Custom orthotics or shoe inserts are shoe inserts that are usually made to handle various foot problems. Your doctor may recommend a custom orthotic to help you reduce foot discomfort and pain due to bone abnormality, plantar fasciitis, or an injury.

They are usually made from various materials, including rubber, leather, cork, plastic, and felt. Nowadays, technology has made it possible that you can personalize your orthotic to your material of choice. You can also choose the best shape that comfortably fits your foot. However, it is essential to note that the lifespan of your orthotic will significantly depend on its material.

Additionally, the lifespan of your shoe inserts also depends on the type of shoes you wear, age, occupation, and activity levels. After making this significant health investment of getting orthotic, the next thing would be to take care of them.


Orthotic covers are crucial if you want them to serve you for a long time. Make sure that during your review visit, your orthotic is fitted with a covering material. Wearing your orthotic without cover results in a short life span of your orthotics, especially around your toe and foot area.

Additionally, the cover helps in reducing heat, giving you comfortable wear. It is also easier to clean covered shoe inserts. It is recommendable that you organize a visit to your doctor who will help you add a cover to your orthotics.

If you have orthotics with an old, worn-out cover, you should look for an immediate replacement. That is because cracked, split, and peeling covers can become irritating and uncomfortable to your skin. Worn-out covers will reduce the lifespan of your orthotic hence the need for a cover replacement if you notice any wear.

Dry Them Out

Although moisture does not destroy your orthotics material, it might damage its cover resulting in peeling if not dried. As a way of increasing the lifespan of your orthotics, it is recommendable to keep them adequately dried.

Additionally, ensure that you are wearing well-dried shoes too. This is because the trapped moisture in your shoes may result in fungal nail and Athlete’s foot infections. It also results in smelly footwear.

In addition, bear in mind that the orthotics should not be dried in the sun; instead, dry them in the shade. Direct sun will negatively affect the orthotic and cover materials.

Have Your Footwear Free from Debris

It is recommendable that you regularly clear out any debris in your shoes. This will help increase shoe inserts lifespan. For instance, small pebbles may dig into your orthotics and destroy its support and wedging.

No Socks

Make sure you wipe your feet properly if you wish not to wear your orthotics with socks. In addition, ensure that you regularly clean your orthotics covers. You may use a damp cloth to clean them, although an antibacterial wipe will be best.

Swapping Them between Various Shoes

When removing your orthotics to swap them between your shoes, be careful not to damage them. Never force them out or into smaller shoes. You may damage the orthotics’ front edges, which makes them uncomfortable to wear with fitting shoes.

You can get various sizes of orthotic to fit your different shoes. Book an appointment with your doctor if you wish to have another pair made to fit your shoes.

Types of shoe inserts

There are three main categories of shoe inserts. The main aim of these categories is to help you optimize your foot function, protective. Additionally, some combine functional protection and control.

Rigid Orthotics

These types of shoe inserts are primarily designed to help you control motion in the joints below your ankle. These devices usually don’t break and have the ability to retain their shape.

Soft Orthotics

The primary aim of these types of shoe inserts is to help you increase balance and absorb shock. Typically, they are made over the foot plaster impression or foot walking action. In addition, your doctor may prescribe soft orthotics to help you treat deformed, diabetic, and arthritic foot problems.

Semi Rigid Orthotics

These devices are mainly prescribed to offer dynamic balance to your foot while participating in sports or walking. This orthotic assists you in supporting your tendons, joints, and muscles.

There are other available types of orthotics, including orthotics for children used to treat foot deformities. Children with foot problems should start using orthotics once they begin walking to help stabilize their feet. As the child’s foot changes and develops, your doctor may recommend the use of different orthotics.

Additionally, orthotics may be used in treating back issues that are related to fool imbalance. Your doctor may prescribe non-custom or custom bracing for complex ankle and foot deformities to help you relieve pain and improve function.

Conditions Treated by shoe inserts

Doctors can recommend orthotics to help you treat various medical conditions, including:

Back Pain

At times poor positioning of your feet, like lack of cushioning or inward rolling arches, may result in pain. Your doctor may prescribe orthotics to lessen the pain.


Most people who experience ankle or foot trauma may require to use orthotics support during their healing process.


Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may cause poor positioning and foot discomfort. However, orthotics can help you correct these problems.


These are usually painful bumps that often develop within your big toe resulting in foot deformities. The use of orthotics can help you reduce pressure within your big toe.


Most people with diabetes lose their feet sensation; a condition called diabetic neuropathy. If you are experiencing such a condition, orthotics might help you reduce excess pressure and stress that can cause foot ulcers.


Generally, swellings in the toes and heels may lead to bursitis discomfort and pain. Orthotics together with arch and heel support might help you in reducing bursitis pain and discomfort.

Flat Feet

People with flat feet usually experience ankle, back, and foot pain. However, you can use orthotics to support your feet; this will help you attain proper foot positioning.

Heel Spurs

These are conditions where you experience excess bone at the bottom or back of your heel. You may use orthotics to reduce inflammation and support your foot.

Hammer Toes

This condition often occurs as a result of bunions’ side effects within your big toe. As a result of hammer toes, you may experience foot’s ball deformities and pain in the second toe. With orthotics, you can reduce the effects of hammer toes by providing additional support to your feet.

High Arches

Generally, high arches can cause stress in your feet muscles, resulting in some conditions like knee pain, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints. Orthotics works in preventing your feet from excessively rolling outward or inward.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a common source of heel pain. Your specialist may recommend orthotics to help you support your foot and heel. Additionally, your doctor can also recommend custom orthotics to help you deal with positional issues with your feet. This may include people with underdeveloped foot and leg muscles.


If you are experiencing recurring foot pain, over-the-counter medication won’t yield lasting results. Bear in mind that podiatrists are professional when it comes to ankle and foot health. Consider visiting your doctor, who will assist you with proper diagnosis and recommend the best type of orthotic for your condition.

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