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Orthotics in Congleton


A selection of modified Formthotic insoles.

Foot orthoses are special insoles designed to reduce aches and pains and improve the way the foot works. For most sports injuries, orthoses are used as a temporary measure alongside a rehabilitation programme. For people with long term conditions such as arthritis orthotics may be used long term in order to make life more comfortable.


There are 3 types of foot orthoses all of which are used at Ayres Health:

1. Off the shelf

2. Semi-custom made

3. Custom made.


This blog shows the differences between the 3 and the pros and cons of each type.



Off-The-Shelf


These are the types of orthotics that you can buy from the pharmacy or sports shop. There are many different types; some are supportive, some cushioned and some made from gel. Which is right for you will depend on what your condition is.

At Ayres Health we use a range of off the shelf orthoses from Langer and Formthotic. This allows us to select the most suitable device for you. We usually modify the device to make it work more effectively. This may involve adding a heel post to alter pronation/supination forces under the foot, adding a top cover for extra cushioning or cutting sections out to allow joints to move freely or reduce pressure on bony prominences.


The main pros include:

1. They are the cheapest type of orthoses

2. They can be made quickly, sometimes as you wait.

3. Basic modifications can be made.


The main cons are:

1. They are often bulky and heavy.

2. Short life span.

3. Made to an average foot shape rather than your foot.





Semi-Custom-Made

Semi-custom-made are the most popular type of device that we use. These are a neutral polyprorylene shell that we add components to, depending on what is needed. The neutral shells come in different sizes, shapes and hardness.


The main advantages of semi-custom-made are:

1. Lightweight and low bulk allowing them to fit into most types of shoes.

2. Highly customisable.

3. Can be refurbished which increases their life span.

4. Quick turnaround time of 1-2 weeks


The main cons are:

1. They are made on a last of an average foot rather than specifically to your foot

2. Modifications to the shell are not possible e.g. making the heel cup deeper.





Custom Made

Custom made orthoses are made from an impression of your foot that we take in the clinic. This is then sent to a lab where your orthotics are made to your own unique prescription.


The main advantages are:

1. They can be made from any material including carbon fibre.

2. Made directly to your foot making them extremely comfy.

3. Can be made shoe specific. They can be made to fit very narrow shoes or ski boots, whatever you need.

4. Can be refurbished which makes them very long lasting.

5. It does not matter of your feet are textbook in shape.


The main cons are:

1. Most expensive type of device.

2. Take several weeks to make. They can be made quicker if needed though this incurs additional cost.

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