If you need glasses, do they only ask if you are nearsighted or farsighted? No they measure the specific sight capacity of each eye, then calibrate the lens for each eye to match its specific need. If you need a hearing aid, do they just measure the gross size of your ear and make the hearing aid? No, they make a careful impression of your ear canal and measure your hearing capacity to make the aid to meet the specific need of your ear. So if you need a corrective foot orthotic, why would you settle for a generic shape and flexibility that does not account for the specific need of each foot? And yet that’s how most “custom” foot orthotics are prescribed today.
Calibration involves putting each orthotic in a high pressure chamber for testing. An air bladder is filled until the pressure against the orthotic shell is enough to make it flex downward a certain amount (just like your foot will do when you put your weight on it).
A moving pain measures the exact distance the orthotic shell deflects. Knowing what pressure causes how much deflection we can test the orthotic for your individual needs.
Think about it. Bigger, heavier people need more foot support than smaller, lighter people. Feet that are flatter and floppier need more support than feet with high arches and more rigidity. Very physically active people need more support than people who sit most of the day; people who do routine heavy lifting than those who do not. Etc., etc.
At Sole Supports, we have gone the extra effort to offer a truly custom device in every respect. To do that, we have to figure in your weight, flexibility rating of each foot and general activity level, in addition to insuring we have an accurate cast of each foot. Each Sole Support shell is made completely from scratch, with no generic starter plates, add-on pads or arch filler. Then we calibrate each shell to deliver the right combination of flexibility and rigidity for each foot. First we had to invent the world’s first and only orthotic calibrator.