Generally, there are 2 types of custom orthotics: Functional and Accommodative.
1) Functional foot orthoses provide control or correction for foot or gait abnormalities. Functional devices are commonly made from rigid materials that offer the most control. There are a few devices made with a more flexible shell for patients who cannot tolerate rigid devices. Some diagnoses which can be treated with functional devices are: plantar fasciitis, heel spur syndrome, forefoot varus or valgus, and generalized foot pain.
2) Accommodative foot orthoses are indicated for patients who are unable to tolerate the correction of a functional device. The focus of accommodative devices is to allow for certain foot deformities rather than to correct or control these deformities. As a rule, these devices are ordered with a semi-flexible shell, which will provide some support without rigidity. Some accommodative devices are simply soft molds. Accommodations such as pockets, cut outs or various pads can be incorporated. Accommodative devices are indicated for several diagnoses such as: fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia, diabetes, cavus foot, and generalized foot and leg fatigue.