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Why and When Should You Use Custom Orthotics?

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

Published July 31, 2021.

Why and When Should You Use Custom Orthotics? main image

Although there are some foot conditions that can be excruciatingly painful, the existence and effects of others can go unnoticed. The treatment of many foot conditions can be aided with the use of custom orthotics or over-the-counter (OTC) insoles, but how do you go about figuring out if they're something you need?

Unfortunately, only a registered podiatrist can make the final decision, but here are some factors that can help you decide why and when you should use custom orthotics.

» How do you choose which custom orthotics to wear? Upstep offers a range of custom orthotics that can relieve pain from being on your feet all day or from high intensity activities

Excessive Pain or Discomfort

If you have mild pain or inflammation in the feet, legs, or back, there's a good chance it will go away with time. However, if the pain persists or even worsens, the problem may be rooted in the feet and requires treatment.

The less severe conditions can sometimes be treated with the use of pre-made insoles, as you might only need some extra cushioning in your shoes, but more serious conditions will need orthotics tailored to your specific feet.

Keep in mind that not all foot conditions will cause foot problems. Some could even lead to shin splints or lower back pain without an obvious cause.

When Should You Wear Your Custom Orthotics?

Since custom orthotics are there to right persistent errors in your feet, they should be worn for as long as possible. However, a new pair of orthotics may be uncomfortable to wear at first. If this is the case, you might just need to get used to them. Give yourself a few weeks at first, starting with only a few minutes of wearing them in between long rests, gradually building up until you wear them constantly.

If, after a month, you still aren't used to wearing them all the time, they might need to be adjusted by your podiatrist.

» Still unsure whether custom orthotics are for you? Read the custom orthotics product review for everyday activities

A Final Thought: Are Custom Orthotics Permanent?

This depends on the condition, really. Some individuals may have enough success at reshaping their feet and strengthening certain muscles to reduce the time spent wearing them dramatically. In contrast, others with more serious conditions may have to wear orthotics around the clock.

If your issues are minor to nonexistent, you don't need to jump the gun and see a podiatrist as your condition may go away on its own. If it's something persistent and painful, then consider booking an appointment as a podiatrist can give you more info through that and further regular checkups.