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A Questionable Investment: Over-the-Counter Orthotic Shops

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Custom Orthotics, Orthotics
Custom Dress Orthotic

Orthotics, those off the shelf or custom designed shoe inserts are a great option for treating many painful foot conditions. There are a multitude of over-the-counter orthotic options as well as custom orthotics which can be made by a podiatrist or orthotist. Orthotics can cost on the low end $10, all the way up to $500.

For the past several months, we have seen an influx of patients wishing to discuss obtaining custom orthotics from a local retail store. This store touts having orthotics which are custom fit. However, they use a proprietary fitting system, which some experts argue may not provide the personalized support promised. There is concern that they have non-medical sales associates potentially diagnosing and treating ailments of the feet.

Retail Orthotics
The Store Orthotics, generic plastic, off the shelf designs

From our experience it appears this company has a few variations on the shape of their over-the-counter orthotics to fit most feet. The orthotics are built out of thinner sub-par plastics/rubbers and the common additions to the orthotics are thin and of poor quality.

One of the most significant concerns regarding "the feet store" orthotics is their steep pricing. Many customers have reported paying hundreds, and sometimes even over a thousand dollars, for a pair of these inserts. We have had patients come into the office stating that they were being quoted over $1600 for a pair of orthotics.

When compared to other orthotic options on the market, the prices at "the store" are notably higher, making them an expensive investment for individuals seeking relief from foot discomfort.

While some customers have reported positive experiences with "the store" orthotics, most have expressed disappointment. Issues like discomfort, lack of improvement in foot problems, and dissatisfaction with the product's longevity have left many feeling that they didn't get their money's worth.

In conclusion, "the store “orthotics may not be the ideal solution, especially considering their high prices, proprietary design, lack of transparency, high-pressure sales tactics, and questionable sales representative education.

Before investing in orthotics from these stores, it's essential to research alternatives, consult with Dr. Johnston or your podiatrist, and consider other options that may offer a more cost-effective and personalized solution to your foot-related issues.

Ultimately, your health and comfort should be the top priority, and it's crucial to make informed decisions when seeking relief from foot problems.

Dr. Johnston typically recommends specific over the counter orthotic options or custom orthotics. The prices range from $50 for high quality over the counter orthotics up to $500 for full custom orthotics with all the bells and whistles. Insurance typically will not cover the over-the-counter orthotics but in many cases custom orthotics may be covered by your insurance with minimal expense.

Please do not fall for their pushy sales tactics and extremely expensive pricing!

Give us a call to schedule a consultation for your orthotic needs!

Heel & Toe Podiatry

R. Scott Johnston, D.P.M.


Perrysburg Office Toledo Office:

1021 Sandusky St. Suite A 3106 Tremainsville Road

Perrysburg, OH 43551 Toledo, OH 43613

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