Orthotics Infographic

Q: Who makes orthotics for SPI and what is their background? 
A: Tammy Harbison, owner of Colorado based Elite Feet Orthotics. Since 1997, Tammy has focused solely on custom, hand-crafted orthotics. We are fortunate to have Tammy here in Austin a few weeks per month to hand-craft her custom orthotics on-site for our patients. Get your own pair and you’ll know why Lance Armstrong trusted Tammy’s expertise all the way to winning his 6th Tour de France victory in 2004. An accomplished athlete, Tammy knows the wear and tear one’s body can take. She also knows that proper footwear and support have helped keep her own body healthy and her goal is to pass that on to you. 

Q: What should I expect during the initial appointment?
A: The first appointment with Tammy will take approximately one hour to be assessed, fit, and molded for the orthotics (please bring your training footwear and a pair of shorts). Tammy will then make the orthotics within 24 hours, have you come back within the next day or so to be adjusted, and then voila! You will recieve your custom hand-crafted orthotics before Tammy heads back to Boulder. After a few weeks of breaking in your new orthotics you may want to come back for some more adjustments — just call our office to schedule an “adjustment” — all such appointments are complimentary!

Orthotics foot viewQ: Why SPI orthotics? 
A: SPI’s orthotics are hand-crafted custom orthotics built on-site by Tammy to be worn on the inside of your shoe. They are NOT the unforgiving, hard plastic orthotics that have been around for decades. Custom orthotics are designed to cradle your feet in their neutral or ideal position while controlling abnormal foot motion. SPI’s orthotics will correctly align the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the legs and feet. They improve balance and evenly distribute weight across the entire base of the foot.

Q: How can orthotics help me?
A: SPI’s orthotics, coupled with the proper footwear, will gently direct your feet and legs into their ideal biomechanical alignment. Whether you have chronic injuries or simply wish to prevent the possibility of injury, SPI’s orthotics will provide the stability, support, and comfort for any activity.

Q: Do orthotics hurt?
A: SPI’s orthotics are a semi-flexible, accommodative orthotic device. The mold is an exact representation of the bone structure of your foot in its ideal position. Initially, orthotics will feel strange or different, but should not hurt. Orthotics will require a period of adjustment while your body gets used to the new position. During this time period, your body heat will allow for additional molding of the orthotics to the natural contours of your foot structure. Once you are used to the alignment, the orthotics will become an indispensable part of your daily regimen.

Tammy orthotic mirrorQ: Do orthotics fit in all shoes?
A: Our standard orthotic is a ¾ length, which means it ends right behind the five balls (metatarsal heads) of your toes. This length will allow the orthotics to slide in and out of varying styles and lengths of shoes. Shoes that are high volume and lace will provide the optimal environment for your new orthotic. SPI orthotics were initially designed to fit mainly in athletic and casual shoes, but we have since designed a style that will fit in most dress shoes. If you normally fit your shoes quite tightly, you may need to increase the size to properly fit the orthotic and your foot. SPI also makes full length orthotics, as well as, 25-30 other material combinations which are chosen with your needs and shoe choices in mind.

Q: Since I purchased these orthotics, can I now buy cheaper shoes?
A: As stated above, the orthotics work with your footwear to properly support your feet. The midsole and upper on a cheaper shoe will usually breakdown in less time and not provide a stable base for the orthotic to sit. The midsole is the most important element of your shoes. It provides the shock absorption and the stability in athletic footwear. Often times, if the midsole is compressed you can place the shoes on a flat tabletop; they will “wobble” and lean toward each other. Since the shoe will already be leaning to the inside or outside, the orthotic on the inside of the shoe will be leaning as well.

Q: Will orthotics work in most athletic footwear?
A: SPI provides orthotic crafting for medical professional and individuals worldwide. Any sport, which uses footwear, at any level, can benefit from proper foot alignment. Tammy has sent orthotics with athletes to the Winter and Summer Olympics, Ironman Triathlons, NCAA National Football Championships, Mount Everest, K2, and your local gym on a daily basis.

Q: What types of footwear can I use orthotics in?
A: Walking/Hiking, Aerobics, Running, Cycling, Skiing– nordic/alpine, Basketball, Soccer, Football, Tennis, – racket sports, Hockey, Figure Skates, Mountaineering
You name the footwear and Tammy has put orthotics in them!

Tammy OrthoticsQ: How long will orthotics last?
A: The average life of an orthotic is 3-5 years of everyday use, which includes athletic activities. This time frame is entirely dependent upon your activities, body size, and how hard you are on your footwear. If you keep your shoes updated (i.e., buy new ones when the old ones breakdown) and buy quality footwear, there will be less stress to the orthotic and thus your orthotics will have a longer life. The orthotics and the shoes should work together, 50/50, as a part of a complete foot support package.

Q: Does insurance cover orthotics?
A: Many insurance plans no longer provide coverage for orthotics. If you have coverage, we will provide you the materials necessary to submit it to your insurance company. The patient cannot file under Dr. Spears, claims should be filed under Tammy Harbison, who is not contracted with any carrier, so any benefit should be out-of-network.

Q: Are the orthotics guaranteed?
A: Your satisfaction and comfort is our only goal and is GUARANTEED! We offer FREE adjustments for the life of your orthotics as well.