Custom Orthotics FAQs

We're glad you've got questions. We hope that you'll be convinced that we've got nothing to hide because our orthotics are fantastic! Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions so you can know the in's and out's before getting your first pair.

How long does it take to get the custom orthotics/insoles?

Custom orthotics take about 2.5 weeks to manufacture. There is a rush option available to have them available in about a week.


How long is the appointment for the custom orthotics/insoles?

The custom orthotic appointment including the biomechanical examination, gait analysis and laser-scanning of your foot takes 30 minutes or less.


How long do orthotics/insoles last?

There are two aspects to this answer  - the quality and the fit.


In terms of quality, we use a reputable orthotic lab that guarantees against breakage for the lifetime of the device. Should the shell of your orthotics break, we will gladly replace it at no cost.


In terms of the fit, most people get at least 2-3 years' wear out of their orthotics. The topcover (the material on the top of the orthotic) may show signs of wear sooner, but this will not affect the effectiveness of the orthotic . The length of time a pair of orthotics will last depends on the shape of your feet. Just like the rest of your body, your feet change over time. If your feet change significantly, then you will need an updated pair of orthotics. Our chiropodist closely monitors the fit of your orthotics during your orthotic check-up appointments so you will know when you will need to update your orthotics.


Why makes InStep custom orthotics/insoles stand out from the rest?

We truly believe we provide the highest level of caer


1. We use a non-weight bearing method (3D Laser Scanner or Plaster).


2. The InStep chiropodist casts and prescribes your orthotics. This means that you have a primary health provider knowledgeable of all foot conditions and how custom orthotics fit into your overall treatment plan. A chiropodist is able to decide every little detail of your orthotic, including a couple of degrees of tilting here, or a pad here or there and why.


3. The chiropodist provides continuing care. We don't just give you your new orthotics and leave you...the chiropodist will bring you back every so often to make sure that your orthotics are making you feel better. If you need an adjustment, we will make the adjustment, and of course, follow-up with you to make sure that the adjustment feels good on your foot, too!


Will my orthotics/insoles fit into every pair of shoes?

Our goal is to provide a pair of orthotics that will fit into most if not all of your shoes because the more you wear your orthotics, the more relief you will feel. We recommend that you bring your most commonly worn pairs of shoes to your appointment. The chiropodist will consult with you to decide which style of orthotic will best suit your shoe wardrobe.


What are the different types of orthotics?

The most basic choice that you will need to decide is whether you would like a slimmer dress orthotic or a more aggressive athletic orthotic. There are other "hybrid" orthotic types that can accomodate both dress or athletic shoes. Then there are different lengths that you can choose from: half, three-quarter, or full-length orthotics. And finally, there are many top cover options from vinyl (the most common), suede, leather, bamboolon, amongst many other choices. It may seem very daunting to have to make all these decisions, but the chiropodist will be able to help you choose the best style of orthotic depending on your shoe wardrobe and lifestyle. All custom orthotics are the same price, regardless of style.


Can children wear custom orthotics?

Yes, children can wear custom orthotics. Kids can start wearing orthotics at about the age of four when they have a normal adult heel to toe gait. Before the age of four, children's bones are not adequately developed so we do not recommend custom orthotics for kids younger than four. We like to inform our parents that pediatric patients will most likely have to update their orthotics more frequently than an adult because kids' feet are growing. A pair of orthotics will last a child about 1.5 to 2 sizes. For example, if a child gets a pair of orthotics and they are a size 6, that child will need a new pair of orthotics when he/she is a size 7.5 or 8.  InStep offers an outgrowth program to make updating orthotics more affordable for families.


What is the difference between plaster, the 3D Laser Scan, using a foam box and a mat?

How the impression of your feet is taken to make your custom orthotics is of the utmost importance because it affects the shape and functionality of your custom orthotics. There are many ways to take an impression of your feet, but it can be simplified into two categories: weight-bearing or non-weightbearing.


Weight-bearing impression methods include foam-boxing or stepping on a digitized mat. Foam boxing is usually done while a patient is standing or sitting down. An individual may help place your feet into the box. Stepping on a mat will result in a 2D impression of your foot and identifies areas of high pressure. Weight-bearing impressions capture your feet while it is in its "deformed" state. That is, if your feet are flat, the impression of your feet would then be captured in its low-arched state. Generally, orthotics created from weight-bearing impressions accommodate foot deformities.


At InStep, we use non-weight bearing impressions to create custom orthotics that correct foot deformities. Non-weight bearing methods include taking a 3D Laser Scan or casting your feet with plaster of Paris while sitting or lying down. Your feet are held in a corrected, neutral position for your orthotic impression. Using Plaster of Paris to capture your feet in this neutral position has been the gold standard in the past, but plaster takes time to dry and is also very messy. Very recently, the 3D Laser Scanner has been developed to capture a 3D impression of your feet which is faster and cleaner. InStep uses a 3D Laser Scanner, but we do use Plaster of Paris occassionally, especially for younger kids who have difficulty sitting still which makes it difficult to capture a clear image of the foot with the 3D scanner.


You can rest assure that InStep uses best practices to ensure that your custom orthotics will treat your conditions.


Are custom orthotics/insoles covered under my plan?

Most plans have coverage for custom orthotics. We always recommend giving your provider a call to be sure of your coverage. If you would like to know 100% for sure whether they will be covered before going ahead with the orthotics, we are happy to provide a predetermination letter for your provider.


Do I need a referral from my doctor to get custom orthotics/insoles?

No, as a primary health practitioner, a chiropodist is able to prescribe custom orthotics, but some plans may require a referral from a family doctor in order for your insurance provider to cover the custom orthotics. We  recommend giving your provider a call to be sure of how your coverage works before coming in.


Do I get a free pair of shoes with my custom orthotics/insoles?

Sadly, there is a lot of fraud in the foot care industry. There are some health providers that offer a free pair of shoes to entice you to use your orthotic coverage. What usually happens is the patient is given a pair of low-quality orthotic devices, but an attractive pair of shoes. This is a form of insurance fraud and we do not participate in any these kind of activities. In the long-term, you, the plan member loses because health coverage decreases for items/services that are associated with fraud. InStep operates with integrity and complies with insurance policies and the policies of the College of Chiropodists of Ontario.


Do you provide orthotic shoes?

"Orthotic shoes" is a term commonly used by some health professionals when they provide shoes with orthotics. At InStep, we do sell orthopedic footwear and of course, custom orthotics, but we do not bill them together. Our goal is for our custom orthotics to fit into the most amount of shoes, not just one pair because the more you wear your orthotics, the better your feet will feel! Also, orthopedic footwear and custom orthotics usually fall under different parts of insurance plans, and insurance providers require that they are billed separately.