The foot is a complex area of the body as there are so many small bones that are joined together by so many ligaments and controlled by a lot of muscles. In addition to that we take weight on the foot and subject it to so many pressures. To make it even worse we place the foot inside the unnatural environment of a shoe. It's for this reason that the profession of podiatry exists since there is just so much which may go wrong with the feet and connected structures. Podiatrists utilize a lots of different treatments to treat conditions of the feet and lower limb.
Foot orthoses are often used to treat the wide range of conditions that can go wrong with the foot. The goal of foot supports are to improve the posture of the foot in the direction of a more corrected normal alignment or to reduce the strain in structures of the feet which can be leading to problems to enable them to heal. The foot supports do that via having different design attributes which are meant to match the feet. A bespoke foot orthoses will do that. However, over the counter orthoses can do that, usually by chance. They may or might not match the feet of the person with them as opposed to a bespoke orthoses will. There are numerous characteristics that can be varied, like the elevation of the mid-foot along with the degree of shock absorption. There are even designs called the Cluffy Wedge .
Occasionally the more cost-effective over-the-counter type supports are better and other times the custom ones are better. It will all be determined by the type of the problem, the foot type and shape as well as the advice of a good podiatrist in regards to what is the better option. For those who have a problem with your feet and think you need some foot orthoses, then see a good foot doctor.