Orthotics & Insoles
Orthotics are similar to insoles, in that you put them into your shoes, except that they are used to alter the foot function when you walk. They are prescribed according to your needs and therefore the shape and size differs for different people - so never wear someone else's orthotics!
You can think of orthotics like glasses - if someone has bad eyesight, the optician will check the eyes and prescribe a lens to correct this problem; that person then has to find a frame to fit - the better suited the frame is to the lens, the better the glasses work.
Similarly, your podiatrist/chiropodist will advise you on the type of footwear you should wear for your particular orthotics and the better the shoes the better the orthotics work. It is possible to have several pairs of orthotics to fit different types of shoes, or just the one pair that fits into shoes that you wear most often (or shoes that give you a certain pain or discomfort). They are not painful or uncomfortable to wear, but it is important that you have the right ones for you as small variations in the orthotic can significantly change your lower limb and foot function and may be harmful.
At The Foot Space we stock a range of orthotics and insoles that you can take away on the day of your appointment. We also prescribe custom orthotics that have to be sent to a lab to be made and may take about 2 weeks until they are ready for collection. Custom orthotics are made specifically for your needs and can be prescribed by using specific measurements or may be made from a cast of your feet. When your orthotics are ready to be picked up, you will need to come in and have them checked against your feet. You should also have your orthotics reviewed as recommended by your clinician, and have new ones made should they eventually wear out.