In most cases, when you receive your custom foot orthotics, you will have them fit into whichever shoes you wear most frequently, or the shoes recommended by your Pedorthist. But, what happens when you need to use your orthotics in other shoes? Some of the most common questions we hear from our patients are about fitting them into other footwear. Take a look at commonly asked questions below:
Can You Put Orthotics in Any Shoe?
The short answer is no, but we can usually slightly adjust the orthotics for a good fit in multiple shoes. The best way to ensure a good fit in all of the shoes you would like to wear your orthotics with is to bring them to your initial fitting appointment. Your SoleScience Pedorthist will adjust your orthotics to fit into each of the shoes interchangeably, provided that they are shoes that are compatible with the device.
If you purchase shoes after you already have your custom orthotics and are unsatisfied with the fit, you can see your SoleScience Pedorthist for a quick adjustment at any time. In most cases, any orthotic adjustments can be made quickly and easily in-clinic.
What if My New Shoes Are Very Different From the Ones My Orthotics Were Fit To?
In some cases, a new pair of shoes may be drastically different from the ones your Pedorthist fit your orthotics to initially. In these cases, your Pedorthist may be able to completely overhaul your orthotic devices to fit into your new footwear. These changes may need to be done at our central fabrication facility, rather than in the clinic.
How Do I Know if My Orthotics Fit Correctly in My Shoes?
Your custom orthotics should fit comfortably and securely with your feet inside your shoes. Always remove the sock liner or footbed from any shoe you want to use with your orthotics. The orthotics should slide in smoothly and fit comfortably into the front of your shoes without any bunching or wrinkling. If the orthotic is too long, wide or in a different shape, carefully trace the original sock liner you removed overtop then use that as a guide to trim the new ones with scissors.
The firm part of your orthotic should sit solidly within your shoe without tipping or rocking. It should also feel securely fit within the shoe. If the fit isn’t quite right, don’t worry! Your Pedorthist can fit your orthotics with just a simple adjustment.
Do I Need to Buy Bigger Shoes to Use My Orthotics?
Always buy shoes to fit your feet, even when inserting orthotics. If your footwear was designed to work with a custom orthotic device, you do not need to buy larger shoes to accommodate your orthotics. Another critical point to remember is that not all shoes are manufactured in the same way, which often means there are differences in sizing between brands and manufacturers.
We always recommend that you consider your typical shoe size as the “starting point” when shopping for shoes. For example, a size 8 in one brand might fit like an 8.5 in another or vice versa. Always shop based on the fit and feel of the footwear, not the number on the box. When possible, bring your custom foot orthotics with you when shopping.
Do I Have to Remove the Insoles When Using My Orthotics?
In most cases, we recommend that you remove the insole, or footbed, from your shoes and replace them with your custom foot orthotics. Most shoes that are compatible with orthotics have a removable footbed that allows your custom foot orthotics to fit inside comfortably. You should not place your orthotics on top of the existing insoles. Your orthotics work best when they rest securely in your shoe, directly on the midsole (interior) of the shoe.
There are some cases where there is no removable footbed, but the space within the footwear is sufficient to use your custom foot orthotics comfortably. In these instances, if the shoe’s interior is flat and secure, and there is enough space inside for your orthotics and your foot to fit comfortably, you can successfully use your orthotics.
Can I Wear My Orthotics in Any Shoe?
While many shoes are compatible with your custom foot orthotics, some styles are not. For example, occasionally, the volume of the shoe’s interior is simply too shallow to accommodate your foot and your orthotic. Dress shoes usually suffer from this lack of space. In some cases, changes to the orthotic itself may be an option, but orthotics may be incompatible with shoes like ballet flats, pumps or other low-volume footwear. Discuss the use of these shoes with your Pedorthist.
Generally speaking, your Pedorthist will advise you on how and when to wear your orthotics throughout your treatment. The treatment approach may change as you heal from an injury or as your condition changes over time. Check-in with your Pedorthist yearly to ensure that your treatment goals are being met and that your orthotics are still performing as they should. This is not to say you need to replace your orthotics yearly but rather have them re-evaluated to ensure they’re helping you achieve the best outcome possible.
How Often Should I Visit My Pedorthist?
If it has been over a year since your last appointment with your SoleScience Pedorthist, we would love to see you back in for a check-up. If there have been any changes to your health, activities, or occupation, it may be beneficial to book an appointment. Contact us at any time to book an annual follow-up or with any questions about your orthotics or foot health.
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