Is It Necessary for Me to Wear Orthopedic Shoes?

People often associate “orthopedic shoes” with the unstylish shoes they’ve seen somewhere. However, the term “orthopedic shoes” refers to a wide range of footwear, from over-the-counter to custom, and from sneakers to dress shoes, all of which are intended to help people with a variety of foot conditions.

Orthopedic shoes, thankfully, have evolved from clunky, black leather options to relatively stylish options for people of all ages and fashion tastes.

What are orthopedic shoes?

An orthopedic shoe, in the broadest sense, is any shoe designed to assist in the support of a foot that has altered mechanics, decreased sensation, or deformity. These shoes are frequently available in more sizes (especially width) than standard shoes and can be customized to meet the specific needs of a patient. These changes are made by a podiatrist. They are specialists who not only modify shoes but also make inserts and braces for those who require them. The more abnormal the foot mechanics or the severity of the deformity, the more likely it is that the patient will require orthopedic shoes with modifications.

Not every orthopedic shoe, however, is custom-made. Many people simply require a shoe that fits their specific foot shape or size. Shoes are very personal, and it is recommended to try on several pairs before buying one. Try them on for a few days at home before committing to them. Just because someone raves about a shoe doesn’t mean it’s the best type for your foot shape. To avoid injury or irritation, any new shoe should be introduced gradually.

Who requires them?

Our feet, like the foundation of a house, serve as the foundation of our bodies. We are all familiar with the effects of uneven or altered foundations on buildings and streets. The human body is no exception. This faulty foundation can cause pain or alter our walking style. Orthopedic shoes help to mitigate these effects and can provide comfort and support to people suffering from a variety of lower leg and foot issues. 

Some of those include:

  • Swollen feet, also known as lymphedema
  • Heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs
  • Feet with flat and high arches
  • Hammertoes and bunions
  • Diabetes, diabetic ulcers, and Charcot disease. 
  • Arthritis

Orthopedic shoes are also important for people who wear custom braces that require a wider or different size shoe on one foot.

How do they work?

Orthopedic shoes help patients align their feet and relieve pressure on areas of increased stress (such as a collapsed arch, an arthritic joint, or a diabetic ulcer or callus). For balance and alignment, the foot acts like a tripod, with all three points resting evenly on the ground. Orthopedic shoes and, in some cases, orthopedic insoles (orthotics) can help restore that balance and reduce pressure on an area by distributing weight more evenly across the foot. This usually unloads or relieves pain in the affected areas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, most adults should aim for 10,000 steps per day to promote good health. For people with foot and ankle problems, this can result in a lot of pain. Painful feet can make even simple daily tasks difficult, let alone 10,000 steps. Orthopedic shoes could be a good option. They can help people with foot pain improve their mobility and quality of life.

An orthopedist, primary care physician, or podiatrist should refer people with foot problems to a podiatrist or someone who can assist them in finding the right shoes. Not every patient requires custom shoes and inserts, nor does every patient require the services of a pedorthist to fit them. However, it is critical that patients understand what to look for if they choose to shop online, especially now that there are so many more fashionable orthopedic shoe options available.

There are different ways to address your foot conditions. It is recommended to consult with a podiatrist to ascertain the best solution for your foot problem. If you need an insert, then it’s better to customize your shoes with a sole insert. Measure the height correctly and have an orthopedic shoe repair specialist do the job. American Heelers, located in Cleveland, OH, serves people all over the world and can be your preferred choice for getting your shoe lift modification done with great accuracy and precision. Visit or email for more information.

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