Sometimes, all it takes to make your knee, foot, or ankle pain go away is the simple addition of an orthotic—no surgery, medication, or long-term physical therapy needed.

Tarrant County orthoticsAt Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, our team of board-certified Tarrant County podiatrists offers a full range of custom devices and shoes to relieve your foot pain and get your feet feeling healthy for life, and we can help you find the perfect fit for your feet.

There is no reason to live with foot discomfort or pain, and an improper gait or foot conditions can cause pain throughout your body. If you live in or near Grapevine or Keller, Texas, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our pedorthist to see if orthotics are the right option for you.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Orthotics are specialized custom devices for your shoes designed to help reduce stress on a specific area or improve your gait (the way you walk). Inserts and orthotics can also help reduce pain caused by overuse and stress in people who stand for long periods of time.

These assistive devices can also help improve function and restore mobility to your feet and ankles. They are made from molded rubber, leather, or plastic and are then placed into your shoe.

What is a Pedorthist?

A pedorthist is a certified health care professional who specializes in the design, manufacture, modification, and fit of footwear, including shoes, orthotics, and other foot appliances, to alleviate problems caused by diseases, congenital conditions, or injuries.

Your first visit with a pedorthist at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists begins with a thorough assessment of your feet, lower limbs, and gait. The pedorthist will also ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, and any specific concerns or problems you are experiencing with your feet.

During the assessment, the pedorthist may use various tools and techniques to analyze your foot structure, such as measuring foot size and shape, assessing joint motion, and observing your walking or running pattern. They might also evaluate the wear pattern of your current shoes.

Based on their careful assessment, the pedorthist will recommend appropriate footwear or orthotic devices tailored to address your specific needs. These recommendations may aim to provide support, improve alignment, and alleviate pain or discomfort.

Pedorthists and podiatrists often work hand-in-hand to provide you with quality care.

The Two Major Types of Custom Orthotic Devices

There are two different types of custom orthotics: accommodative and functional. Your podiatrist can help determine which specific device or devices are best for your needs.


  • Support specific areas of the foot
  • Provide extra cushioning
  • Made out of polypropylene material
  • More flexible than functional orthotics
  • More likely prescribed for diabetic foot ulcers and other medical issues


  • Used to control abnormal biomechanical motion
  • Constructed from more rigid materials like firm plastic
  • Used for restricting motion that can cause discomfort or pain in the feet and in the lower back—these devices are not made of flexible material

Generally, accommodative orthotics are commonly used for conditions such as diabetic foot problems, arthritis, or other conditions where pressure relief and comfort are the primary concerns. Functional orthotics are more often prescribed for conditions related to abnormal foot mechanics, such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and issues caused by overpronation or supination.

Conditions Treated With Custom Orthotics

A surprising number of foot and ankle conditions can benefit from orthotics. It’s also important to understand that while orthotics are the best standalone treatment for some foot conditions, in other cases, orthotics might simply be part of a treatment plan or a temporary solution before surgery. Also, some orthotics are meant for temporary use, while others can benefit you and your feet for the rest of your life.

Here are just some of the foot conditions that orthotics can help treat:

Neuropathic Ulceration

Orthotics can provide essential support, cushioning, and pressure redistribution for individuals with neuropathic ulceration, helping to alleviate excessive weight on vulnerable areas of the foot and aiding in the prevention of ulcer formation while promoting wound healing. At Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, we often use an off-loading diabetic shoe, orthotic inserts, or below-the-knee pneumatic walking boot with accommodative insert to treat this condition.

Plantar Fasciitis

Orthotics can play a crucial role in managing plantar fasciitis by providing arch support, shock absorption, and proper foot alignment. They also help distribute pressure evenly across the foot, reducing strain on the plantar fascia and alleviating pain associated with inflammation. This can promote healing and prevent further damage.


Custom devices can assist in relieving pain and discomfort associated with bunions by redistributing pressure and stabilizing the foot's alignment. They may also help prevent the worsening of the deformity by providing support and reducing excessive stress on the joint and toe, improving overall foot function and comfort.

Hallux Rigidus

Orthotics can aid in managing hallux rigidus, a stiff toe joint, by providing additional cushioning and support to the affected joint at the base of the big toe. By limiting excessive motion and reducing pressure on the affected area, orthotics can help alleviate pain and improve function. Our medical professionals may use a reverse Morton’s extension to increase the motion to the foot and/or a Morton’s extension to increase the motion to the big toe joint.

Toe Deformities

Orthotics are beneficial in addressing toe deformities by providing corrective support and preventing further misalignment. They can also help alleviate discomfort associated with deformities such as hammer toes or claw toes, promoting better foot function, and, at the same time, reducing the risk of common complications like corns and calluses. In some cases, surgery may be needed in addition to or instead of orthotics.

Arch Abnormalities

Individuals with arch abnormalities, such as flat feet or high arches, can benefit from orthotics that offer customized arch support. They can help distribute weight evenly across the foot, providing stability and helping to prevent excessive strain on specific areas. This can alleviate pain, improve gait, and enhance overall foot function.


Orthotics can assist in reducing and preventing calluses by redistributing pressure on specific areas of the foot's surface. They can also help correct gait abnormalities and provide cushioning to areas prone to excessive friction, promoting healthier skin on the feet.

What Types of Orthotic Shoes Are Available?

We carry a variety of orthotic brands, as well as the practice’s brand, Heavenly Steps Comfort Footwear. We also offer Vionic Aetrex Comfort Shoes. Both of these brands provide several styles with supportive technologies.

Heavenly Steps Comfort Footwear also offers popular brand-name shoes, such as Brooks running shoes. Although these shoes aren’t specifically designed for people with foot and ankle pain, our podiatrists review each brand and model, and they only offer those that can help improve your condition.

Why Not Store-Bought Orthotics?

It may seem easier or more economical to simply go to the store to buy your orthotics. But visiting a podiatrist comes with a number of advantages, including the following:

  • Getting a full foot exam and an accurate diagnosis
  • Getting the right orthotic device for you
  • Making certain the device fits perfectly
  • Getting a device that is high-quality and durable
  • Having the opportunity for follow-up appointments to tweak your orthotic or seek further treatment.

The podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists perform a digital foot scan analysis, determining the best way to help reduce not only your foot and ankle pain but your knee, hip, and even back pain, as well.