The shoe inserts pictured here were purchased as a way to "spend" down Ms. A.'s flex account. Orthotics are an important part of this forty-something female's footwear philosophy. There was a shortage of support for casual and dress shoes, so it made sense to spend on some form of support that could be used with flats and moderate heels.
The athletic inserts that go in Ms. A.'s sneakers run about four hundred bucks -- generally not covered by insurance. The high price was part of the reason that a dress variety was not sought. However, sore knees and arches signaled that it was time to do something.
Lacking a lot of time to get to the podiatrist, but still wanting a quality pair of inserts, Ms. A. went to a local Good Feet Store. The inserts she picked were just around $230. The carbon soles were included. An additional purchase was a device called a "Strassburg Sock." This will help stretch out tight instep muscles that can cause plantar fascitis -- a condition this fit female encounters in the warm months when running mileage is increased.
While cheaper insoles can be bought in shoe stores and drug stores, Ms. A. opted to spend more for this set. They should last indefinitely and because the expense was reimbursable, it made sense to spend rather than lose the funds all together.
Anyone looking to spend down a flex account might want to consider arch supports. They are rather costly -- but they also do a great job of relieving foot and knee pain, back strain and other pesky issues which crop up in middle age.