Orthotics are commonly known as insoles and are worn inside shoes. They ultimately change forces on your foot and can be used for a variety of reasons.
Thin flat cushioned insoles available from a number of high street shops can improve general comfort. However, for people with foot complaints and pathologies, orthotics can be used for accommodative or functional purposes. These have a more contoured shape to them and are available in a wide range of device types.
Orthotics are prescribed for a number of reasons and will be patient specific. This is because every patient and problem is different. For example, there may be a need to strongly support the arch, take pressure from an area, add shock absorbency, address a limb length discrepancy, or encourage / reduce motion in a particular joint. Orthotics are generally divided into two types: off-the-shelf, and custom.
OFF THE SHELF ORTHOTICS
These devices are ready made to a generic shape but can be bought in different sizes, densities, arch heights, and top cover length and padding thickness. Some can also be semi customisable with add-on, or removable parts. The choice will depend on the patient and the problem being addressed. These generally fit well in most shoes and with them being mass produced, they are cheaper than custom.
Custom devices are made by taking a scan or cast of your foot and are uniquely made to fit the individual. There is an almost endless choice of materials and possibilities for these bespoke devices that allow the finest details to be included. These are useful to fit the exact contours of a patient’s foot and to be made to fit specific footwear. For example, you may have a half length, low profile device with a shell made of carbon fibre for a smart shoe, and for a running shoe, something with more shock absorbency and spring.
They are more expensive than off-the-shelf devices but last significantly longer. Once you have the ideal prescription, repeat devices can be made easily.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss orthotics and your foot problems.
T. – 0207 412 8882
E. – firstname.lastname@example.org
A. – 27 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QP
Steven Thomas, Senior Podiatrist @ Podogo