The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County

Podiatry located in Watsonville, CA & Santa Cruz, CA

A customized orthotic insert can make a big difference for many common foot and ankle problems. The team at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County has extensive experience with the use of this valuable tool to help relieve your pain and help your mobility. For a custom fitting of an orthotic device, book online or call for an appointment with one of their offices in Watsonville or Santa Cruz, California.

Orthotics Q & A

What is an orthotic?

An orthotic refers to any device inserted into a shoe that corrects an abnormal or irregular walking pattern. Orthotics can be a wide range of sizes and shapes and can be made of a number of different materials, depending on the purpose of the orthotic.

The main objectives for the use of an orthotic device are to:

  • Align and support the foot and ankle
  • Relieve pressure on tendons and ligaments
  • Prevent or correct foot deformities
  • Improve gait and overall function of foot and ankle


Orthotics are available over the counter or can be custom-fitted by your podiatrist.

What foot and ankle problems can an orthotic help to improve?

A well-fitted orthotic device can help to relieve symptoms for a number of common foot and ankle problems. Most insurance does cover these devices, and they may help to avoid the need for surgical intervention.

An orthotic insert may help relieve symptoms of:

  • Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel spurs
  • Cavus foot
  • Runner’s knee
  • Bursitis
  • Flat foot
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoe


While an over-the-counter orthotic can help relieve some mild symptoms, a custom orthotic is usually more effective. This is because a custom orthotic is fitted to you, taking into consideration your body measurements and specific foot or ankle issues.

What are some different types of orthotics?

Orthotics come in many different shapes and sizes and can be made of a number of different materials, including felt, plastic, carbon, or a combination of these.

Types of orthotics fall into three main categories:

Rigid orthotics

These devices are used to control and improve function, and help relieve strain in the feet, ankles, legs, thighs, and lower back. These usually are best for dress or walking shoes.

Soft orthotics

These devices are used to absorb shock, increase balance, and relieve pressure from ligaments and tendons. They relieve pain associated with problems like arthritis and plantar fasciitis.

Semi-rigid orthotics

These devices provide balance and improved foot and ankle alignment during walking and sports. These can often help treat flat feet or alignment issues in children, as well as adults.

The type of orthotic that is best for you is determined by your podiatry team after a thorough physical exam. They fit you for your orthotic right in the office.

For your own custom-fitting and relief of your foot and ankle pain, call or book an appointment online today.

Our Services