Do I have to wear ugly shoes if I need orthotics?

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I am a shoe lover, but I’m a podiatrist, too. The question I get asked most often is, “Do I have to wear ugly shoes if I need orthotics?” The quick answer to that is, NO! I hate ugly shoes and I don’t expect my patients to wear them. So….what to wear?


One of my favourite shoes for fall is actually a dress boot. It’s quite easy to find one with a heel that is 1 1/2 inches or less and with a zipper (as opposed to a pull on). A zipper makes it easy to pull the boot on without displacing the orthotic (and without swearing).

An orthotic can be debulked to fit into a dress boot by using a thin topcover ( my favourite is 1/16 inch nylene). The orthotic will need to be narrowed slightly and any block style heel removed. I like to use an old orthotic for this since you will lose a little bit of the correction. So, if you get a new orthotic for your runners, your old running shoe orthotic can be used for this purpose.


What I really like about boots is that they can be worn with a dress or skirt. Since the heel is not high, you actually walk around comfortably.

By tammy gracen


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