Updated: Oct 27, 2018
1. A precise impression of your foot must be taken in its best functional alignment.
This requires an additional person with knowledge and experience at casting foot impressions, as everyone’s feet are different and require differing amounts of positional manipulation to achieve this. Simply standing on or walking over a pressure mat or foam is completely inadequate, in fact, this is capturing the foot in one of its worst positions - with no support under it! Having someone push the heel and foot into foam while you are seated is also not going to capture the correct alignment unless it is performed with a number of specific steps that require training and experience to perform properly. The methods of foot capture for “custom” orthotics given over the internet by “do it yourself” companies will typically give you a flatter and more flexible orthotic arch than is required to get meaningful correction of foot alignment.
2. A detailed biomechanical examination must be taken of your feet and lower extremities; non-weight bearing, in stance, and in gait by someone experienced and knowledgeable.
This provides critical information required to write the order for your individual orthotic specifications regarding flexibility and control features such as heel cup depth, orthotic width, cushioning characteristics, and specific accommodations.
3. An orthotic lab that uses high quality materials, uses equipment that is capable of extremely precise calibration of orthotic thickness and flexibility, and has tight quality control.
Unfortunately, there are very few labs that can meet these standards, and the orthotics from the labs that do are going to cost a bit more to the customer. If the orthotics are not made to high standards of precision and performance, they won’t work effectively. At Superior Foot Supports, we use Sole Supports; an orthotic manufacturing lab with the very highest standards for precision and quality.
4. An evaluation of your feet and the orthotics together to confirm that the product is made properly for you before you start wearing them.
Unless this conformation is performed by a trained and experienced individual, you cannot be sure that they were made properly.
5. A re-evaluation of the orthotics after having worn them for a period of time, usually several weeks, to determine whether adjustments are required.
It is important to evaluate how the feet and body are reacting to the orthotics, as well as how the orthotics are reacting to the feet and body. Simply continuing to wear them without this check can lead to less than optimal results.