How to choose footwear for adaptation

How to Choose Sole Footwear for Adaptation

What is a shoe adaptation?

Something which is done to the outside of a shoe, for example:

  • A raise for a short leg.
  • A wedge or flare to alter your foot position when walking.
  • A socket for a caliper.

The sole and heel unit of your shoe may need to be taken off for the adaptation to be done. You will need to bring in suitable footwear for this.

What sort of shoes can be adapted?

  • Footwear with rubber soles and heels glued to the upper.
  • Footwear with leather soles and leather or rubber heels.

Are there any shoes that cannot be adapted?

  • Trainers with air cells.
  • Footwear with hollow or moulded sole units.
  • Footwear with soles that extend up the sides of the upper.
  • Footwear with soles other than leather stitched to the upper.

If you are buying new footwear to be adapted, ask the shop if you can return them if they are not suitable. Bring them to the department and we will tell you if they can be adapted.

Diagram of a shoe

What else should I consider when choosing footwear for adaptation?

  • Your footwear needs to be comfortable and fit securely, especially at the heel.
  • Ideally your footwear should fasten with laces however, shoes with Velcro or buckle fastenings can also be used.
  • Your footwear should have a broad low heel.
  • Your footwear should be in a good state of repair.

Can adapted shoes be repaired?

Shoes with a flare or wedge can be soled and heeled by the department so that the correct adaptations are maintained.

How do I get my adapted shoes repaired?

  • You can bring or send the shoes to the department for repairs to the adaptations.
  • We do not repair the non-adapted shoe.
  • We will contact you by telephone or letter when the repairs are ready to be collected.
  • Some cobblers are happy to do repairs to adapted footwear and if this is easier, you can take shoes directly to your local cobbler.


Orthotic Department tel: 01582 497198.