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All About Foot Orthotics

What are Foot Orthotics?

By definition, Foot Orthotics are shoe inserts that are designed to correct various foot disorders and to alleviate consequent foot pain. They perform functions that make standing, walking and running more comfortable and efficient by slightly altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.

Foot Orthotics Uses

 Although foot orthotics are commonly referred as “arch supports”, they go far beyond that description.  It should be noted that podiatrists prescribe orthotics to various foot issues following surgery as a means of control.

By design, Orthotics, take on various forms and are constructed of various materials. With that being said, they are all focused on improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity and pain. Your feet are the foundation of the body and when they are not properly aligned with the rest of your limbs, you may start feeling discomfort in your ankles, knees, legs, & back.

 Foot Orthotics Categories

1.) Those designed to change or alter foot functions. They are rigid composed of a firm material such as plastic or carbon fiber. They are used for walking or dress shoes after the podiatrist casts a mold on an individual’s foot. They can improve strains, aches in the legs, thighs and lower back.

2.) Those designed that are protective. These are usually soft and cushy. They are            designed to absorb shock, increase balance and take pressure of uncomfortable or sore spots. They are designed from a cast of the foot as well. They are also effective for diabetic, arthritic or deformed feet.

3.) Those that combine functional control and protection. These are semi-rigid and provide foot balance for walking or participating in sports. They are made up of layers of soft material, reinforced with more rigid materials. In children, they are used to treat flatfoot or in toeing or out toeing disorders.

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Protection for Your Feet Podiatry Group of Marietta

Summer Shoes and Protection for Your Feet

With summer approaching rapidly in Georgia, many out there are shedding their shoes in favor of the light and airy flip-flops. However, please be aware that they could be negatively affecting your foot health and not providing protection for your feet.

Besides being thin and flexible, the design of flip-flops offers absolutely no arch support. With that being said, this can lead to significant arch pain, heel pain as well as plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, this lack of support can rapidly exacerbate any existing foot deformities like bunions as well as limiting the motion of the first joint (hallux limitus). Due to its design, they will become more pronounced when the feet are turning outward at the ankle (pronate) due to lack of support.

Flip-Flops Offer Poor Protection for Your Feet

On flip-flops, the feet struggle to keep them on due to a thin strap holding attached to your foot.  This attempt is made by flexing the toes to prevent the flip-flop from falling off.  Besides being extremely uncomfortable, it can worsen toes that are already contracted (hammertoes).

Besides the above mentioned concerns, there is no protection in place for other injuries including cuts or bruises as well as exposure to different forms of bacteria. This is especially critical for those suffering with diabetes, who are prone to even minor wounds quickly turning into serious infections. If you are experiencing any pain associated with your feet, please seek treatment immediately.

What Summer Shoes to Wear to Offer Protection for Your Feet

The question remains as what to wear in the summer that is comfortable and provides adequate protection. It is advisable to purchase a sandal with some type of back and supportive straps that will adequately cover the top of the foot. They should provide good arch support and limited flexibility in the sole. If you are able to bend the sole in half, it is much too flexible! With comfortable, supported feet, you will be on your way to an enjoyable summer wherever you might be. It is important to remember that protection for your feet can help prevent diseases or infections.

What are some of your favorite summer shoes that provide protection for your feet?


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The Leading Georgia
Foot & Ankle Doctor

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Phone: 404.806.3731
Fax: 404.506.9444
3901 Roswell Road
Suite 340
Marietta GA 30062

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