A certified pedorthist is a specialist who makes custom shoes and orthotics. A podiatrist, in contrast, is a foot doctor who diagnoses and treats a variety of foot ailments and also performs surgery as needed. In addition, a podiatrist provides a prescription for orthotics, and then a pedorthist manufactures the prescribed orthotic, which the podiatrist then provides or sells to the patient. Occasionally, a podiatrist will have the custom orthotic made in the doctor's office, but the vast majority of doctors send the orthotic out to be made by a pedorthist, who provides the orthotic back to the podiatrist.

pedorthist is a medical professional who specializes in the use of footwear and supportive devices to address conditions which affect the feet and lower limbs. Pedorthists work with a variety of people, from athletes to diabetics, promoting foot health, maximum mobility, and comfort. Several organizations offer pedorthics certification, although as of 2008 no industry-wide standard had been created.

In order to become a pedorthist, someone must usually study anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, to learn about how the body moves and which conditions affect the feet and lower legs. Typically an associate's degree is all that is required before apedorthist trains specifically with an institution which teaches people how to apply corrective footwear and orthotic devices to patient care. After completion of training, a pedorthist can apply for certification through a professional organization and then pursue a career.