Your orthotics may have changed your life and resolved your foot, knee or ankle pain. However, you may have difficulty finding shoes that fit your orthotics. If you choose the wrong shoe, not only will your orthotics not fit correctly, but you may experience other problems with your feet associated with a poorly fitted shoe. Also, an incorrect shoe will prevent the orthotic from working correctly and may cause more harm than good. It is therefore essential that you choose the correct type of shoe.
- Skill level:
Take your orthotic with you to the shoe store. This is absolutely essential to ensure that the orthotic along with your foot fit into the shoe comfortably.
Wear the type of hosiery that you expect to wear with the shoes you are about to purchase. Do not try the shoes on with a thin stocking on if you generally wear thick socks.
Squeeze the heel counter on the shoe to make sure that it is firm and will assist the orthotic in supporting your foot.
Look for shoes with a removable insert. Removing this insert will provide more room in the shoe to accommodate your orthotic.
Find a pair of shoes with a lace or a strap. This will hold your foot against the orthotic both preventing your foot from slipping up and down and allowing the orthotic function well.
Bend and twist the shoe to ensure that it is not too flexible. The shoe should have firm shank (material that is embedded in the sole) and bend at the area that corresponds to the ball of the foot. If the shoe is very flexible, it will reduce the function of the orthotic.
Choose a shoe with a maximum heel height of 1.5 inches. This will allow the orthotic to sit well in the shoe. This may not be necessary if you have a dress orthotic made specifically for a higher heeled shoe.
Visit a specialised shoe store that stocks shoes specifically for orthotics or your podiatrist may be able to order you a pair.
Tips and warnings
- When buying new shoes always go at the end of the day. The feet swell as the day goes on, and your shoes need to accommodate your larger foot.
- It is best to wear your shoes at home for a few days to get used to them and to prevent the soles getting worn so that you have more chance returning them to the store if there is a problem.
- If the shoes do not feel comfortable in the store, do not buy them.
- An orthotic can be adjusted slightly to fit into a shoe, but for an orthotic to function well, it is made for your foot not the shoe. It is therefore necessary to choose a shoe that will accommodate your orthotic.