To a large degree, this falls under preference rather than right or wrong. There are advantages to both styles.  Whenever possible, we suggest that your doctor goes with a full-length orthotic because it will not slide or shift in your shoes and therefore is more efficient. With that being said, a possible disadvantage of a full-length orthotic may arise when switching from shoe to shoe. Because the shape of the toe area varies from one shoe to another, an orthotic may fit perfectly in one shoe but not in another shoe you may wish to wear. Conversely, a partial-length orthotic does not have this issue and can be easily transferred from shoe to shoe.  However, this style has a tendency to shift or move in the shoe until it has been worn for a time and allowed to “settle into” the shoe.  This is usually only a factor in the first week or two of wear. 

You Might Need More Than One Orthotic 

The advantage of being able to wear an orthotic in various shoe or sneaker styles does have limits.  An orthotic made for some shoes will function differently than an orthotic made for a sneaker. Orthotics made for dressy or fashionable styles are often too narrow to function correctly in what usually is a larger sneaker, work boot, or conservative dress shoe. This is why many people ultimately get more than one pair of orthotics as they do not like to go without the support and comfort that the orthotics provide for any length of time.

Are You Considering Custom Orthotics in Austin, TX?

If you are considering custom orthotics, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristAustin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.

Craig Thomajan
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Austin Podiatrist