How To Wear Custom Orthotics
You have read about all the benefits of custom orthotics such as pain relief, improved sports performance, comfort for workers who stand for long periods of time, and protection for the diabetic foot and have had a pair made. Now that you have your own custom orthotic, how do you wear it? How will it feel? How long will it take to feel benefits? You might have some questions in your mind so we have compiled a list of common ones.
What will wearing custom orthotics feel like?
Wearing custom orthotics for the first time may feel a bit strange and different initially which is normal until the body gets used to the new alignment. However, you should not feel any pain, blistering or have any redness in your foot. If this does occur you might need an adjustment in your custom orthotic from your pedorthist. Custom orthotics work by changing the function of the foot by changing the function of the surrounding muscles and those from the leg. Because of these changes in muscle function and leg position, it is important you break into your orthotics gradually. Wear your orthotics one hour on the first day and add an hour each subsequent day where on the eighth day you start wearing them for an entire day. If you play sports, refrain from wearing your custom orthotics until you have been walking comfortably in them for at least a week.
Pain relief doesn’t occur overnight and the way to obtain the best results is by wearing you orthotic consistently. The more you wear them the quicker realignment of the foot to allow healing to occur. Try to put them in your shoes every day and swap them out if you change shoes. If you wear different types of shoes it may be a good idea to have multiple pairs of custom orthotics
Do they fit in my existing shoes or do I need to buy a new pair of shoes?
Whether you need to buy a new pair of shoes will depend on your current inventory of footwear. If you only have sandals and high heels (which are terrible for your feet) you may need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Custom orthotics can be specially designed to match your foot type, foot condition and activity level. If you need to wear a certain type of footwear frequently be sure to tel your pedorthist so they can design your orthotics to fit in them. For example, a custom orthotics designed for a running shoe will most likely not fit into a dress shoe. In general, the best shoe styles are those with more depth, are adjustable (ie laces or adjustable velcro closure), have a strong feel cup, a correct flex point and have a stiff sole that doesn’t twist. If the shoe currently has a removable insole take that out before inserting your custom orthotic.
Sandals are a challenge because there isn’t as much shoe structure and the custom orthotic is not properly secured in place and is also visible from the outside of the shoe. However, don’t worry, there are some shoe styles where the orthotic can be made directly into the shoe! This option is perfect for more open summer sandal styles.
How to insert custom orthotics into my shoes
Once you have selected the shoe you would like to place your custom orthotic the first step is to remove the insole. Most quality shoes now come with a removable insole and also have a lip on the back which prevents the orthosis from sitting all the way back in the shoe.
Place the correct orthosis into the shoe making sure the heel sits all the way back against the back of the shoe There should be no gapping between the orthotic and the shoe. If there is, it is an indication the shoe is too narrow for the orthotic and your foot