What are orthotics?

Well, technically the word is orthosis and the plural is orthoses. But that’s semantics and the common term widely used in the industry to day is: singular – “ORTHOTIC” and plural – “ORTHOTICS”. Some people will misspell it “orthodics” – we see this a lot, but they are all the same thing.

An orthotic (or orthosis) is a device that assists one or more parts of the body (spine, limbs and extremities) to perform or function a certain way.

At EvenKeel Advanced Custom Orthotics we focus specifically on the foot. So while you may get an orthotic for your back or a brace for your leg (also considered an orthotic) when you see the term orthotic on this website that’s not the type of orthotic to which we are referring. We mean the type of shoe insert that corrects the way a person walks when they are wearing them in shoes – Foot Orthotics!

Custom Foot Orthotics are devices specifically designed for your feet to help reconfigure the way you walk.

But not all custom orthotics are the same. There are 2 main types of custom foot orthotics:


Accommodative Orthotic

Accommodative Custom Orthotics are shoe inserts made specially for an individual foot, made with soft materials that are designed to cushion the foot in the attempt to alleviate pain. The accommodative orthotic is intended to reduce friction and shear forces and provide cushioning only. They do not address poor biomechanics.


Functional Orthotics

Functional Custom Orthotics are full contact, specialized insole devices made for an individual foot that control that foot through the entire gait cycle. They are typically hard molded devices that are designed to reconfigure the way the foot and the body interact with the ground. The “standard of care” devices for functional orthotics are negative casts sent to a lab for construction. While most functional orthotics are hard plastic devices that end behind the bones in the middle of the foot (metatarsals), this does not jive with the definition of the functional orthotic (see above). Functional orthotics are often prescribed for athletes with knee, hip and other lower extremity problems. Traditionally a hard functional orthotic could be uncomfortable for certain people with plantar surface pain or diabetes and some podiatrists will opt out of using them for their patients in these situations.

But there is a third option:

EvenKeel Orthotics

EvenKeel Orthotics have a number of hybrid orthotics that combines the benefits of the accommodative and functional types of orthotics into one device. They are very soft and comfortable while they also maintain specific degrees of angle in the rearfoot and forefoot according to the patient’s needs and prescription.

Interested in getting your own custom orthotics? Learn more by exploring our website and then:


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