Objective: To investigate the association between patients’ expectations and the actual use of custom-made orthopaedic shoes. - Design: A prospective cohort study with internal comparison. - Setting: Twelve orthopaedic shoe companies. - Patients: During six months, consecutive patients who were provided with their first ever pair of orthopaedic shoes and aged 16 years or older were recruited. A total of 339 patients with different pathologies were included (response 67%). Mean (SD) age of the patients was 63 (15) years, and 129 patients (38%) were male. - Main measures: A practical and reproducible questionnaire, measuring: frequency of use of orthopaedic shoes, patients’ expectations and experiences of aspects of the usability of orthopaedic shoes, and communication about patients’ expectations. - Results: Patients’ expectations were not associated with the use of orthopaedic shoes (P-values range: 0.106 to 0.607), but the difference between expectations and experiences was (P-values range: <0.001 to 0.012). The expectations of patients who frequently used their orthopaedic shoes were in concordance with their experiences, whereas the expectations of patients who did not use their orthopaedic shoes were much higher than their experiences. There was no communication of patients’ expectations with the medical specialist or orthopaedic shoe technician in 34% and 25% of the patients respectively. - Conclusions: In relation to the actual use of orthopaedic shoes, it is crucial that patients’ expectations are not much higher than their experiences.