Dear Neil,

A thousand thanks for all your incredible help looking after my beautiful foot. I sure appreciated your kindness. My orthotics are fantastic! You sure have the magic hands. I’ll be keeping you daily in my Prayers as also your lovely family. God bless you Neil and once again Thankyou!

Sister Josie McGarry

I absolutely LOVE my new orthotics. You’ll be getting annual orders from me now that I’ve found your company. My knees are happier; my muscles have adjusted well to the new walk even though they were sore the first little bit. I’m so pleased I searched the web and waited until arriving in AU to reap the benefits of your unique and very sensible method of diagnosis. The whole experience from start to finish was phenomenal, not to mention the overall great service I received from you, and your incredible staff as well. I wish you all the best in growing your business! Please, please, please keep me informed of your moves so I don’t lose your service.


Neil Smith winning New Inventors Award My first encounter with Neil and the Vertical foot alignment system occurred five years ago when I was looking for an orthotic system for my Physiotherapy practice. At the time we were using generic heat modifiable devices common in the physio world. These orthotics were limited in correction and comfort and I knew there must be a better way. I tested other systems that used computer technologies to build orthotics but the results were not having the postural changes I had hoped for. As a practitioner with a holistic postural assessment approach I needed a tool that could restore the correct alignment of the foot and ankle to support the knee, hip and pelvis. Fortunately for myself I was treating a boxing friend of Neil’s and he sent me to Marrickville to investigate this new approach to orthotic therapy. WOW ! I had discovered exactly what I needed to restore postural control to my patients. The VFAS puts the power of correction into the Practitioners hands. Ascending postural dysfunction patterns can be eliminated with this system. I estimate I have prescribed over 1000 orthotic devices since I met Neil and receive many referrals for this service from like minded postural therapists and doctors looking for excellent outcomes. I feel very fortunate to have met Neil when I did and look forward to future success clinically with this amazing device.

Gavin Johnston
Principal Physiotherapist
Eastwest Physiotherapy

I have recently (in the past three-four weeks) seen Neil at the Foot Clinic in Marrickville and am very happy with the results so far achieved with his orthotics. When I saw Neil, after seeing his add on CR, I was really clutching at straws. My ankle pain had been with me for nearly four years, during that time I had tried (I thought) nearly everything to relieve it (see my previous posts elsewhere on CR).
I had nothing to lose by seeing Neil, he offers a money-back guarantee, how could I go wrong?! But I didn’t go into the appointment thinking this way – I was wanting to run pain free.

Neil was very accommodating as far as appointment times were concerned, as I was travelling a distance to see him. (The device which Neil uses to make his casts from is very clever and when you think about it, why haven’t orthotics always been made this way?). He was even prepared to work on my orthotics that day so I could take them home with me.

During the initial consult, he suggested that I had a leg-length variation, which he then confirmed by me having a scan done at a local clinic – my right leg is 6mm shorter than my left. The orthotics were made, taking this variation into account. I am very pleased to say they are extremely comfortable to wear and run/race in; and so far, I have been pain-free post-run for the first time in nearly four years.
I highly recommend Neil Smith and The Foot Alignment Clinic. Disclosure: I was self-referred private patient and I have no affiliations with Neil Smith or The Foot Alignment Clinic other than being a runner wanting to run pain-free.

To whom it may concern;


Podiatry First has been using the VFAS since 2004 for all negative impression casts. We now have machines in our Bondi Junction, Miranda and Adelaide clinics, taking a combined average of 10-15 casts per week. We believe that this has greatly reduced the number of orthotic alterations required to get a satisfactory outcome for our patients.

All our Podiatrists have indicated that they could not go back to any other style of casting of custom made devices; such is the confidence in the machine. I believe that a RCT study on the VFAS would back up my clinics belief.

King regards,

Tom Baker

We have been using the Vertical Foot Alignment System for more than 12 years. Over this time we have fitted hundreds of orthotics for a wide range of patients. We find the VFAS an effective device allowing for maximum foot correction. Using the VFAS guarantees accuracy of the cast and correct foot alignment resulting in orthotics which require minimal adjusting. Orthotics made using the VFAS ensure consistently positive results for our patients.

Renee Henry,
Turramurra Podiatry Centre

Adam – Podiatry First Sports
Dispensing orthoses from a weightbearing cast has made my job easier. Patients often report increased comfort as compared to their previous orthoses and I can achieve more support through using the VFAS.

“I have used the VFAS for over 10 years now. I have found it to be the most reliable and effective way to take a weight bearing cast to make a functional orthotic. I find the orthotics created are very patient friendly. I have had very few issues using this system”.

Sola Pasut
Principal Podiatrist
West Ryde Podiatry Clinic

“I have found the VFAS the most reliable and easiest way to take a weight bearing cast”

Adrian Pudlyk
West Ryde Podiatry Clinic

“I have found the VFAS easy to use and takes a true weight bearing cast. The orthotics produced are easy to fit and easy to wear in”

Lily Saab
West Ryde Podiatry Clinic

Click to enlarge image
I am a physio who had suffered from a Bakers Cyst for 6 months as well as bilateral patella pain when running. Even with monthly soft tissue releases at the physio and constant VMO retraining, I could not seem to fix my problem. However since getting a pair of VFAS orthotics in my shoes I have not had the Bakers Cyst problem again and I rarely have any problems in my knees when running that can’t be fixed with a quick one-off visit to my own physio. VFAS orthotics are fantastic and I always refer all my patients to them who have foot/knee issues.

Dan Wheeler.

What can I say about the vertical foot alignment system. Thank you!

As an athlete 12 months ago I was unable to run due to recurrent injuries. 6 months after receiving my orthotics from Neil I was crossing the finish line in the Australian Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bicycle, 42.2km run) pain free!

Since that time I have competed in one marathon, two half ironmans and am looking at increasing my running up to 100km/wk. Something I thought would never happen.

From a Physiotherapy and Triathlon coaching view point, a large number of injuries result from poor biomechanics in the feet and lower limb. I have no problem in recommending this product to any of my clients. All the feedback to date has been that these are the most comfortable orthotics that any of us have run in.

What more can I say?

Keep up the great work Neil. Bring on the next ironman in Port Macquarie 2006!
Rob Johnston
(Ironman Triathlete, Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist, Triathlon Coach)M Phty, B App Sc (ExSS), MAAESS, MAPA

Hi Neil,

The orthotics are fantastic! I feel much more stable when I walk and the difference to my alignment is incredible. I had a session with my physio and her boss yesterday and they were amazed at the difference they made. I am still experiencing a little bit of pain in my left knee but my physio thinks that will settle down as I wear in the orthotics.

Thanks for all your help.
Kind regards,


Thanks for the follow up. The orthotic seems to have worked wonders with my bad right foot which is dramatically improved. I am very impressed with how things have gone and still notice improvements in smaller increments each day.

In fact the improvement has been so great I am now able to walk as far as I wish without any discomfort. This is impressive considering I had started limping before.

I will be ordering another pair as soon as my health fund is prepared to fund another claim.

Regards and thanks very much,
Rick Dunstan

From: Karen Mathieson

Dear Gavin and Neil,

I’d just like to thank you for helping me get my life back. As a Morton’s Neuroma sufferer, prior to being fitted with the orthotics, I was in constant pain. I honestly would rather go through childbirth than have to suffer the agony of a Morton’s foot again.

Three weeks on with the orthotics I am now able to walk to the shops at lunchtime as well as take the dogs for their evening walks. I am also able to stand for longer periods of time, enabling me to prepare dinner. So the dogs are happier, the husband is happier but most of all I am happier.

Best regards,

From: Minas Casiou

Guys….. I can’t believe the results! I can’t thank you both enough. I took a chance and it paid off big time for me. I’ve waited a few months because I wasn’t sure if the results would last!. They have and I’m stoked!. I’ve had a few sets of orthotics over the past 5 years or so, each made little noticeable difference. For the first time that I would remember, I would automatically not slouch when standing up. My head was actually looking straight ahead rather than the ground… That was without trying. I had NO TWIST IN MY HIP ANYMORE. The service itself though, was second to none. Having 2 people there, looking after me like I was family was just excellent. Do yourself a favour, if you have problems with your feet, speak to these guys and see if they can help you. If the results are anything like mine, you won’t regret it!.

Thanks Neil and Gavin, Thanks Foot Alignment Clinic with your fandangle measuring technique.



From Brendan Scollary

I just wanted to tell you how continually pleased I am with my orthotics that you’ve developed for me. I’ve been wearing them now for nearly two years and I am convinced that without them, my running would be over.

From our first meeting your ideas and methods made perfect common sense; why other “foot doctors” hadn’t thought of this method before, I will never know!. It just makes sense!. Nothing was too much trouble for you and I thank you for accommodating me at early times of the day for having to travel to see you. It was well worth the drive and the investment. Your Money-bank-guarantee carries real weight, and I know firsthand how you can offer this, because you stand behind your product 100%. They work!. I am pleased to be able to recommend you to any of my friends in the running community and have done so on quite a few times in the past two years.

PS: the adjustment you made last Friday, worked a treat, it was incredible to feel the pain disappear.


Brendan Scollary

From Deb Carlyle-Thomas

What can I say but THANK YOU!!!! I played floor ball on Tuesday night and its the first time for about 4 months that I could really run and totally pain free in my hip and calf, needless to say we won both games!. I am so excited that I can start running again and enjoying being “pain free” sport.

Kind regards,

Deb Carlyle-Thomas

From Ersilia-Jane Taramelli

Thanks to you and Gavin for setting me up with your marvellous orthotics. To my amazement after wearing your orthotics, I felt like a fairy, tripping the light fantastic with those specially made orthotics in my sports shoes. They were so comfortable. I stood up straight, my posture changed as I felt I was being stretched and strengthened through my whole body, even to my neck and shoulders. A week later, I had my monthly massage and to my surprise that area below the knee was pain free, usually it is excruciatingly sore. My therapist could not believe it, especially as I have patella problems.

Thank you to the “Foot Alignment Clinic” for giving me a “new life”. Please look after me forever.

Ersilia-Jane Taramelli
Retired Massage Therapist

From Finlay Doney

I am currently a 22 year old semi professional footballer (Soccer) playing in NSW. I’m one of the many people that have to wear orthotics in their football boots on a daily basis. When I left to pursue my football as a full time professional in Europe I struggled with one main injury, shin splints. Anyone who has had shin splints will know the pain and more so the frustrations with this overuse injury. The orthotics I wore in England where made by a machine and designed by a computer. These numbed the problem which made it bearable on a daily basis but never completely took away the sharp pain running up and down my shins while walking and running. From here I saw countless professional sports doctors trying to find the problem to no avail. Then through another footballer I was told about Neil Smith at the Foot Alignment Clinic in Marrickville. Neil had designed a much more advanced way of making orthotics by taking a foot mould while standing, a couple of days later I received my orthotics and for the first time in 3 months I couldn’t feel the shooting pain in my shins. For shin splints just stop hurting the way these did 10 minutes after inserting my new orthotics was a little hard to believe. The orthotics from Neil have finally helped me over come my shin splints. I would recommend anyone who struggles with these symptoms to go and see Neil at the Foot Alignment Clinic before you spend thousands of dollars seeing sport specific doctors. In closing I would not only like to recommend Neil Smiths product but also his service, his commitment towards helping me become injury free through his knowledge and understanding of my injury was in most parts a career saver and for this I am forever indebted.

Finlay Doney

From Cool Running Website

Hi Rizzo, I came across your post as I was checking on some old posts of mine…. I’m glad you’ve been to see Neil and I’m looking forward to you posting your outcome. As a postscript to my seeing Neil, now over 14 months ago, I am still running pain free many thanks to his diagnosis and treatment. In fact, this year, after running pain free since November 2007, I ran my fastest C2S in over 16 years. Cheers to Neil and his Foot Alignment Clinic. I’m first in line for when he decides to sell shares!
From Mr B.A.J Bakker

From Diane Braggins

Hello Neil, Just a short note to let you know how I am now getting on. For the past 3 years, I have constantly suffered with Chronic “Plantar Facsiitis” and “Heel Spurs” in both of my feet. After watching the “New Inventors” program on the ABC, I saw your machine and happy face. I turned to my husband and said “This is it”. I have nothing more to loose, except my sanity and my life. I was heading down that road very quickly, at considerable speed in wheel chair.

I simply could not stand the pain any longer. I had tried everything, literally. It cost me thousands of dollars but all to no avail or relief of any kind. No Doctors (Specialists) in the State of Queensland could help me. I was constantly crying in pain with every step I would try to take. This was no life; to me it wasn’t worth being here any longer.

I wrote Neil an email that same night after the program had finished. I explained my situation to him. The next morning, I actually received a phone call from Neil, himself. He was calling from Sydney and I was amazed. I couldn’t believe it that he would phone me. I was just blown away that someone would take the time and trouble to do that for me.

After talking to Neil for about half an hour, he assured me that he would be able to help me, so I decided to fly to Sydney to see him, as I live in Brisbane. Well now people, as they say, the rest is history.

Neil, words simply cannot express how I feel now. I can now actually walk and run, for the first time in over 3 years, not to mention that I have no pain in my feet whatsoever. You have given me not only my life back but my feet as well, my sanity and my family. I will be forever indebted to you for the rest of my life as you are my hero and words will never express the gratitude and your kindness for taking the pain away with your fantastic machine that you invented.

I thank you sincerely for saving my life.

Diane Braggins

PS: Thank god I was not born a “Centipede”.

Subject: My new feet

To Neil, Gavin and Heidi at the The Foot Alignment Clinic , Marrickville.

Hi guys this is one of the lucky ones who found you at the The Foot Alignment Clinic .

Lucky because now at 48 years of age and since I was 22, some 26 years ago, I have continually and constantly put up with noticeable pain in both my feet due to a horrific accident when I was 22 where both my feet were crushed in a head on collision at 80kph in my van, After 9 hours of surgery I was left with the prospect of never being likely to walk again, but far better of than the unluck couple that died in the accident.

Eight months after the accident I was on my feet again and with much pain continued on with my life managing the non stop foot pain as best as I could till now.

Since my visit to Neil, Gavin and Heidi a couple of weeks ago and with my new ORTHOTICS now taking their place between my feet and my shoes all the pain has NOT diminished as I thought it might or at least relieve some of the discomfort BUT instead the pain in BOTH my feet has VANISHED COMPLETELY. I was and am still shocked, amazed, happy and elated all at once and now all the time.

I am truthfully amazed at the results. It has been 2 weeks since placing the orthotics in my shoes and now they are more important to me than my… sorry but I am unable to think of anything that has made such a change in my life that would be more important? well maybe my wife and 4 sons are still at the top of the list, I will have to give that some thought (laughingly).

Once again thank you from the depths of my ‘being’ guys, you have made such a difference to my future I can never really express it fully.

Keep up the great work making others realize they too can lead a normal life once again free of foot pain.
Brian Brogaan

I saw Neil, Gavin and Heidi at The Foot Alignment Clinic in May 2005 and was cast for orthotics in The Foot Alignment System having been introduced by a friend.

After years of back and shoulder pain I had also suffered a torn medial meniscus 4 months earlier in the year. I had seen numerous physios, osteos & chiros over the years and none of them had been able to fix the heart of the problem. Neil noticed straight away how much my right foot needed correcting. It had been causing a domino effect through my body which has since been pain free and realigned as a result of wearing the ortotics Neil made for me every day.

As I have a corporate job Neil custom made a pair of orthotics that I can wear in my work shoes (which have mid sized heels) and also fit into my fashion shoes which I wear socially. I also had a pair made for my sports shoes which I love because I feel they have stabilised my knee and this gives me the confidence to exercise and do the things that I didn’t think I was going to be able to do after I injured my knee.

I can’t recommend them highly enough especially when I think of the thousands of dollars and the amount of time I spent trying to solve my particular problem. I only wish I had found them sooner!

I wish
Neil, Gavin and Heidi
great success – they have certainly made a big difference to my life!

Annie Lyons
National Speaker ManagerTEC an International Organizations of CEOs.

To Whom This May Concern

I’ve used orthotics for many years as I do a lot of running and I’m very above average weight. Before orthotics, I developed a heel spur and Freiberg condition and ended up on crutches after a half marathon. So I seeked professional help and a pair of orthotics prescribed to me about 12 years ago by a good podiatrist. Whenever I needed to get them recovered I was told to go to Neil at Vertical (who made them). Time passed and the orthotics became less workable and I needed a new pair. I tried to go back to the same podiatrist and he was no longer practicing in Sydney. So I tried another podiatrist and he tried building up my existing orthotics but my pain persisted. So I went to a very well know podiatrist in Double Bay and they said I needed to start from scratch. A new set made but it wasn’t very helpful. After going back over 5 time to have adjustments I threw the new pair away. Overall it cost me $1000 and worst that that I was nowhere. My pain was getting worst, had to give up running. My ankle was swollen and so I thought I’ll just get my old pair recovered again.

I found Vertical had moved and gave Neil my old orthotics. Neil said he had this new system that takes all the guess work out of making Orthotics and that if I went to 5 different podiatrist with his new machine, I would get the same orthotic from each of them. I thought this was the best thing ever. Why it’s so obvious this is the way it should be done why did it take someone so long to think of it. Like making the wheel round, not square and then adjusting it until it works.

Neil made a pair of orthotics that worked THE FIRST TIME. He also discovered my right leg was 6mm shorter than the other. It’s unbelievable that I’ve been to so many ‘professionals’ and nobody picked that up before. Since then I’ve taken both my sons to Neil and asked him make orthotics for them.

Flat feet run in the family. One son was having problems playing basketball and couldn’t jump without it hurting, no problems now. He’s playing rep basketball now, couldn’t even run much before Neil.I can’t say enough about how good Neil’s system works. I just don’t understand why it isn’t the standard in the industry. I reckon he should be up for a Nobel prize or something like that.

Allen Sobel

Dear Neil, Gavin and Heidi,

For many years now I have struggled to get out of bed each morning, not because I was tired and wanted more sleep but because I was afraid of how I would feel when my feet touched the floor. The pain and tightness in my hip flexors and the way I hobbled around on sore feet made me dread getting up each day. I also avoided exercise because it was just all too hard – my feet, my knees, my hips all hurt.

I tried everything. Regular stretching, sleeping with my legs up, down or supported by a pillow, even sleeping sitting up, but nothing really made much difference. I still felt terrible in the morning and found it difficult to coax myself out of bed.

A few different people suggested to me that my feet might be causing me some trouble. After much delaying I decided to see what I could do. I was skeptical before my appointment with you – how could looking at my feet change much at all? How wrong I was!

Your initial assessment of my feet was amusing but accurate. You were able to describe many of my problems before I told you about them, and seemed to think things could change.

I have now been wearing the orthotics you made for me for about a month. The difference is amazing. I can now put my feet on the ground without fear of pain searing across my hips. I can stand for prolonged periods or walk too far without having to pay for it the next day. I can bound out of bed instead of gingerly struggling to get up.

I would just like to thank you for the huge difference you and your orthotics have made to my life and recommend your services to others.

Many thanks,

Peter Brown

Deon Birtwistle, Elite light weight rower .

Sport: Rowing. Gold medalists, Under 23 W/Champs 2002. Silver medalist, W/Champs 2003. Stroke of the Tas. Henley Eight 2005.

– Comfortable and strong. They seemed to fit the entire sole of my foot and make it feel secure.
– They felt like they were directing my foot to the ground without fatigue or compromise to their support.
– From the first step I felt confident to move around and be as agile as required, weather road running or walking up and down stair cases.
– I felt that they fit all my shoes well and absorbed more shock felt through the shoe than any regular inner sole.
– Very reliable and subtle ? easy to forget they were in the shoe.

– Immediately felt as though my whole foot was in contact with the ground.
– The pressure on the bottom of my feet felt equal rather than all applied to the outer edges of my soles.
– My ankles stopped feeling stretched and sore.
– My shins and the fronts of my knees stopped feeling over strained.
– Less general fatigue and tiredness. No more aching legs and head or lethargic feeling from a long working day.

– Has definitely allowed my legs to perform more efficiently and feel as though my inner leg muscles are working better and getting stronger.
– Using the orthotics in training has been no problem. I use them for running, rowing & weights training. They cope well with the load and friction that I place on them.
– For rowing, they have given me more control over my leg movements in the boat and allow me to reach a stronger leg and torso position whilst rowing.
– I definitely use less energy during training and have more concentration when using the orthotics.

– Easy to clean.
– Quite resistant to sweat and dirt.
– Easy to fit to each shoe.

Hi Neil,

Thanks for your follow up email. Marae’s shin splint problem has improved dramatically since she started using your VFAS orthotics. They did not cause her any discomfort in the beginning, and she continues to use them in her school shoes and sandshoes. Thank you so much for helping Marae. My son Marc is currently doing his HSC. When he is finished I will send him along to see you, as his orthotics need to be updated as well.

Kindest Regards,
Vicky Svinos

Hi Neil

Just want to say a big THANK YOU for helping my mum Poppy. She has been suffering for such a long time with sciatica and leg pain and is now finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so glad to see a significant reduction in the amount of pain killers she takes on a daily basis. The battle for her continues but you have helped her more than any other health professional including top notch specialists. You made my dear mum feel human again

Kind Regards

Hi Neil & Natalie,

I’ve been meaning to contact you to thank you both so much for sending Tom’s new orthotics. They are a little bit longer than the originals but that means they will last longer and they fit his new trainers perfectly. They are working very well and he hardly falls over now since he started wearing orthotics! His gait has improved a great deal. My only problem is getting him to keep his new school shoes laced up! He can do his laces but says he prefers his shoes loose (which I think will not help the purpose of the orthotics).

I can’t thank you enough though for all your help.

Kind regards,

Sally Beken
(Tom’s mum)

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Contact Details

Attention: Neil Smith
Mobile: + 61 403023515
Phone: + 61 2 9516 2666