Do I Need Orthotics?

Most people can benefit from orthotics, but not everyone needs them. I often have patients ask me this question, but the answer is complex.

If your job involves standing on the spot for long periods of time or if you are a serious athlete, then you can definitely benefit from orthotics. That being said, a good pair of athletic shoes or workboots can help just as much. So what’s the answer? Do I need orthotics?

To know whether you need orthotics or not, it’s important to understand the health issues that orthotics are designed to address. So I am going to use this blog to break down the different types of orthotics and the issues that can lead to a need for orthotics. Then you can decide what case fits for you!

Orthotics for Pronators and Supinators

There are two forms of orthotics, based on different types of feet. People who require orthotics will be either pronators or supinators—but some people will just have neutral feet and won’t need orthotics at all!


  • Over Pronators: Over Pronators make up 80% of people who get orthotics. These individuals will have orthotics for flat feet. Their arches slope inward too much and do not absorb impacts correctly.
  • Supinators: Supinators make up 20% of people who get orthotics. These people have arched feet, which puts more weight on the outside of the foot than recommended.

Both conditions are problematic for different reasons. Most people with a mechanical flat arch (Over Pronators) can benefit from orthotics. Everything rolls in and affects the instep, knee, hip, pelvis and all the way up the spine. In extreme cases, it could even go as far as your neck. Many conditions can be traced from having flat feet.

To treat problems associated with flat feet, the best idea is to get a pair of orthotic shoes, orthotic inserts or insoles for flat feet. You may require support from our team to address long-term issues in the rest of your body. Chiropractic care, osteopathy or physical therapy can be good solutions to these issues.

People with high arches (Supinators) are less likely to benefit from custom orthotics or insoles for arch support. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that supination is not the result of structural issues, but a learned habit that needs to be corrected. Supination can be corrected through exercise and physical therapy, depending on the extent of the problem.

What the answer then? Do I need orthotics? This is where Dr. Lee and his team in Waterloo can help!

If you have an issue with flat feet or high arches, contact the team at Dr. Lee’s Health & Wellness Centre in Waterloo to get their support!

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