Custom Footwear Modifications
Custom footwear modifications is a specialty service performed by our Pedorthists and our Pedorthic Technicians. Even though there are all different shape and sizes of footwear out there at times a client may need a modification to accommodate their foot. Orthopaedic modifications to footwear can be used to improve function, accommodate deformities, improve foot and leg biomechanics and alignment; as well as simply making your footwear fit your unique foot shape. Some examples would be internal to external lifts, rocker sole additions, custom stretching, wedging, widening a shoe to altering the pitch and angle of your footwear, and many more.
Custom lifts can be required for many reasons. It could be a recent hip replacement that leaves the patient with a shorter leg to a congenital birth defect. With a shorter leg the clients entire body alignment can be off. The person then adjusts their gait pattern to accommodate and can lead to pain and discomfort. By applying a lift internally or externally to their shoe can help.
A rocker sole modification to footwear helps to supplement lost range of motion in a joint, like the ankle, or help reduce pressure to certain regions of the foot. The starting position of the rocker, its thickness, how steep or curved the rocker is all are calculated into the design of the modification. In cases where the individual walks quite out-toed for example the rocker sole is also ground on an angle that matches this pattern. The sturdier the shoe the better the outcome with a rocker modification.
Probably the easiest shoe modification that can have immediate results. One of the most common stretches in a shoe is to the bunion area of a shoe. At times a client can not find a shoe the doesn’t fit their foot shape and constantly has pain in the bunion. By stretching the shoe upper to create a “pocket” offloads pressure to the bunion area.
Some other shoe modifications include bubble patches which are very similar to stretching to offload pressure. Excavations in the midsole to again take pressure off the sole of the foot. A flare or buttress can be used to stabilize foot motion or re-inforce a shoe for certain foot mechanics.
There are many aspects to treating foot and lower limb mechanics that our Pedorthists use. Custom Footwear Modifications are just one of the tools we can use to help treat our clients.