What Are Orthopedic Shoes?
When people think of orthopedic shoes they often associate them with older people who have foot or medical problems and need to wear shoes of this type. In reality though, orthopedic shoes are worn by people of all ages who suffer from poor foot mechanics as they are specifically designed to support the structure and mechanics of the foot, ankle and leg.
So let's start at the beginning and define the word 'orthopedic'. 'Ortho" is a Greek word (root) that means 'correct' or 'right' and 'pedic' means 'foot'. Together the word means 'correct feet'.
There are certain characteristics, or design features, of orthopedic shoes which sets them apart from regular shoes:
1. Removable insole - this is imperative as many people upgrade to orthotics, diabetic insoles and custom orthotics.
2. Extra widths & more sizing options - for example, our Pedors Classic is available in three widths and twenty sizes making 60 different combinations available in one style alone!
3. Uppers that can accommodate forefoot problems eg: hammertoes or bunions.
4. Easy to fasten - often if people have problems with their feet they will have problems with mobility, flexibility and even problems with their hands, if they have arthritis for example. Most orthopedic shoes favor a hook-and-loop closure for this reason.
5. Seamless uppers with no areas that might cause rubbing or abrasion, and example would be the Pedors Pedoprene™ uppers.
6. A firm and supportive heel to support the rear of the foot.
7. A well cushioned and strong out-sole and mid-sole with defined flex points and impact absorption properties.
Who Wears Orthopedic Shoes?
Anyone suffering from any of the following ailments can benefit greatly from wearing orthopedic shoes:
Swollen Feet - Lymphedema - Edema
Plantar Fasciitis - Heel Pain
Flat Feet - Fallen Arches
Bunions - Hallux Valgus
Those recovering from foot surgery
The Key To Remember
Well fitting, supportive footwear plays a key role in keeping people mobile and pain free. This leads to a more active and thus better quality of life.
Helén Kirk O'Hare