Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who Needs a Foot Orthotic?

A: If required, all ages can benefit from a foot orthotic. From minor discomfort in the foot to severe problems such as diabetic foot ulcers, a foot orthotic can help a wide range of patients. A detailed assessment from a footwear and orthotic expert such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist can confirm if a foot orthotic will assist a patient with a particular foot, leg, or even back problem.


Q: What Does a Foot Orthotic Look Like?

A: The appearance of a foot orthotic depends on what condition it has been designed to treat and with what type of shoe it will be worn. Canadian Certified Pedorthists work closely with their patients on an individual basis to determine the type of foot orthotic that is most appropriate.
The type of device depends on many factors including the patient's lifestyle, athletic activities (i.e., walking, running), foot type, and the problems they are encountering.

Depending on its purpose, the size of a custom-made foot orthotic may vary significantly from being the full length of the foot to a short device that ends behind the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot). Smaller devices are usually designed to fit in shoes that do not have a removable inlay, such as dress shoes.

A foot orthotic can be made from materials ranging from soft foam to stiff carbon, as determined by your Canadian Certified Pedorthist.


Q: Why Is It Important to Put a Foot Orthotic in Proper Footwear?

A: A shoe acts as a foundation for the foot and provides a stable base for a foot orthotic to sit on. It is imperative for the patient to wear appropriate footwear, as the footwear itself is an important treatment method. A foot orthotic can be rendered less effective by placing it within inferior footwear, as the shoe may work against the features of the orthotic. The foot orthotic is only as good as the shoe it goes into.


Q: How Long Will a Foot Orthotic Last?

A: The lifespan of a foot orthotic varies from patient to patient. The materials used to make the foot orthotic, the patient's foot structure, current levels of activity, age and physical condition all have an impact on the lifespan of a foot orthotic. The lifespan of a foot orthotic should be measured not by when the finishing touches (the cover material) wear out but by how long it meets the foot's changing needs for support, correction and pressure redistribution. If your symptoms begin to return it is a good idea to have your orthotic reassessed to determine if modifications or a new device are necessary.


Q: What’s the Difference Between an “Orthotic” and “Orthosis”?

A: They are the same – “orthosis” is the clinical term that physicians and healthcare providers may use, and “orthotic” is the more commonly used term by the general public.


Q: What type of training do Canadian Certified Pedorthists have?

A: Canadian Certified Pedorthists must hold a university degree with core courses in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, disease processes and sports medicine. The academic training is combined with rigorous technical training to achieve certification. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are one of the few healthcare professionals trained in the assessment of lower limb anatomy and biomechanics. With specialized education and training in the design, manufacture, fit and modification of foot orthotics and footwear, Canadian Certified Pedorthists help to alleviate pain, abnormalities and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet that if left untreated could result in limited mobility.


Q: Are Canadian Certified Pedorthists required to participate in continuing education programs in order to maintain their certification in Canada?

A: As a requirement of The College of Pedorthics of Canada, who regulates Canadian Certified Pedorthists through a strict Code of Ethics and Standards, all certified Pedorthists are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of educational training approved by the college over a three year period to maintain certification. Approved educational formats can be obtained through the Pedorthic of Canada's sponsored events or through outside events providing the necessary content that meets the College's guidelines for suitable material.
The College and the association are continually focused on providing the highest standards possible for training and certification of Canadian Certified Pedorthists. They are also constantly working with members to provide updates on the profession and its practices in Canada.


Q: What is the Pedorthic Association of Canada?

A: The Pedorthic Association of Canada is a non-profit organization that provides for the education and representation of Canadian Certified Pedorthists throughout Canada. The association has been responsible for helping the pedorthic profession to grow and mature in Canada in the last 15 years.


Q: Who regulates Canadian Certified Pedorthists?

A: The College of Pedorthics of Canada is the regulatory body that is responsible for certifying members and ensuring that all Canadian Certified Pedorthists adhere to a stringent Code of Ethics.