What Are Foot Orthotics?

Many people are familiar with shoe inserts that you can buy in a grocery or other retail store. You slip them into your shoes and the inserts cushion your arch, heel or sole of the foot.
Shoe inserts are not custom orthotics. With custom orthotics, a podiatrist examines your foot and writes a prescription for a custom-made device, designed specifically for your foot and how you move.

foot and ankle orthotics

Custom Orthotics

Orthotic device construction combines the medical knowledge of anatomy with the science of engineering to create comfortable support to improve physical form and function. For example, orthotics can do the following:
  • Control the abnormal function of your foot, ankle or joint for easier movement and pain relief
  • Prevent future foot problems
  • Allow you to participate in normal activities without experiencing pain
  • Assist your overall movement
  • Reduce pressure or stress on certain bones and muscles
  • Immobilize your foot, ankle or joint for a particular reason
  • Restrict your foot, ankle or joint movement in a certain direction
  • Help your foot or ankle recover after removing a cast

Examining Your Foot for Orthotics

What can you expect in an examination for orthotics? Dr. Sciortino will take measurements of your toes, feet, ankles, and in some cases your knees and hips while you’re on the examining table and also while standing. He determines how your feet, ankles and legs respond while walking and notes any function that isn’t normal. Dr. Sciortino will make a three dimensional model of your feet in one of three ways:
  • Applying plaster casting
  • Having you step into a box of compressible foam
  • Scanning your foot using a mechanical or optical scanner
Dr. Sciortino will then prescribe an orthotic to treat your issue. A prescription based on all the test results instructs a laboratory that specializes in podiatric orthotics how to make a device uniquely designed for your feet.

Contact Us


Find out whether orthotics are right for you. Please call us to set up an appointment.