How Long Should A Custom Foot Orthotic Last (And Why)?


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A custom orthotic is a device commonly used to correct a person's unstable mechanics. An orthotic is a custom shoe insole. When you are evaluated for a custom orthotic, that evaluation should be from your lower back down to your feet. A gait analysis should be performed and then a mold of the foot is taken. This mold provides an accurate model on which to base the construction of the custom orthotics.

Why is an orthotic not permanent? Why does one orthotic not last us the rest of our lives? This is a great question! The reason is that our feet are dynamic and constantly changing. Each foot is made of 26 bones that are continuously changing based on our activities. Our feet have to function whether we're just walking, running, jumping, hiking, or even climbing a mountain. Depending on what you're doing, what surface you're on, and what shoes you're wearing, your feet have to deal with all of these added variables and over time they're going to change.

Typically a custom orthotic lasts about three years. More active people, such as marathon runners or triathletes, may need to replace them more often. If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, you may not need to change them as often. At that point we redo the entire evaluation and get your feet back to the most stable and efficient condition.

If you are finding that your feet are getting tired by the end of the day, if you are not able to walk as much as you'd like without pain, or have foot pain that keeps coming back, you may be a great candidate for a custom orthotic. A custom orthotic is a very conservative and is easily used to get you out of pain, keep you out of pain, and allow you to do anything you wish to do.

If you wish to discuss more about whether a custom orthotic is the right treatment option for you, contact us for an immediate appointment.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.