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Why Do My Custom Orthotics Hurt While Breaking In?

It's natural for custom orthotics to hurt at first. But how long will it take, and what can you do about it? Read how to break in custom orthotics properly.

By Petal Mashraki
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published August 10, 2021.

It is natural for custom orthotics to be uncomfortable in the first few weeks when your feet are still getting used to them. This varies from person to person and may take anywhere from 5 days to a month.

Make sure you are wearing them in the right shoes, and break them in gradually.

Breaking In Custom Orthotics

When you put custom orthotics into your shoes, they slowly start to change the way muscles make your feet function. The insoles adjust your alignment, gait, and posture.

In fact, it is more a case of familiarizing your body with the orthotics than breaking them in. Bad habits take time to change.

How to Break In New Custom Orthotics

Start wearing new custom orthotics gradually, with an hour a day, then slowly increase the time until you feel comfortable enough to wear them continuously.

At first, you should avoid wearing your new orthotics for strenuous activity, sport, or long periods of standing. If after a month they are still causing you pain, talk to the manufacturer about adjusting or replacing your custom orthotics.


To give your body time to adjust to new insoles you should break them in slowly. But given 1-4 weeks you should no longer feel any pain. If after a month or so you are still uncomfortable, you may need to get your custom orthotics adjusted.