Custom Made Orthopaedic Footwear


Custom-made orthopaedic footwear is used for clients whose foot shape or condition cannot be accommodated by existing products (either orthopaedic off-the-shelf footwear or modified orthopaedic off-the-shelf footwear). Custom-made orthopaedic footwear is used to accommodate the bony and structural abnormalities of the feet and lower legs resulting from trauma, disease or congenital deformities. They take into account the gait abnormalities and range of motion functions of the foot, ankle and lower extremities. Design consideration is given to the style, closure and sole finishing based on upper body impairments.


The fabrication of custom-made orthopaedic footwear involves making a custom last, which is an accurate representation of the patient’s foot and ankle. The lasts are fabricated from full castings of the foot and ankle or using a true 3-D digitizing device that captures a full, digitized image of the plantar and dorsal aspects of the foot and ankle. The word last defines the three dimensional model or mold that is designed from the cast, and used in the fabrication process for the footwear. The last may involve the manipulation of soft tissue or accommodation of bony prominences of the plantar and/or dorsal areas of each foot. All custom-made orthopaedic footwear requires a last of the foot and ankle that may be reused with modification if necessary. All patterns are cut to reflect the true individual design of the lasts. Boots, shoes and sandals that are made from 100% raw materials using this unique last shape are considered to be custom- made.


This is the number one question we are often asked. True custom made footwear can range from $600.00 for sandals and very basic devices, up to and possibly exceeding $2500.00 depending on the nature of the devices and the complexities of the patient’s condition.


The custom-made orthopaedic footwear may include custom foot orthoses, bracework, intrinsic and/or extrinsic modifications, which may be incorporated into the total cost of the shoe, but should be listed separately.


Note: Custom-made shoes or sandals do not include mass produced shoes or sandals in any form (i.e. adding a custom-made device or orthosis to a mass produced shoe or sandal does not transform it into a custom-made product.). Custom- made orthopaedic footwear production should have direct supervision by a C. Ped.(c) or C.Ped.MC.