Foot orthoses or supports are made to correct biomechanical issues of the feet and to strengthen the biomechanics of the foot. There are lots of different kinds of foot orthotics and techniques of fabricating them for doctors to use and select from. Many people require and do reap the benefits of customized foot orthoses while others will be helped by the easier and less expensive mass-produced foot supports. What type is right for each person is based on precisely what is leading to the problems and just what the treating doctor advises is best for that individual. Many different foot orthotics include diverse design features and a good clinician will attempt and match those up to the needs of the individual. If this is not done the right way, then there may not be any kind of improvement in the problem.
Foot orthotics are not without their issues. If they are not the correct one for the individual, chances are they won't work. You are also restricted by what footwear you need to use, in that you have to be able to fit them into the footwear and there may not be adequate space. There are also kinds of footwear, such as the flip flops which they simply can not be used in. This can present a challenge in warmer climates that make closed in shoes needed for foot orthoses uncomfortable. You can find options, as an example, the Archies that have a foot support integrated. The shape of the arch supports in these flip-flops are similar to what you should get in an over-the-counter arch support, but probably not as good as what you will get from a custom made foot support. Using these do provide a helpful option to foot supports, based on where one can wear them and also the character of the biomechanical problem. If you do need foot orthotics there is no harm in trying these types of alternatives or raising it with your treating doctor to see what they think.