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The 4 Types of Healthy Footwear

Which is Right for You vs Which Are Covered by Your Insurance Provider?

So, you're already aware that footwear can improve your foot health and body alignment…that's great! You might have even seen certain types of footwear covered on your health insurance plan and want to capitalize on that. Let's understand the difference between the four types of footwear and which is right for you.

Healthy, “Off-The-Shelf” Footwear

As leaders in healthy feet - from custom fitting to spa pampering to on-trend style, Align offers the only curation of healthy, fashion footwear! Beginning with a complex understanding that different people have different needs for what footwear will be healthiest for them, combined with our expertise in footwear construction, our collection comes together by fashion buyers plus our clinical team scouring fashion brands for healthy shoe attributes! This includes hundreds of tiny different factors, including toe box volume, shank flexibility, and materials.

Because Align is different in our approach, we have exclusivity with renowned brands that you won't find in other clinics, such as our featured healthy footwear collections by Michael Kors, Camper, ON Running, and more. We're experts in minimalism, from structured to high heels and runners; we remove the obstacle of guesswork for you. We also specialize in ensuring your own off-the-shelf shoes, such as your soccer cleats, golf shoes, cycling, skates, snowboard, ski boots, or gym training shoes, are going to be healthiest for you and will give you the best outcomes when we custom fit them with Align Orthotics ™.

These shoes are typically not covered by insurance, unless your insurance indicates "off-the-shelf shoes". However, wearing 'healthy' shoes that are made to not damage your feet and body alignment be preventative, heal pain, and can save you more than just miles on your feet.

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Orthopedic “Off-The-Shelf” Footwear

Our Orthopedic Shoes are designed by specialized orthopedic manufacturers, like Drew Shoes, to support and accommodate the mechanics and structure of the foot. Orthopedic shoes are considered medical shoes and "non-custom orthopedic" shoes and are a healthy option in cases where extra support is required. However, they are not right for everyone as for someone who doesn't need them, they may hinder natural movement and cause atrophy. They're offered in a wider size range and widths than typical shoes, from double narrow to quadruple wide! Align Clinicians determine your requirements in your Body Align Assessment. Often, people call these "orthotic shoes," which is actually not a correct term for either orthotics or shoes. These "off-the-shelf" orthopedic shoe options are specialized and thus costlier than standard shoes.

Orthopedic shoes are typically partially covered by many insurance plans, making them more accessible for those who require additional support. Insurance providers typically require an invoice paid in full and a signed prescription from a family physician or Chiropodist, along with a medical diagnosis. (It's also good to know that while Align Clinician Chiropodists can also provide a signed prescription for Align Orthotics, Orthopedic footwear, and compression socks, Align Clinician Athletic Therapy & Kinesiologists cannot provide a signed prescription, and clients must obtain a signed prescription from their family physician or a walk-in clinic). Regardless of who provides your prescription, Align Clinicians work closely with you to ensure the appropriate sizing, fit, and customizations, if needed, for your optimal foot health.

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Custom-Made, Orthopedic Footwear

For those with complex foot conditions or particularly unique needs, we offer Custom-Made Orthopedic Shoes. Also considered medical shoes, these one-of-a-kind shoes are designed from scratch and tailored to the individual's foot structure and specific requirements. We've even made blue cowgirl wedding boots as custom-made orthopedic shoes. True story!

While these custom-made shoes are typically more expensive, ranging in the thousands of dollars per pair, they are usually partially covered by insurance, making them a viable option for those who require the highest level of personalized foot care, cannot be accommodated by off-the-shelf shoes, and are medically prescribed for these. Paperwork required for a claim include: an invoice paid in full, a signed prescription from your family physician or Chiropodist, along with a medical diagnosis, and sometimes insurance policies will require photos of the custom-made shoe being manufactured, or simply the final product.

Click here to book a Body Align Assessment for custom-made, orthopedic footwear The 4 Types of Healthy Footwear  Mississauga

Modified Footwear

If you've found your perfect pair of healthy footwear but have specific areas of the foot that could benefit from the shoes being modified, we offer a 'Modified Footwear' service right here in our workshop. (Don't worry – if you've run into these problems of footwear damaging your feet before being fitted with us – we also are home to Canada's 1st medical footcare spa, with services by Align Clinician Chiropodists.) Align Clinicians can further customize your shoes using specialized tools like expanders and stretchers, ensuring a personalized fit that addresses your unique foot structure and needs.

This service is also often covered by insurance. Paperwork required for a claim include an invoice paid in full, a signed prescription from a family physician or Chiropodist with a medical diagnosis and the type of modification being performed. Sometimes insurance policies will require photos of the shoe modification being completed, or simply the final product.

Navigating your insurance coverage for footwear is easy when you understand the four different footwear types and which are right for you. In your insurance information, you will typically find this coverage under a heading such as "Other," "Equipment," and "Supplies."

Products are usually covered up to a maximum dollar amount and are sometimes grouped together with likened products to a maximum dollar amount. Some policies cover 100% of the cost, while other policies have a deductible that clients are liable to pay, and the policy reimburses, for example, 70%, 80%, or 90%.

Coverage typically renews in either of two different formats: after a set period of time, such as January 1st of each year, at which time all unused coverage is lost by this renewal date, or a precise amount of time, such as 12 or 24 months, since the most recent claim for the same product.

Every policy is worded quite differently, so it is important to read carefully through how the coverage is structured.

At Align, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve optimal foot health and overall body alignment, and our team of experienced clinicians is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards moving better, aligned.

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Get Started Today

Ready to check 'healthy feet' off your self-care list? Book your appointment today by using the link below. It's never too early or too late to start. We look forward to helping you find beauty and balance through better foot health. Improve the way you move.

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