Custom orthotics are classified as either accommodative or functional:
• Accommodative orthotics are designed to reduce the pain and pressure from an underlying foot problem. They are generally made from soft materials, which provide padding and cushioning.
• Functional orthotics are designed to correct a problem with the way your feet, ankles, and joints move when you walk. Their goal is to help your feet function properly. They usually have a soft top cover but the function portion of the device is made from harder or semi-rigid materials.
Custom orthotics are more expensive upfront than prefabricated insoles or arch supports. However, this may be offset by several factors. Custom orthotics are built from higher quality materials and can often be adjusted or refurbished. So rather than being replaced, they may last several years.