In our clinics, patients come to us looking for answers to several common questions; “What are the best shoes to buy?” and “Can I use my custom orthotics in shoes with arch support built-in?” top the list. While our answer is largely dependent on individual needs, there are some global recommendations that we offer to nearly everyone.
Orthotics work best in a well-structured shoe designed to accommodate custom insoles
While your orthotics might fit in many of your shoes, if the shoes are not designed to accommodate your custom orthotics, they might not be doing the best job. When orthotics are used in shoes that are too flexible, too unstable or too tight, the effectiveness of the orthotic insert is diminished, and can even cause problems. It is strongly recommended that orthotics be used in shoes with a removable footbed so that the volume within the shoe is not compromising the fit and function of the shoe or the orthotics.
Different foot types need a different type of shoe
Your Pedorthist is a wealth of knowledge on your individual needs and can make specific recommendations on what style of shoe is right for you and can best accommodate your orthotics. If you have not seen a Pedorthist, or simply want to choose the best shoe for your foot, see our guide on how to buy the right type of footwear.
Choose shoes that are suited to what you’ll be using them for
Running shoes and cross trainers are designed for activity. Dress shoes are not. Choosing the right type of footwear for the activities of your day is essential in your comfort and long-term injury prevention. If you’re stumped on what to wear because your day is unpredictable or varied, look for a well-structured casual shoe that’s suitable for mild activity or short bouts of walking, but stylish enough for the office.
Can I wear my custom orthotics with shoes that have built-in support?
Many shoes are structured with built-in arch support to provide extra support for those who need it, with or without an orthotic. When wearing custom orthotics, it’s important to discuss your footwear choices with your Pedorthist to ensure that the shoes are compatible with the orthotic devices they have made for you. In many cases, you can wear your custom orthotics with these shoes, but they may require an adjustment for comfort and function. In some cases, using a shoe with built-in support may provide more support than necessary, resulting in support that feels too aggressive. Talk to your Pedorthist about footwear options to adjust your orthotics to best suit your needs.
If you still have questions about what shoe is right for you and your orthotics, or for custom-tailored footwear recommendations, come see us in-store or book an appointment to see one of our Canadian Certified Pedorthists.
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