Grant Austin - Certified Pedorthist












Grant Austin is a former National Dance Champion and Professional Instructor. He is also a certified pedorthist who can provide dancers with custom-fit orthotics to improve their dancing.


Orthotics are orthopedic devices made to: treat or adjust abnormal foot motion; provide support, stability and control; increase balance; absorb shock; and relieve pressure on uncomfortable or sore spots. They can even help relieve back pain caused from uneven skeletal alignment.

Grant's specialists have helped over 20,000 dancers with his Platinum Series Custom Fit Orthotics so everyone probably knows someone who is using them successfully. 


Here's a valuable Q & A about the value of orthotics.


USASN: What are the most common foot problems that dancers have?
GA: Because dance puts an enormous amount of pressure in the ball of the foot area, pain in the ball of the foot is the primary issue for most dancers. Metatarsalgia, Sesmoiditis, Bunions, and Neuromas are all forefoot problems that can be caused by dancing, and are accompanied by pain in the ball of the foot area.

USASN: How do problems with the feet affect the back and skeleton?
GA: Extreme pronation (flat feet) cause the shoulders to slouch forward which puts pressure on the knees, hips, back and neck. Supporting the longitudinal arches with Custom Orthotics corrects the posture, improves balance and reduces stress to the joints.


USASN: What to you do to assess the problem of a dancer's feet and then what corrective solutions do you provide?
GA: We do a visual gait analysis, observe the wear of the patient/customers shoes, and create a weight bearing pedi-graph for manufacturing the Custom Fit Orthotics.


USASN: Explain the different kinds of orthotics and why one is better than another?
GA: We manufacture 3 different orthotics Good (Silver) Better (Gold), and Best (Platinum).


Good (Silver)
This full length orthotic is flexible and custom fit for 3 arches. It is great for playing sports and fits in most shoes. They will eventually wear out and the original insole must be removed to accommodate this orthotic.

Better (Gold)
This rigid 3/4 length orthotic has traditionally been prescribed by most physicians. It is very durable and effectively corrects extreme pronation. It has a thick heel cup which can create slippage in some shoes. It's rigidity can make it difficult to play some sports including dance.

Best (Platinum)
This European designed semi-rigid 3/4 length orthotic is custom fit for all 5 arches. It is very durable and fits in all shoes. It is excellent for playing sports and dancing. It can be made to fit perfectly in high heels and has covers available to make it look natural in open shoes.

USASN: Do female dancers have more foot issues because of all the spinning and lunging they do?
GA: Women do seem to have more foot problems than men, and the spinning and lunging may contribute to that for dancers, however their foot wear choices probably play a more significant role. The traditional ladies pointed toe, high heel pump that was so popular in the 1950's and 1960's has made a come back in recent years. This shoe has caused so many problems for women's feet. The narrow toe forces the toes together causing pinched nerves between the toe joints (neuromas) and deformity of the big toe joint (bunions). The natural way for a humans foot to walk is with a negative heel, whereas the heel is lower that the balls of the feet (earth shoes). This simulates walking on beach barefooted. So any heel at all is un-natural and high heels cause excessive pressure to all the joints of the foot and ankle, but especially the forefoot. Finally there is a notion in our society that smaller feet are more beautiful on women, so women will in some cases force their feet into shoes that are way too small or narrow causing deformity and pain.

USASN: What are some of the symptoms that dancers should look for to indicate that they may need to get their feet checked and consider using orthotics to as a corrective measure?
GA: Inflammation or enlargement of the toe joints are an indication that calcium deposits or arthritis has set in, even if no pain is present and should be treated with proper arch support to offload the joints. A person with fallen
arches (flat feet) may have no foot pain, but the pronation causes strain to the ankles, knees, hips and low back and Custom Orthotics should be considered. People with diabetes or other circulatory or neurological problems
are treated with custom fit orthotics to stimulate circulation and to prevent injury. Anyone with pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips or low back should consider custom fit orthotics as their first option for treatment, or post
surgery to help with recovery and preventive maintenance.

USASN: Any other information or advice to share?
GA: We have treated over 15,000 dancers with our Platinum series custom fit orthotics and have had great results treating chronic conditions. In 99% of cases the patient has reported some relief. In some cases, we have seen
bunions disappear, painful conditions like plantar fasciitis and tendonitis healed completely, and knee and back pain go away. It is a natural treatment and should be considered by all active dancers to prevent injury to the
tendons, ligaments, and joints of the foot, ankles and knees.

For more information on orthotics and dance shoes, contact Grand Austin and his The Dance Connection Store.

The Dance Connection Store
Custom-fit orthotics




*** Dance Connection is the Official Shoe Sponsor of The USA Swing Dance Network