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Err on caution – step by step

Shoes make a difference.

Orthotics make a difference.

The questions is where to begin? It is a bit like the chicken and the egg or the horse and the cart! Which comes first? The egg and then the chicken? The cart and then the horse? The orthotic then the shoes or the shoes and then the orthotic? At Happy Feet Pedorthics, it is all about team work as to what comes first.

Before one gets to the team work idea – what is meant by the term orthotic? Are orthotics what one can buy from the chemist? Or did you get yours from the chiropractor or your physiotherapist? Maybe you have a traditional podiatry orthotic from your podiatrist?

The specialization of the podiatrist is to look after your nails, corns and callous; and to also provide gait analysis, recommending orthotics if required. Often times the podiatrist prescribes a rigid / functional / corrective orthotic which is aimed to improve poor biomechanics such as when a person has flat feet or true pes planus.

Many allied health professionals prescribe and supply many different takes on what is called an orthotic. People in the market place have also realised that to label a box with an insert in it – an orthotic will make a dollar or 2!

So where does all this leave the consumer. What are the costs? What are the benefits? At Happy Feet Pedorthics our experience is that people know their own stories, and that the logic of the client is good logic. We often have conversations where clearly the person with the sore feet is feeling no better off, they have paid a lot of money and tell us they had been told their orthotics would go into any shoes – which is their experience do not!


So at Happy Feet Pedorthics we err on caution – step by step:

  • Assessment and fitting – with a recommendation in the first place of shoes which fit the feet!
  • A next step may be to try a low entry price point off the shelf insert – labelled as an orthotic, but we see it as a device which will give additional support and cushioning compared to the inserts which come with the shoes.

The percentage of improvement at this point for the Happy Feet Pedorthics client is usually at about 70 to 85%, and with this is the confidence to take the next step of our pedorthic recommendation and to progress with a fuller commitment to custom made orthotics. The commitment is around a higher price point and a strong confidence to achieve a much improved health outcome.

  • The pedorthic recommendation at Happy Feet would be for either an accommodative or sensomotoric orthotic.

Give sore feet the boot!

Clare Nelson C Ped CM AU

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