What are custom made orthotics?

Custom-Made? … All Orthotics Are Not Created Equal
Understanding the difference between what is custom-made and what is not is the key in getting the correct device. There are many in-shoe devices that are referred to as “orthotics” (medical term – ORTHOSES) but in actuality are simply, generic shoe liners. Insoles, arch supports and other ready-made products including “stand on the box” systems that deliver on-the-spot solutions are not custom orthotics. Nor are the orthotic systems that have you walk across a “special” mat. Despite the colourful pictures, these systems only measure pressure; they do not and cannot capture the unique 3-dimensional shape of your foot.


A Custom-Made Orthotic is a medical device that fits into your shoes  for the purpose of controlling abnormal motion of the foot, or to redistribute excessive plantar pressure.

For an orthotic to be considered “custom-made” it must have been created from a 3-dimensional, volumeric image of your foot.  The current gold-standard to create this 3-dimensional image is to use Plaster-of-Paris. Newer technologies, such as 3-dimensional scanners will also create the correct type of image for a custom orthotic. Any other technique is generally not accepted by the insurance carriers and will be rejected as a “custom-made” device.

Once a 3-dimensional image has been generated, and an appropriate prescription written (only chiropodists/podiatrists are certified to design and dispense a custom orthotic) it must be sent to a certified orthotic laboratory with the designation BAPFOL (Board for Accreditation of Prescription Foot Orthotic Laboratories. Only after this, does one truly receive a “custom-made” orthotic …

Make an Appointment now to ensure that your next pair of insoles are truly custom-made orthotics.


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