Summer sandals with bespoke orthotic insoles created for LOC patient
Any regular wearer of bespoke insoles, or ‘inserts’ will tell you how difficult it can be to find appropriate footwear to accommodate them that are comfortable enough to be worn day to day. This can be even trickier for patients during the summer months when socks, boots and trainers (which are ideal for fitting insoles in) are normally swapped out for flip flops and sandals.
An LOC patient, who wears insoles every day to help her with her complex foot pain, approached us with a request to make a pair of bespoke sandals with built-in insoles to wear during the summer.
How are bespoke insole sandals made?
As with our traditional bespoke insole manufacturing process, to start with, a Paromed CAD/CAM system scans the foot, producing a 3D image of the sole. A clinician will then determine the amount of wedging or modelling that is required for the fore and hind foot using further CAD rendering. Each prescription is unique to a patient’s foot, so even if insoles are required for both feet it is unlikely that they will look the same.
After this, the modified 3D files are sent to a milling machine, which uses a robotic arm on the end of a drill bit to carve out the insole from a blank of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) – a high density foam-like copolymer plastic. But, in order to create these bespoke sandals, the 3D scans had to be milled out of a similar material but with a cork layer, with different prescriptions for both the left and right foot.
After being milled, the cork soles are inspected by a clinician and go through the refining and smoothing process by hand to ensure that there are no sharp edges or bumps. Velcro straps (a great choice for shoes that need insoles, as they fasten the foot securely) were then added to each shoe before the patient could try them on.
What are insoles?
An insole is a contoured orthosis which alters the biomechanics of the foot and ankle. They are removable devices, which are placed inside a shoe in order to provide additional support for the feet and joints. They can be used to treat a range of conditions, including back pain, plantar fasciitis, diabetes and arthritis and can help patients to avoid surgery to fix flat feet.
Bespoke orthotic insole ready to be worn
Standard off-the-shelf insoles are not as effective as custom-made insoles simply because they cannot be individually tailored to address specific biomechanical issues. Insoles which you can purchase from any pharmacy or running shop are typically sold based on shoe size, but most of us do not have standard size, let alone, symmetrical feet. These insoles are often cut to fit but do not offer the same level of precision as an entirely bespoke, medical orthosis.
Which shoes are best for wearing insoles?
Structured trainers or boots are a popular choice for patients who need supportive, comfortable shoes for their insoles. For orthotic insoles to work effectively, consider a pair of shoes that:
- Have enough room to accommodate insoles – extra depth at the toes and the heel is particularly useful here, though most shoes will require the existing sole to be removed.
- Have a low heel – no more than 4cm is ideal, though we have created insoles for ladies’ court shoes in the past;
- Have an adjustable fastening – Velcro and lace up shoes work best to secure the foot and are preferable to ballet pumps or slip-on shoes.
If the idea of having to wear your insoles with socks and trainers during the hot summer months is unappealing, get in touch today so we can help you to create a pair of orthotic shoes or sandals to see you through the summer months.