Orthotics are shoe inserts that are intended to correct an abnormal, or irregular, walking pattern; they are not arch supports. They perform functions that make standing, walking and running more comfortable and efficient by slightly altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface.

Podiatrists prescribe orthotics as a conservative approach to many foot problems or as a method of control after certain types of foot surgery; their use is a highly successful, practical treatment form.

Orthotics take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All are concerned with improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity and pain.

Foot orthotics fall into three broad categories: those that primarily attempt to change foot function, those that are primarily protective in nature, and those that combine functional control and protection.

Orthotics For Children

Orthotic devices are effective in the treatment of children with foot deformities. Most podiatric physicians recommend that children with such deformities be placed in orthotics soon after they start walking, to stabilize the foot. The devices can be placed directly into a standard shoe or an athletic shoe.

Usually the orthotics need to be replaced when the child’s foot has grown two sizes. Different types of orthotics may be needed as the child’s foot develops and changes shape.

The length of times a child needs orthotics varies considerably, depending on the seriousness of the deformity and how soon correction is addressed.

Break-In Period

Orthotic Wearing Instructions: You may feel them because they’re working with each step to properly position your foot in your shoes. The resulting comfort and health will have your feet feeling wonderful.

What To Expect At First

When experiencing your custom orthotics for the first time, they should feel firm but comfortable. We suggest wearing them for two hours the first day, four hours the second day, and six hours the third day, and then full time.

Everyone’s feet are different. Give your feet and muscles 10-14 days to adjust to their new support. If you still feel discomfort after this, please call Tuscany Podiatry for an appointment.

Mild foot, leg or back discomfort may occur when first wearing orthotics. This should decrease with every subsequent day. If pain occurs that was not previously present, wear your devices every other day, and increase wearing time by only half an hour until you no longer have pain. (Dr. Antero may deviate from these instructions according to your unique condition.)

A low-heel shoe such as a tennis shoe should be worn for the first two weeks. After this, the orthotics may be worn in other shoes.

Squeaking of the orthotics within the shoes may be eliminated simply by applying powder in the shoes, and applying wax or soap to the front edge of the orthotic. This will help to reduce friction.

You may clean the surface of your orthotics with cool water and a mild soap, but do not immerse them in water. Also, never use hot water for cleaning your orthotics, as this may affect the material. Genuine leather orthotic devices may be cleaned with mink oil, saddle soap or other leather cleaners.