The foot orthotic insoles market is currently a 3 Billion Dollar Industry that is heading to reach 3.5 Billion USD By 2020. Young, 31 year old entrepreneur, Laina Gossman has created a unique foot care solution that is turning heads and feet towards a new kind of support.
How can a small company break into an industry that has such big household names as Dr. Scholls to compete with? Simple answer. They have to work so well in taking the foot pain away that people can’t help but share their excitement. This is what’s happening! Before getting into the intricacies of this new design, let us first take note of the 2 kinds of orthotics out there. 1.Over the counter 2.Custom Made. Both Dr. Scholls and Soul Insole fit in the OTC (over the counter) category. It’s important to know that not all OTC insoles are the same. Some are hard, some soft, some more aimed for flat feet, others for high arches.
Despite the pressure from specialists to invest upwards of $200 for custom formed plastic orthotics if a person is experiencing foot pain, recent studies show that the nonprescription over-the-counter orthotics can be as helpful (or nearly as helpful) as custom orthotics for certain conditions. For example, in a 2014 study in Musculoskeletal Care (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
pubmed/23801649), people with plantar heel pain who wore over-the-counter orthotics for eight weeks had the same reductions in pain and disability as the participants who wore custom orthotics.
Another example (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
pubmed/10229276), in a study of 236 patients to test the difference of Custom versus Pre-Fabricated inserts, it was determined that prefabricated inserts were more likely to produce improvements than a custom device. In fact, the prefabricated orthotic group out-performed all the other study participants.
A study in Prosthetics and Orthotics International in 2015, concluded that using any of the three OTC insoles tested “would be beneficial for the treatment, or prevention, of musculoskeletal injuries such as plantar fasciitis.” Also, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons endorses OTC inserts for heel pain (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/
Even with the amount of money consumers often pay, there still seem to be a few common complaints with conventional orthotic inserts, both custom and OTC:
1. Rigid arch support is not easily adaptable and need a few days to get used to walking around in them. Also, rigid supports do not have impact absorption, which can be painful for the heel, especially if running or participating in higher impact activities.
2. Some orthotics can get fairly expensive with OTC orthotics ranging from $10-200 and custom fitted orthotics ranging from $90-600.
3. Some reports on durability are a concern. Since insoles are in direct contact with your feet all day, every day, they tend to wear down quickly and you may need to invest in another pair sooner rather than later.
4.Orthotics are bulky and crowd the shoes, causing the user to be forced into buying new shoes that are 1 size bigger to accommodate the orthotic insert. Only certain shoes will be able to fit an orthotic, which means that most dress shoes and sandals will not be available for the orthotic wearer.