Foot orthotics are typically used to deal with a variety of biomechanical disorders of the feet and lower leg. These foot orthoses are inserts that are worn in the shoe to attempt to improve alignment of the feet in such a way that they help disorders in the foot and leg. These complaints vary from, for example, plantar fasciitis in the heel to medial stress syndrome that can happen in the legs of runners. All the research evidence shows that the clinical outcomes with foot orthotics are likely to be very good and most people that have foot orthotics are satisfied with them. However, foot inserts are only ever be any good if you in fact wear them. You do need to have suitable shoes to use them in and use them enough for the disorder they were required for to get better.
One of the difficulties with foot supports is that you need to use them in footwear. This is often a dilemma if you don't like using footwear or live in a hot environment in which the wearing of shoes is problematic. In these climates people like wearing jandals (known as ‘thongs’ in Australia) which you can not really use with a foot supports. There are numerous alternatives that you can get. One of those is to restrict the time that you're not wearing the foot orthotics, so that you wear footwear with the foot supports enough and don't wear the flip flops too much so that the painful problem does not occur. Another option is to use such things as the arch support sandals or jandals such as the Archie Thongs from Australia. These have some arch support included in them and may typically be used instead of foot orthotics. Shoes much like the Archies will generally not be as good as an adequately made foot orthotic, however they could be more than adequate to supplement them and use when the proper footwear can't or will not be worn.