Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp  
The practical application of all the latest thoughts, ideas, concepts, theories and research  

20 September 2009

Do Rigid Foot Orthotics Work?

Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods? Can a duck swim?

How often have you heard people say “Foot Orthotics don’t work”. How often have you read that on websites? There is also the variation on that the “rigid orthotics do not work”.

I would like to challenge all those that make these claims about rigid foot orthotics not working or foot orthotics not working to please produce ONE study that actually shows that.

To date there are over probably over 100 patient satisfaction studies; clinical outcome studies; and randomised controlled trials that ALL have shown foot orthotics work. Patients get better with them. There is no doubt about it. The success rates are pretty comparable to most other types of medical interventions. More than half those studies were with rigid foot orthotics. Not one of them showed that they did not work!

Perhaps those making the claims about foot orthotics not working can come up with some evidence to back their claims.

One day, I will get a list of the publications and list them here, but anyone with half a brain can do literature search and find them easy enough. What does that say about those who claim foot orthotics do not work?

There are obviously indications and contraindications for flexible and rigid foot orthotics with a range of different prescription variables; there are obviously clinical conditions and foot types that that are not indicated in. That decision is based on appropriate clinical decision making and clinical experience in the context of the research evidence. When you need rigid orthotics, you need rigid orthotics, based on the clinical indications.

Craig Payne


Site Map