When you see a label like “Orthotic Friendly” being promoted by a footwear brand, what does that really mean? Some are unclear on this hugely important label and why it matters to millions of people who rely on tools like footbed heels and other tools to help in their footwear each day. In short, orthotic-friendly footwear refers to those shoes that are especially designed to better house orthotic inserts, and to promote better foot and leg support in their own design.
How is “Orthotic Friendly” Footwear Different?
The main difference between regular footwear and orthotic-friendly footwear is the way it’s designed to offer support. People with specific conditions that affect their feet, knees, lower back and hips are often served with special shoe inserts that will provide additional support. Some very special orthotics are tailored to the specific feet that use them, whereas others are built for more general support.
Orthotic shoes that are first designed in themselves to be more supportive, but are also better built to receive orthotic inserts provide those who need them with a more comfortable and bearable option to wear than many regular shoes. One issue people have often had with orthotic-friendly shoes is the lack of choice and styles.
This has often left people who need these special and supportive shoes to abandon them because they feel too self-conscious of the more conventional orthotic shoe designs that are visibly made for that purpose and thus draw attention to the issues from which they are suffering.
Benefits of More Attractive and Varied Orthotic Footwear
First of all, when people who need orthotic shoes have more choice of styles, colours, sizes and fits, they are much more likely to embrace and use the orthotic. This has obvious benefits to their health and well-being, since the whole reason for getting an orthotic is to help gain relief from pain or discomfort.
Orthotic shoes promote better blood circulation, which is a factor of critical importance when it comes to proper foot health. When blood doesn’t circulate around the feet properly bringing with it the crucial oxygen and nutrition, the feet can swell up and become a source of major discomfort for the person who has to stand and walk on those feet. If you have a job where you are required to stand and/or walk around, such as a teacher, doing that with swollen feet is next to impossible.
People with pain in their feet, knees, lower back and other areas of the body often don’t realise that the source of that pain is improper support on their feet. Pain in the back and hips can be traced back to discomfort in the lower extremities of the body, showing just how far a chain reaction of pain can travel through the body. Orthotics correct the issue at the source (in this case, the feet), which restores equilibrium and allows the rest of the body to feel better.
An Orthotic-Friendly Footwear Revolution
Nowadays, many shoe brands are realising that the need for orthotics to help with foot problems, lower body pain, blood circulation and other issues are no longer a fringe or minority issue. The kind of support an orthotic gives can help millions of people, many of whom don’t realise they are in need of help until they put on the shoes and discover that one can achieve an entirely new level of comfort.
It’s amazing how many people simply put up with pain and discomfort in their feet, thinking that it’s just a normal part of wearing a particular kind of footwear.