Orthotic Insoles: What Materials Do We Use?
What are insoles and why do we use them
Orthotic insoles are medical devices used to support the feet and address issues such as foot pain, back pain, misalignments, and injuries. They can be made from a wide variety of different materials and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Some common reasons for employing orthotic insoles:
- Flat feet or feet that overpronate
- For individuals with abnormally high or low arches
- Plantar fasciitis
- Arthritis and other joint conditions
- Bunions and corns
Orthotic insoles materials and what they are good for
Depending on your reason for wearing orthotics, your podiatrist or doctor may make recommendations on the types of inserts that would be suitable. Below, we discuss some of the common materials insoles are made of and what they are designed to do.
- Closed cell polyurethane – This material appears to be made of many small bubbles of foam that have been tightly packed together. After they have been compressed, these bubbles are capable of expanding back into their original shape. Due to this characteristic, closed-cell polyurethane is an excellent material for cushioning the foot and providing flexible support. In orthotic inserts, closed-cell polyurethane is frequently used at the arch areas to correct foot misalignments.
- PORON foam – PORON foam is an open-cell foam that is rubber-like. When compressed, it allows air to escape from the spaces within the foam. After release, air returns to the foam and it acquires its initial structure. This type of foam is much more resistant to wear and tear, which makes it great for longevity. It is usually used in high-pressure areas of the foot such as underneath the big toe, at the balls of the feet, and at the heels.
These materials are often used in combination with a single orthotic. You will find that areas that require more padding will be made of closed-cell polyurethane, while areas that undergo more stress employ PORON foam. Of course, there are many more types of materials used in the manufacturing of insoles but these two are routinely found in high-quality orthotics.
Got more questions regarding orthotics and foot health?
Feel free to comment below with questions you may have regarding orthotics, their materials, and overall foot health. We also have professionals at the ready at docpods.com/au who would happily help address any concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!