Thank you once again for purchasing a pair of bespoke orthoses. Here is some helpful information on how to get used to your orthotics and what to do if certain issues arise. I hope you find this information useful and encourage you to contact me if you have any queries or concerns.
The first question people often have is what shoes they can wear the orthotics in. The answer is simple: usually most of them. They will not work in high heels, backless sandals or flip flops though. You might be able to use double-sided velcro dots in backless sandals, but this will not work in high heels and flip flops. The best advice is to try fit them in as many shoes as you can and wear them as often as you can or are willing. Don’t forget to take the old insoles out though. Some shoes, particularly women’s fashion shoes, can be problematic, so if you cannot fit the insoles in them, then either chose to wear the shoes less or the orthotics less. Just remember that the less you wear the insoles, the less you will benefit.
Orthotics are made to the shoe size you gave me during your assessment, or to the size of your foot if you had a fully casted device. However, not all shoes are the same length or same shape, even though the brand and the size stated on the label may be the same. Because of this, sometimes you will need to trim the end of the insole so that it will fit the shoe correctly. Orthotics are not usually designed for one specific pair of shoes (although this may be the case if you are wearing specialist orthopaedic or sports shoes). Trimming the end may leave a small gap at the end of other pairs of shoes, but most people will not be aware of this. The worse thing that could happen is that you have to replace the top cover, which can be done at a fraction of the cost of a new pair. If you don’t feel confident doing this, then please ask and I will do it for you.
Getting used to them
To start, I always recommend people use the insoles for an hour on the first day, then two hours the next, increasing the time you are wearing them by one hour each day until you are wearing them full-time. If your orthotics are an exact copy of an older pair, then you don’t need to do this. However, if these insoles are significantly different to a previous pair, or if you have never worn any before, then following this advice is very important. If you wear the orthotics in too quickly, then you may likely develop muscle aches. If you have had insoles before, wear the new insoles for the allotted time for that day and then switch back to your old insoles.
It is possible to get achy muscles even if you follow this advice. Mild aching that is tolerable is fine and may last a few days and then disappear. If your foot pain increases, or you develop a new pain you haven’t had before than it more than aching, then please stop using the insoles and come back and see me. We will reassess the situation and make changes to the orthotics if necessary.
It can take 3-4 weeks to really get used to the insoles. It may feel strange, even slightly uncomfortable during this time, but most people get used to it in a month or less. It is important to be patient and not give up after a few days if you feel they are slightly uncomfortable. It takes time to adjust to something new.
Sadly, using solvents on your insoles will weaken the adhesives that hold the various layers or portions of it together and dramatically decrease the life of the devices. This includes any product containing alcohol, so be sure to read the label before using a product to clean your orthotics. A little soap on a damp cloth is often enough to freshen them up. Don’t put them in the washing machine or dishwasher either, as this may damage the orthotics or your appliances.
Thank you once again for purchasing some bespoke insoles from our clinic. I sincerely hope they will resolve or help manage the issues you presented with. If for any reason you are unhappy, please come back to me and we can discuss your concerns and make changes or offer additional treatments if required. And if you are happy, which thankfully the overwhelming majority of people are, then let me know by email or phone. Positive feedback is always gratefully received.
Take care…and be well.
Ian Radford BSc(Hons) MCPod MAcS