Shoe Modifications

The ability to adjust or modify footwear is one of the unique skills of our Pedorthists.

Your footwear may provide you with many benefits.  However, sometimes shoes may need to be modified by a trained specialist in order to better support and accommodate your individual needs.

These modifications can be made to everyday footwear as well as to some athletic footwear. Some modifications are not appropriate for all types of footwear so you should discuss your options with one of our Pedorthists.

Examples of conditions that might benefit from a shoe modification might include:

  • Bunions
  • Different leg lengths
  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Abnormal foot alignments

These types of footwear modifications can range from simple to complex.

Shoes from Walking Mobility Clinics

Sole Lift:

This is an external modification of the midsole to add a prescribed amount of height to one or both shoes.

Who would benefit?  People with:

  • a significant leg length discrepancy

Sole splits:

This modification is used to increase the width of the sole in a certain area. The mid-sole is cut and extra material is wedged into the gap.

Who would benefit?  People with:

  • extremely flat feet
  • a Charcot joint diabetic deformity
  • bony prominences that need to be accommodated


This modification is used to reduce the pressure on sensitive areas. The midsole of the shoe is ground-out or “excavated” leaving a pocket that can either be left empty, or filled with a softer material.

Who would benefit? People with:

  • “dropped” or prominent bones
  • lesions, or sensitive areas (eg. arthritic joints, wounds, fibromas)

Flares and buttresses:

These modifications are used to widen the base of the shoe on the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) aspect and strengthen the shoe in that area. They are used to stop the foot from collapsing in an area and distorting the shoe.

Who would benefit?  People with:

  • severely pronated feet
  • chronic ankle sprains

Rocker soles:

This modification is used to relieve pain in the ball of the foot, aggressively offload certain areas of the foot or to improve gait by aiding the heel contact or push off phase of gait

Who would benefit?  People with:

  • arthritis of the big toe
  • metatarsalgia (forefoot pain)
  • ankle arthritis
  • achilles tendonitis

SACH Heel (Solid Ankle Cushion Heel)

This modification is characterized by the addition of a more cushioned material replacing a portion of the heel area of the shoe. SACH heels reduce shock at heel strike and compensate for diminished ankle motion.

Who would benefit?  People with:

  • an injury to their heel or ankle
  • arthritis of the heel or ankle
  • a surgical ankle fusion