Do Your Orthotics Need A Refresh?
Orthotic shoe inserts are a great way to help alleviate many foot ailments, such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, as well as difficulties with the ball of the foot, the arch, and the heel. Even those with back and leg conditions due to prolonged standing, walking, or running can benefit. While many have found significant everyday relief thanks to orthotics, there is one factor to consider when wearing them: exactly how long do they last, and when should they be replaced?
We generally recommend replacing orthotic inserts every 6 months to a year. That’s a big window! Of course, part of the reason for the very wide range of time is because every person—and every foot—is different. Not only that, there are other factors to consider: how often are the inserts worn? Are they for the purpose of everyday wear, such as standing at work, or are they more infrequent, such as a twice-weekly run? Do you only use inserts in a particular pair of shoes, or do you swap them out depending on the shoes for that day?
3 Ways To Know When It Is Time For New
Since there is such a great variance in how one may wear their own orthotics, it is important to know when it’s time to replace them. At Happy Feet Plus we provide high-quality, durable, and long-lasting corrective inserts, but they still have a life cycle, regardless of their quality, because orthotics help correct foot and gait issues and are crafted with a balance of both durability and comfort in mind. Because of this, foam, rubber, and other materials that provide this comfortable balance don’t last forever. So there are a number of considerations when examining your own orthotics:
- Wear Pattern, Fading: Do your inserts have a clear worn spot? Is there a particular area on them that contains discoloration? If the insert has a color, is it fading?
- Flattening/Loss of Support and Comfort: As stated before, these materials can sometimes wear over time since they bear the full weight of the wearer for extended periods. You may notice that the orthotic itself is no longer supporting part of the foot, which may be an indicator that the support itself is flattening and not providing adequate benefit to you.
- Loss of Definition: Cracks, tears, splits and the general breaking down of your orthotics are sure sign it may be time to replace.
- Do They Feel Good? If it doesn’t feel as good as when you first got them, you are probably due for a new pair.
Is It The Orthotic?
While the signs above may be obvious just by a simple examination of your orthotics, there could also be signs that are not as clear. For instance, perhaps the orthotic itself is fine, but perhaps the insert has compressed and flattened the shoe’s own built-in support and sole, which means the insert itself may no longer be in the ideal position or providing the correction necessary for comfortable wear. Also, certain conditions of the foot, arch, or heel can be degenerative, which means that those conditions worsen over time. This could mean that a newly fitted insert is needed since the old one no longer is providing optimal support. If you are in doubt, bring your inserts into your local Happy Feet Plus Store and we can take a look for you!
Finding Replacement Inserts
At Happy Feet Plus, we have many options if it’s time for new orthotics. Two examples of offerings available are the very popular Birkenstock and Lynco by Aetrex. Birkenstock insoles are a great all-around choice for a majority of foot conditions and help reduce sources of foot pain and discomfort, all in an economical package. Lynco by Aetrex also treats a variety of foot ailments and provides even more varied choices for fit and comfort. These are just two examples of orthotic inserts Happy Feet Plus has available to meet your needs.
A lot of factors go into how long and how well orthotic inserts last and continue to provide comfort and pain relief, and sometimes the signs to replace them aren’t always obvious. If you have had relief from your orthotic inserts and you notice they aren’t quite doing as good a job as they once did, we suggest contacting or stopping by one of our store locations to speak to our insole specialists, who can help you decide if it’s time to give yourself a new pair of insoles and a fresh spring in your step!