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Happy Feet, Happy Life – A Guide to Orthotics

We are on a mission to clear up some confusion about orthotics and their appropriate use.  These powerful tools can alleviate back pain to a degree, straighten out hip and knee alignment and alleviate foot/ankle pain and dysfunction.  By bringing the ground to the foot effectively, the ground reaction forces can become an ally to your life rather than an enemy.  Orthotics need not cost you your arm and leg (as you will need at least the leg to make the orthotic effective).  We have found a very durable and extremely effective solution for orthotics that cost less than half that of most other custom made orthotics.

To clear the air about the research, not all types of orthotics are good choices, even if they are custom made to your foot.  Finding the right balance of flexibility and rigidity is crucial, posting the foot to meet the ground better is paramount to success and having a full length orthotic is imperative.  We recommend a custom made orthotic rather than the generic over the counter orthotics for the aforementioned reasons.  Once you have been helped to a far more mechanically sound future of less pain through custom made orthotics, you need to know how to use and care for them.  Here is a guide that we hopes eases your experience with these wonderful tools and enriches your life.

Break-in Period Wearing Instructions

It is not uncommon to require break-in times for new adaptations.  Your body will typically take 2-3 weeks to get used to your new orthotics. During this period of time we ask that you follow these simple rules to have the best transition:

  • Start by wearing your orthotics 2-3x each day.
  • On Day 1 wear your orthotics for 30 min during each time you wear them.
  • Extend your wearing time each day by 15-30 min until you can comfortably wear your orthotics all day, every day during all activities.

If your feet become sore and/or tired while wearing your orthotics, take the orthotics off and allow your feet to rest for several hours before wearing them again. THIS IS NORMAL DURING THE BREAK-IN PERIOD. After 3 weeks, if your feet continue to be sore and/or tired from wearing your orthotics they may need to be adjusted, and we can do this for you at no cost if you received the orthotics from us. We can help too if you have gotten your orthotics from a different source.

Use and Care of Your Orthotics

Your orthotics should be in good usable condition for 1-4 years.  They can last longer depending on your body weight and activity level. Custom orthotics can typically be “refurbished”, so DO NOT throw them away. Call us and we will help you get them looking and working as good as new without the cost of a new pair.

To keep your orthotics in good shape and help them last as long as possible do the following:

  • Never put your orthotics in a washing machine or dryer. If they need to be cleaned wipe them down with a damp rag. Mild dish detergent can be used as well followed by rinsing with cool water. Then, wipe down the orthotics with a dry cloth and then allow the air dry before putting them back in your shoes.
  • Do not leave your orthotics in a hot vehicle
  • Always wear socks with your orthotics to prevent premature wear of the top covers.
  • Your orthotics can get wet. If they do, remove them from your shoes or boots, wipe them down and allow them to air dry before putting them back in your shoes.

Footgear Selection

When choosing new shoes or boots it is very important that you take your orthotics with you to the store. Keep the following in mind before you buy!

  • Be sure that the shoes/boots have removable insoles (aka footbeds or sockliners)
  • Take the original footbeds out of the shoes and insert the orthotics. Wear the shoes with your orthotics in them around the store for a while to ensure comfort.
  • The orthotics take up more room inside the shoe than the original insoles. You may need a shoe that has a wider toe box and that is cut “taller” top to bottom. You should not need a longer shoe.
  • Lace up shoes and boots are most suitable with orthotics due to the ability to adjust the volume of the shoe.