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9 Signs You Should Replace Your Custom Orthotics

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Wearing custom orthotics in your shoes can make a positive impact on the health of your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back. By ensuring the correct positioning of the bones in the feet, ankles, and knees, orthotics can help reduce aggravation and injury, muscle fatigue, and pain. They can also improve performance abilities in people active in sports.

However, orthotics don’t last forever, and eventually you will need to have them replaced. What are the signs it’s time for new custom orthotics?

1. Your Foot Pain Has Reoccurred

You likely purchased custom orthotics to prevent or reduce pain. Maybe you have a foot condition such as flat feet or fallen ankles. Perhaps you have a condition that causes foot pain, such as arthritis or diabetes. Maybe you spend all day standing on a hard surface, which is causing pain. When you purchased your new custom orthotics, you surely felt relief. You could stand, walk, and perhaps run without pain.

If that pain relief has started to dissipate and you’re back to having sore feet, it’s likely time to replace your orthotics.

2. You’re Feeling Pain Elsewhere

If your orthotics are worn out, broken, or past their prime, you might not only feel pain in your feet. The orthotics should be providing comfort and support, and if they’re not providing this anymore, you could end up feeling pain in your back, your hips, or your knees.

3. You Use Them Often

Using your custom orthotics to get around and perform day-to-day activities will help them last longer. If, however, you’re using them in your shoes for sports or recreational activities like jogging, you’ll likely need to replace them more often.

4. They’re Made of Foam or Soft Plastic

Foam or soft plastic inserts need to be replaced more often than plastic orthotics. Generally, you’ll need to replace your foam or soft plastic orthotics if you’ve had them for a year. On the other hand, hard plastic orthotics will likely last you three to five years.

5. You’re Getting Corns or Calluses

Custom inserts should protect your feet and ensure they fit comfortably in your shoes. If you’re starting to get corns or calluses, it’s a sure sign your feet are rubbing inside your shoes, which means your orthotics should be replaced.

6. You See Visible Damage or Wear

If you’re feeling foot pain or you’re just not sure if it’s time to replace your inserts due to age, take a closer look at them. Do you see any broken pieces or cracks? Are the soles worn thin? If so, it’s time for a new pair of inserts.

7. There’s Uneven Wear in Your Shoes

Custom orthotics are supposed to improve the alignment of your body and correct deformities. As a result, your feet should be resting comfortably and evenly inside your shoes. If you’re seeing uneven wear patterns in your shoes, it’s a clear sign your inserts aren’t doing their job anymore.

8. You’ve Undergone Significant Lifestyle Changes

There are many lifestyle changes that could support the need for new orthotics, even if they’re brand-new and not worn down yet. For example, if you become pregnant, the extra weight you’ll be carrying could affect the way you walk and even the size of your feet, which means you may require new inserts. Having knee or foot surgery could also require the need for replacement inserts to ensure you’re getting the best support for your changing body.

9. You Haven’t Visited the Podiatrist in Over a Year

It’s a good idea to get a re-assessment every year. Something as small as gaining or losing a big a weight can affect the effectiveness of your inserts. Plus, everyone’s feet change slightly in width and length over time. Even if your orthotics seem comfortable, they could be in need of a realignment to ensure maximum comfort.

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