Feet are a complex part of the body as there are numerous small bones which are joined together by a great number of ligaments and moved by so many muscles. Furthermore we take the bodyweight on the foot and subject it to so many pressures. To make it worse we put the feet inside the unnatural environment of a shoe. It's because of this that the vocation of podiatric medicine exists since there is just so much that will go wrong with the feet and related structures. Podiatry practitioners use a wide range of different treatments for treatment of conditions of the foot and lower limb.
Foot orthoses can be used to treat the wide range of conditions that can go wrong with the feet. The purpose of foot orthoses are to change alignment of the foot towards a more corrected normal position or to lessen the load in structures of the foot which might be producing symptoms so that they can get better. The foot orthotics do that via having various design attributes which are supposed to match the foot. A custom made foot orthotic will do that. However, prefabricated orthotics are capable of doing this, usually by chance. They might or may not match the foot of the person with them as opposed to a customized insert will. There are many different variations that may be varied, like the elevation of the arch as well as the level of padding. There are even designs referred to as the Kinetic wedge and Cluffy Wedge .
Sometimes the inexpensive over-the-counter type supports are better and other times the custom made ones are more effective. It will all depend upon the nature of the condition, the foot type and shape as well as the advice of a good specialist in regards to what is the better alternative. If you have a problem with the feet and think you need some foot supports, then go to a good podiatrist.