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Orthopaedic Footwear

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What Are Orthopaedic Shoes?

Orthopaedic shoes are specially designed footwear that provide more support for the feet and ankles than basic footwear; they are essentially the gold standard of footwear.  Contrary to popular belief:

  1. Orthopaedic shoes are worn by people of all ages, not just the elderly (foot pain does not discriminate)
  2. You can find find very stylish and fashionable orthopaedic shoes (you can view our online shop for some great options)

Some private insurers cover the cost of orthopaedic footwear if it is prescribed by a medical doctor or chiropodist. For more information, see the “Insurance & Coverage” section below

If you think you would benefit from getting a pair of orthopaedic shoes, start by booking an appointment with one of our chiropodists. At your appointment, a chiropodist will conduct a comprehensive biomechanical assessment and gait analysis and may write you a prescription for orthopaedic footwear depending on their findings. Orthopaedic shoes are available for purchase and special order at our foot clinic. You can then browse our in-clinic shop with our knowledgeable staff to select the best shoes for you.  We can also order orthopaedic footwear on your behalf if we don’t have it in stock.

A complimentary shoe-fitting is included with all orthopaedic footwear purchases.  Once your shoes arrive, you can try them on at our foot clinic and our footwear specialists will make sure they fit properly.

Conditions Treated

Orthopaedic shoes are an important piece of the treatment puzzle for those suffering from functional or structural foot problems, such as:

The Process

How Can I Get Orthopedic Shoes?

Our orthopaedic footwear services are available by either 1) Appointment with a chiropodist; or 2) Drop-in at our foot clinic if you already know what you need.

Footwear Assessment with a Chiropodist: 

A licensed chiropodist will assess your feet and biomechanics to determine the best orthopaedic footwear to fit your feet’s needs.  They will then make a recommendation or write a prescription.  Afterwards, our footwear team can help you find and select the right shoes from our specially curated selection based on the chiropodist’s recommendations, and ensure they fit properly.

Click here for more information about our Foot Assessments

You can fill out our online booking form to book an orthopaedic footwear assessment with our feet specialists.  No referral is required. 

See the insurance section below for information above coverage of chiropodist and orthopaedic footwear services.  

Drop-In At Our Foot Clinic:

If you already have a prescription or know what you need, you can check out our online shop (coming soon) or drop by our clinic during office hours to select the footwear that best fit your needs.  Our knowledgeable staff of footwear experts can examine your feet and help you find the perfect shoes.  We can also special order them if we don’t have them in stock.

Please note:  A prescription from a foot specialist or chiropodist is required by most insurers to cover the cost of orthopaedic footwear.

Insurance Coverage

Are Orthopaedic Shoes By Insurance?

Orthopedic shoes are covered under many supplemental insurance plans according to the guidelines of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. However, each insurance company has their own stipulations about what brands that they will cover.

If you are unsure about your benefits and orthopedic footwear coverage, check with your employer’s HR department or your insurance provider. Insurance quotes for orthopedic footwear are recommended to ensure that specific makes and models are approved.  Feet First Clinic can also help you get a policy breakdown on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits Of Orthopaedic Shoes?

Orthopaedic shoes are good for the sole. After all, ‘ortho” means ‘correct’ and ‘pedic’ means ‘foot’. By definition, they are as good as shoes can get for your feet. Orthopaedic shoes are designed to fit correctly in order to properly support and accommodate the structure and mechanics of the feet and legs in all the right places (80% of foot problems are due to ill-fitting shoes).

How Are Orthopedic Shoes Different Than Basic Footwear?

Compared to basic off-the-shelf footwear, orthopaedic shoes usually have these key structural characteristics:

  • Extra firm heel counter:  Cradles the heel to anchor the foot and reduce overpronation
  • Wide toe box:  Extra room allows toes to move freely, reducing crowding, rubbing, and excess pressure on bunions and hammertoes
  • Stretchable upper:  Ensures your feet maintain the correct or natural shape when you wear them. In other words, an orthopaedic shoe conforms to the contours of your foot instead of your foot conforming to the shape of the shoe.
  • Extra sizing options:  Available in a range of widths such as wide, extra wide, and extra extra wide, to offer a more precise fit
  • Protective Interior:  Soft, smooth, and breathable interior fabric that provides gentle contact with the foot to prevent blisters, calluses, and corns, which can be especially important in individuals with diabetes.
  • Performance midsole:  Absorbs shock and promotes a natural gait
  • Removable insoles:  Many people who need orthopaedic shoes also need custom orthotics so this makes it easy to swap in custom devices or over-the-counter insoles that provide further comfort and support

What Styles Of Orthopaedic Shoes Are Available?

Feet First Clinic carries orthopaedic sneakers, shoes, boots, booties, loafers, sandals, slippers, and even pumps from designer brands including:

  • Aetrex
  • Birkenstock
  • Clarks
  • Asics
  • FitFlop
  • Ara
  • Anodyne
  • Apex
  • Mephisto
  • Portofino
  • Naot

You can check out our comprehensive collection at our online shop (coming soon), or in person at our foot clinic at your assessment.

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