Ambulatory Footwear®

Custom Made Footwear and Orthotics in West Hamilton

Shoes and orthotics


The Experts at Ambulatory Footwear® are Here to Help

Orthoses & Custom Orthotics



What is an Orthosis?

Foot orthoses are specially designed devices that are worn inside the shoe and, in some cases, incorporated into the structure of the boot or shoe. They accommodate and support painful areas of the foot, as well as assist in the control of abnormal foot function. Your feet are the foundation for your body and any imperfections they may have can cause other problems such as neck, back and/or knee pain. Orthoses will manipulate your feet and ankles into the correct position, thus eliminating discomfort. When properly made, an orthosis will not feel uncomfortable to the patient. At Ambulatory Footwear, orthoses are usually moulded over a plaster impression of the patient’s foot. Digitized systems are still dependent on vast libraries of shapes, and are therefore only used in certain situations; casting ensures that the orthosis will be specific to that patient’s needs.

How does an Orthosis Work?

Orthoses will not change the overall structure of your foot, their purpose is to reduce any pain and pressure experienced in the foot and ankle, as much as possible, by manipulating the position and motion of your foot. If not worn regularly, any pain and disability you have experienced in the past will return. In most cases, if orthoses are worn daily, they may prevent any further complications from arising.


The Making of an Orthosis…
Orthoses can be made from a wide variety of materials, depending on your condition. They can be hard, soft or flexible. All varieties are equally comfortable and last anywhere from six months to several years. However, minor adjustments and repairs may be required. All work is done onsite, in our Dundas facility.

The first step in the making of your orthoses is a complete examination and understanding of your diagnosis of foot-related pain, gait analysis and foot type. After this assessment, plaster cast impressions of your feet are made. Our specialists fill and finish your casts, thereby producing three-dimensional replicas of your feet, which are then modified according to diagnosis and assessment. Using a vacuum-former, your orthoses are moulded over these casts. Since every orthosis we make is designed for your individual needs, a variety of different foams, corks, silicons and plastics may be used as required. Due to this process your orthoses will require as little getting used to as possible and be corrective and comfortable from the start.

We also design and develop footwear to address the following conditions:

Polio Myelitis:

We fabricate shoes and boots with internal equinal (heel) and forefoot rise resulting in a more fashionable footwear. When required, internal ankle, foot and lower extremity (below the knee) bracing can be laminated between the linings of boots for added lateral stability.


Relief can be obtained for both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis with custom made footwear that supports and accommodates these conditions.

Charcot's Joints

This condition is characterized by a painless swelling and disorganization of the joints resulting from damage to the pain fibres that occurs in tabes dorsalis and diabetic neuropathy. Boots for those with Charcot’s Joints must be fitted exactly, have no seams, fit well over the ankle joint, and in some cases, internal bracing is required. The orthotic is often made of plastazote, which is a soft, mouldable material.

Epidermolysis Bullosa (E.B.)

This is an old term used to describe a blistering disease caused by splits in the skin that are triggered by trauma to the epidermal layer. The lining of the shoes must be soft and fitted, in order to reduce friction with the surface of the skin. The footwear that we make to address E.B. is designed after an athletic shoe. The shoe, which is made out of sheepskin, is constructed without seams and has a felt insole. These shoes can be made with an open toe and heel, or closed, with colourful trim. Similar footwear is designed for severe burns and potential ulceration conditions.


Amputation is performed for a variety of reasons. The most common foot amputation that we fabricate footwear for is a mid-tarsus amputation. We manufacture a number of different styles for this and other partial foot amputations.

Drop Foot

This condition is brought about by stroke or other medical conditions and is often treated with plastic AFO braces worn inside running shoes or remedial extra-depth-type footwear. At Ambulatory Footwear, we fabricate boots with internal AFO bracing within the lining to provide greater lift with less friction. We also fabricate boots with stirrup bracing within the lining to provide stability and medial lateral ankle support.
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Club Foot
  • Diabetes
  • Edema
  • Fusion
  • Insensitive Feet
  • Leg Length Discrepancy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Ulceration
  • And Others
Oxford Style
Blutcher Style
Brace Boots / CROW
Open Toe & Sandals

Other Foot Care Solutions

For milder foot and lower extremity problems, the following products are available:

  • Off-the-shelf diabetic insoles.
  • Air casts for treatment of plantar ulcers with or without modifications.
  • Night splints for treatment of plantar fasciitis pain.
  • Toe props for treatment of claw toes and associated problems.
  • Full range of orthopedic shoe modifications as prescribed.
  • Jobst compression garments for treatment of oedema as prescribed, custom garments also available.