active alignment ortho-kinetics pedorthists orthotics compression bracing professional diabetic foot care

When to Replace Custom Orthotics

When to Replace Custom Orthotics

Properly fitted custom orthotics quietly work behind the scenes to keep our feet, legs, body happy and healthy. So, it may be easy to forget about them, taking your pain-free feet for granted. However, although professionally made custom orthotics are built to be durable, they have their limits. So, how do you know when to replace custom orthotics and get fitted for a new pair? Let’s explore.

Understanding the Lifespan of Custom Orthotics

First off, let’s talk longevity. On average, you can expect custom orthotics to last anywhere from 1 to 5 years. However, this timeline can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Usage Frequency: If you wear your custom orthotics every day, they’re likely to wear out more quickly than if you only wear them occasionally.
  • Activity Level: Those who engage in high-impact activities, such as running, intense sports, or standing/walking all day at a workplace may find that their orthotics wear out faster due to increased stress on the footbed.
  • Quality of Materials: The durability of your custom orthotics also depends on the materials used in their construction. Higher-quality materials may last longer and provide better support over time.

when to replace custom orthotics

Signs It’s Time for a Replacement

  • Visible Wear and Tear: Take a close look at your orthotics. Are there any visible signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, fraying, or flattening of the cushioning? If so, it’s a clear indication that they’ve reached the end of their lifespan.
  • Discomfort or Pain: Custom orthotics are designed to provide support and alleviate discomfort, not exacerbate it. If you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, or a lack of support while wearing your orthotics, it’s time to consider getting them replaced.
  • Changes in Foot Structure: Our bodies change over time, and our feet are no exception. If you’ve noticed significant changes in your foot structure since you got your orthotics, such as pronation or arch collapse, it may be a sign that they’re no longer providing the support you need.
  • Decreased Effectiveness: Have you noticed that your orthotics aren’t providing the same level of support or relief as they used to? If so, it’s a sign that they may have lost their effectiveness and need to be replaced.
  • Persistent Odour: Let’s face it – nobody wants smelly feet. If your orthotics are emitting unpleasant odours that just won’t go away, it’s a sign that they’re past their prime and need to be replaced.

So, what’s the protocol for replacing custom orthotics? Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Regular Evaluation: Schedule regular check-ups with your pedorthist to assess the condition of your orthotics. They can help determine if it’s time for a replacement based on your individual needs. Evaluation and comparison of the physical mould of your feet and the orthotics together can also help your pedorthist check for wear. Bring your plaster feet with you to your appointment!
  • Follow Recommendations: If your custom orthotics came with specific care instructions or a recommended replacement timeline, be sure to follow them closely. Manufacturers know their products best, so their recommendations are worth heeding.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain while wearing your orthotics. If something feels off, don’t ignore it. Trust your instincts and seek professional advice if needed.

Knowing when to replace your custom orthotics is crucial for maintaining optimal foot health and comfort. By staying vigilant and following these guidelines, you can ensure that your feet receive the support they need to carry you through life’s adventures.