Anyone of any age category can benefit from a foot orthotic is required. Orthotics can assist a wide range of patients including those with foot discomforts to those with severe problems such as diabetic foot ulcers and many others. A Certified Orthopedic Footwear Specialist can provide a detailed assessment to confirm if a foot orthotic will assist a patient with a particular foot, leg, or even back problem. (1)
Your shoe is the foundation for your foot and provides a stable base for a foot orthotic to sit on. It is imperative that you wear appropriate footwear, as that can often be an important part of the treatment method. A foot orthotic can be rendered less effective by placing it within inferior footwear, as the shoe can work against the specific features of the orthotic. The foot orthotic is only as good as the shoe it goes into. (1)
The lifespan of a foot orthotic varies from patient to patient. The materials used to make orthotics, the patient’s foot structure, as well as current levels of activity, age, and physical condition will all have an impact on the orthotic. The lifespan of an orthotic should be measured by how long it meets your foot’s changing needs for support, correction, and pressure redistribution – not by the wear of the cover material. If your symptoms begin to return, have your orthotic reassessed to determine if modifications or a new device are necessary. (1)
Prescribing healthcare providers such as a family physician, write prescriptions for to their patients to refer them to Certified Pedorthists to assist with any pain and/or discomfort of the lower limbs or feet. These prescriptions can be as simple as “Please Assess and Treat” or as complex as a full biomechanical assessment that involves watching how they walk and distribution of weight on the lower limbs and feet. (2)
Custom shoes by definition are any shoe that has been made specifically for one individual. This is quite open ended and does include more than a NEED for custom shoes and could potentially include a person’s WANTS only. Because of the high cost of custom footwear, the wants are usually somewhat subdued.
Speaking of needs primarily, the term for custom shoes is usually expanded to Custom Orthopedic Footwear. Custom shoes are most often prescribed to address a structural foot deformity that cannot be effectively addressed with Standard Orthopedic Footwear. Some of the more common reasons for structural foot and lower limb deformities include: congenital anomalies, acquired and inherited disease conditions (polio, arthritis, diabetes, severe edema, etc.), accident victims, etc.
Typically, a pair of custom footwear is designed for individuals unable to comfortably get their feet into retail or orthopedic footwear due to a physical deformity. Without something built around the foot deformity, these individuals may not be able to wear typical shoes; being left to use soft unsupported slippers or sandals or unsightly cut-open standard shoes.
While foot pain is often debilitating, and finding comfortable footwear may be a challenge, custom-made footwear is not necessarily the answer. Custom Orthopedic Footwear is usually designed because of structural abnormalities, and while foot pain may be related to ill-fitting footwear, there are many pain causes that are sensory which are very difficult to treat with anything on the feet.
There are many Standard and Orthopedic footwear styles now available with new technologies and high tech materials and special designs to help accommodate a wider range of foot problems, than there was in bygone years. If pain persists, for best results, talk to a professional pedorthic specialist, trained in foot care and footwear fitting to determine the source of the problem. You will have best results if you treat the cause of the problem rather than trying to mask the pain with gimmicks.
Don’t worry! Whether your shoe needs a major overhaul or a simple fix, all of our repairs are done on-site, by detail-oriented craftsmen. We can replace various footwear components including the sole, heel, or eyelets, among other things. We also complete stitching procedures on shoes and boots due to a tearing in the fabric. Visit us in store for specific details about your shoe repair needs.
At Foot Foundation we specialize in various alterations and modifications to many types of footwear. We are happy to assist you with increasing the comfort, performance and cosmetics of your footwear. Our modification options vary from processes such as stretching the fabric of your footwear to adding wedges, closure modifications, or rocker soles. For a full list of shoe modifications available (and descriptions of each) check out our section on Shoe Modifications listed on our website. Call or visit us in store to find the right option for you.
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(1) "Orthoics FAQ." Pedorthic Association of Canada. Pedorthic Association of Canada. 2013. Web. 22 Aug. 2013.
(2) "Frequently Asked Questions: For Insurance Providers." Pedorthic Association of Canada. Pedorthic Association of Canada. 2013. Web. 22 Aug. 2013.