Custom Orthotics Care: Cleaning & Insole Replacement

Custom orthotics are specialized shoe inserts designed to provide individualized support and alleviate various foot-related problems. Whether you suffer from flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or other foot conditions, custom orthotics can significantly improve your comfort and mobility. To ensure they continue to serve their purpose effectively, it is essential to maintain proper care and hygiene. 

Let’s discuss the importance of cleaning custom orthotics and when and how to replace the insoles to maximize their lifespan and functionality.

How Do Custom Orthotics Work?

Custom orthotics are personalized shoe inserts designed to support and align the feet and lower limbs. They are custom-made based on an individual’s foot structure and biomechanics. Some have asked, “Do custom orthotics really work?” and the answer is yes. 

The orthotics provide support, redistribute pressure, absorb shock, and promote better foot function. They can alleviate pain, improve posture, and address various foot and lower limb issues. Custom orthotics are different from over-the-counter inserts and require professional assessment for optimal effectiveness.

Signs of Wear and Tear on Your Custom Orthotics
Know the signs you need a replacement for your orthotics

Custom orthotics are designed to endure the rigours of daily use, but over time, they will naturally begin to show signs of wear and tear. Recognizing these signs is crucial to ensure your orthotics continue to provide the necessary support. Here are some indicators that your custom orthotics might need replacement:

  • Visible Damage: Inspect your orthotics regularly for visible signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or fraying. Any structural damage can compromise the support they offer.
  • Deformed Shape: If your orthotics have lost their original shape or have become misshapen, they will not provide the proper support your feet need.
  • Reduced Comfort: Pay attention to any discomfort or pain while wearing your orthotics. If they no longer feel as comfortable as before, it may be a sign that the materials have worn out.
  • Foul Odour: Persistent foul odors even after cleaning can indicate a buildup of bacteria that might be challenging to remove, requiring replacement.
  • Worn-out Insole Material: If the cushioning material in the insole feels compressed or flattened, it is a clear sign that they have served their purpose and need replacement.

How Long Do Custom Orthotics Last?

The lifespan of custom orthotics can vary depending on several factors, including the materials used, the wearer’s weight, activity level, and how well they are cared for. On average, custom orthotics can last anywhere from 2 to 3 years. However, some could last much longer. 

The appropriate frequency for cleaning custom orthotics depends on various factors, such as how often you wear them, your level of physical activity, and your individual hygiene needs. Generally, it’s a good practice to clean your custom orthotics once every week or two weeks or as needed based on their condition.

Custom Orthotics Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your orthotics can easily be done with some soap and water

Keeping your custom orthotics clean is crucial not only for maintaining their longevity but also for ensuring good foot health. Daily wear can lead to the accumulation of dirt, sweat, and odour-causing bacteria, which can impact both the insoles and your feet. Here are some steps to effectively clean your custom orthotics:

  • Regular Wiping: After each use, take a moment to wipe the orthotics with a damp cloth. This will remove surface debris and sweat, preventing the buildup of bacteria and odour.
  • Mild Soap and Water: For a more thorough cleaning, use mild soap and lukewarm water to wash the orthotics. Gently scrub the insoles with a soft brush to eliminate stubborn stains and odours.
  • Avoid Soaking: While cleaning, avoid soaking the custom orthotics. Excessive water exposure can damage the materials and reduce their effectiveness. Instead, use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the surface.
  • Air Drying: Once cleaned, let the orthotics air dry naturally. Placing them in direct sunlight or using heat sources like hair dryers can warp or deform the insoles.
  • Disinfection: For individuals prone to fungal infections like athlete’s foot, it’s essential to disinfect the orthotics regularly. You can use a mixture of water and vinegar or an antifungal spray specifically designed for shoe hygiene.

Insole Replacement

Knowing when to replace your custom orthotics is crucial to ensure your foot health remains uncompromised. Here are some guidelines for insole replacement:

  • Recommended Lifespan: Custom orthotics typically last between 1 to 5 years, depending on the frequency of use, quality of materials, and individual wear patterns. Consult your podiatrist to determine the expected lifespan of your specific orthotics.
  • Follow Professional Advice: Always follow the recommendations of your podiatrist or orthotics specialist regarding replacement timelines. They will assess your foot condition and advise you on when to get new orthotics.
  • Keep a Replacement Schedule: If you wear your orthotics daily, it might be helpful to create a replacement schedule to ensure you don’t overlook their maintenance and lifespan.
  • Maintain Multiple Pairs: If possible, invest in multiple pairs of custom orthotics, so you can rotate them. Rotating the insoles allows them to dry completely between uses, extending their longevity.

Get Quality Custom Orthotics in Owen Sound

Proper care and maintenance of your custom-made orthotics are vital to prolong their lifespan and ensure they continue to provide the support your feet need. By cleaning them regularly, paying attention to signs of wear and tear, and replacing them when necessary, you can enjoy the full benefits of these specialized insoles. 

Remember to consult your podiatrist for personalized advice and guidance on cleaning and insole replacement to maintain excellent foot health for years to come. With the right care, your custom orthotics will keep you moving comfortably and pain-free throughout your daily activities.

If you’re looking for high-quality custom orthotics in Owen Sound, you’ve come to the right place. At Brubacher Foot Comfort, we offer orthotics and other custom footwear. Contact us today at 519-376-4523 for more information on what we have to offer.