Often loosely described, an orthotic is, in the clinical sense, a prescriptive, specialized, and typically customized insole (or add-on to an insole), that fulfills a postural or biomechanical purpose for a diagnosis of a problem or issue. An orthotic is different from a padded insole, in that an insole is typically generic to an average or idealized foot type, and adds padding, and is not specific to a problem, like pronation. Orthotics are corrective. There are several ways to obtain an orthotic. The first, and lowest specificity, would be to select one that is simply a postural normal, which would typically be found in any drugstore, matched only as to size, and perhaps an issue or diagnosis, like “pronation” or “heel spur”. The second level would be a more specific orthotic, very specific to a problem, like pronation, although it might have adjustments that can be made to customize it. The third level is to examine the gait or walk, measure the patient and match the findings of the measurements to a set of different without text with different variables. This is typically done professionally. The fourth and highest level is to mold or measure the foot, and typically measure the weight distribution using a technical scanner device. This process is very technical, and may involve an outside laboratory. An important thing to consider is that while one can spend a lot of money or a little bit of money on an orthotic, it is hard to say which one will work the best. A shortcut might be to try the best and most specific, but that would also be the most expensive pathway. The long way but potentially more cost-effective would be to try the cheaper options and see if they worked first, and then progressed to the more expensive option. A specialist like a chiropractor can often assist with this process. Many athletic stores now have specialized equipment on site, but that may be geared to selling their merchandise.