How Much are Custom-Made Shoes?
All first orders for custom shoes start with a set-up fee that covers evaluation, casting/measuring, designing lasts, fitting, dispense and 2 follow-ups within about 2 months. This fee ranges from $250 to $750, depending upon shoe construction, though it typically costs $650.
San Francisco Molded Shoes (rebuilding ready-made shoes on custom lasts) start at $1,200.
Custom-Made Shoes from scratch start at $2,400 and can go as high as $4,000 for brace boots and fancy boots. The average price is about $2,500, and dressy styles tend to cost more than casual styles.
Why do Custom Shoes cost as much as they do?
Put simply, I will quote what I tell aspiring artisans with romantic notions about learning the craft of shoemaking:
“First, there’s just making shoes; then there’s making shoes for specific people; then there’s making shoes for specific people with foot problems; and then there’s making shoes for specific people with foot problems… happy.”
Beyond those challenges is the challenge of operating a small service business where all fixed costs must be spread over a very low volume capacity. The fact that every product manufactured is unique defies the standardization that most businesses strive for.
It is also important to understand that custom orthopedic shoes are fundamentally a health service in the guise of a product, and they are not routinely paid for by medical insurance in this country, rendering them expensive to the consumer. There is a significant amount of skill, labor time (averaging 24 hours/pair), and professional liability required in designing and fabricating these often life-altering devices. Our rates are commensurate to what it takes to get you the positive result you need.
How much are your Custom Orthotic Devices?
All first orders for Custom Orthotic Devices start with a $140 set-up fee that covers casting, evaluation, dispensing, and one follow-up within about 2 months. This fee also covers the dispense appointment and a follow-up visit within 2 months. The devices themselves run from $450 to $490. A 15% discount is given on subsequent pairs when ordering more than one pair at a time.
Why do Custom Orthotic Devices cost as much as they do?
Custom Orthotic Devices are made individually for each specific foot, and unlike arch supports, they mechanically improve the way your feet function in order to alleviate symptoms that can affect the entire muscular skeleton system. As with custom shoemaking, they require a high level of skill to design and produce, can offer life-altering value to the client, and, as an accredited facility, we assume professional liability for them. At our facility, the orthotics are crafted by hand and tailored to fit into your footwear.
Do you sell Ready-Made Orthotic Devices?
We do not, but we are happy to customize your existing ready-made devices to make them more functional. Typically, this is done during a one-hour office visit ($150).
Do You Sell Ready-Made Shoes?
We are not a shoe store, meaning we don’t carry much inventory, just fitting stock. In most cases, we special order shoes for clients from catalogs once we have determined the proper size from our fitting stock, and these shoes range from $180-$350 per pair, with the average price being $250. You will pay a premium above retail price to have us provide this service, and it is must be done by appointment. We encourage clients to bring shoes for us to alter or to have devices fit into. Alterations may be done on shoes you already own or that you purchase from us during your consultation.
Can you copy a special design in custom footwear?
Yes, we can make nearly any footwear design, but we will not accept a design we feel will not result in a successful outcome. Designs that are not in the catalog are an additional $300.
Do you custom make Non-Orthopedic/Therapeutic Shoes?
Yes, clients come to us with hard-to-fit issues, special design needs, or just for the luxury and comfort of beautifully-made, perfectly-fitting custom footwear.
Are you open on weekends?
We are not open on weekends; however, we offer extended hours on Thursday nights, when requested.
I live far away; how do I order Custom-Made Footwear from you?
Most clients will make an arrangement to travel to San Francisco and combine it with a tourism visit. After the initial visit, a second visit may or may not be necessary. It is definitely an advantage to dispense the shoes in our clinic so that fine tuning and tailoring can take place immediately, but working by mail and communicating by Skype or FaceTime can sometimes work in lieu of a second visit.
In some situations, a client can go to a professional close to home, such as an orthotist, prosthetist, podiatrist, or pedorthist, to be casted and measured, and then the molds and measurements can be sent to us. Payment for that service would be separate from the payment to us and paid directly to that provider. We would communicate with them directly on how we want the preparations done. We do not, however, function as a wholesale fabrication facility for other practitioners, so you would be considered our client, rather than theirs.
Another alternative may be for you to take molds and measurements yourself with the help of another person. If you are interested in doing this, we can send you a kit and walk you through the procedure. Because we are not doing the casting in-house, we would insist on making test shoes before completing the final product to ensure a positive result. The test shoes will incur an extra expense, generally around $300.
Do custom products last longer than off-the-shelf products?
We stand behind our custom-made products for quality, durability, and craftsmanship. Because people wear shoes differently, have different levels of activity, and vary in gait, we cannot set a time-frame on the durability of a product. However, because custom-made shoes and orthotic devices distribute ground forces better, shoes should last much longer than off-the-shelf footwear, but they should be properly cared for and repaired when needed. Our custom shoes, especially, should last 3 to 4 times longer than ready-made shoes, and 2 pairs worn alternatively will extend this this even further.
What is your Guarantee?
Since 1977, Davis Foot Comfort Center has been helping people with foot and gait problems by applying sound biomechanical and accommodative principles to footwear and related therapeutic appliances. As a board certified pedorthic facility, our goal is to make an improvement in your walking comfort and balance. On this, we base our excellent reputation. Because people have different levels of sensitivity and expectation, and because of the subjective natures of comfort and appearance, results cannot be 100% guaranteed. However, should a question arise as to the success of a custom product, every attempt will be made to make improvements, up to and including one remake of the custom product at no charge if we determine that the problem cannot be fixed by adjustments and it is due to a miscalculation on our part. In the rare occasional need of a second remake, it will be done for 1/2 price.
Each custom product is hand-made, and therefore, subject to minor imperfections, but obvious mistakes in execution will be corrected at no cost to the client.
Do you accept Medi-Cal insurance?
No, we are not a contracted Medi-Cal provider.
Do you accept Medicare?
Yes we do, but we do not accept direct assignment. This means that you will be responsible for paying for our services at the time your order is placed. When you provide us with your DO, DPM, or MD’s information, we will bill Medicare on your behalf after we have received your payment in full and have received the necessary signed Medicare forms. Medicare will send your reimbursement directly to you. Payment may take up to 6 weeks to arrive. Keep in mind, however, that Medicare will only reimburse 80% of the allowable rate, which may be significantly less than our pricing, for therapeutic footwear, inserts, and modifications with a diagnosis of diabetes. They may also reimburse for braces in most situations where a diagnosis calls for a brace, whether you have diabetes or not.
Do you accept my medical insurance?
We are only contracted to directly bill and accept assignment for the Veterans Administration and Workers Compensation. For VA and WC referrals, you may be appointed without a referral, but will need a prescription for charges to be submitted to your referring office. The VA and WC must pay in full before we commence production on your order.
For other insurance carriers, companies mostly follow the Medicare guidelines for reimbursement (as explained in the question above regarding Medicare), whether you’re eligible for Medicare or not. While we are unable to bill for you, we can provide you with the information necessary to submit your claim. Check with your insurance company to see what their specific policies are.
What are the turn-around times on orders
Special-Ordered Ready-Made Shoes take approximately 2 weeks to arrive from the vendor.
Custom Orthotic Inserts take approximately 3 weeks to fabricate.
San Francisco Molded Shoes and Custom Shoes take approximately 8-12 weeks to fabricate.
Alterations and repairs vary based upon complexity and volume, but are often completed within 1-2 weeks