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How Often Should I Replace My Custom Orthotics and How to Tell if I Need New Ones?

Different orthotics wear down at different rates depending on the individual and their condition, but how can you tell if you need to get them replaced?

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor
a woman wearing a red sweater and a necklace
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published July 31, 2021.

Worn-out and degraded orthotics can actually harm your body more than not wearing any at all. Thankfully, it isn't too difficult to discern when you need to get them replaced.

What Classifies as "Worn-Out"?

There are two main things you can do to decide if your orthotics are in need of replacement:

How Do They Appear Visually?

If your orthotics have any obvious cracks or signs of the soles wearing down, then it may be time to replace them.

Additionally, check the soles of your shoes for any signs of wear as well. Orthotics adjust your foot to behave as normal, which means that if the wear on your shoes is uneven, it could be a sign that your orthotics have stopped working correctly.

How Do They Make You Feel?

If you are continuing to experience improvement in your condition, it might be a sign that your orthotics are still functioning as they should. If you're experiencing any pain or discomfort, you might need new ones.

How Often Do Orthotics Usually Last?

The general time that it takes for orthotics to wear down is dependant on the condition that they're being used to treat. Issues like flat feet and overpronation usually require orthotics made from hard plastic in order to force correct positioning in the foot, and so should last anywhere from 2 to 5 years.

Other conditions that require support, rather than control - such as for those with arthritic joints - would need orthotics of a softer material that could wear down within a year.

A final thought on this topic is that if you are ever unsure, consult with a podiatrist as they can give you more insight.