What are ORTHOPAEDIC SHOES? Necessity or Trick Advertising? |
What are ORTHOPAEDIC SHOES? Necessity or Trick Advertising? |  2
What are ORTHOPAEDIC SHOES? Necessity or Trick Advertising? |  3

What are ORTHOPAEDIC SHOES? Necessity or Trick Advertising?

As I enter a department shoe store, I get overwhelmed with flamboyant displays and variety of futuristic shoe styles on the shelves. I feel like a kid in a candy store.
However, due to my mild foot problems I can never get those shoes to fit me right. To get some help with my foot and back aches I went to my doctor and he recommended that I purchase an orthopaedic shoe. “An orthopaedic shoe?” I cried, remembering an ugly looking shoe on the feet of my eighty-year old grandmother, “No way!, I am too young to wear such non fashionable shoes” and I chose to suffer. Well, that was me about 1 year ago. Now I realize that my suffering cannot go on any longer, and on my way from work decided to step into one of these orthopaedic shoe stores.

I went into Orthomed Clinic and Supply at 7200 Airport Rd, North of Derry Rd. in Mississauga. To my delight I have met a Pedorthist,  a very pleasant and knowledgeable lady that explained to me that orthopaedic shoes are not necessary dreadfully looking and heavy to wear, on the contrary, modern orthopaedic shoes are stylish, made of different materials (including leather), light weight and quite fashionable.
I decided to interview the foot specialist, so to give our reader more information on orthopaedic footwear and its necessity.

Q: Can you please elaborate on why might one need to wear an orthopaedic shoe?
A: Definitely, an orthopaedic shoe is designed to be worn by people with foot problems; however one does not have to have a severe deformity to wear such shoes. For example, orthopaedic shoes would be perfect for such conditions as flat foot, diabetes, heel pain due to heel spurs, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, high or low arch, metatarsalgia, rolling in (ankle valgus) and rolling out (ankle varus) of ankles. However, if one does not have these specific conditions, but has a wide foot, different size feet, experiences back or knee pain, has poor posture, spends a lot of his day standing or walking, then orthopaedic shoes would be a perfect solution for you. Generally, when a person comes to my store I ask him what is his line of work? As a rule of thumb, health care professionals, sales/retail personnel, waitresses/hospitality workers, factory employees, cashiers, airline employees, overweight individuals, marathon runners, pregnant women  and new mothers are very good candidates for orthopaedic shoes.

Q: Mrs. Kay, what is the difference between orthopaedic shoe and regular shoe? If any?
A: There is a huge difference between orthopaedic and fashion shoes, especially when it comes to the design and materials used. Let me explain to you what are the characteristics of orthopaedic shoes. First of all, orthopaedic shoes come in variety of widths in order to accommodate toe shape, whereas most fashion shoes are strictly narrow fit, such fit can lead to bunions. Remember that the right footwear in the right size actually improves the way your body responds to daily stresses. When you wear the wrong size, the body constantly works to keep the foot properly positioned in the shoe–resulting in body fatigue. Secondly, orthopaedic shoes have broad sole, this ensures stable heel and shank, also provides foundation for orthopaedic devices (such as custom made orthotics).
Usually orthopaedic shoes are deeper than fashion shoes, this feature helps to accommodate an orthotic. Most orthopaedic shoes have adjustable closures. The sole of orthopaedic shoes is designed to aid in biomechanics of the foot, rocker soles are used to ease propulsion. Another feature that distinguishes an orthopaedic shoe from fashion shoe is the type of materials used in construction.
Whereas both may be made from leather, orthopaedic shoes would have less seams, this reduces skin irritation and prevents pressure points, reduction of which is vital for patients with diabetes. Furthermore, orthopaedic shoes are design to provide arch support. This is vital for patients with flat feet or for those that tend to pronate during walking. Lastly,  the lining of orthopaedic shoes is made from breathable materials that allow the foot to perspire normally, leading to healthy skin and prevention of fungal growth.

Q: My grandmother has diabetes, are orthopaedic shoes right for her?
A: Yes. In my professional opinion, all diabetic patients must wear orthopaedic shoes. In diabetes, foot problems arise from poor circulation that causes decreased sensitivity in the foot. Clinical studies have shown that orthopaedic shoes and custom made orthotics play a vital role in diabetic foot care. Since orthopaedic shoes are extra deep and can accommodate custom made orthotics, which reduce and redistribute pressure in the foot.  Also, some shoes are made from stretchable materials and have no seams; these features better accommodate the diabetic foot.

Q: What about sport shoes? Can running shoes be orthopaedic?
A: Absolutely. We work with such brand names as Aertex and Dr. Comfort, which specialize in orthopaedic sports footwear. These sport shoes are build based on studies of pressure distribution during running, that redistribute those points and provide most comfortable running experience.

Q: What is a difference between an Orthopaedic shoe and orthotic?
A: Orthopaedic shoe is a complete shoe, manufactured with some modifications, such as extra depth, width, removable insole.  Orthopaedic shoes have their own, non custom made orthotics which provides extra support for the foot. On the other hand, foot orthotics (also known as orthotic insoles or shoe inserts) are devices placed inside the shoes to control and “normalise” foot function.

An orthotic helps to improve structural changes of the foot by re-aligning the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, allowing the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the foot to function at their highest potential, hence restoring natural foot function. I believe that the winning combination would be a mixture of orthopaedic shoes AND custom made orthotics, that way the improvement of your foot discomfort is guaranteed.

Q: I have insurance coverage through my employer, would orthopaedic shoes be on the list of things covered?
A: Yes, in most cases all insurance plans have provisions for orthopaedic shoes and custom made orthotics, however in order to be reimbursed fully a client has to follow certain steps. It varies from plan to plan, but generally, a client is advised to get a referral from their family doctor, indicating diagnosis, first. With the referral, the client shall go to see a foot specialist in order to get biomechanical analysis and a cast (for an orthotic).  Here, at ORTHOMED Clinic and Supply, we take care in making sure that the client is pleased with the quality of the product and the paperwork satisfies the standards of one’s insurance coverage. If we do not have a shoe that you like in stock or have sold out your size, no worries, one can select from variety of catalogues and we would custom order it for you.

Q: Is there anything you might recommend to our readers?
A: Yes, I would recommend to your readers to always deal with professionals when it comes to medical matters. There are many stores out there that offer the services of orthotics and orthopaedic shoes, however, in many instances the employees of the stores are mere sales people and are not qualified to give proper advice to their patients. Make sure that you are in good hands, ask questions, and if you are not satisfied with the information provided-go to a foot specialist.

I would like to thank the staff at Orthomed Clinic and Supply for helping my selecting comfortable and good looking orthopaedic shoes. I am a nurse, I am on my feet all  day long. Thanks to the new shoes, my feet don’t feel as tired anymore and pain in my back has decreased too. Also, my insurance company reimbursed my purchase fully.     Navita 45, Brampton.

I am a construction worker, naturally I am on my feet all day long, at the end of the day I feel tired and my back was killing me. All that has changed once I have purchased orthopaedic safety boots at Orthomed. Plus I got a free shoe care kit with my purchase.        Jeff 36, Mississauga.

If you would like to have a consultation regarding orthopaedic shoes or orthotics, you can see trained practitioners at ORTHOMED Clinic and Supply, call 905/671-0200 to book an appointment.


This entry was posted in Devices, Health, Products. Bookmark the permalink.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please contact us:

  • Phone: 905.671.0200
  • Fax: 905.671.0270
  • Email: or fill contact form online.
| Share |