18 Years as a Certified Pedorthist

Diabetic Neuropathy has been my primary focus because the problems were obvious and you could see the results fairly quickly. I would estimate that 80-90% of the results were positive, but Full-Length orthotics on the other hand, not so much!

 

Functional Orthotics

Most orthotics are functional or in other words are designed to control abnormal motion, which requires the device to be thicker and more of an obstruction in the shoe. But most footwear sold today rarely has enough room for your foot, much less a thick orthotic! Functional full-length orthotics simply take up too much room in the average shoe which by the same token does not allow them to function properly. 

Depth Shoes

Depth shoes are footwear which has an extra 5/16” to 1/4” more depth from top to bottom, which allows more circumference so the device can function properly. This to me was proof that the full-length orthotics were made properly, but equally important that the customer’s selection of footwear was very limited. What the customer wanted was something to put in whatever shoe they want to wear, something that worked and was affordable!

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3/4” Rigid Orthotics

It dawned on me not long ago that I have had great success and not one complaint yet out of my 3/4″ length custom orthotics! The success came from the fact that this device takes up very little space in the shoe. You are not required to pull the original insert out of the shoe. Witch is a good thing because when you do this, it changes the way the shoe fits and functions.

With my custom orthotic, you are not required to change all your footwear, or go up to a new size shoe to create the room need to accommodate the orthotic. This is an “accommodative” orthotic. The orthotic accommodates your foot, and footwear, not the other way around.

 

Accommodative

Customized orthotics are placed right on top of the original insert, allowing the shoe to function as it was designed.  If you pull the original insert out of a new shoe, you are changing the way the shoe was designed to fit. Furthermore, if your orthotics are too thick under the heel, it can lift the heel transferring pressure to the ball of your foot creating unintended problems.

A full length insert with a deep heel cup can push your foot forward in the shoe. A ¾ length orthotic made to thick can make the front of the shoe feel tighter. Even a ¾ length orthotic, if too thick, can lift the heel and distort the way the foot sits in the heel seat.

 

Custom Orthotics

To the average consumer Thinks a thicker orthotic means better comfort.  They think “If I put it in my shoe and it really pushes hard on my arch, it must be effective! When I ask people who have custom orthotics if they are satisfied, maybe 25% of them without hesitation, say yes! The most common answer with a lot of hesitation is,” Yeah they are pretty good”. Rarely do folks tell me that they are completely satisfied! To illustrate this to the patient, I would have them try on an added depth shoe with their full length orthotic, and comparatively it felt great!

 

Conclusion

These are the kind of reaction I’m getting with our ¾ length, carbon fiber. It is about 1/8” thick, and it is molded to the exact shape of your foot! This orthotic being only 1/8” thick, does not obstruct the fit of the shoe, and being thinner, the molding is more detailed and precise resulting in each device, (left and right) accommodating each foot in detail, as needed! No more, no less. It doesn’t lift your heel which transfers more weight to the ball of the foot.  Even a thick ¾ length orthotics can lift the heel out of the heel seat, distorting the fit of the shoe, thus defeating the whole purpose of the orthotic! This is because in most case they were designed to fit your foot but not your shoe.

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As long as you make sure the shoe is not tight. It provides a little shock absorption under the metatarsal heads. It is no wider than the bottom of your foot so it will sit flat in the shoe instead of tearing up the lining of your shoe. It doesn’t look like much, but it is very effective, because it works with just about any shoe, as long as it is not tight. Yes Ladies, it will work with some slip-ons, but remember that slip-ons are designed to be too tight. If you have had orthotics in the past and are not happy with them, I suggest you try Lilburn Shoe Repair & Pedorthics!  The best part is Lilburn Shoe’s custom orthotics won’t break the bank and you can order them through the mail! rr,