Shoes & "Arch Support"
... "off the shelf" shoes are typically flat inside
Shoes do protect and can cushion our feet. But when shoe retailers tell you their shoes have good "arch support," they are not actually talking about your arch. Shoe "arch support" typically refers to medial reinforcement of shoe midsoles, helping slow down shoe collapse or making shoes stiff in the middle. The shoe's footbed - the part directly under your foot - is still actually flat in running or casual shoes.
Our feet are never that flat. Shoe's flat insides do not and cannot accommodate our naturally contoured feet. And our feet move: running, jumping, walking about 10,000 steps / day. We may even have to stand on our feet for hours at work.
The Truth About Shoes
... like frames for a pair of glasses
They may look nice. They should fit. Some are better than others. And they should go great with that new outfit, out on a hiking trail or at the gym. But shoes don't really do much for our feet, just like the frames of glasses really only hold lenses in the right position, no matter how stylish they may look.
This is especially true with runners and casual everyday footwear, since these are often made with softer shanks these days... Or no shank at all. Shoes without a shank bend like slippers. It is a cheaper way to make shoes that nobody notices unless they bend the shoes. And it does not make shoes softer... They just wear out and warp quicker.
Drugstore inserts - or reading glass lenses - are like those mentioned above, usually better than a shoe's original liners. Many retail inserts are okay. Sometimes. For a while. If that's all you need, that's great!
Then we have prescribed custom foot orthotics. They last much longer, are made for your feet and actively promote proper biomechanical functioning, decrease pain, reduce pressures, lessen tissue strain & increase overall foot health.
... part of a more complete solution
When our feet "misbehave" too much or for too long (we'll save the Latin for our report to your doctor) or our feet decide to "retire early" after years of hard work or have been injured, shoes are only a partial solution. Doctors have a saying: "There are only three possibilities here: chemistry, biology and physics."
Custom orthotics do much more than retail footwear to affect the physics, biology & chemistry of our feet & legs over the long term to help return things to when we enjoyed our feet... at least when we could ignore them.
Ashfield Orthotics, after years of practice, comes down to:
Value Service Quality
(Go ahead. Click the words. You know you want to.)