An off-the-shelf arch support does not conform exactly to the structure of your foot, and so cannot fully support your arches of your foot. It is usually made of materials that have a short lifespan, and lose their integrity relatively quickly. While off-the-shelf devices may offer limited control temporarily, they are not a long-term solution. If shoe stores try to convince you that off-the-shelf arch supports are just as good as custom-made arch supports, contact a Podiatrist for advice.
Please see below for some frequently asked questions and answers on the subject of Podiatry.
Podiatrists are specialists in diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. Podiatrists are often involved in the treatment of injuries affecting the lower back, hips, knees and shins because of the effect the feet can have on these areas. Maintaining correct alignment within the lower limb is important to limit stress, and to promote good posture.
A Podiatrist is a professional specialising in diagnosing and treating foot problems, and therefore is best trained in finding the cause of your foot pain. You go to a dentist when you have a sore tooth, so make a point of going to a Podiatrist when your foot is sore.
There are three distinct foot types, normal, flat (pronated), and high-arched (supinated) feet. However people don't fit into these categories perfectly. A proper evaluation by a Podiatrist is important before purchasing expensive athletic shoes. The Podiatrist can advise you on your foot biomechanics and what type of shoe you need, as well as what to avoid when buying shoes.
Having high-arched feet can cause just as many problems as having flat feet, but it does it in the opposite way. Your feet tend to roll outwards more, making you prone to ankle sprains and other injuries. This foot type hits the ground a lot harder and can cause long-term wear and tear on the joints of your feet, upper legs and body, especially the back.