to Make Custom Orthotics at Home
If you still want to try to make your own orthotics , there are different ways you can attempt to make your own orthotics at home, each with potential limitations:
1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Molds
OTC orthotics are not specifically made to the shape of your individual feet. Custom orthotics that are made 100 % custom to your feet. OTC orthotics usually require trimming to fit your shoe and foot correctly to avoid causing any discomfort. This means OTC orthotics are not always a perfect fit and may not entirely provide your feet with adequate support. OTC Orthotics typically last 3-6 months depending on the quality of the orthotics you purchase.
2. Foot Outlines
You can make outlines for custom orthotics at home from materials such as cardboard, yoga mats, or self-adhesive corks. You will start by sitting with your knees and ankles at a 90 degree with your feet on a piece of cardboard or paper. Trace the outline of your foot, make sure to mark the ball of your foot and your heel because these are high-pressure areas. Remove your foot and mark where your foot arch is. This template can now be used to create your orthotics mold for depth of support from your chosen material. However, be aware that this tracing-and-cutting method is not very accurate and prone to errors
3. Caulk, Silicone, or Gel
Once you have made the orthotic outline you can make a mold of your feet by using caulk, silicone, or gel and once it's dry, you can trim it to fit in your shoes based on your foot outline. While a home made mold may provide you with comfortable orthotics, you will still need a cushioning material to cover the mold and there will be a lot of room for error if you are inexperienced with working with these materials, not everything on YouTube is as easy as it looks. Incorrect molds can cause your symptoms to worsen.
4. 3D Printer
While a 3D printer can seem like a good choice to create your own orthotics, it comes with a few limitations, including 1) Access to a 3D printer, 2) Access to cushioning material, 3) The necessary knowledge to create a model of your feet, and 4) The know-how to program the design into the printer.
Home-made custom orthotics can sometimes aggravate rather than correct your foot condition, potentially leading to increased levels of pain and discomfort. Prescribed orthotics, designed and manufactured by experts in the field, will address your needs more effectively.
The Footsy Process
Acquiring the correct orthotics for your foot condition is simple when using FOOTSY
- Receive an impression kit from Footsy via Canada Post directly to your home.
- Speak with our orthotics experts using our telemedicine system.
- Make impressions of your feet in the comfort of your home and send it back to Footsy (free of charge).
- The impressions are assessed to design custom insoles specifically for your needs.
- Receive your custom insoles within 10 business days of Footsy receiving the impression kit.
Remember, Footsy has a 1 Million Step Guarantee (1 year) and will make further adjustments to the orthotics to suit your needs.