Orthotic prescription is an area of treatment that engenders much confusion and controversy. Certainly the Born to Run "barefoot" camp have a point when they indicate that shoe and orthotic support may allow foot muscles to "get lazy!" However, the opposing argument is also valid in that if there is misalignment of the foot (eg, overpronation) then the foot muscles are unable to work optimally anyway. A middle ground is probably best for most people where they give their feet a variety of challenges and support to optimize function, utilize muscles, and prevent pain.
A system that SOS-PT utilizes for foot evaluation and treatment is the Quadrastep approach. This is the brainchild of a Physical Therapist and Pedorthist who in there 20+ years working together making custom orthotics developed an algorithm of 24 different foot types which they utilize in their orthotic design decisions. Over the years, what they found is that from these 24 different foot types, the orthotic prescription was essentially the same for 6 different groups of 4 foot types ("quads"). This led to the development of the Quadrastep System for foot evaluation and orthotic prescription.
Dr. Fagerson recommends that you have your foot type identified which will assist in determing whether orthotics would make sense for you and also give direction as to the best type of shoewear for you. This evaluation can be done in the clinic and we also have in-stock Quadrastep semi-customized orthotics which you could trial for a week or two. These orthotics may well be perfect for your foot and even if not it will give guidance as to whether you should go fully customized or perhaps go with another off-the-shelf design or nothing at all!
Call our office (781-263-9977) if you'd like to schedule a special Foot Assessment with Dr. Fagerson. If you are a current patient, this can be incorporated into one of your regular sessions.