At Footman Podiatry I have access to a range of orthotics / insoles. I keep a stock of orthotics, normally covering shoe sizes 3 through to 10. As storage space is limited I cannot guarantee to have every size in, and may need to order. Where extra small sizes are needed - e.g. childrens, or extra large - 11+, and fully custom orthotics, where they have been manufactured from a cast, these will be a special order and a fitting appointment will be required.
What are Orthotics
Orthotics are designed to fit inside your shoes to help increase mobility within the foot which has restricted movement due to a biomechanical dysfunction (functional). Alternatively they help protect the foot against excessive force building up corns or callus (accommodative). In a nut shell, they'll help your foot move better or protect them against painful corns and hard skin.
What types of orthotics are there
Orthotics generally come in two general sizes - full length and 3/4 length. The materials used for the orthotics will vary depending on many factors, including the shoes they are to fit in, the function of the orthotics and the weight of the person using them.
A full length orthotic can be used when the shoe has an insole which can be removed, and has the space / capacity to accommodate it. A typical example of this is an runner with fallen arches (flat feet), and suffering from medial knee pain. A full length, flexible insole with good arch support and a shock absorbing materials.
A 3/4 length orthotic may be more suitable for use in a standard dress shoe (work shoe) where the insole is none removable and has limited space in toe box.
Materials for orthotics come is low, medium and high density foam, depending on the function of the insole and the weight / force pressing on it.
Perhaps you need orthotics to fit into a shoe with very limited space to accommodate the above orthotics. FootMan Podiatry can now offer Custom Moulded Carbon Fibre orthotics, with a Manufacturer's 'Life Time' warranty on the carbon fibre shell. Very thin, very strong.
So, now you know what orthotics are!
How do orthotics work?
Orthotics work by positioning the foot into a posture that aids the foot to move in the most efficient movement to ensure a smooth gait / walking pattern, or to deflect pressure away from an area of pain / trauma.
Are orthotics the only option?
If you have problems with your feet which will benefit from orthotics, but your footwear cannot accommodate them, you can buy shoes which have the orthotic build into the shoe!
At FootMan Podiatry, I have access to a good range of footwear which can provide the support your feet need!
Does everyone need orthotics?
In short - no! People who will benefit from orthotics will usually suffer from some form of discomfort or pain to the feet, knees or even the lower back! Typical problems can include limited range of movement in the big toe, flat feet (pes planus) - which can result in medial knee pain, heel pain and leg length difference! This is not a definitive list - just a few basic examples.
A very common problem I come across in clinic is a leg length difference in patients who have had a hip replacement. When the new joint is placed in the femur it can either extend or shorten the leg from a few mm, to an inch or more! This results in the hips being uneven and forcing a light curve to the lower back (lumbar curve). Over-time this can cause lower back-ache. A simple heel-raise for the shorter leg will correct this difference and help correct your back. For more information on hip replacements and back problems, read my blog.
If you are experiencing foot, knee or back ache, you may benefit from a full biomechanical assessment. Please feel free to contact me for a chat prior to booking.
Before & After
Custom orthotics / insoles can be made specifically for your foot problem, moulded to your feet (placed into the correct foot posture) and give the best support where the foot needs it. Pictures show the before and after product.