Are you wondering what are the best materials for orthotics? You've come to the right place. Orthotics are now considered a need in treating foot ailments as more people seek alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Numerous conditions affecting the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back are treated with orthotics because of their pain alleviation and healing.
Many foot ailments and symptoms; thus, orthotics aren't all created from the same material. The effectiveness of the orthotics depends on taking into account these unique requirements. This requirement for specificity is one reason why, except in cases of relatively mild foot issues, over-the-counter orthotics are not optimal. We will explain the reasons for the differences in orthotic materials utilized and review the many types of orthotics available.
Materials for Various Types of Orthotics
Different materials are used in the production of orthotics. Some of the most widely used materials are acrylic, polypropylene, fiberglass, EVA, cork, and foam. No random substance will do for podiatrists when it comes to the construction of orthotics. The material is chosen after careful evaluation of several factors.
Here are some examples of things to think about:
A patient's weight
A greater thickness is required for heavier patients. The increased wall thickness is needed to support the load.
Since orthotics are meant to be worn inside shoes, most podiatrists consider the patient's desired shoe style. Dress shoes and work boots are made of different materials. This factor helps guarantee a snug and supportive fit of the orthotics within the shoe.
Some people's feet benefit more from having extra padding and comfort, while others require motion control. The materials used to construct your orthotics will depend on your unique foot care requirements.
Which Orthotic Material Is Best for You?
There is no one ideal material for orthotics. The optimum material for orthotics, instead, is application specific.
- For conditions like flat feet and plantar fasciitis, in which rigid orthotics are required, stiff, tough materials like plastics and carbon fiber work well.
- But for diseases like flat feet, diabetes, or arthritis, soft orthotics made of polyethylene or EVA foam are recommended.
- Orthotics constructed from semi-rigid materials, such as leather, rubber, and felt, support the body's musculature, tendons, and joints, providing a combination of softness and stability.
What Is The Minimum Required Hardness For Orthotic Material?
Your orthotic material's hardness also correlates with how you want to utilize it. The podiatrist is the one who will determine the appropriate rigidity of your orthotic. They will consider the wearer's biomechanical requirements, personal preferences, the intended shoe, and the shoe's material attributes.
In contrast to their soft counterparts, rigid orthotics are made from heavy materials. They require a long break-in period while your feet adjust to the orthotics' firmness. This is because it will take more time to adjust to the orthotics if they are stiff.
It's worth noting that orthotics with a higher degree of rigidity tend to be bulkier, limiting your options regarding footwear. The orthotic's length and shape are other factors in its difficulty. When consulting with a podiatrist, it is essential to provide specifics regarding the footwear in which you intend to wear your orthotics. That way, all the relevant information may be included in the design before manufacture begins.
Your orthotics' functionality, comfort, and expected outcome are directly related to the material from which they are crafted. The most effective orthotic material is the one that finally gets the job done.
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