Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
You have been provided with Specialist Orthotic Footwear by the Orthotics Service.
Please follow the instructions given to you at your clinical appointment, and use the enclosed information for further reference.
This leaflet will provide you with information you need on looking after your footwear and it will explain what happens next.
Why have I been provided with Orthotic footwear?
Your footwear has been prescribed to meet your individual clinical needs. Orthotic footwear is usually provided to:
- Offer support
- Improve comfort
- Reduce risk of skin pressure
- Accommodate foot deformities
How often should I wear my footwear?
When first provided with your Orthotic Footwear it is important to gradually build up the length of time you wear it, to allow your body to adjust to your new footwear.
You should start by wearing your footwear indoors and for short periods.
You may experience some discomfort when you first start wearing your new footwear. This is a usual response until your body becomes used to it and this should settle with time.
You should wear your footwear for approximately 20 minutes on Day One, gradually increasing this until you are comfortable wearing your footwear all day.
How do I monitor my feet?
It is important to wear socks with footwear as this will help to reduce moisture and the incidence of skin abrasion (blisters or grazes). It is also helpful to secure your footwear firmly to prevent your heel slipping and causing unwanted movement.
After removing your footwear you should check your feet for:
- Areas of redness
- Skin abrasions (blisters or grazes)
If any of these problems arise, please stop using your footwear and contact the Orthotics Service to arrange a review appointment.
How do I care for my footwear?
The footwear you have been provided with is either made of leather or suede. It is important to look after your footwear. Caring for your footwear protects the materials and makes the footwear more hard wearing.
For leather footwear, cleaning regularly and using shoe polish will increase its durability.
For suede footwear, the use of suede protector and suede cleaner is useful and helps to protect against different weather conditions.
Please do not place your footwear in the washing machine or tumble dryer.
How long should my footwear last?
You have been provided with one pair of Orthotic footwear and the durability will be determined by your use. If your Orthotist feels it is appropriate you may also be supplied with an additional pair.
As you wear your footwear, the leather will begin to soften and mould to your foot shape and through time the way they fit may alter.
As you wear your footwear the sole and heel may start to wear down and it is important to have this repaired at your local cobblers to ensure your footwear is still safe to use.
Once you feel your footwear have become worn and is no longer functional or comfortable, please contact the Orthotics Service to arrange a review appointment.
If the Orthotics team feels your footwear are no longer suitable they will then be replaced and your older footwear will be disposed of.
How do I contact the Orthotics Service?
Monday to Friday
Telephone: 01429 522471
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet Reference: PIL1415
Date for Review: 08/03/2026