Is It Time for New Orthotics?


Humans are on their feet a lot, and because of this, it can impact how the entire body feels. If there are any issues with foot alignment, it can cause pain in the legs, ankles, feet, and back and even cause headaches. Taking care of feet means taking care of the entire body.

There are many benefits to wearing orthotics, including making sure the body alignment is correct and reducing or alleviating pain throughout the body. In addition, orthotics can improve balance; prevent the development of clawed digits and bunions; prevent ulcerations, calluses, and corns; support an individual’s arch and heel, and absorb the shock from the bottom of the foot when walking or participating in other activities.

Orthotics have a lot of advantages and make life more pleasant for their wearers. However, they don’t last forever. Depending on the type and construction of the orthotic, they’ll need to be replaced at some point in time—that could be as little as 1 year or as long as 5 years. Below are some ways to determine if it’s time for new orthotics.

  • Check for wear and tear. If parts of the orthotic are broken, if there are cracks, or if the sole has worn thin, it’s time to get a new pair.
  • Uneven wear and tear on shoes. While examining the orthotic itself will let the wearer know if they need to be replaced, looking at the bottom of shoes is also a good indicator. If there is uneven wear and tear on the soles, it could be time to replace the orthotics.
  • They cause pain. The point of wearing orthotics is to reduce the amount of pain experienced from participating in activities. If wearing them causes pain, it’s time for a new pair.
  • Lifestyle changes. If something has happened that changes the body such as pregnancy or surgery, it’s time for a new pair of orthotics that are customized to accommodate these changes and reduce pain and discomfort.
  • How often they are worn. Using orthotics for sports activities will cause them to wear out faster than if they are being used for day-to-day activities. To stay active, get them replaced as soon as possible.

Orthotics also allow people to participate longer in walking, running, or other sports, which is imperative to overall health. Talking to a podiatrist such as Sheldon Nadal, D.P.M., to find out if orthotics can be beneficial is a great plan.