Modern Orthotics: New Technology for an Old Problem

November 17, 2018

Two thousand years ago, people discovered that even broken-in sandals could be a pain. They used layers of wool to pad their sandals and comfort their tired, aching feet. In 1865, the first arch support was created by Everett Dunbar of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, who inserted leather “lifts” between the insole and the outsole of his shoes. The first true orthotic was introduced by Boston orthopedist Royal Whitman in 1905. The stiff, metal arch support was called the ‘Whitman Brace,’ and it was quite popular, despite being expensive, heavy and misshaping the shoe.


A lighter and more flexible metal support was introduced in 1910; its popularity indicated how many people were seeking relief for their sore feet. During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a craze for shoes featuring built-in orthotics that promised to treat a myriad of foot problems. By the 1940s, production and pricing had gotten so out of control that the Federal Trade Commission had to intervene. In the 1960s, stock shoe inserts ordered by size were in high demand; they didn’t do any more to improve foot comfort and function than the mass-produced versions sold today. New, lighter and stronger materials paved the way for the introduction of the modern custom orthotic.


A More Active Lifestyle

In the 1970s, the average person became more active and sports-oriented; jogging became very popular. Lower-extremity injuries were more widespread, and the orthotics industry grew in response and sophistication. Athletic shoe designers and manufacturers began to integrate more pronounced insoles and other support features into their footwear. Sports medicine practices began popping up, and doctors and physical therapists were recommending custom orthotic inserts as part of treating lower leg, ankle and foot problems.


Today, Foot Doctors Orthotics has an ingenious online ordering and fitting process that delivers custom orthotics directly to your door. Our custom-fitted orthotic inserts are made on site, by Dr. O and her team of experts, including a certified pedorthist. You order the style orthotic that’s right for you – we make them for every type of shoe - wait for your impression kit to arrive (it usually ships in just two days), and follow the easy instructions to take impressions of your feet. Just 5-7 days after they receive your impression kit, your new custom orthotics will arrive, and your happier, healthier feet can take you wherever you want to go! This solution also is ideal for someone who cannot physically leave their home.


People have had tired aching feet for thousands of years. Fortunately, today’s technology and Foot Doctors Orthotics offer us relief with lightweight, durable, custom-made orthotics. We will always rely on our feet to carry us through our workday and enhance our life by supporting us in our activities and sports. Once you experience how much Foot Doctors Orthotics’ custom orthotics can enhance your life, you’ll realize why so many people wear them every day. Call Foot Doctors Orthotics at 877-598-2471 or email us at