Foot Orthotics Research

A study to compare the success rate of customised foot orthotics and off-the-shelf foot orthotics. Funded by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the study will be focusing on patients with heel pain (plantar fasciitis). The study will be led by Dr. James Wrobel, podiatrist and interim director of Scholl’s Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. In order to better understand the effect of customised orthotics the study will examine 300 hundred patients within the age range of 18 to 75. The patients, all suffering from plantar fasciitis, will be given one of three types of orthotic. They are customised orthotics, off-the-shelf orthotics or sham insoles. The sham insoles will not be designed to relieve pain and act as a comparison to the other types of insole.

This study is the first of its kind. Podiatrist often prescribe customised orthotics. Therefore it is important that there be evidence-based statistical data obtained to verify the extent to which customised and off-the-shelf orthotics are able to assist in the recovery of heel pain.

"We are trying to better understand how well custom foot orthotics prescribed by podiatric physicians compare with over-the-counter insoles and pre-fabricated insoles to reduce or eliminate heel pain, and improve a patient’s quality of life"

Dr. James Wrobel, Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research.

Paitents will be inlcuded in the study if they have been suffering from plantar heel pain fot less than one year and have not been previously treated using orthotics. They must be capable of walking unaided.

APMA (2009). New Study Compares Over-the-Counter Foot Inserts with Prescription Orthotics, (Accessed 25.11.09). (2009). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Custom Foot Orthoses for the Treatment of Plantar Heel Pain, (Accessed 25.11.09).