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A discussion on types of foot orthoses

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Written By

Shaheen Aumeer-Donovan
Philip Aumeer-Donovan

See bottom of page for author information

Posted 1st October 2023

As featured in the Mulgoa Valley District Gazette

Orthoses (aka orthotic devices) are medical devices inserted into shoes that support the foot, improve function and/or protect structures*.

What are the different types of orthoses prescribed by podiatrists?

  • Cushioning insoles – while not technically orthoses, these are good for offloading high pressure areas where additional support is not required.
  • Prefabricated – these are orthoses in ready-made sizes that can provide moderate support.
  • Customised prefabricated – these are prefabricated orthoses that have been modified by a podiatrist to provide additional or different support. For example, additional wedging or domes can be added, or material ground away to modify the support.
  • Custom-made – these are moulded specifically for the feet and are the best option for patients requiring optimal support, patients who have complex biomechanical issues, or require a more durable and longer-lasting option.

How do I know which orthoses will benefit me?

The best way to know if orthoses will be beneficial is to see a podiatrist who can perform a biomechanical assessment and determine the cause of the issue. The podiatrist will then discuss the best treatment options for the condition, and if orthoses is indicated, they can discuss which orthoses are more appropriate to treat the condition.

The chemist or shoe store sells pre-fabricated orthoses and insoles a lot cheaper. What is the difference?

If they happen to be the correct prescription, it is possible to get some relief from these products. In general, they tend to provide less support or are made from less durable materials that will collapse a lot faster than the more expensive prefabricated orthoses sold by podiatrists.

Do I need to pay thousands of dollars for a series of arch supports to fix my pain?

Please beware! There are many charlatans out there with no medical training claiming to be able to miraculously fix your pain. They are usually found peddling their generic, inferior products in shopping centre or cruise ship kiosks, and can often cause more problems than they solve for a greater price than you would pay for proper medical advice.


* For general information only – a healthcare professional must be seen for tailored advice

If you have any questions, please give us a call, email us, or send us a message – we’ll be happy to chat with you to discuss your needs.

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Shaheen Aumeer-Donovan

Shaheen is our Practice Manager. She works hard behind the scenes to ensure that the clinics run smoothly, best practices are being followed, and the staff have everything they need to look after the Repairs Afoot family. While a stickler for the paperwork, she’s also a little quirky and loves using her creativity to find new ways to encourage people to look after their feet.

Philip Aumeer-Donovan

Philip is our esteemed Clinical Manager and resident foot-whisperer. He has over 21 years of experience as a podiatrist and has been mentoring new graduates in the profession for over 12 years. He hasn’t met a sore foot he didn’t want to treat, which is why he has strived to build a clinic that can help patients with any kind of foot issue, and is committed to continuing education to ensure he is up-to-date with any new developments that could be beneficial for his patients. It is also why he is believes strongly in sharing his knowledge with the wider community.