Custom Orthotics are not unbreakable. If your activities or body mechanics change significantly over time, you can even outgrow them. Eventually, it will be time to replace your custom orthotics.

But in contrast to the inexpensive, flimsy insoles you may purchase without a prescription, almost all custom orthotics will be helpful for at least a year. Some last 3-5 years on average, and some can go even longer.

The two key contrasts are the materials’ quality and the tailoring to the individual. Custom orthotics fit your feet precisely rather than roughly, making them structurally more durable overall and better suited to handle forces.

Factors that May Affect the Durability of Your Orthotics

Even though built to last, we want to prolong the life of Custom Orthotics. Nevertheless, some recurring elements might help identify whether your specific pair of orthotics will likely last longer or shorter than anticipated. These incorporate:

  • Materials used in construction
    You may anticipate that a set of orthotics constructed from a semi-rigid substance, like graphite or carbon fiber, will last longer than orthotics made from really soft and squishy materials.
  • Frequently wearing
    Most patients who use orthotics are told constantly to keep them on. Some might require orthotics for specific shoes or types of activity, or you may need different pairs for other shoes. They will last longer if you aren’t walking on that set daily or for a short period.
  • Way of life
    As one might anticipate, those who spend a lot of time standing, moving around, or even running and leaping will lose their orthotics more quickly than those who spend most of their time sitting down.
  • Your body
    A 90-pound grandmother’s orthotics won’t likely last as long as an NFL linebacker’s will, which isn’t only because the latter leads a more active lifestyle. You will put additional pressure on your inserts as your weight increases.
  • Significant events in your life or health
    Custom orthotics can accommodate a particular foot form and set of gait mechanics. Significant occurrences like surgery or pregnancy can change both. As a result, even if your orthotics are still functional physically, you can no longer require them.
  • Simply time is passing
    Events like pregnancy and surgery can substantially alter your gait or feet in a short amount of time. However, the truth is that our feet’ shape is always slowly changing throughout our lives due to normal aging and use. Thus, even if your orthotics are still in excellent condition overall after many years of service, it may be time to re-cast or replace custom orthotics.

Knowing When to Replace Custom Orthotics

Most orthotics last between one and five years, with no specific time frame. The need for replacement depends on how they appear and how frequently you use them. Consider the following:

  • Pain
    It might be time to change your orthotics if you feel any pain, whether it’s in your back, feet, or ankles. Standing, jogging, or even leaping while using orthotics shouldn’t cause pain. Additionally, calluses and corns on your feet—indicators that your feet have been rubbing on the inside of your shoe—should not hurt.
  • Age
    Typically, orthotics last between one and five years. You would usually only require a replacement set of rigid plastic custom orthotics every three to five years. But if they’re composed of soft plastic or foam, you may need an annual change.
  • Use
    They won’t wear out as quickly if you use orthotics to get around or just for regular activities as opposed to sports and leisure. Running, for instance, degrades your orthotics more rapidly than wearing them all day at work.
  • Worn out or harmed
    A review of your orthotics is in order. It is time to replace them if there are cracks, broken pieces, or thin soles.
  • Shoes
    Take a look at the soles of your shoes. Any foot deformities, including those that affect how your body aligns, orthotics can help fix. You can check your shoes to see any indications of uneven wear.
  • Changes
    New custom orthotics are necessary due to significant lifestyle changes. You might require new orthotics to account for your body’s changes, for instance, if you had knee surgery or got pregnant. Or, children as they grow.

Replace Custom Orthotics? Or Adjust / Fix Them Instead?

It depends on the orthotics’ age, the materials used to make them, the degree of wear or damage, and how much your foot mechanics have altered.

However, if possible, we would like to repair, refurbish, or modify your orthotics instead of completely replacing them.

Heat molding, altering the arch height, incorporating additional padding or material, adding heel lifts, switching out the coverings, and other techniques can reshape many orthotics slightly.

When Should My Orthotics Be Checked, and How Will I know?

Depending on your unique condition, a Pedorthist will provide recommendations throughout the orthotic fitting process. The first year after being provided, they will check your orthotics frequently to ensure they are functioning as intended.

Your orthotic journey may occasionally require slight tweaks to your orthotics throughout the first year to ensure the perfect fit and level of support for you.

They will typically advise that you return for a review at the two-year mark after being examined at the 12-month point. By having them inspected annually, they can keep track of your foot health and the durability of your orthotics. They can also give you a better picture of how they are holding up and how long they will last.

How to Take Care of Your Custom Orthotics

Learn how to properly maintain your custom orthotics by reading the following:

  • Don’t Get Them Wet
    Try to keep your insoles dry because they can become harmed by water if they have foam cushions or coated in cloth. If you manage to get them wet, blot them dry with a towel before laying them flat in a well-ventilated area. Before using them, ensure they have enough time to dry properly.
  • Wearing Guidelines
    It’s essential to break them in gently to avoid injury and irritation. Check for redness or pressure points on your feet during the first several days of wearing.
  • It’s vital to wear the orthotics for no longer than one to two hours every day as your body adjusts to this new alignment. If you wear them any longer, your back, knees, hips, and arches can get sore.
  • Cleaning Guidelines
    Custom orthotics are not meant to be permanent. Once a week, take them out and gently scrub them with soap and warm water. Never wash your orthotics in a machine. Avoid trying to soak them, drying them in a dryer, or heating them in any way. Always let your orthotics air dry completely before reinstalling them in your shoes.

When to Replace Custom Orthotics – Lifespan

The longevity of bespoke orthotics varies and several elements can influenced it. This includes your degree of activity, size, and frequency of use. Contact an expert if you start to notice excessive wear or if you detect anything unusual.

You can take care of your personalized orthotics quickly. It is preferable to spend a little time and money on maintenance than to have to purchase an entirely new pair.

This attitude can extend beyond tangible items. Taking care of your possessions has excellent consequences and psychological advantages.

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