About Pedorthics

What is Pedorthics?

Pedorthics is the design, manufacture, modification and/or fit of footwear, including shoes, orthoses and foot devices, to prevent or alleviate foot problems caused by disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury.

What is A Pedorthist?

A Board-certified pedorthist is an individual who has studied foot anatomy and pathology, biomechanics, shoe construction and modification, foot orthosis fabrication and materials, footwear fitting, and patient/practice management, and who abides by ABC's Code of Ethics outlining responsibilities to the patient, the physician, the public and the profession. For most C.Peds, hands-on training in the field is also part of their learning process.

ABC pedorthic certification is awarded as an attestation of competency for the public, those who require pedorthic services, and those in other health professions. The awarding of ABC pedorthic certification provides the certified pedorthist with an appropriate and meaningful recognition of professional competence.

for more information on pedorthics consult the American Board for Certification in Orthotics Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC)

common questions about pedorthics


Does insurance cover pedorthic services?


Most often insurance does not cover pedorthic services, but you need to check with your insurance carrier regarding the specific device that has been prescribed for you. There are insurance companies that cover “orthotics” as long as they are custom made. You need to be specific on your insurance claim and provide good documentation.


What is the difference between a DPM and a C.Ped.?


Basically, a C.Ped is not a doctor and cannot write a prescription or do surgery. However, a C.Ped. is a valuable part of the medical team and works with doctors by following their orders to provide pedorthic care.


Why are the shoes so ugly?


It has been said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The beholder probably never saw a pair of orthopedic shoes! The shoes do look different because they are designed to accommodate your feet. The shoes are made to be deeper and more rounded at the toe to provide a safe environment for problem feet. Custom made shoes are often very “boxy” looking. These are made from a cast of your feet. Once the cast is modified, the custom insole is attached to the bottom of the cast and the shoe is built around that to assure there will be no pressure points to cause problems. The result is a thick looking shoe, but hopefully one that fits your feet perfect.


As a diabetic, why do I have to be fitted for shoes?


You don’t have to. In fact, many people who suffer from diabetes never need to wear special shoes. Medicare only allows coverage for shoes to someone who has diabetes and who also is under a comprehensive plan from their doctor to manage the disease and who has certain conditions that warrant the need for shoes and/or insoles.


A common complication of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. This is when there is a loss of protective sensation in the feet. When you have limited or no feeling in your feet you become very susceptible to pressure ulcers occurring on your feet. Then, if your circulation is poor, the wound may never heal without a major amount of treatment. Properly fitted and designed shoes may give you a better chance to avoid skin breakdown.


Is pedorthist a doctor?


NO! Not even a Certified Pedorthist (C.Ped.) is a medical doctor. However, there are some podiatrists (DPM) who are C.Ped.s, also. Someone who is a pedorthist alone is not licensed to practice medicine.


Why do I need a prescription for pedorthic services?


This follows the above question and answer. A C.Ped. may only provide custom made pedorthic devices or modifications when following an order from a medical professional who is qualified to write a prescription. Otherwise the C.Ped. would be practicing medicine by diagnosing a particular condition and this is not within their scope of practice. This is for the protection of the public and a requirement under Texas state law.


How are C.Peds Trained?


There are several educational institutions around the country that offer pedorthic training. There are also many educational opportunities during each year at regional conferences. Feel free to ask you local C.Ped. where they received their training.


Why do I need pedorthic services versus going to a shoe store? What makes pedorthists so special?


There are some great shoe stores across America that have experienced staff who are experts at fitting shoes and offering products that are good for your feet. However, there are thousands of shoe stores that are either “self serve” or have staff that is very inexperienced at even fitting shoes or measuring your feet. An ABC Accredited Facility is one that has an extensive fitting stock of specialized footwear, has the ability to fabricate custom made products and modifications and has a C.Ped. on staff to provide expert assistance to help provide you with the best possible fit and function.