Foot orthotics are widely used to treat a range of biomechanical problem of the foot and leg. These foot orthotics are inserts that are worn in the shoe to try and change alignment of the foot in such a way that they help problems in the foot and leg. These problems range from, for example, plantar fasciitis in the heel to shin splints that can occur in the legs of runners. All the research evidence shows that the clinical outcomes with foot orthotics are generally good and most people that have them are satisfied with them. However, foot orthotics are only ever any good if you actually wear them. You do need to have proper footwear to wear them in and wear them enough for the problem they were prescribed for to resolve.
One of the problems with foot orthotics is that you need to use them in shoes. This can be a problem if you do not like wearing shoes or live in a hot climate where the wearing of shoes is difficult. In these climates people like wearing jandals (called ‘thongs’ in Australia) which you can simply not wear with a foot orthotic. There are several options that are available. One of those is to limit the time that you are not wearing the foot orthotics, so that you wear shoes with the orthotics enough and do not wear the sandals too much so that the painful problem does not occur. Another option is to use things like the arch support sandals or jandals such as the Archie Thongs from Australia. These have some arch support built into them and can generally be used instead of foot orthotics. Footwear like the Archies will generally not be as good as a properly made foot orthotic, but they would be more than adequate to supplement them and use when the proper footwear cannot or will not be worn.