• Scott Toronto, DPT, Cert MDT

Foot Orthotics - Who Needs Them and What to do When You Have Them

Updated: Mar 31

Building upon last month’s running blog, we have another most amazing blog about feet and orthotics. Orthotics are great for the wear and tear that we place on our feet every day. Our small feet have to hold up our bodies and that’s a lot to take on. With varying conditions and pains that can happen to our feet, orthotics are a great way to help improve how you function on a daily basis. Disclaimer…consult with our local Doctors of Physical Therapy as Wasatch PT in order to determine if an orthotic is right for your feet and what type should you get, as well as where to get them.

Here are some great tips about orthotics, what to expect when you get them and how to care for them.


1. Break-in Period Wearing Instructions

Your body will typically take 2-3 weeks to get used to your new orthotics. During this period of time follow these simple rules:

· Start by wearing your orthotics 2-3x each day.

· On Day 1 wear your orthotics for 30-60 min during each time you wear them.

· Extend your wearing time each day by 15-30 min until you can comfortably wear your orthotics all day, every day during all activities.

If your feet become sore and/or tired while wearing your orthotics, take them off and allow your feet to rest for several hours before wearing them again. THIS IS NORMAL DURING THE BREAK-IN PERIOD. Your FOOT needs time to get used to the new orthotic, and NOT that you are breaking in the orthotic. After 3 weeks if your feet continue to be sore and/or tired from wearing your orthotics they may need to be adjusted.

2. Use and Care of Your Orthotics

Your orthotics should last for anywhere from 1-4 years (maybe longer) depending on your body weight and activity level. Custom orthotics can typically be “refurbished” so, DO NOT throw them away.


To keep your orthotics in good shape and help them last as long as possible please do the following:

· Never put your orthotics in a washing machine or dryer.

o If they need to be cleaned wipe them down with a damp rag. Mild dish detergent can be used as well followed by rinsing with cool water. Then, wipe down the orthotics with a dry cloth and then allow the air dry before putting them back in your shoes.

· Do not leave your orthotics in a hot vehicle

· Always wear socks with your orthotics to prevent premature wear of the top covers.

· Your orthotics can get wet. If they do, remove them from your shoes or boots, wipe them down and allow them to air dry before putting them back in your shoes.


3. Footgear Selection

When choosing new shoes or boots it is very important that you take your orthotics with you to the store. Keep the following in mind before you buy!

· Be sure that the shoes/boots have removable insoles (aka footbeds or sockliners)

· Take the original footbeds out of the shoes and put orthotics in. Wear the shoes with your orthotics in them around the store for a while to ensure comfort.

· The orthotics take up more room inside the shoe than the original insoles. You may need a shoe that has a wider toe box and that is cut “taller” top to bottom. You should not need a longer shoe.

· Lace up shoes and boots work best due to the ability adjust the volume of the shoe.

Please feel free to contact us at any of our 4 Wasatch PT locations if you have any questions about orthotics or shoes and where are good places to find them.

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