What’s The Difference Between Custom Orthotics And Over The Counter Orthotics?

The average American walks about 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day - although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 10,000 steps! Regardless of where you are on the step spectrum, we spend a lot of time on our feet; a fact that is often neglected in shoe design in a world where fashion takes precedence over function. Perhaps it is due to this, as well as growing awareness of the importance of foot health and care, that people are turning to orthotic support now more than ever.

With the growth of the demand for orthotics, the number of companies who provide them has also grown. Within the market, there are two primary types of orthotics: over-the-counter (standardized) and customized insoles. Below, we break down the pros and cons to each category so you can make the decision that’s right for your.

Over-The-Counter Orthotics

A number of brands now offer orthotics or insoles that can be purchased over the counter at big box stores and major drugstores. While a brand may offer a different product to support a specific ailment, they are all cut and molded for the “average” foot. 


  • Convenient - the ability to purchase a set of insoles at a drugstore without prescription saves time.
  • Price point - generally, over-the-counter insoles are inexpensive - often less that $50 per set.



  • Lack of diversity - despite their relatively modest size, feet are actually very complex structures; a generic insole may be made to address one issue, when you in fact need unique support or shaping in multiple areas.
  • Lack of quality - you get what you pay for; in general, over the counter orthotics are made of less durable materials, so you’ll be looking at replacing OTC orthotics more frequently.


Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are made specifically for you from molds of your feet. For this reason, the insoles created will offer support precisely where needed.


  • Made for your feet by being molded to your feet - this is incredibly beneficial because this type of orthotic device can address multiple issues at the same time without creating additional problems.
  • Long lasting - customized orthotics are generally made with quality material to withstand more wear and tear.



  • Price point - typically, custom orthotics are more expensive than over the counter insoles - around $200-800 for a single pair. However, this can often be offset by the fact that custom orthotics are of a higher quality and typically last longer than OTC orthotics.
  • Timeline - generally, custom orthotics require a prescription from a podiatrist. Depending on your insurance, this may require a trip to your general practitioner, a referral to your podiatrist, and additional time to order and receive your orthotics.


Get The Best Of Both Worlds With DIY Custom Insoles 

DIY Custom Insoles offer both the convenience of OTC orthotics and the effectiveness of custom orthotics at an affordable cost with our innovative technology. 

  • Made for you - DIY Custom Insoles are made from the mold of your foot.
  • Quick and easy - no need for a prescription or trips to multiple doctors. DIY Custom Insoles can be mail-ordered without prescription and made by you in your home in 10 minutes.
  • Durable - our insoles are made from high quality proprietary cushioning ma that's de to last.
  • Affordable - purchase DIY Custom Insoles for $129 - far less than the price of most custom orthotics.
Ready to learn more? Check out our process and purchase your starter kit here.