Foot orthoses or supports are designed to improve biomechanical issues of the foot and to improve the biomechanics of the feet. There are several various kinds of foot orthotics and techniques of making them for clincians to use and select from. Some people need and do gain from made to order foot orthotics while some may be helped by the simpler and less expensive mass-produced foot supports. What type is best for each individual depends on exactly what is causing the problems and what the treating specialist recommends is the best for that person. Many different foot orthotics include unique design features and a good podiatrist will try and match those up to the requirements of the individual. If this is not done the right way, then there may not be any improvement in the symptoms.
Foot orthoses are not without their issues. If they are not the right one for the individual, then they won't work. You are also restricted by what footwear you need to use, in that you need to be able to fit them into the shoe and there might not be adequate room. There are also types of shoes, such as the flip flops that they just can't be used in. This tends to pose a challenge in hotter climates that make closed in footwear needed for foot orthotics uncomfortable. You can find options, as an example, the Archies that have a foot support built in. The design of the arch supports in these flip flops are like what you would get in an over-the-counter arch support, but probably not as good as what you would get from a custom made foot orthotic. Using these Archies do provide a useful option to foot orthoses, depending on where one can wear them and also the character of the biomechanical problem. If you do need foot supports there is no harm in trying these types of choices or raising it with your treating clinician to see what they think.