After 20 years practicing podiatry, it became clear that “sensible but comfortable” shoes didn’t always win over the “stylish but crippling” variety. When it comes to choosing footwear, we understand that many factors are important. Despite what your podiatrist has told you in the past (and what I’ve told my patients all those years), the key components of the orthotic device that has been designed for you will fit into your existing footwear. All it takes is a little refining.
Imaging a stiffish 1mm thick membrane that matched only the top surface of your orthotic at the angle that it rests at in your shoe. Now see it in your shoe – it’s going to fit in a lot more places and take up a lot less room. There is some empty space under the membrane everywhere except the heel and the ball of the foot. When this is filled in with a special material, you have your CopythoticTM.
POTENCY: When faced with a direct comparison between a well designed, well made orthotic consisting of 5mm thick slab of plastic, versus the equivalent CopythoticTM, the original device is going to provide more foot control than the very fine materials of a CopythoticTM can. A 100% strength orthotic is great in theory – but how effective is it when you leave it in the joggers under the bed from 9 to 5?
Using the CopythoticTM technique for our patients over the past several years, we have found that an insert that will fit most of the shoes that most of the women find acceptable most of the time, will average around 80% of the original device’s potency. This makes our patients more than mostly happy!
LIMITATIONS: A CopythoticTM can be made to fit literally any shoe. As always though, there is a balance between form and function. Taken to extremes, the CopythoticTM will lose too much potency and reduce the therapeutic effect of the orthotic. Sometimes this is an acceptable trade – perhaps for you, a half strength orthotic in your wedding shoes is better than limping up the aisle or getting married in a gumboot. We can discuss your options and provide an accurate idea of the final product, taking your foot, your orthotic and your existing shoes into account.