A custom orthotic is an orthopedic device designed to treat or adjust various biomechanical foot disorders. They look like insoles but are custom-tailored medical appliances crafted to correct your specific foot imbalance. Custom orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes - they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. The plastic body of the custom orthotic helps to re-align the foot by redirecting and reducing certain motion that takes place during the gait cycle. Custom orthotics fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole - and they have the advantage of having been made from precise imprints of your feet.
At our clinic, we work with two veteran companies in the industry to bring you the highest-quality, most comfortable customized orthotic on the market. The Orthotic Group is a Canadian company that has been in business since 1985 and manufactures all orthotics at its base office in Markham. Our U.S. manufacturer is Foot Levelers who has been in business since 1952.
View our selection of custom orthotics by clicking the links below.
Who Should Use Custom Made Orthotics?
Custom made orthotics are used to correct poor foot mechanics, which may present as one or more of the following:
Localized foot pain
Hip or back pain - even neck pain
One side of the sole of your shoe wears out faster than the other
Your toes are not straight
Your feet point inward or excessively outward when you walk
You frequently sprain your ankle
In addition to treating active symptoms, custom made orthotics can be used to prevent future foot problems. For example, flat feet or very high arches can be asymptomatic for years; however, they can silently generate abnormal biomechanical stresses and over time weakens the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the feet. Furthermore, since our musculoskeletal system is a kinetic chain, having proper support at the base can help to promote better spinal alignment and a more balanced posture.
Orthotic footwear is a carefully selected line of off-the-shelf or stock footwear that can accommodate custom orthotics. We offer a variety of brand-name footwear for different usage: casual, dress, athletic. We also offer a selection of boots, sandals, clogs and even flip-flops.
Your order would include the selected footwear and a pair of custom made orthotics. The orthotics are custom-fitted to the selected footwear.
You can view our selection of orthotic footwear by clicking the links below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are custom made orthotics and how do they work?
Custom made orthotics are a functional and correctional device to help in prevention and treatment of injuries, biomechanical abnormalities and anatomical misalignment. The re-alignment of the muscles, tendons and joints allows the foot to be more efficient. If the bones are not in proper alignment there can be stress placed on the tendons and joints that, if left untreated, can lead to problems in your feet, back or hips. To minimize, stop or even reverse these problems the foot needs to be placed in a neutral position via the use of custom made orthotics placed in your footwear.
What is the difference between custom made and over-the-counter (OTC) purchased orthotics?
Store bought OTC orthotics are pre-fabricated and therefore are not specific to one's foot. These devices provide some cushioning but minimal control and no customizable modifications. If you’re in overall good health, there’s no harm in trying OTC insoles. But if you have a serious foot, knee, hip, or back problem or are not in good health (for example, you have diabetes), consult with a health care practitioner first. The wrong insole can make matters worse or cause injury if a serious condition goes untreated.
There is a significant price difference for OTC versus custom made devices because of the customization and materials used when making the orthotics. The quality and durability of the materials, coupled with the custom molding process, contribute to the expense of custom orthotics. They cost more, but last longer and can be more effective.
Why is it important to put orthotics in proper footwear?
A shoe acts as a foundation for the foot and provides a stable base for the orthotic. Wearing appropriate footwear is imperative, as the footwear itself is an important treatment method. A foot orthotic can be rendered less effective if it is placed in inferior footwear as the shoe may work against the features of the orthotic. The foot orthotic is only as good as the shoe it goes into.
One important thing to note is that in choosing a footwear, you should select one that has removable insole so that it can be taken out to make space for the custom made orthotics. If you plan to purchase a new footwear from the store, be sure to try them on with your orthotics. You want to make sure the orthotics fit snuggly into the shoe.
Should I wear my custom orthotics all the time?
The longer you wear your custom made orthotics the more benefit you will get out of them. If your daily activities vary to the extent that you change your footwear, then you should have a second pair of custom orthotics designed for that specific activity. We offer a selection of custom made orthotics to fit appropriately into the different footwear whether it be casual shoes, runners, dress shoes, high heels or sandals.
Would wearing custom orthotics weaken muscles in the feet?
Custom orthotics will not reduce muscles tone. They will help position your foot so you will be using the right muscles at the right time, minimizing fatigue and allowing your muscles to be used more efficiently.
How long will a foot orthotic last?
The lifespan of a foot orthotic varies from patient to patient. The materials used to make the foot orthotic, the patient’s foot structure, levels of activity, age and physical condition all impact the orthotics’ lifespan. The lifespan of a foot orthotic should not be measured by when the cover material wears out but by how long the orthotic 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 reassessed to determine if modifications or a new device are necessary.
In general, most extended health insurance that provide coverage for custom orthotics allow for a new pair either annually or every two years.
I have extended health coverage for custom made orthotics, how do I place an order?
The process for ordering custom made orthotics when you have insurance coverage involve three main steps:
1.Visit a medical doctor to obtain a “referral” for getting custom made orthotics. The referral needs to indicate the problem you’re having and the recommended solution which is “custom made orthotics”. It is best to obtain your referral before making an appointment at our clinic or latest by the date which you pick up your orthotics.
2.Make an appointment at our clinic for the examination and casting of the orthotics. We recommend you bring with you the footwear you plan to put your orthotics in when you come to your appointment. Full payment of the orthotics is required before the order is placed with the manufacturing company. If only the exam and casting is performed, the fee for service is $50 (will be credited towards the full cost of the orthotics when the order is placed and paid in full at a later date).
3.You will be contacted once your orthotics arrive. At your visit to pick up the orthotics, you will be instructed on how to use and fit the device into your footwear. You will also be provided with all the required documentation to submit to your insurer for reimbursement.
IMPORTANT: In order to get reimbursement from your insurance company, “Chiropractors” has be listed as one of the practitioners who are eligible to “dispense” the orthotics. It is the patient’s responsibility to contact their insurance company to inquire about the specific terms of coverage and requirements for reimbursement.