Footwear – The first pair

Why have I been sent to the Orthotic Department?

You have been sent to the orthotic department to see if you need special footwear or advice on the type of shoes you should wear. You may have one or more of the following problems:

  • Bony changes in your feet, for example, bunions, claw toes.
  • Permanently swollen feet.
  • ‘At risk feet’, which need protecting, for example, loss of sensation.
  • Unusually shaped feet.
  • Difficulty in fitting an orthosis into your footwear.

What will happen?

The orthotist will assess your feet and after discussion with you, will determine the style of footwear which will be best for you. The orthotist will consider the following:

  • Your lifestyle.
  • Your diagnosis.
  • The movement and strength in your feet.
  • Variations in swelling.
  • The amount of feeling you have in your feet.
  • Your ability to take the shoes on and off and manage fastenings.

Often people do not need prescribed footwear, the orthotist will advise you what type of shoes to buy.

  • If you need prescribed shoes you will be supplied with them as quickly as possible.
  • Some shoes are kept in stock and can be supplied at your first appointment.
  • Others have to be ordered from the manufacturer.
  • Depending on the complexity of getting a good fit for your feet, you may have to attend when the shoes are half finished.
  • This means the shoes will not be complete at your fitting appointment.
  • They will be at a stage when they can be altered to improve the fit.
  • You will then have an appointment to supply the completed shoes.

How long should I wear my shoes?

All shoes must be worn in gradually. Gradually build up the wearing time by 1-2 hours daily, until you can wear your shoes comfortably all day.

Each time you take off your shoes check your feet.

Insoles and Adaptions

  • Most of our shoes come with 3 insoles to allow flexibility of fit.
  • You may have padded or moulded insoles made if this is needed for your condition. The shoes are made deeper to accommodate these insoles.
  • Soles and heels may be adapted on the outside to improve the way you walk.

What choice do I have?

  • Patients sometimes say that the shoes we provide seem bulky and could be more stylish.
  • Please remember why the footwear has been prescribed. Slim, fashion shoes may damage your feet.
  • The orthotist will try to have footwear made that is as attractive as possible while still meeting your needs.
  • The shoes are individually made, so it is not always possible to achieve style and patterns which are available with mass-produced shoes. We can offer a choice of colours, styles and materials. The orthotist will advise what is best for you.

What happens next?

When you have carefully bedded in your shoes, the orthotist will check them at a review appointment. If you are active and wear the shoes the majority of the time a second pair may be ordered. Alternative styles and colours can be discussed with the orthotist for the second pair.

Review Procedure

Please follow the review advice given to you by the orthotist.

If you require an appointment before this time, please contact the Orthotic Department on 01582 497198.