Free Footwear Health Check

At Happy Feet Pedorthics people come and they “want!” Fair enough – we all have our wants and needs! The range of people we see at Happy Feet Pedorthics covers a huge breadth from people with an undiagnosed rare disease to a person who simply has bigger feet requiring extra width and depth footwear.


The “want need like” discussion is always on our lips at Happy Feet Pedorthics, and following a close second is the “appropriate for the activity” discussion!


Which shoe for what?


We have all seen it:

  • sling backs being worn on a bush path
  • high heels on a board walk
  • thongs all day
  • wedge sole shoes rather than runners for the walk around the park
  • scuffs or mocs all day at home
  • open toe sandals in the pouring rain


Many of our clients have had to make choices:

  • enclosed shoes all the time, as they give the most support and keep the wearer safe from a fall
  • open toe sandals in all seasons, as sandals with the cushion modification to the straps give the arthritically deformed toes maximum protection
  • black shoes all the time as black matches all the clothes, with the client not having the ability financially to have extensive choices.
  • “what the funding allows for choices” as this is the difference between having shoes or NOT!


At Happy Feet Pedorthics the discussion as part of the assessment and fitting can be quite challenging! There can be an objection to every pair of shoes brought to try – often times before the shoe is even out of the box! So what do we do?


Knowing that our goal is not only a correctly fitting shoe but also one which is appropriate for the activity we ask about the client goals for footwear and foot health in attending Happy Feet Pedorthics. From this we try to find a solution – with the outcome at times being something betting than the client is currently wearing.


The trick is to get over the objections of don’t like, could not wear, like gran’s shoes, too thick, not that old yet, colors, and cost to name a few. My aim as a pedorthist is to get the shoes onto the person’s feet – to have the experience of fit, less pain and comfort! Yes some people at Happy Feet Pedorthics comment on no pain, as soon as they put “better for them” shoes on their feet.


The next trick for me as a pedorthist is to have the client look at the footwear choices being made and whether they are the best choices for the activity intended for wearing the shoes. For example a dressy more fashionable looking strap court is not the same as a supportive athletic shoe for the morning walk, or the higher heeled shoe is not the same as an enclosed shoe when on your feet all day working in the retail industry!


So next comes the plan – the third trick! At Happy Feet Pedorthics we work with clients to make a plan to slowly have shoes in their wardrobe which they like, and will wear, improving their foot health! With every trick we do remember the party shoes!


Clare Nelson CP CM Au


Why wear a rocker sole shoe? Why have a shoe with a rocker sole added to it? Important questions as both can give you Happy Feet!


In making a rocker sole pedorthically one considers range of motion of the ankle, foot and or toes; pain which may be in the toes, the forefoot or ankle; threat of ulceration; stability. Rocker soles influence the roll of the shoe and hence how one walks. The rocker sole enables the pedorthist to put stress on or off particular foot or body parts. The rocker soled shoe can then be used in conjunction with rigid or accommodative foot orthotics and physiotherapy to reduce conditions such as forefoot pain, plantar fasciitis and tight calves.


Happy Feet Pedorthics

The apex line is the line which determines the instant the shoe rolls and in what direction.


The height of the sole affects what one can achieve with the rocker sole. There is less rolling and more flexibility in the shoe when the modification is made with a thinner sole.


The hardness or softness of the material used to make a rocker sole modification can render the rocker to be more or less rigid in turn affecting the health outcomes. A carbon fibre plate can be used to make a rocker sole more rigid which is an advantage against it’s disadvantage which is that more weight is added to the shoe.


The convexity strength of the curve affects the roll of the shoe. In walking the wearer with shoes with almost no convexity tend to “slap” the ground” at times you can see and certainly hear the difference in gait pattern between the left and right foot.


Heel pitch is about the relationship between the height of the heel to the forefoot. With less pitch there is less pressure on


So what at the benefits of making a rocker sole modification or buying a prefabricated rocker sole shoe?


Many clients require a rocker bottom to be made on a shoe which fits the foot. The shoe has to be the correct length, width and depth for the wearer and many prefabricated rocker soles simply do not come in a range of width and depth options as there are available in the broader pedorthic range of footwear. Medically the pedorthist can cater for the specific health needs of the client by making a rocker sole on a shoe appropriate to the foot and the activity. In making the rocker one has to consider issues such balance, plantar pressure, pain, and offloading in the context of the broader health issues such as neuropathy and arthritis.



I received a referral once for a rocker sole for 87 year old who walked with the aid of walker. A frail walker with arthiritis – the pedorthic outcome in this case was well fitting light and soft shoes of correct length width and depth which gave cushioning, support and comfort without a rocker, keeping her safe in less pain!

The MBT shoes are a training device that can be applied in your daily life activities.



The MBT shoe has a unique technology: the patented curved sole creates a natural instability and imitates walking on soft, uneven surfaces. The pivot axis promotes a rolling movement, which in turn may help increase lower limb muscle activation in your every step.


At Happy Feet Pedorthics we have the New MBT range with the option of 3 levels of rock – activate, dynamic or performance. If you want to roll the performance is the one for you, or if you are just beginning on the rocker sole journey the activate rock may be the one, but many move straight to the dynamic level. But remember we need to make sure the MBT options will fit your feet first and then assess the MBT in the light of your overall health.


Refer to the link


An information night for referrers is to be held: The MBT Rock – Professional Development opportunity for referrers on
Wednesday November 23 2016 at Happy Feet Pedorthics Presented by Jodi Lancaster from MBT. 6 to 9 pm RSVP required



Clare Nelson C Ped CM AU


As a pedorthist at Happy Feet Pedorthics care is the priority! Some people come to our facility with pain and being uncomfortable written all over their face. Our goal at Happy Feet Pedorthics is for happy feet and happy faces.

In making an assessment and fitting we establish what is happening for the client – pain, discomfort, foot shape, foot size, gait, foot range of motion, skin in integrity, general health, need or not for orthotics, and activity for which the new shoes are required. The Drew range of pedorthic footwear is thoroughly enjoyed by many clients at Happy Feet Pedorthics. The Drew range includes footwear for men and women for a range of foot size, shape, foot health and orthotic or other device use. Having got this far in the assessment and fitting with the client there are then many style and colour choices which work for our clients at Happy Feet Pedorthics.

As a pedorthist I really like fitting the Drew range – yes for happy feet health wise, and also for the choice of colours and styles available. Many of clients with fairly “normal” feet choose the Drew options for this very reason as they plan their wardrobes. Ring and make a time to check out the

Drew range – health fund approved and many are DVA approved. The new catalogue for the year has arrived at Happy Feet Pedorthics.

Clare Nelson
Certified Pedorthist CM AU