Difficulty Fitting Orthotics Into Shoes

JLC writes I have very high arches and just bought my first custom orthotics but have not yet found a pair of shoes that work with them.”

Finding shoes to accommodate an orthotic can be a challenge. If you are ordering orthotics, be sure to show your podiatrist the shoes you plan on wearing them in, so that an appropriate pair can be made. If you’re primarily wearing flats and your orthotics are made for tennis shoes, they generally won’t work in your flats.

On the other hand, if you already have orthotics the profile may be able to be reduced, i.e. narrowing and/or removing length. A 3/4 length orthotic works just as good as full length orthotic, so shortening can usually help. The below images illustrate this principle.

Unfortunately, most non-athletic shoes will not accommodate an orthotic. Typically orthotics are too bulky unless your podiatrist orders a “dress shoe” or lower profile pair. This type of device is illustrated below. If you never wear athletic shoes, then this is the type you should have for your shoes. This style of device is sometimes called a cobra based on the design shape.

An orthotic made for a pair of flats or dress shoes will never be as good as a pair for athletic shoes, so if you can it is always best to have both pairs. Generally the 2nd pair is not as expensive as the first which helps.


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