• Pod Co Podiatry

Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! What makes good shoes good shoes?


Hi <<First Name>>,

As we have mentioned before, correctly fitted and quality footwear is essential for not only for your comfort, but also prevention of injury.

There are so many cheap, nasty and utterly crap shoes out there that it seems harder and harder to educate our patients on what not to buy – most leave feeling like they have very few options available to them.  

This is something that we completely understand!

So in an effort to find out more about shoe making, we met with David Sutton, Pedorthist and owner/manufacturer of Bilby School Shoes (www.bilbyshoes.com) in Thomastown.


What is a Pedorthist?

This is someone who is trained in footwear modification and the use of supportive devices to help with different foot conditions. A good Pedorthist can modify any shoe to accommodate a range of foot and lower limb deformities including:

  • Bunions

  • Claw toes

  • High arched feet

  • Limb length differences

David also makes custom-made shoes for those that suffer with extreme bony deformities such as

  • Club feet

  • Deformities caused by Polio

  • Amputations

What makes a good shoe?


Good quality materials – if you’re making a shoe out of good quality materials, they will last you longer, simple as that.  If the shoes are made out of cardboard and thin rubber, don’t expect them to be with you forever. 

Correct construction – this is known as the “last”.  There are three types of lasting, board/cement, force and stitch down.  

  • The best type of construction is board/cement lasting – this is where the upper part of the shoe is folded down underneath the inner sole of the shoe and the outer sole glued over the top.  School and dress shoes constructed this way will survive whatever you throw at them.    

  • The most common construction (also found in all running shoes) is force lasting where the upper is sewn onto the inner sole and then the outer sole glued on to cover the stitches.  School, work and casual shoes constructed in this way will generally last the distance without falling apart.

  • The least sturdy type is the stitch down method.  This is where the upper is sewn directly to the sole by a line of stitching around the outside.  This makes for a very flexible shoe but one where the shoe is likely to fall apart the quickest.  

So the next time you are looking for a new pair of shoes, have a think first about what you want to use them for.  Will they be exercised in?  Are they for work?  Does your work require more standing or sitting?  Do you commute to work or perhaps walk around in your lunch break?  Once you have an idea of the general use of the shoe, with the above information you can better choose a shoe that suits your needs. 

And remember, you can always bring your shoes in to us at Pod Co for assessment and if there are any modifications needed, we can send them to David Sutton who will make them the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever have!