After your feet have been casted, and you are on your way, the work in the laboratory begins. Material selection is crucial to both the functionality and comfort of the devices you are going to receive, and a great deal of care is taken to ensure the right choices are made.
Custom foot orthotics are comprised of many layers of materials, all working together to provide you with both the support you need, and the comfort you desire. There are literally hundreds of options in materials to chose from including things such as plastic, foam, rubber and cork.
So…How are these decisions made? There is no scientific formula that we can use to determine what materials will suit you best. It is our job to assess a variety of factors, such as:
i) Your Size – a 6 foot tall basketball player will need very different material choices from an 8 year old girl, body builders versus gymnasts… you get the idea 🙂
ii) Biomechanics – Some people have gait pattern that are much harder to control than others, an extremely mobile pronating foot is going to require different materials than someone who has a very high arch and tends to supinate!
iii) Footwear – The shoe you are putting the orthotic into makes a difference as some materials are much bulkier than others.
iv) Individual Tolerance – Some people like the feeling of a very solid, firm orthotic under there feet. Others much prefer a softer device. This is the trickiest part of my job! Determining what you will find comfortable, AND will provide you with the support you need!
The good news is that custom foot orthotics are completely adjustable, especially with our 100% onsite laboratory. Many materials can be changed out if need be, but it is always our goal to make the best selections for you at our initial appointment!
Until Next Time!