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Orthotics or Inserts?

Orthotics or Inserts?

Do you ever wonder if you need an orthotic? Are your feet always aching not just after long walks but even when just having shoes on for a short time? The first solution may just be the quality of shoe you are wearing. Not enough arch support can cause all kinds of not only foot aches but back, knee or hip aches. Getting a shoe with better or support or getting an insert to put in your shoes may be the answer. So what is the difference between an insert and orthotics? And in which case should one or the other be used?


Inserts are footbeds and arches of all shapes and sizes that can be bought over-the-counter without a prescription. They fit into most shoes but are not custom-made for your feet. There are some that provide extra arch support or some that provide extra cushioning for the heels, toes or entire foot. And some do it all. They can definitely make your shoes more comfortable relieving foot pain and helping to prevent future foot problems. But they are not designed to correct foot problems you may already have. 


Orthotics are, usually custom made, prescribed medical devices. They are prescribed by a podiatrist or orthopedist.They are worn inside your shoes to correct problems with your gait or help with foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, or arthritis. They are also used to help correct flat feet. 

All SAS shoes and sandals have Tripad Technology. This is a patented comfort system that provides shock-absorption and support to the three main pressure points of the foot: inside ball, outside ball, and heel. Most SAS shoe's footbeds are removable so whether you need to add an over-the-counter insert or a prescribed orthotic or medical device, most SAS shoes can accommodate. All of our SAS shoe fitters are experienced with fitting our shoes to all sorts of orthotics or medical devices. We haves shoes that even have extra depth for large orthotics. Such as the women's Free Time and Tour Mesh or the men's Bout Time and Journey Mesh.

If you're looking for an over-the-counter insert to either bring some SAS comfort and support to your own shoe or give your SAS shoes an upgrade, then we have two types of inserts that may work for you.

One insert we carry is our SAS Step Plus Footbed for men and women. This is an insert for everyday comfort that supports the arch, cradles the heel, has additional metatarsal support and helps eliminate overall foot pain. It's made with Everbounce, a material used to enhance shock absorption. It's a little thicker then most SAS footbeds so it will give you extra cushioning. Other features include:

  • Anti-friction fabric wicks moisture away from the foot, reducing heat and shear to prevent blisters.

  • Vy-Gel performance grade elastomer pads provide shock absorption across the forefoot and heel strike, to protect against fasciitis (heel pain).

  • Contoured polyurethane base features arch support and heel cup.

  • Metatarsal rise helps relieve pain in the ball of the foot, as well as pain from certain medical conditions.

  • A polyurethane base layer provides cushioning that will never flatten out over time or lose its comfort.

 The other over-the-counter shoe insert we have is our SAS Orthotic Footbed for men and women. These inserts are designed for people with sensitive feet and people with conditions that result in sensitive feet such as those with diabetes, arthritis, or neuropathy. These SAS Orthotic Inserts can relieve these conditions as well as prevent the development of more foot health problems. Other features include: 

  • Multi-Density Support: Cushioning that is made from a combination of Plastazote® and open-cell polyurethane provide maximum support for the entire foot

  • Non-Slip Texture: Textured bottom is made to stay in place and resist slipping around in the shoe.

  • Self-Contouring: The foot bed is shaped over our exclusive SAS® last for an anatomical design. Foot bed molds to the shape of the foot for a more custom fit. A strong metatarsal and arch support offer total foot contact for those with medium to high arches.

An over-the-counter shoe insert or a good shoe is almost always going to be cheaper and is sometimes good to try first. You may or may not need the prescription orthotics. Always consult with a podiatrist for their recommendation before making a decision.  


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