Orthopaedic footwear is specifically made to provide extra support for individuals who suffer from: weakness and/or instability around the feet and ankles, lower limb ligament problems, deterioration of the ankle joint, or partial paralysis of the ankle region. Painful and pressure sensitive feet may also benefit from orthopaedic footwear.
Several biomechanical problems can affect the feet, including: “flat feet” where there is poor development of the longitudinal arch, or “in-toeing” where the feet are turned further inward than is expected. Usually pain or a general lack of stability in standing and walking are indicators of a true biomechanical problem.
A Valgus position or deformity refers to a change in the alignment of the feet: the appearance of a lowered of fallen arch suggests feet are pronated or appear to “roll in”, with increased contact along the medial border.
A Varus position or deformity also refers to a change in the alignment of the feet: the appearance of a particularly high arch suggests feet that are supinated or appear to “roll outwards”, with increased contact along the lateral border.
Both of these positional changes can impair foot function and may result in abnormal biomechanical alignment of the lower limbs; this can, in turn, affect the function of the ankle, knees, hips or back.
Orthopaedic footwear can be used to:
Restrictive footwear can lead to foot deformities such as hammer toes, corns and bunions. It is important to wear shoes with wide toe boxes that allow the toes to spread and align with the rest of the foot in a natural way.