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What is an orthotic ?

An ‘orthotic’ is a functional support designed to restore the natural function of the foot, ankle and leg. Many common complaints are caused by poor foot function.

Orthotics can help re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, in turn this helps alleviate problems in other parts of the body. The end result, you feel the difference with every step you take as the orthotics give more even weight distribution, take pressure away from sore spots and provide real shock absorption and comfort.


Focusing on the solution

The orthotics are manufactured to the highest standards using a variety of materials designed to deliver performance and comfort.

Your first appointment might just be the start of a real change in your mobility and wellbeing. We will work with you to find the best orthotic solution to your specific problem, noting ‘off the shelf’ or ‘quick fix’ is good enough. We discuss your needs so that the orthotics being supplied match your lifestyle profile and then set about a course of action that is designed to involve you from start to finish.


So here is how we do it


After an consultation which will include gait analysis and foot inspection, the foot is placed in the corrected position within the casting box. This ensures that the resulting cast reflects the way the foot should perform with the help of the orthotic. The impression is then filled with a unique expanding resin to give a permanent cast of the foot upon which to build the orthotic.

The orthotic is then built using materials especially selected to perform best for each specific foot problem. Each layer is laminated to give a strong fianal build yet allow the orthotic to remain lightweight and functional.

Once built, the orthotic is accurately machined to fit into the shoe and then fitted to the client to ensure correct function.


Private orthotics

Good orthotics can make a real difference to the comfort and mobility of the user, but we are seeing an increasing number of people who have been supplied with poorly made and ill fitting orthotics which can lead to the deterioration of the condition they were originally prescribed for. We believe that orthotics where possible should where possible remain functional. That means the foot is allowed to work to the best of its ability with the orthotic in place, rather than the orthotic taking over the function of the foot entirely. It is for this reason we do not make the rigid sort of insoles commonly used by some clinics. We use a variety of materials which are laminated to create a strong but lightweight orthotic which fits into the shoe correctly an d enables the foot to function to its maximum capability.

All footwear and orthotics orders are accepted on the understanding that deposits cannot be returned after work has commenced on the order.

Making the right orthotics is particularly difficult because of the need to understand the interaction between the feet and the shoes, further complicated by any problems caused by the shoes being used by the wearer. It is for this reason that great care and attention is required to make sure that each orthotic fits correctly. Making orthotics is not an exact science and I ask my customers to understand that while I aim to achieve 100% success this is not always possible.

Hopefully you will enjoy wearing your new orthotics and I look forward to welcoming you as a new customer.


NHS orthotics


Guidelines for clients who are entitled to NHS prescribed orthotics.

It is important to note that whilst The Cordwainer is happy to work alongside all Health Service providers, the provision of footwear through the NHS is at the sole discretion of the clinician/orthotic department concerned.

Some NHS service providers are happy to have The Cordwainer provide a service for their patients while others will only use their established suppliers. As The Cordwainer is not currently contracted through NHS procurement arrangements, this might influence the decision whether or not to use The Cordwainer as a supplier.

I have no desire to supply any specific hospital with an extensive footwear service, only to be able to take on specific patients where for any reason the correct footwear has not been able to be provided.

If you have not had NHS orthotics before


If you are happy with your existing orthotics then the service provider will assess your need for further service. If you have not been happy with the orthotics you have been wearing, you should make this known to the clinic where you received the service and give them the opportunity to make what alterations are required to correct the problem. If the problems cannot be resolved then each hospital will have a Patient Support Manager who will take on your complaint and seek to remedy any problem.

If the problems cannot be resolved through these means then you have the choice to have your orthotics made privately or ask if the hospital / service provider would consider using The Cordwainer as the supplier for your orthotics. They will then make the decision based on clinical need and financial implications whether or not they wish to use The Cordwainer as a supplier.

Please note


Our footwear and orthotics are made using the highest quality materials and processes that continue to be used in traditionally made bespoke footwear. All the materials we use comply to European Standard EN 344-1.

The Cordwainer is registered with the Medical Devices Agency. All our footwear and orthotics comply with Medical Device Directive EN93/42/EEC which states that custom made devices are subject to the classification rules and should not be CE marked. The Cordwainer is one of the most experienced and highly skilled shoemakers in the United Kingdom, however this does not allow us to prescribe an appliance or footwear as shoemakers cannot register with the Health Professionals Council. You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement that you are happy to receive footwear not made to prescription. If you wish to have your appliance or footwear made to prescription you should seek the advice of your hospital or doctor. The best results always come from co-operation between all the health professionals involved with dealing with your condition or disability. The Cordwainer will work with any NHS Hospital, Trust or Clinician to ensure you receive the best service possible.

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