Monday, September 02, 2013

Function vs Style, can you have both?

Peter Morcom, B.H.Kin, C.Ped (C)
Kinesiologist and Certified Pedorthist at Kintec: Footwear + Orthotics

When dealing with many foot problems, from Plantar Fasciitis to bunions, custom foot orthotics are a common solution to providing improved biomechanics, comfort, support,and increased performance. However, in doing so, many people may feel that orthotics (at least the traditional kind) will limit your footwear choices.

This causes many issues for professional men and women because a bulky orthotic can make it hard to fit into most dress shoes, often causing slippage at the heel, or just not being able to fit the orthotic in the shoe.  Most dress shoes have either very thin or no removable insole, making it extremely difficult to fit a classic orthotic.

Through new materials and changing the shape, a dress orthotic is able to give you the support needed to keep you pain free through the work day. By using graphite instead of plastic shell, the orthotic can become thinner while still giving you the even weight distribution and support your foot needs. This allows the orthotic to sit lower in the shoe, preventing the common dress shoe problems.

The hardest shoe to fit an orthotic in, as well as the one that can cause the most pain is the high heel. The difficulty in fitting an orthotic for this shoe is both the pitch and depth. The high heel orthotic takes both of these aspects into consideration. Using either a heat mold process or direct milling, the custom orthotic sits on a pitch to match the height of the heel.

If the orthotic does not match the pitch of the shoe it will rock back and forth. The other main aspect of this orthotic is a cut out under the heel so the orthotic does not lift you out of the shoe. With both of these changes to the custom orthotic, fit and comfort in a high heel is vastly improved.

To get over many foot problems, consistency in support of the foot is necessary to get pain free. Although wearing proper structured shoes will always improve the function of the orthotic, many professionals need to wear a fashionable slimmer shoe.

By using a dress orthotic, it allows you to keep the consistency, while allowing many more shoe options. The dress orthotic should give your foot the function it needs, and allowing you to keep the style of shoe you want.

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