Clunky orthotics force woman into a life of ugly shoes


For many women, shoes make the outfit. But for UK resident Sally Underwood, hers have a tendency to break a look, as she finds it difficult to wear anything but old, large boots to accommodate her clunky custom orthotics, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The woman told the news source that she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which particularly affects her feet and has resulted in a bunion and deformed toes on both feet.

Custom insoles can be a pain in the feet

Underwood said that her first pair of orthotics were relatively discreet and could be slipped into most shoes, according to the Mail. However, her condition has become so advanced that she now has thick, bulky orthotics that can only be accommodated by boots. In fact, Underwood was forced to wear a pair of rain boots for her wedding. (In all fairness, they were white and had pretty lacing up the front.)

"Now getting shoes that fit is a nightmare. It was such a relief to find wellies for my wedding," said Underwood, quoted by the news source. "My last success, a pair of Timberland boots, are nearly worn out – and they don’t have laces so they’re not giving me the support I need."

Underwood also explained to the news source that the process of simply getting new orthotics has become a hassle, as her arthritis is progressing and creating new problems, which will require a podiatric analysis.

Orthotics may be most effective for minor conditions

While rheumatoid arthritis can't always be effectively prevented, Underwood's story underscores the importance of taking care of feet before conditions become advanced and hinder mobility. For these purposes, devices like over-the-counter orthotics or bunion splints may come in handy.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, soft orthotics help to absorb shock when walking, provide stability and promote an even distribution of pressure on the foot, which may hinder the progression of conditions like bunions, hammer toe or fallen arches. In fact, the Splayfoot Hammer Toe Insoles by Alpha Orthotics feature a moveable pad, so users can get the benefits of custom treatment, minus the cost and hassle.

Bunion splints help straighten the joint of the big toe by holding it in place and providing arch support. These devices have been shown anecdotally to reduce the appearance of bony deformities at the ball of the foot.