Foot orthotics are designed to provide comfort when you walk and stand. They can help improve your gait and help evenly distribute your weight with every step you take. Wearing an orthotic that’s worn out and needs replacement can do more harm than good.
There’s no strict guidelines for how often you need to replace your orthotics, but a good rule-of-thumb is every one-to-five years. Why such a wide range? Because there are different types of orthotics made from different materials for different purposes.
Here are some important things to consider:
- Pain – do your feet, ankles or back ache? You shouldn’t be experiencing pain while standing or running while wearing your orthotics. It’s also important that they don’t cause blisters, calluses, corns or blisters as this is a sign that they do not fit properly.
- Damage – take the orthotic out of your shoe and examine it for cracks, thinning or broken pieces. If you can see damage it’s time for a replacement.
- Lifestyle Changes – big changes in your lifestyle and in your body can cause you to need new orthotics – whether you’ve had knee surgery, have changed jobs and are on your feet more often, or have become pregnant – lifestyle changes are good time to take stock and check to see if you need new orthotics.
- Age – most orthotics list between a year and five years. If they’re made of hard plastic they will last longer. If they are made of foam or soft plastic its best to replace them yearly.