Medical devices

Orthopedic shoes – application & health benefits

Orthopedic shoes

Orthopedic shoes can have multiple benefits for the wearer. They can be used for hereditary deformities, age-related, accident-related and diabetes – related foot problems as well as knock knees or bowlegs that require a special insole. Manufacturers often advertise shoes with removable footbeds as orthopedic shoes. Others only consider shoes that are custom-made by a trained orthopedic shoemaker to be genuine orthopedic shoes. The terminology needs to be better clarified.

What are orthopedic shoes?

A definition of orthopedic footwear usually describes footwear specially made by an orthotist for orthopedic purposes. Orthopedic shoes, for example, correct misaligned joints, help after foot surgery or embed clubfeet that do not fit in conventional shoes with precision craftsmanship.

Orthopedic shoes are usually custom fitted, but there are also types that can be purchased ready-made at medical supply stores. Which shoes can actually be described as orthopedic shoes is evaluated very differently.

Shapes, Species & Types

Numerous shapes, styles and types of orthopedic shoes can be distinguished. With some shoes, only a heel increase is necessary, with others a special cut or a compensation of different leg lengths. In the case of hallux valgus or other foot deformities, orthopedic shoes ensure freedom from pain and low-impact walking.

Orthopedic shoes are made for people with heel spurs , legs of different lengths, abscessed nail beds, ankle joints damaged by rheumatism or diabetic feet, and they can look different accordingly. After foot operations and accidents that cause the foot to swell, you can now wear orthopedic felt shoes that can be individually adjusted to the foot thanks to a Velcro strap.

A fracture can also require the temporary wearing of orthopedic shoes with raised soles or a wider shoe upper. This is about leather orthopedic shoes that already exist and are adapted to the orthopedic problem. In other cases, the orthopedic shoes have to be bought new because of a permanent foot problem. Typical of orthopedic shoes are, for example, reinforced soles, an individually adapted shaft shape, specially made footbeds or special finishes inside the shoes.

With diabetic feet , it is important that orthopedic shoes are soft and cannot cause pressure points. These are not noticed in time by diabetics because of the typical sensory disturbances in diabetic feet. Diabetics therefore need specially made orthopedic shoes, which can only be obtained from orthopedic shoemakers, in special online shops and medical supply stores.

Much of what is now called orthopedic shoes looks like ordinary footwear from the outside. The extent to which these are so-called “health shoes” or real orthopedic shoes must be checked in each case. It is best to buy orthopedic shoes only in designated specialist shops, where you can adjust them to individual circumstances if necessary.

Structure, function & mode of action

In terms of structure and functionality, orthopedic shoes must be adapted to the specific foot problem. Optimized footbeds, soft buffer heels, built-in relief for the forefoot or elevations in the shoe edge all help you walk more painlessly.

Toe heels, insoles, Velcro fasteners or padding for orthopedic shoes help to embed the foot well. After toe amputation, orthopedic shoes can provide better compensation than improvised walking aids in conventional footwear.

In order to be able to walk reasonably pain-free even with serious foot problems, orthopedic shoes must fit well so that the damaged foot can roll properly.

Medical & health benefits

The medical and health benefits of orthopedic shoes are great because most people have foot problems at a relatively young age.

Although it is repeatedly pointed out that the wrong shoes, shoes that are too wide or too tight can cause lasting damage to the foot, shoes are always bought based on purely fashion criteria. The term “orthopaedic shoes” is associated with bulkiness and a lack of visual appeal. In later years, orthopedic shoes become necessary because of years of wearing unsuitable shoes. They prevent further deformations, malpositions of individual toes, increased corn formation or painful pressure points on the feet.

If you can walk pain-free again with orthopedic shoes, you will not get thrombosis due to a chronic lack of exercise. Orthopedic shoes are essential so that we can stand on our own two feet for as long as possible.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.