What are pedorthists and how can we help?
A Certified Pedorthist is a trained healthcare professional who assesses and treats individuals with conditions related to the foot and lower limb, with a focus on biomechanics. Pedorthists can help treat these problems conservatively (non-surgically) by providing orthotics, orthopedic footwear, and/or footwear modifications as part of an overall treatment regimen as prescribed by your doctor. Pedorthists’ training is focused on the design and fabrication of foot orthotics and the fit and modification of orthopedic footwear, and we are able to do all of this in our onsite lab without having to mail anything away.
If you or a family member have leg or foot pain when walking or standing or are suffering from a disease process which can affect your feet, then we can help!
How long are appointments and what should I bring?
Initial assessments are one hour long; follow-ups are typically 15-30 minutes. For your initial assessment, bring any shoes you wear often so they can be examined for wear patterns and any necessary suggestions can be made. If you have a prescription or referral, bring it with you as well. A referral, prescription or note is not required for your appointment.
Is there a charge for appointments? Do I need a referral?
You don’t need a referral, prescription or note for an appointment. We offer no-obligation consultations; all appointments are free.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes – we are open by appointment only. All consultations and shoe-fittings are done by one of our certified pedorthists, so we need to make sure someone is available to see you when you come in!
Will my insurance or health plans cover the cost?
We work directly with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Peterborough Social Services, and Green Shield Canada. We cannot submit claims directly to other third-party insurance providers, but supporting documents can be provided for your claim. Our services are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
Is the clinic wheelchair accessible?
There are no stairs to enter our clinic or assessment rooms, and our doors, halls, and bathroom are wide enough for most wheelchairs. If you have specific access needs you’d like to discuss before your appointment, please let us know!
Orthotics and Shoes
What is a foot orthotic?
Foot orthotics are insoles that go into your shoes to change the way you walk and stand. Over the counter (OTC) orthotics are designed to provide support for a wide range of feet and are a quick and inexpensive option which may be adequate for you. Custom foot orthotics are designed using a cast of your feet, allowing us to achieve better fit and function.
How are custom orthotics different from pre-made or off-the shelf orthotics?
Unlike pre-made or off-the-shelf orthotics, our orthotics are custom made for your feet and your needs. After your initial assessment, we use a three-dimensional casting technique to take a cast of your foot. We mill the orthotics on site using your unique foot cast, fit the orthotics into your shoes, and provide follow-up appointments to ensure the orthotics are working well for you. Read more on the process we use to cast and make your orthotic here.
How do I know if I’m wearing the right size of shoe?
For most people, you should be able to wiggle your toes inside the shoe, and if someone presses down on the front of the shoe while you’re standing, there should be a thumb’s width of space in front of your big toe. Many people wear their shoes too small! Shoes only “loosen up” if you buy them tight enough that your foot is stretching them – it’s best to choose a shoe that’s comfortable from day one.
If you have further questions about choosing or fitting a shoe, you are welcome to make an appointment to see one of our footwear specialists!
What shoes can I wear with my orthotics?
Orthotics can be fitted into most running shoes and boots, and there are many orthotic-compatible dress shoes, slippers, and sandals.
Your orthotics will fit most shoes, as long as the shoes are reasonably stable, have a removable foot bed, and are adequately wide for your foot. We don’t advise wearing orthotics in shoes that are too tight, have a high heel or flimsy construction, or don’t have a removable foot bed, as this can sometimes cause more harm than good.
Do I need a larger shoe size to fit my orthotics?
You don’t need longer shoes (unless your shoes are too small – there should be a thumb’s width at the end when you’re standing with your toes flat against the ground), but you may need wider shoes, especially if your current shoes are very snug fitting. Don’t hurry out to buy shoes before coming, though – we’re happy to look at your existing footwear and make recommendations if any changes are needed.
What kinds of shoes do you carry?
We carry a variety of shoe types of footwear including walking shoes, running shoes, boots, and sandals in a variety of styles and colours. We also provide footwear modifications, such as lifts and rocker soles – right in our on-site lab! See our footwear page for more detail on brands we carry.
Do you modify or repair shoes?
We specialize in orthopedic footwear modification. With recent improvements in availability and construction of orthopedic footwear, we can fit and modify an off-the shelf shoe to accommodate almost any foot – right in our onsite lab! Some common modifications include:
- Widening shoes to accommodate deformities including severe bunions, severe flat foot, or charcot foot.
- Adding lifts to shoes to address leg length discrepancies (including those associated with post-polio syndrome).
- Adding rockers to shoes such as those needed for people with fused foot/ankle joints, partial foot amputations, or plantar ulcers.
- Adding reinforcements to the sole or upper of shoes to provide support in addition to (or instead of) a brace or orthosis. Some of our clients who require these modifications include people with cerebral palsy or CMT.
We are happy to do our best to repair and maintain any custom made or custom modified footwear and are able to modify and repair most off-the-shelf orthopedic shoes. We can sometimes modify and do basic repairs on athletic, safety, and everyday footwear, but this depends on their construction and quality.