How Long Do Orthotics Last?

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If you are thinking about investing in a new pair of orthotics, you will probably have some questions about the lifetime of your new purchase. One of the most common questions that we get from our clients is: How long will my orthotics last?

Your typical pair of custom foot orthotics will last for an average of two to three years. However, the lifetime of your orthotics will depend on their daily wear and tear.

If you only wear orthotics for a few hours each day or split time between multiple pairs of custom orthotics in different footwear, your orthotics may last for longer. Similarly, if you have a very active lifestyle involving running, cycling, or hiking, your orthotics may wear out sooner.

At Applied Biomechanics, we understand that our clients want to know how long their orthotics will last — before investing in custom fittings and measurements. In this post, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions about the lifecycle of foot orthotics.

How long does it take to break in orthotics?

If you have been fitted for a new pair of orthotics and you’re trying them out for the first time, it’s quite normal to feel some initial discomfort. Like any other footwear, it takes a while to break in a pair of orthotics — even if you’re using them in an existing pair of shoes.

We find that it typically takes two weeks to break in a new set of orthotics. If you’re still having trouble getting used to the orthotics after a two week time period, give us a call and we’ll schedule an appointment to assess whether your orthotics need to be adjusted for better comfort.

When should you replace orthotics?

Your custom orthotics will last two to three years on average. However, that doesn’t mean that you should wait for two years before thinking about replacing your orthotics. Here are some signs that your foot orthotics may need replacing early:

  • Return of original symptoms — If you are experiencing a return of the symptoms that caused you to get orthotics in the first place, this may be a signal that your foot orthotics need be replaced. They may no longer be working as intended.
  • Deteriorating cushioning — One of the first areas where users will notice wear and tear is the top cover cushioning of the orthotics. Our custom orthotics are designed to provide the perfect balance of cushion and support; if your orthotics start to feel hard, you should inquire about getting a new pair.
  • Worn treads — Think of your orthotics like a pair of tires on your car. Over time, their treads will get worn down, which is why it’s important to check your orthotics for signs of wear or deterioration. If you are unsure please feel free to contact the office to schedule a check up appointment

Can I wear my orthotics in different shoes?

At Applied Biomechanics, we always try to design our custom orthotics for multiple shoe use.

That said, we find that men have an easier time wearing their orthotics in multiple shoes. Due to the design of women’s shoes, they will often need a different pair of custom orthotics for types of shoes like high heels or boots.

If you are only using a specific shoe infrequently (for example, for special events like weddings), we generally recommend not getting specific orthotics for it as it is not worth the investment.

Where can I buy orthotics?

If you are looking to buy a pair of foot orthotics, the team at Applied Biomechanics offers both off-the-shelf and custom options from our location in Guelph, Ontario. We have been serving customers in Southern Ontario since 1995 and we’re the only OPC-accredited facility in Wellington County.

Learn more about the different types of custom orthotics available here.

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