Custom Footwear


Is Custom Made Footwear right for you?

We get many people who call in, curious about needing Custom Made Footwear.  This phone call is typically related to needing extra wide shoes, or simply wanting their medical plan to pay for them. Custom Made Footwear are only needed for people who have medical needs or biomechanical needs that cannot be aided through standard footwear, or footwear with special modifications.

Typical examples of reasons for needing Custom Made Footwear are: Charcot foot, foot deformities or amputation, crush injuries, severe arthritis, severe hallux valgus with hammer toes, significant Diabetic complications, as well as a number of other complex issues.

Custom Made Footwear are not Orthopaedic Shoes.  Orthopaedic shoes are shoes that support or accommodate the mechanics and structure of the foot, ankle, and leg which are specifically designed to support or accommodate a particular medical condition.  They have some key features:

  1. Solid shank in the shoe which provides torsional rigidity
  2. Stiff heel counter in the back of the shoe – this ensures that the foot will remain in the correct position in the back of the shoe
  3. Stiff forefoot rocker – this minimizes how much work the foot will do during gait and will allow the patient to use the entire sole of the shoe
  4. Removable sock liner – this will allow for the use of a Custom Made Foot Orthotic if needed
  5. The shoe must come in a variety of depths/widths to accommodate bunions, toe conditions or foot deformities

There are a number of conditions that an orthopaedic shoe is a more suitable choice than a Custom Made Footwear.  Common orthopaedic shoes that will accommodate extra depth, Custom Made Foot Orthotics, extra volume or even lower limb braces such as an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) include but are not limited to Pedors, PW Minor, SAS, and even some New Balance.

What to expect at the Custom Made Footwear appointment?

Your Custom Made Footwear appointment will be scheduled for one hour.  For the appointment, it is recommended that you bring the shoes you are currently wearing, your prescription from your doctor and any other related medical documents or photos that may be beneficial.

In the appointment the clinician will go through a number of things with you.  They will get your history related to your feet/condition.  They will complete a gait assessment, test your range of motion, and examine your skin and nails.  The clinician will also ensure that Custom Made Footwear are the best option for you.  If not, the clinician can recommend whether a specific make and model of shoe is best or if an orthopaedic shoe is the most ideal.

If Custom Made Footwear are the best option available, the clinician will then take photos of the feet, obtain a foam box impression of the feet, do a carbon paper weight-bearing tracing of the feet (to see areas of pressure and and outline of your feet), and take slipper casts of the feet.  Finally, the clinician will take up to 25 measurements at specific places on each foot.  Once that is finished, you and the clinician will then agree on a style of Custom Shoes.  With dozens of style options and hundreds of customizable options, you will be able to design a shoe that will fit your medical needs, lifestyle, and preferences.

What next?

The next steps in the Custom Made Footwear process is as follows;

  • We will send all of the information collected at the appointment to the Custom Made Footwear manufacturer
  • A trial shoe (a.k.a. check shoe) will be created – this is a clear plastic sample of your shoe
  • The trial shoe will be sent back to us and once received, we will book you for an appointment to see how the shoe will fit
  • At the trial shoe trial fitting appointment, we will determine if more modifications are needed
  • From there, the trial shoes are then sent back to the Custom Made Footwear manufacturer to have your Custom Made Footwear finished

How long does it take to make Custom Made Footwear?

Custom Made Footwear have two specific time lines.  The first is for the arrival of the trial shoes.  This typically takes between 6-8 Weeks.  The second is for the arrival of the manufactured shoes.  This typically also takes 6-8 Weeks once received by the Custom Made Footwear manufacturer.

Receiving your Custom Made Footwear

Once the Custom Made Footwear have been manufactured and received at our clinic, we will contact you for an appointment to receive them.  During that appointment, we will try on the Custom Made Footwear, ensure proper fit and that there are no areas of concern.  From there you are now in possession of a pair of shoes specifically crafted for you and your feet!


If you are looking for footwear please download our "Shoe buying patient information" brochure. Many of these stores carry a wide selection and inventory.

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