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Wearing Different Shoes and Heel Heights

Your artificial limb (prosthesis) has been set up specifically for the shoe, boot, trainer or slipper that you provided at your fitting appointment. We refer to the “pitch” of the shoe as the difference between the height of the heel and that of the sole. Different footwear can have small but significant differences in pitch. Changing between different types of footwear without regard for this will affect your balance and could cause soreness to your stump (residual limb).

The diagram in the centre shows how the artificial limb should look when it is set up correctly in the footwear.


If you decide to change your footwear, you must check that the pitch of the shoe is exactly the same and your artificial limb remains vertical to the ground. If you are unsure, the simplest solution is to make an appointment with your prosthetist and bring all your shoes with you. Your prosthetist can reset your limb for a different shoe. Alternatively, your prosthetist can add a simple wedge to the inside of your footwear so that you can change your footwear. You will not feel or see the wedge and most people are happy with this solution. In some cases, we may supply a “patient adjustable foot”. These allow you to alter your own prosthetic foot to accommodate different types of footwear. If this is something you would like to know more about, please talk to your prosthetist or one of the doctors.