You’ve made a great investment into your health by having your orthotics made, and like anything you wear, if you want them to last as long as possible, you need to look after them. Your age, activity levels, occupation and the shoes you wear can all affect the longevity of your orthotics.
Most patients will have a covering material added to the top surface of their orthotics at their orthotic fitting or review visit. This covering material is extremely important because it protects the orthotic and reduces wear and tear on the upper surface.
If you do not have a cover, you will wear through your orthotics much faster, especially in the ball of the foot and toe area. Covers also make your orthotics more comfortable to wear, reduce heat and also make your orthotics much easier to clean.
If you don’t have a cover because you missed your orthotic review, we recommend that you organise this as soon as possible.
Old covers that look worn-out should be replaced immediately. Peeling, cracked and split covers can become uncomfortable and irritate your skin. If you’ve worn holes through the cover, it means you’re now wearing into the orthotic, which will shorten their lifespan.
Clear Debris From Your Footwear
Depending on your occupation, it may be a good idea to remove your orthotics from your shoes on a weekly basis and empty out any debris. Small pebbles, for example, can dig into the orthotic and destroy it’s wedging and support.
Dry Them Out
If your shoes get wet, we recommend that you remove your orthotics from your shoes and let them dry completely. Moisture doesn’t necessarily destroy the orthotic material, but it will ruin covers and cause peeling if not dried properly.
Make sure to dry your shoes well too – moisture trapped in footwear not only causes them to become smelly, but also creates the ideal breeding ground for the fungus that causes Athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections.
Always let your orthotics dry in the shade, never in the sun for long periods, as this can affect both the covers and the orthotic materials. With this said, brief periods of time in the sun, up to 15 minutes, is acceptable if the orthotics are not wet to begin with. Drying in the sun from a wet state may also cause the cover to shrink in size.
If you do not wear socks with your orthotics, make sure you wipe and clean the covers on a regular basis. A damp cloth is okay, but an antibacterial wipe is much better.
Swapping Between Various Shoes
If you swap your orthotics between multiple shoes, take care when removing them. Do not force them into smaller shoes. This can damage the front edge of the orthotic, making them uncomfortable when you put them back into a correctly fitted shoe.
We can manufacture your same orthotic prescription to fit in different shoes. If you want to know more about obtaining an additional pair of orthotics, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us to have an additional pair made and fitted to your shoes.
Don’t Throw Them Out By Accident
This may seem obvious, but always make sure your orthotics have been removed from your old shoes before throwing them out. This happens more often than you think!
Keep Them Away From Your Pets
The saying ‘my dog ate my orthotics’ is floated fairly commonly around here – pets love to chew and play with orthotics, so keep them out of their reach.