DISCLAIMER:  I am not a podiatrist, foot doctor, orthotic specialist, etc.  I’m just an average, run-of-the-mill schmuck who thought $400 per pair for custom orthotics was excessive.

In December, 2008, I woke up unable to walk on my left foot.  I was diagnosed with “Posterior Tibial Tendonitis, Type II.”  The result was a fallen arch.  The ankle specialist (an orthopedic surgeon) prescribed an orthopedic boot ($225) for 6 weeks, followed by physical therapy & custom orthotic insert ($400).

Not knowing what I know now, I paid full price ($225) for the orthopedic boot.  Unfortunately, I could have gotten a used one on eBay for $45; a new one on eBay for $75; and a new one from MedexSupply for $104.  My insurance didn’t cover any portion of the boot.  Didn’t really care as the boot took away all the pain I had been experiencing.

Next came the custom orthotic inserts for $400.  Again, not knowing anything about these, I went ahead and purchased a set.  Of course, my insurance paid nothing for orthotic inserts either.

I wore the orthotic inserts for a week and went back because they were painful, especially on my left foot.  It felt like it needed more arch support.  The orthotic specialist placed a HAPAD, Inc.Scaphoid Pad” (medial arch pad made of felt) on the left orthotic insert.  Although it didn’t hurt as much, it now felt like it had too much arch support.

Scaphoid PadsScaphoid Pads

I hate wearing shoes when I get home from work.  Inside, I used to always go barefoot in the summer; barefoot w/thick socks in the winter.  Outside, when not at work, I always wore sandals.  Well, now the doctor says NOT to go barefoot or wear sandals.  I tried to place the orthotic inserts in a pair of my sandals, but no go — they just slid out the back.  The orthotic guy sold me a pair of cheap crocs ($36) in which he placed the HAPAD, Inc. scaphoid pads ($25) & said I could wear those.  They felt pretty good, but the crocs pretty much sucked.

Crocks w/scaphoid pads

I was now anxious to see if I could place these scaphoid pads in my sandals.  I went to the HAPAD, Inc. web site & found that for fallen arches, they recommended the Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pads for $5.75 per pair.  Their Scaphoid Pads are only $5.25 per pair (almost 5 times less than the orthotics shop sold them for).

Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pads

I first placed the scaphoid pads in two pair of my sandals.  They felt great!  I removed them & then installed the Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pads.  They felt even better!  In fact, much better than the custom orthotic inserts felt in my regular walking shoes.  I got to wondering if I could use these in all my regular shoes.

Sandals w/scaphoid padsSandals w/longitudinal metatarsal arch pads

Well… that’s primarily what HAPAD manufactures them for — shoes, not necessarily sandals.  HAPAD also sells Comf-Orthotic Sports & Extra Cushioning Insoles ($14.50), and these are perfect for placement on top of the Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pads or Scaphoid Pads that are placed in the bottom of each shoe.

HAPAD Comf-Orthotic insoles

Oh… before doing this, you need to remove whatever insole is present in your shoes.  I’ve found some shoes in which the insole is glued in… it’s difficult to use them with these pads unless you can get the original insoles out.

Anywho’s… I’ve been wearing my “custom” orthotics (HAPAD Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pads with Comf-Orthotic Sports or Extra Cushioning Insoles) in all my shoes for over a year now & my feet haven’t felt this good in over a decade.  In addition, with either the scaphoid pads or longitudinal metatarsal arch pads, I still get to wear all my sandals whenever I want, including all day, with my feet still feeling great.  Only thing I don’t do anymore is go barefoot.

Shoes w/insoles removed & longitudinal metatarsal arch pads insertedShoes w/longitudinal metatarsal arch pads & Comf-Orthotic insolesShoes w/longitudinal metatarsal arch pads & Comf-Orthotic insoles

And the cost?  For shoes, about $20 per pair.  For sandals (pads only), less than $6 per pair.  Sure beats the heck out of $400 custom orthotics!

Note:  If you visit the HAPAD web site via their home page, be sure to enter the “Patient Guide” side vs. the “Physician’s Guide” side, as the prices are slightly less on the Patient side.