Custom Orthotics


In order to design the most appropriate custom foot orthotic, we carry out a thorough 1 hr Pedorthic assessment. It is comprised of two major components, the biomechanical exam and the gait analysis. During this initial appointment we will also be reviewing your footwear so please bring in your most commonly used pairs for work, leisure and sports. Custom Orthotics are designed from this initial assessment. This includes material selection, modification design to alter foot function or alignment as well as foot orthotic profile and footwear fit goals.

OKAPED clinicians use HD Slow Motion Video analysis to aid in analyzing your gait. Many motions are imperceptible to the naked eye and OKAPED has used the advantages of Video from its 1st day in operation back in 1997. The exam is the crucial part of determining what is to be fabricated.

What is a Pedorthist?


Canadian Certified Pedorthists are healthcare professionals trained in the assessment of lower limb anatomy and biomechanics. They specialize in the design, manufacture and fit of orthotics, footwear and braces for the knee, lower leg, ankle and foot. Their goal is to help you recover and gain full mobility. OKAPED’s clinical staff are University graduates in the health sciences fields such as Kinesiology or Human Kinetics that then went on to do specialized training in Pedorthics.

Okaped Orthotics

Foot orthotics are devices made to address biomechanical or physiological problems. They can be used to treat conditions in the feet such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia or arthritis. They are also used in helping conditions of the knee, hip as well as the back. The most important aspect when considering treatment with custom orthotics is the examination process and knowing if a foot orthotic is an appropriate treatment choice for your condition.

Unlike over-the-counter solutions OKAPED custom made Orthotics are made specifically for the patient following an assessment of their feet and legs by one of our Canadian Certified Pedorthists. In order to evaluate a patient’s specific and unique requirements, we perform a gait (walking or running) analysis of the patient as well as a hands-on biomechanical assessment of the feet and lower legs. The Pedorthist then takes a three-dimensional model of the patient’s foot and an orthotic is made from raw materials.

OKAPED Custom Foot Orthotics are:

  • Designed from the details of your biomechanical assessment and gait analysis
  • Truly custom by vacuum forming specially selected materials to plaster models of your feet
  • Accurate, rapid, reliable fabrication done in OKAPED’s local lab in Kelowna. We do not “Mail Order” your orthotics.
  • Fabrication usually takes between 5-7 days from the casting until the orthotics are ready. A 24 hour rush service is available when required.
  • Material selection is chosen to match the requirements of our clients. We use soft foams to flexible and firm thermo-plastics

Orthotic Q and A

How OKAPED casts your feet.

In order to make truly custom orthotics a three dimensional image must be made of the foot.  Our Certified Pedorthists have been tested and certified by our College on methods that are deemed accurate and appropriate to make custom made orthotics. We do direct molding to the feet, Biofoam unweighted seated casting, and plaster of paris slipper casting. Since no one method is the best, each practitioner selects the best method based upon the individual needs of the patient. We manufacture your custom orthotics in our onsite lab and do not ship them out to be mass produced. This allows for our Pedorthists and Pedorthic technicians to work side by side to ensure a high quality and accurately fabricated device.  We have investigated digital scanners, milling machines and 3-D printers looking for technology advantages and found that each have advantages and disadvantages. If we change our methodology and techniques it will be noted here.

How Long do Orthotics Last?

The functional lifespan of a foot orthotic varies from patient to patient. The materials used to make the custom* foot orthotic, the patient’s foot structure, current levels of activity, age and usage all have an impact on its lifespan. The shell of the foot orthotic generally lasts longer than the top cover (the material used as an interface between the shell and the patient’s foot). Top covers will compress over time but can easily be replaced. The lifespan of a foot orthotic should be measured not by when the finishing touches (the cover material) wear out but by how long it meets the foot’s changing needs for support, correction and pressure redistribution. If your symptoms begin to return it is a good idea to have your orthotic reviewed to determine if modifications or a new device are necessary. We recommend changing soft shell orthotics every 2-3 years and semi-rigid orthotics every 3-5 years.

Adjustments do occur.

From time to time and for various reasons custom orthotics do require adjustments. Two common reasons would be increased comfort or increased correction. In either case we offer 1 Full Year of complimentary adjustments and appointments to ensure your satisfaction. We also pride ourselves in being able to do the work on site at every OKAPED clinic. Shipping them hundreds or thousands of Km away to have someone “tweak” your orthotics, taking up to 2 weeks to have them back in your shoes never made sense to us. In almost all cases we can do it right while you wait at your appointment.

*Custom Made
Unfortunately the word “custom” is sometimes abused and used on products that are mass produced. Custom should mean it is only made for you, and slightly altering a mass produced item or picking a size or height of a product is not making it custom. Ask how your custom orthotics are made for you.

Contact us to book an appointment for your knee, ankle, or foot condition.