Orthotics are inserts that are placed in shoes.  There are two basic types: functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics are made from a variety of materials. Firm orthotics give support and control; soft orthotics give cushioning and shock absorption and can relieve pressure of a boney prominence and deformities. Most orthotics are made from a combination of materials. Orthotics are a way to customize shoes, control pain, and slow progression of deformities. Maintaining the foot in an optimal position gives comfort when walking and prevents compensations that cause knee, hip, and back pain.