6 Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right Orthotics for You
Being able to walk and move around the world comfortably is an important part of everyday life. Walking around in pain can be a miserable experience but there are things you can do to help relieve the pain.
When you are experiencing pain in your legs, it can often be traced down to a lack of support for your feet. While having supportive shoes is important, many people need even more support than what a shoe can provide. This is where orthotics come in.
Orthotics are specifically designed for a variety of feet ailments and can be made individually or for specific activities. Working with the experts to find the right shape and size orthotics you need can make a big difference in the comfort of wearing them. Investing in custom orthotics is the best way to find the orthotics that are right for your feet.
Orthotic Tip #1: Different Shoes Need Different Supports
Just like you wear different shoes for hiking than you do for a workday at the office, there are different orthotics designed for different shoes and activities. You can get general orthotics that fit a variety of shoes, but if you are looking to truly help solve your feet struggles it is worth investing in orthotics designed for the specific activity or shoe you need.
For example, if you are a runner, having a supportive shoe is paramount to keeping your body from getting injured. There are orthotics that are specifically designed with running in mind that fit inside running shoes. You may need to have a few different types of inserts for different activity levels. The good news is that if you invest in quality orthotics, they will last for years.
Orthotic Tip #2: Make an Appointment With a Podiatrist
While it may seem easier to do a quick search and find orthotics online, the best option to truly find the best fit for your foot is to see a doctor. Working with a podiatrist means getting specific imaging and molds of your feet to know exactly the problem you are dealing with and ways to solve it. Many people have feet with unique shapes and need a specialized insert to help support their feet and body shape.
For example, if you get insoles for one type of arch and your arch is the opposite shape you can actually cause more damage than you already have. A podiatrist will be able to give you a detailed description of what you need and tips on how to find the just right orthotics for your shoes.
Orthotic Tip #3: Invest In Custom Orthotics
Once you see a podiatrist and have more information about the ailment you are dealing with for your feet, it is time to invest in custom orthotics. Using custom orthotics means gaining the peace of mind that you are helping to solve the problem and not create new problems thanks to misalignment from the wrong type of orthotics.
Because there are numerous problems that can occur with feet, custom orthotics can target your specific need for your feet. The good news about investing in custom orthotics is that they are known to last twice as long as non-customized options.
Orthotic Tip #4: Focus on Support
It may seem counterintuitive, but the more durable and sturdy an orthotic is the better it will support your feet. Many people want soft insoles for your shoes, but the softer the orthotic the less likely it will be to actually help solve your discomfort.
When searching for orthotics, make sure to look for moldable inserts or even inserts made of hard plastic. Using soft orthotics will not do much to change the support you need when walking and moving.
Orthotic Tip #5: Determine the Size and Shape You Need
Not all orthotics are the same. Orthotics come in different levels of support ranging from minimal support to maximum. If you have been dealing with a variety of physical ailments related to your feet, then you likely need the maximum support option. If you are just noticing that you are having pain, you can probably start with the minimum support level.
It is also important to know whether you need a full length insert or a partial insert. Partial inserts do not reach the full length of support and are better for shoes you don’t wear as regularly, such as dress shoes. These inserts typically start at the ball of your foot and run to the length of your heel. Full inserts tend to be more supportive and helpful for shoes you wear on a regular basis.
Orthotic Tip #6: Take Time to Break in New Orthotics
Once you have found the right size and shape of orthotics, it takes time to break them in. Many people make the mistake of using their new orthotics all day long and then wondering why they are still in pain. Your feet need time to adjust to the new support. Even wearing the inserts around the house for a few minutes a day when you first get them can help your feet adjust gradually.
Experts recommend adding time each day that you wear your orthotics. For example, for the first week wear the inserts for an hour per day. Then the next week add another hour or two and so on. Eventually your feet will adjust and you will notice a difference in your pain over time.
Choosing the right orthotics doesn’t have to be complicated. When searching for the right orthotics for your feet, remember that custom orthotics are the best option to give you the long term support you need.
Working with a podiatrist will help ensure that you are targeting the correct area of your foot and they can give you advice on the shape and size of the orthotics that will work best for you. You don’t have to be walking around in discomfort. Finding the right orthotics means giving you the pain relief you need to enjoy all that life has to offer.