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Footwear: A Guide to Selecting Shoes for Modification

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​What are Footwear Modifications?

Footwear modifications – either on their own or combined with custom-made orthoses and/or orthopaedic shoes – are a useful way to help patients with certain foot conditions.

How Do I Know if My Shoes Need to be Modified?

Shoe modifications may be necessary if you are experiencing the following:

  • Leg length discrepancy (LLD): when one leg is shorter than the other
  • Ankle in fixed in downward position
  • Walking instability

Following your consultation with the Prosthetist & Orthotist (P&O), you would be advised on the type of shoe modification you may require, such as:

  • Shoe raise
  • Heel raise
  • Flares

How are Your Shoes Modified?

  • Shoe modifications involve alterations to the sole of the shoe
  • The shape of the sole can be changed by adding or removing a foam-based material called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA)
  • This material is used on the soles of most sports shoes
  • It is important to select a shoe that has a sole which can easily be altered.

What Shoes are Suitable for Modification?

  • You are encouraged to modify a pair of relatively new shoes that you are comfortable to wear for a long term
  • Most sandals, sports shoes and orthopaedic shoes are suitable for modification
  • There are several aspects you can look out for when getting shoes for modification
    • Covered shoes provide protection to your toes and heel


    • Shoe fasteners like straps or laces ensure your shoes provide adequate grip on your feet


    • Shoe soles need to be
      • Flat
      • Thick and firm
      • Made of EVA foam material
  • If you are unsure of whether your shoes are suitable, please consult your attending P&O

What Shoes are Not Suitable for Modification?

  • Slippers or flip flops


  • Shoes with rubber based soles
  • Shoes with thin or deep patterned soles


What Happens During the Consultation?

  • At your first outpatient appointment visit, you would be assessed accordingly by your clinician
  • You would then be seen on a second appointment for fitting of the modified shoes
  • If necessary, you would be scheduled for a review to check on your progress with the shoes
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