What are Orthotics?

We’re often asked by people, “What are orthotics?”

In general terms, orthotics are anything that is placed into your shoes to change the forces acting on your feet. This can more evenly spread the body weight or take stress from a structure (like the plantar fascia) that is injured.

A polypropylene (rigid) orthotic

Not all orthotics are created equal

There are several types and quality levels of orthotics:

  • Over the Counter (OTC) orthotics can be bought at chemists and some footwear stores. These orthotics are made for the “average foot” (no foot is really average).
  • Semi-Custom orthotics – these are orthotics which are either heat moulded to your feet or are altered by adding more arch support, rear foot angles and covers to suit your feet.
  • Custom Foot Orthotics – these are king (or Queen) of orthotics. Prescribed and dispensed by podiatrists, they are made from a direct copy of your feet. This can be taken using plaster, foam impression boxes, or a 3D laser scan of your feet.

Because custom orthotics are made from your feet, they fit you perfectly and take into account any unusual features of your feet. This means they will give you the ultimate in comfort and support.

Two orthotics overlapping each other red and blue

How Dynamic Podiatry prescribes custom foot orthotics

Dynamic Podiatry uses state of the art 3D laser and light scanning to ensure scans of your feet are accurate to within 0.1mm.  This method removes a lot of the human error that was previously involved in orthotic manufacture. Our lab uses a CADCAM orthotic system (computer aided design and manufacture) to produce orthotics made from the highest quality shock absorbing materials (soft EVA orthotics) or firmer polypropylene if you prefer. Because our orthotics are computer cut from a block of material, they are seamless, and will take several years to wear out. ​

What orthotics don't do

Orthotics are not prescribed to change the shape of your feet or to permanently fix bunions or other foot deformities.

There is often a misconception that orthotics should be prescribed to children to correct their foot posture/shape and their gait. There is no evidence that orthotics will permanently change the shape of children’s feet.

Are orthotics right for you?

If you have pain in your feet, ankles, knees or legs, there is a good chance that orthotics can help. Check out our Conditions page to see some of the many conditions Dynamic Podiatry can help you with.

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