The foot is a complex area of the body because there are so many small bones which are joined together by a lot of ligaments and moved by so many muscles. On top of that we take the bodyweight on the foot and subject it to so many pressures. To make it worse we place the feet inside the unnatural environment of a shoe. It is because of this that the career of podiatric medicine exists because there is just so much that may go wrong with the feet and connected structures. Podiatry practitioners make use of a lots of different interventions to manage problems of the foot and lower limb.
Foot supports are often used to manage the wide range of problems that can go wrong with the feet. The aim of foot orthoses are to alter alignment of the feet towards a more corrected normal position or to decrease the load in structures of the feet which might be causing symptoms to enable them to get better. The foot orthotics do that via having various design attributes which are designed to match the foot. A customized foot orthotic will do that. However, over the counter orthotics are capable of doing this, usually by chance. They may or may not match the foot of the person with them in contrast to a bespoke orthoses will. There are various characteristics varied, for example the elevation of the mid-foot and the level of cushioning. There are even designs called the Cluffy Wedge .
Occasionally the less expensive over-the-counter type supports are better and other times the customized ones are better. It will all depend upon the nature of the problem, the foot type and structure as well as the advice of a good podiatrist as to what is the best option. When you have a problem with your feet and think you need some foot orthoses, then go to a good physician.