Custom Made Orthotics - The Break In Period

Posted by Orthotics Direct on 2022 Jun 1st

Your feet have been working in a particular way for years! Your body has taught itself how to move in a misaligned way. This results in the foot, knee, and back pain you are experiencing and needs to be corrected in order to provide relief.

That’s where custom made orthotics come in! Your new orthotics are intended to realign your foot to relieve your pain.

Breakin’ Em In

For most who are new to the world of orthotics, they will probably feel uncomfortable at first. Some people can wear orthotics without a problem, while others may feel like they are standing on a small, hard ball, applying a lot of pressure to your arch. No matter what, it is important to remember to ease your body into wearing orthotics. Custom made orthotics are designed for each individual's unique biomechanical needs. Like with any new product, you need to break them in before feeling completely comfortable. Remember, your feet have been functioning in a certain way for a long time and your orthotics are there to change the way your muscles work and operate. Once your custom made orthotics are fitting comfortably, you’ll experience a world of difference when it comes to your feet and comfort.

It is important to remember that it can take at least 1-2 weeks to become fully accustomed to wearing your new custom made orthotics. We always recommend you break in your orthotics gradually. Start off by wearing them for 1-2 hours a day and increase by the same time each day. If you go too hard, too fast, you may experience sore feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back - clear signs that you have worn your orthotics for too long, too soon.

Modifications & Adjustments

It is very common throughout the orthotic process to experience some back and forth to ensure your orthotics are fitting right. Some scenarios will require more adjustments than others, depending on individual foot health needs. If you are still experiencing pain while breaking in your orthotics, it’s time to discuss a possible adjustment or modification to your orthotics.

Building any custom product takes time and may require modifications. Since everyone’s situations are so different, some may require none at all, while others may need 2-3 - there is no ‘one size fits all’. The way one's foot operates and conforms inside one shoe, may be different from how it conforms in another, or even operates barefoot.

Here are the top 3 signs indicating that you may need an orthotic modification after the ‘break in’ period:

  1. Pain Returns/New Pain: After years of wear, your orthotics may stop relieving your foot pain, however once you’ve had a chance to break in your orthotics, your pain shouldn’t return and you shouldn’t be experiencing any new pain.
  2. Wear Patterns: When wearing your orthotics in your choice of footwear, the shoes should wear down normally. If you notice that one shoe is wearing differently than the other, or in spots that shouldn’t be, your orthotics may need to be readjusted to correct it.
  3. Visible Orthotic Damage: It is normal for your orthotic to show some wear and tear over time, after all, you are using these devices daily. However, if your orthotics are broken, cracked, or the cushioning has worn thin (outside the normal wear and tear), then your orthotics need to be modified in order to continue providing you with the best support.

‘Break In’ Tips & Tricks

#1: Start Slowly

As mentioned, you want to start breaking in your orthotics slowly by wearing them 1-2 hours a day and increasing by the same amount of time each day. This is a very important step as you don’t want to cause further discomfort or damage.

#2: Know Your Own Body

If you are starting to experience any new pains, take your orthotics out of your shoes and try again the following day. You may even want to reduce the wear time! Overusing your orthotics too quickly may result in discomfort through your arches and could cause blisters.

#3: Your Footwear!

As mentioned in our previous blog, you wouldn’t put anything but Pirelli tires on a Lamborghini, so why would you compromise the performance of your orthotics with poor quality shoes? Proper fitting footwear is essential for your orthotics to work properly. You want to look for footwear that has a removable insole, is deep and wide enough to accommodate your foot and orthotic comfortably, and should support your entire foot. The orthotics are only as good as the shoes you wear them in.

#4: Adjustments Are Normal

It is very normal to feel new pressure points and experience some discomfort while you are breaking in your new orthotics. If you are still having difficulty adjusting after 4 weeks, your orthotics need to be modified.

At Orthotics Direct, all orthotics are eligible for modifications and adjustments up to 90 days after the date of purchase. Some scenarios require more adjustments than others, depending on your specific foot health needs. Our team will work diligently with you until it's right! Please contact us to schedule a call with our technicians.