Many people are familiar with shoe inserts that you can buy in a grocery or retail store. You slip them into your shoes, and the inserts cushion your arch, heel, or sole of the foot. Shoe inserts are not custom orthotics; an orthotist or pedorthist examines your foot and specifically designs a custom foot orthotic for your foot and how you move. Orthotics combine the medical knowledge of anatomy with the science of engineering to create devices that provide comfort and support. They also improve physical form and function.