Although the inserts are designed to your unique structural needs, expect some discomfort when breaking in custom foot orthotics. That’s because it takes time for your feet to adjust to the new alignment, with the discomfort mostly occurring in the arch, which receives the most support. Orthotics may also affect your gait as you relearn your coordination and balance.
Breaking in Custom Foot Orthotics: What Is It?
Breaking in means getting used to your custom foot orthotics. Ordinarily, it takes 2-4 weeks for your feet to adjust to the new pair. However, due to unique movement patterns, activity levels, and foot conditions, everyone breaks in at their own pace. The orthotic design also matters—it takes longer to adjust to rigid inserts than softer, more flexible orthotics.
How Do I Break in Custom Foot Orthotics?
Provided you get over the initial discomfort, custom foot orthotics go a long way in relieving foot pain, fixing your gait, and improving athletic performance. Here’s some advice for breaking in custom foot orthotics.
Ease Into It
Because the orthotics are still new to your feet, wearing them full-time can strain your muscles, causing soreness and mild pain. You can wear the orthotics for an hour on the first day and extend this duration by 30 minutes every few days according to your doctor’s instructions.
Moreover, pay attention to your body—take breaks from the orthotics until the pain diminishes. You can use a cold compress to relieve any swelling and try calf and foot stretches to relax your muscles. Cushions also soften the impact of the custom orthotics, while gel liners help with friction. However, if the pain persists, stop wearing the orthotics and contact your podiatrist. Your inserts may need some adjustments to ensure a proper fit.
Get the Right Shoes
Custom orthotics work hand in hand with shoe support. Rather than using older shoes with pre-existing wear patterns, invest in a new pair for improved stability and a longer lifespan for your orthotics.
Depth and width also matter—a wider toe box is more comfortable than a narrow one that pushes your feet. When it comes to socks, go for moisture-wicking fabrics to prevent blisters and discomfort.
Avoid Rigorous Activity at the Beginning
Although custom inserts enhance physical performance, don’t overexert yourself at the beginning. You can start with light exercises and observe how your feet respond to the orthotics. If you go an entire week without discomfort, you can increase the workout intensity, paying attention to joint and muscle soreness.
Expert Foot Care From the Foot Specialists of Birmingham
The effectiveness of your custom orthotics depends on how your feet respond to them. Our job at the Foot Specialists of Birmingham is to ensure your orthotics are comfortable and properly fitted. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions about breaking in custom foot orthotics. Contact us today.