the Sole Mate
Custom Orthotics & Footbeds

#204 - 3303 Coldstream Ave.
Vernon BC V1T 1Y1
(250) 542-8483

Orthotic FAQ's

Do I need to make an appointment?

Yes! All patients are seen by appointment only. Feel free to call us (250) 542-8483, drop us an email: or use our really handy Online scheduler to book your own appointment!

How long is an appointment?

You can expect your initial visit with us to last 45 minutes up to an hour. During that time with you, we take a detailed medical history and we do a very thorough biomechanical assessment that typically includes a postural assessment, range of motion of the lower extremity joints, strength and flexibility, special tests when needed, and we also watch you walk (or run if needed) on the treadmill. If you are coming in for ski boot fitting, we also use special tools to assess your on-snow alignment. During that time we may also provide you with an exercise program or point you to another health specialist if needed.

What do I need to bring for my 1st appointment?

We recommend that you bring 1-2 pairs of shoes that you wear regularly and/or athletic shoes (runners, tennis shoes, ski boots…) that you may have concerns with. If you already wear orthotics or have purchased over-the-counter insoles, bring them along as well. We also recommend that you wear pants that can easily roll up above your knees.

Do I need orthotics?

This is always a hard question to answer! Without doing an assessment it is hard for us to judge. But one thing for sure, if you are experiencing foot/leg/hip or low back pain, there is a very good chance we can help you!

If you are not in pain but you have noticed uneven or out of the ordinary wear pattern on your shoes, it may also be worth coming in for an assessment (or sending us photos of them if you are using our online services).

If all is well it still may not be an indication that you are doing fine without them! Family history and old injuries may also point you in the right direction.

How long do orthotics last?

For custom-made orthotics, even though we don’t recommend you use a pair for more than 2 years without having a check-up, they will typically last 3-5 years, depending on how much you wear them. Of course the more pairs you own, the longer they will last as each pair gets a “recovery” time and there is less wear and tear from moving them from shoe to shoe.

Are orthotics covered by the government medical services?

Sadly in British-Columbia orthotics are not covered anymore by the Medical Service Plan (MSP). However, if you qualify for Premium Assistance, you may be eligible for a discount. If you have extended health (typically through your work), you are more than likely covered.

Are orthotics covered by my health plan?

Most extended health plans cover orthotics. Some have a fixed maximum amount, some cover a certain percentage (typically 80%) and some cover the full amount with no limit. Refer to your booklet (or go online) and search under “Medical devices”, “Orthotics” or “Orthopaedic appliances” to find out what your coverage is.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

A referral is not necessary for the initial consultation but if you have extended health that covers you for orthotics, most plans will request a referral. Typically they will require that it is written by a medical doctor, but some companies will accept referrals from physiotherapists, chiropractors and naturopaths. Refer to your booklet (or online) to find out their exact requirements.

How much time does it take to get custom orthotics made?

Our typical turn-around time for custom-made orthotics is a week. However for busy people (or even out-of-town visitors), we can offer a 24 hour delivery time. It is preferable to let the receptionist know of your needs when you book your appointment. We can also modify an over-the-counter insole for you. Such devices are made on the spot.

What type of orthotics do you make?

We use a flexible resin because we believe an orthotic should work with the foot and not just act as a stopper. Therefore we make full-contact, fairly flexible orthotics (we mould the material directly onto the replica of your foot). As for the length of them, you will typically be given the choice between full length, 7/8 or ¾ orthotics. You will also be given choices of cover materials.

I have been seen in person, can I order a new pair by phone?

You can certainly order a new pair with a phone call. However, if your plaster moulds were handed to you, you will have to ship them to us. We recommend that you wrap them in bubble wrap and place them in a box. Make sure to indicate Fragile on the box.

Will I need to wear ugly orthopaedic looking shoes with my orthotics?

We don't! So there shouldn't be any reason you should!

Your question is not answered here? Feel free to drop us a line.