Certified Shoe Fitter Tip: "I always remind my customers, the most important factor when selecting OTC arch supports, is not their shoe size, but the length and height of their arch, something I can help them measure." - Chris, San Francisco SHOES-n-FEET.
Most foot pain is the result of a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot. Even the slightest misalignment can result in significant discomfort. This abnormal function can result in problems such as bunions, hammer toes, arch and heel pain, corns, knee pain, and even hip and back pain.
Providing proper support to the foot can alleviate and prevent most of these problems. First you must ensure that you are wearing proper shoes. In many cases, though, more support is required than the shoe alone can provide—even the best shoes. In these cases you may want to consider either an arch support or an orthotic. Both arch supports and orthotics sit inside the shoe and provide support and/or cushion to your feet, but they are very different devices.
If you have foot pain, you should see your podiatrist or other foot health professional to find out exactly what is wrong and the best treatment for your particular problem. Your podiatrist might recommend fitting you for prescription orthotics, custom-made devices that correct your individual foot problems.
If you don’t need prescription orthotics, you might benefit from over-the-counter arch supports—most people can use a little extra support. When fit correctly, good arch supports will provide support and cushion, and will help reduce strain on your feet.