How Long Do Orthotics and Shoe Insoles Last?
Custom orthotics typically last between two and three years. It depends on how your orthotics are used and how much wear and tear they get.
What is an orthotic?
For runners, an orthotic is a custom piece of equipment made to go between your feet and the shoe. They are technically a prescription, and they are meant to correct biomechanics foot issues. Orthotics can also help with foot pain or discomfort.
You can get orthotics for other parts of your body, such as wrist braces, arm braces, and heel casts. In other words, the one that goes on the bottom of your foot is not the only kind; it is just the most common one used by runners.
Where do you get orthotics?
You can’t just walk into a store and buy orthotics. If you have foot issues, schedule an appointment with a local podiatrist. They specialize in issues of the foot.
Podiatrists will often have you walk around to see how your feet move. The doctor can order many diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or even a bone scan. If the doctor thinks orthotics will help you, they take a cast of your foot to order the custom orthotic made especially for your foot.
It will take some time to get your orthotic since it is made especially for you, but the wait is worth it.
How often do you need to replace orthotics?
Custom orthotics typically last between two and three years. It depends on how your orthotics are used and how much wear and tear they get. Some custom orthotics can be rebuilt, so they do not have to be replaced. Other types are disposable.
Some people who do a lot of walking (or running!) may need new orthotics every year, whereas others may get five years out of a pair.
How can you tell if orthotics are worn out?
- Pain: If you suddenly have recurrent pain or discomfort, they may be worn out.
- Wear or Damage of Orthotic: Notice any visible signs of wear or damage to the orthotic? This is a sign to call your podiatrist.
- Age: Knowing orthotics last 1-3 years, depending on what type of use you have, keep an eye on them.
- Type of Use: Do you run in your orthotics frequently? Are you on your feet a lot? Think about how many miles you are racking up.
- Shoe Wear Pattern: Since the idea behind orthotics is to correct problems, if you have odd wear patterns on your shoes, that might signal they are worn out.
Sometimes people ask their podiatrist whether they will have to wear orthotics forever. The answer is maybe.
While some people get orthotics and find that they never stop wearing them, others work their way out of them.
I went from a very stiff custom orthotic to a more flexible one. Then, I worked my way to an insert. Guess what? Now I do not put any insole into my running shoes.
As long as I am smart about wearing quality shoes, I can go with them. To be clear, this does not work for everyone.
Over the counter options
Like you can buy custom orthotics, you can also get over-the-counter fixes for your problems. Insoles also called inserts, are items you can buy that work much like an orthotic.
They provide support and/or cushion for your feet.
How long do shoe inserts last?
Depending on the product, you can typically get 6 months to a year out of a pair of inserts.
So how often should you replace shoe inserts? The best advice we have for that is to listen to your body. If your body starts to ache and show signs of overuse or wear, it could be that you need new insoles or inserts.
The point is if you need insoles, there is probably a pair made for your specific need.
Did you try Superfeet?
Superfeet is an insole that gets rave reviews from Runnerclick test runners. “These aren’t just corrective insoles, they’re insoles that are designed to make your running or athletic experience better. The Superfeet insoles are placed in and provide you with a customized level of support that you can’t get anywhere else.”
How long do Superfeet insoles last? These are advertised to last roughly one year for most users.
What about Powerstep?
Another big name in insoles is Powerstep. Although Powerstep makes a lot of quality inserts, the Powerstep Pinnacle is rated the top insert for plantar fasciitis.
Again, looking to our reviewers at Runnerclick, we learned:
Powerstep Pinnacle comes close with firm support and plush cushioning, geared to enhance comfort while still offering maximum stability. Due to their comfortable RVA foam and cushioning, these insoles will provide you with excellent shock absorptions.
Wondering how long do Powerstep insoles last? According to their website, they are good for 6 months or longer.
Mark your calendar for 6 months and start to pay attention to how your body feels for best results.
Inserts, insoles, or orthotics: how to choose?
If you are still confused, hang tight. The first thing to know is that inserts and insoles are the same thing as these terms are interchangeable. Many people will try an over-the-counter fix before heading straight to the podiatrist for orthotics. Why? Because it is a less expensive, quicker possible fix.
Let’s face it; you might find something right at your local store that fixes your foot problem for you.
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