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Orthotic Friendly Sandals

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by footman1972, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. footman1972

    footman1972 Active Member

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    Hello all,

    Does anyone have any experience of sandals that are designed to be used with orthoses? Are there any particular types of devices that work well? Or is it the case that you'll never get adequate rearfoot control in footwear that doesn't have a full heel?


  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I am not sure about "orthotic friendly sandal", but:

    1. A number of orthotic labs (mostly USA) are offering sandals (mostly Birkenstock like) with a custom made foot bed (ie orthotic) from a cast or optical scan.

    2. We have used the Nike running sandal in some of our 3d kinematic orthotic studies - the orthotic stays in place pretty well (and we have exposure of landmarks to attach markers for vicon capture).
  3. EdYip

    EdYip Active Member

    "Bite" also makes some nice sport sandals that feature removable footbeds.
    Check Bite Shoes and look for their Orthosport line
  4. summer

    summer Active Member

    Are those BITE sandals available in the US? I have seen those from TEVA which aren't too bad either. I think a sandal with a removable foot bed can be replaced with a cork and leather device which should fit nicely might work. Any ideas for suggestions to patients? I do know that my diabetic insole and shoe supplier can make a sandal with plastizote as a custom type device, but it is not too stylish, and more for the elderly female customer.
  5. thmpsn345

    thmpsn345 Welcome New Poster

    Bite sandals are available in the US. a DPM here in Montana sent a pt over with a pair of sandals for me to put an elevation on. Her orthotics fit in the sandal very well.

    Curtis Thompson Cped
  6. EdYip

    EdYip Active Member

    I order BITE from a canadian supplier called RMP Athletic, based in Mississauga, Ontario (they happen to be the canadian distributor for Brooks running shoes, too).

    But there is an orthotics lab that you can order the Bite sandals with the orthotics already in them. See http://www.parisorthotics.com/ - they're based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  7. Lai

    Lai Welcome New Poster

    I ordered several pairs for myself and my wife from Rocky Mountain Orthotics Lab and we are quite happy with the sandals. They use removable footbeds. http://www.rmolink.com/index.htm

    Jengyu Lai
  8. Foot fan

    Foot fan Active Member

    Kumfs have a range of sandals designed to accomodate orthoses - some actually look quite good. Am not 100% on international availability though...

    Hope this helps
  9. nicpod1

    nicpod1 Active Member

    As some of the other posters have already said, the US/Canadian labs offer the service of making sandals with bespoke orthoses in straight from a cast.

    I've tried making insoles to fit into sandals bought by the patient (with removable footbeds (eg Ecco), but find that it really does have to be something more like a simple insole eg cobra, due to the base thickness demands of fitting it into the sandal.

    I now use Firefly (UK postal address) as I get all my casted orthotic devices from them anyway. They offer a range of 'walking sandals' that the orthoses are made to fit into. Much less hassle and higher patient acceptability as they appreciate the bespoke aspect of the service!

    Firefly are connected to a US/Candian lab and I've had practically 99% success using their devices!

    Langer also offer a range of Birkenstock sandals for which bespoke orthoses can be designed from a cast, but I've not used them!

    All the best!
  10. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    In the UK Paul Mountford (Pod and Pedorthist) scans casts for custom orthosis fabrication (the orthoses are made by Bergmann in the USA).

    We talked a while ago about making a casted device which would become part of the sandal - not sure how much further Paul got with this, but I think the idea was to offer the device/sandal marriage in a wider choice than Birkenstocks or similar.

  11. paulm

    paulm Member

    Hi David

    we had podiatrist send the sandles and neg cast, scanned cast and inlay as normal and took the dimensions of the inlay, transfered to lab, device came back a little bit oversized (as requested), simply reduced to fit sandle and bobs your uncle

  12. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Good one Paul.

    My understanding, from talking to the pod concerned, was that the product cuurently available in the UK from L***** was not as good as their promotional literature would have us believe.

    Pleased this worked out.

  13. Freeman

    Freeman Active Member

    I have been using Bites for 2 years. They are wonderful!. Their tread is great (non slip and aggressive) so you can tell folks if they are wanting to hike, golf etc and do outdoor actvities without reservation.
    Freeman Churchill, C. Ped (Canada)
  14. paulm

    paulm Member

    Hi David
    i believe there was a couple of issues involved, one being (if i'm correct in my understanding of what was said by the pod), they ordered the footwear from lab(never worn them) and sent a neg cast, my advice would be to get patient to purchase the sandles with a removable inlay, wear them for a few weeks, come back take cast etc send both cast and sandle to lab for orthotic construction, who's to say they ordered the right size shoe for their foot in the first place......

    Hey Freeman how are you keeping, are you attending the PFA symposium in Indi next month

  15. paulm

    paulm Member

    some other issues we kept in mind when manufacturing an orthoses for the sandle to replace the inlay

    We used a corrected cast with a slightly lowered medial arch (more than normal) because of the fact that there is no space between orthotic and sandle in medial aspect, unlike normal process where we have a space between orthotic and shoe, (My understanding is that sometimes labs use an uncorrected cast then heat and mould original inlay over the uncorrected cast creating a high medial arch),

    Also if an uncorrected cast used the arch becomes to high and causes possible lateral sliding of foot and it may be placed into a possible supinated position

    We also felt if we did not lower the arch the patient may also incure discomfort and possible blistering of medial arch because of contact between the foot and orthotic

    We also used a flexible material to allow some flexion of orthotic in medial arch to help eliminate the possibility of the discomfort/blistering

    If we used same material as the inlay's made of, ie cork, this could possibly make the device to rigid in medial arch because of the density

    as i said earlier these were the concerns we kept in mind when creating the orthotic

  16. Freeman

    Freeman Active Member

    Hi Paul,

    As a pedorthic clinic we stock a few models of Bite sandals and a few others which are orthotic friendly. Bites do not come in half sizes so sizing exactly is important. Guessing up or down could make a significant error. I prefer to err on the side of not overcorrecting the medial arch in terms of back fill. For most people, I use Hi density Black plastizote with a 5-55 durometer EVA post and midfoot fill. I will use Ortholite, a black fabric top cover and we have had great results.

    Orthoactive out of Canada has a line of sandals with a bit of a heel which we use to encourage people with an equinus as a slipper around the house. I think where we live (Canada) people will use a slipper to break the cold barrier between the floor and their foot. If you can convince them to use a stable and corrected sandal instead of a slipper, it reduces the time their are not properly aligned. And their feet are less cold.
  17. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    It's great to see some home-grown (UK, that is) initiative taking place.

    Having now seen some photographs of the sandals in question, I can vouch for their general finish, and the marriage between orthosis and sandal looks flawless.

    Good one Paul!

  18. paulm

    paulm Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2005
  19. healthyfeet

    healthyfeet Active Member

    Will most insurance companies accept claims for 'orthotic' shoes and sandals?
  20. Joe

    Joe Member

    In the USA I have not come across any insurance company that will cover orthotic sandals. Extra depth shoes/orthopedic shoes usually are not covered either, however, once in awhile we can get them covered but mainly through a plan like workers compensation(where the pt. has been injured on the job and all services are paid for for that individual if service provided relates to pt.s injury)

    Joe Eads, C.Ped
  21. Airlie

    Airlie Active Member

    I generally recommend the Naot sandals, they have a range of styles with varying degrees of rearfoot support. they have a removeable cork innersole which tends to fit a carbon fibre/polyprop orthotic well. I have worn them myself and while I dont need much control, find my orthoses feel the same in them as they do in sports shoes. With a hevily pronating foot I have experimented with my partner who has severe midfoot pronation and cannot walk a few meters without knee pain if he does not have orthotic support. I find that he gets just as good a control walking as he does in his Brooks Sports shoes, and the sole of the Brooks has worn out more quickly than that of his sandals.
    I find they also tend to have a lower, more stable heel than the Kumfs sandals, which tend to notice the foot to slide forward in comparison
    made in israel and should be available internationally...
  22. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    Hi there, not sure if it is for a lady, but Aetrex do a range of sandals called Sandalists which have a very thick removeable orthotic made from polyurethane. In the majority of cases, I have actually found the orthotic supplied to be quite satisfactory. However, you could take a foam impression and send to Salts for manufacture of a similarly shaped polyurethane orthotic to fit the sandal.

    UK distributor for Aetrex sandals is Plan and Deliver. They are not advertised on their website but if you phone them and ask for the sandalistas catalogue, they can order them from the states


    See the sandalists range here. Obviously, if you live in the US, you can order directly from Aetrex


    Hope this helps - my patients have been very happy

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  23. DrBobJ

    DrBobJ Welcome New Poster

    Besides the previously mentioned brands, others to consider are Alegria, Wolky, and Aravon(for the ladies). All of these have a removable footbed that will accommodate most orthotics I see or provide.(I am in the Pedorthic arena)
    Most of these premium brands may allow the patients to use the sandals out of the box as a compromise to their custom orthotic therapy for reasonable periods of time IF their practionioner deems this appropraite. When using custom orthotics in the "friendly" sandal, I suggest to the patient they purchase a "peek a boo"" sock to fit over the orthotic to change the color of the topcover to match the sandal itself.

  24. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    In answer to a few posts back, yes Kums are available in the USA, here is a link to a store locator for kumfs
    and a few other countries.

    If you want an Orthosis to work in some of these sandal type products you wont be able to with a shank independent type orthosis with great success in my opinion.

    They were designed to function with the entire insole to give some support back to the light weight sole structure, other wise they tend to buckle, no longer having that support that was given by the solid insole, the sole buckles up where the insole is not in contact and the attached upper moves away from the foot.

    Also a lot of them have there upper attached to the sole directly, Stitch down method, now with the cavity type sole, meaning often the side wall of the PU sole that supports the upper and heel stiffener is only a few mm thick, not real stable at all, your Orthosis will have to do the lot.

    Check it out for yourself, remove the insole they came with, thumbs on the inside wall of the sole, fingers under the sole in center of the sole and push up
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  25. Kevinl

    Kevinl Member

    I read somewhere that Bites went out of business. Maybe some suppliers have a limited stock but don't get to comfortable with offering them in your practice....:bang:
  26. I was informed by a patient that bite were taken over by Crocs and are no longer available.

    I have just made a pair of devices for said patient using an aetrex sandal as mentioned by Robin. Excellent depth afforded by removing the standard liner. As Robin also mentioned the liner itself is pretty good in it's own right.

  27. Bruce Williams

    Bruce Williams Well-Known Member

    Yes, it sucks that Bite is no more. They were bought up at the height of Crocs popularity adn success though so I'm sure the owner, Dale Bathum, got a great deal. He is still with Crocs, but no active line with removable insoles has been forthcoming and may not since Crocs is not as powerful as they were a couple of years ago.

    I like the Aetrex sandals too. I wish that there was a company that would put out a decent looking mens sandal for orthotics too. I prefer the sporty look that Bite has, but most sandals available would only look good on a 60 year old man with black ankle socks! :dizzy:

  28. bpod

    bpod Active Member

    I bought a pair of Bite sandals last summer with a removable croc insert...they are great.
  29. Moose

    Moose Active Member

    Hi. I use Copythotics to customise sandals and girly shoes. They literally 'copy' an orthotic contour and will then go in any shoe. (Obviously if you go to silly extremes with the shoes the orthotic will lose potency) Female patients think they are great and health funds pay so it is bonza all around. you can see them at www.copythotic.com.au
  30. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that. Went on the website and getting some info. Looks like an interesting concept

  31. healthyfeet

    healthyfeet Active Member


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