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Footwear Modifications

Peter: Hey everybody. Peter from Shoetopia.

Laura: And I'm Laura from Align Pedorthics.

Peter: And today we are going to talk about footwear modification.

Laura:  Yes. We won't go ahead and get to this quite yet, but some of the most common modifications that I see are actually in a sandal. A lot of the times with say a Birkenstock or Mephisto, you might not find that they're as much support as you maybe need. Maybe you're used to wearing an orthotic and then you go to something like this. It just isn't enough to feel comfortable.

 One of the big things that I do is I'll sometimes add in what we call an arch cookie or a scaphoid pad. It'll actually sits on top of the support that's already there. This is blue, but I will cover it up with a brown suede to match. That just gives you a little extra piece of support. That's about 30 bucks for a pair of sandals. So it's not like you're breaking the bank.

Peter:   Yeah, that's good.

Laura:  Another thing is adding in maybe a metatarsal pad. Same thing if you're having any sort of forefoot pain. If you have a met pat on your orthotics and you're used to that, I can add that into a sandal. That can also be added into footwear as well.

Peter:  We do get that a fair bit for people that are, I've been wearing, especially it's in the spring.

Laura: Yes.

Peter:  When people have been wearing their orthotic in their shoe or boot all winter long and then they come back into the sandal and like, "Oh, I'm not feeling the met."

Laura: I'm missing something.

Peter: You know? That's even more than the arch we hear about the mat.

Laura: Yeah, so that's a big one then. You can add those in as well.

Peter: That's cool.

Laura: This is ...

Peter: I'll flip you.

Laura: This is one of, it's obviously not very common that we would do something like this, but this is a shoe lift, so we can do lifts inside the shoe to a certain extent, and then at a certain point you have to go outside the shoe.

Peter:This one you can't do inside the shoe?

Laura: You definitely can't. This is for a gentleman that was in a car accident. His one leg is a lot longer than the other and I think it's about 12 centimeters and we have to build up that difference somehow. This sole has been cut open, added in the lift and then sandwich the with the existing soul back onto it. That way he can work, he can walk more evenly and his hips and pelvis can stay even.

Peter: I mean we've seen at the store people are coming in with mods on their sandals, on their shoes, on their work boots, on almost anything. Really at our footwear store we have a pretty good idea of what can be modified and what can't. But we always will recommend that you're going to go back to the person that's doing the modifications once you have this shoe so that they'll confirm with you that they can actually modify what it is that you've picked in the store.

Laura:  I mean, everybody's got a different case and you walk differently and so definitely check with whatever provider you are seeing. But a couple general things to keep in mind is the wider the base of the shoe, the better. This is almost even a little bit narrow in through here, so a little bit wider say for a walking shoe. That just gives you the most stability side-to-side, especially with the lift. You also want to stay away from something that has some gel or some air pockets in them as well. Those are just hard to cut into.

Peter: Right, and you're not going to get the structural integrity of what you're looking for as part of the base.

Laura:  Exactly.

Peter:  What other mods can you do other than just the lift?

Laura: We can also do what we something called a buttress and that's kind of increasing the medial, so the inside of the shoe or the outside of the shoe, just increasing that support if the orthotic itself can't do enough. Lacing techniques are also a simple way of modifying. Then we can also do stretching, which I know you guys do in store as well.

Peter:Right in store, we actually will do a certain amount of stretching and even bunion poles and stuff like that. We have a tool that can actually pull out a small area if you have a bunion or hammertoe or something like that that's giving a little bit of uncomfortable feelings in that footwear. That's something we just kind of do as part of the service here at Shoetopia.

Laura:  Right. You always want to get something that fits to your foot anyway, but if you need that extra little pocket.

Peter:  Sometimes it's just a little. We modification. Hopefully this has helped. If you're dealing with some issues where you need some modifications in your sandals, in your shoes, in your work boots, any of that sort of stuff, hopefully this video will help you out understanding a little bit more of what you can and cannot do for some of the footwear that's out there. For now, I'm Peter from

Laura: I'm Laura from Align Pedorthotics, alignpedorthotics.communication.

Peter: Right on. So we'll see you again on another edition of Feel Good Feet. Bye for now.

Laura: Bye.


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