So is the kiosk in Walmart touting "revolutionary footmapping technology" really a good product? According to their advertising, this technology identifies unique foot pressure points and arch type, then suggests a "Custom Fit Orthotic".
Where do we begin! Let’s start with the "revolutionary footmapping technology" part. This machine has you step on a computer mat and senses high pressure areas. But it doesn’t know if those high arch feet when standing still collapse like a pancake when walking. So the fancy machine suggests an insert with a high, firm arch. Once that patient starts walking with the large rock like thing in their shoe, and their arch collapses against it with every step, what pain they had before is then replaced with a brand new one!
Let’s move on to the "Custom Fit Orthotic" part. There is nothing "custom fit" about this process. A custom fit would require not only dispensing an orthotic made directly from a mold or 3D impression of both feet, but also a biomechanical exam, including gait analysis. This is what allows a patient to wear an orthotic that is made specifically for their foot type AND gait pattern.
There are people who will find these type of OTC inserts comfortable and can have pain relief. But the majority end up in our office with more pain then when they started.
Soapbox...no. Wanting the best possible for our patients...yes.