While there are many types of orthotic devices—ranging from inlays to heel cups to silicone pads—the most common type of orthotics are insoles. To the untrained eye, orthotic insoles look very similar to the insoles that come with most shoes, but orthotic insoles feature a more custom design meant to give your feet support where it needs it the most.
So, if you spend long hours on your feet at work, you may benefit greatly from changing the insole in your work shoes. Orthotic insoles can make the workday a whole lot better, by providing extra comfort and support. In fact, a great pair of orthotic insoles can be your best defense against fatigue and injury. And even those of us who don’t stand for long periods of time at work can benefit greatly from an upgrade in the quality of our insoles.
There are almost as many varieties of over-the-counter orthotics available as there are different sizes and shapes of feet. And an orthotic that feels great to one person may actually cause pain in another. That makes it more difficult to choose the one that’s right for you.
Simple And Easy Tips To Follow
- Look for insoles that are specifically designed for work and for the type of work you’ll be doing
- If you’re on your feet all day, you may want something with extra cushion; memory foam or other materials with strong rebound properties are a good choice
- You may also want to look for orthotics with special padding or gel inserts in the heel area for extra shock absorption—this is great for standing or walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time
- If you need a little more arch support or help in improving balance, stability and alignment, look for an orthotic that includes a rigid or semi-rigid component in the heel area and/or through the arch
In addition, when you upgrade your work shoes with orthotic insoles, their purpose should be to enhance the fit, comfort and support of your footwear.
Fitting New Orthotic Insoles To Your Shoes
- Match your insole thickness with the insoles you’re replacing—if you get an insole that’s too thick, things may get a little too tight
- If you find a thicker insole that you really like, you may need to do one of the following:
- Find shoes that are double depth (i.e. include an insole and a spacer) that will accommodate the extra thickness of the new orthotic insole
- Go up a width in a non-double depth shoe (from the width you normally wear); this will often allow accommodating a thicker orthotic
- If you need to trim your new insoles to fit, use the old insoles as a guide to ensure the correct fit
- Try removing your insoles when you’re not wearing your work shoes, to allow moisture to escape
- Most over-the-counter orthotics typically last about six months, so you’ll need to replace them accordingly in order to ensure you’re getting the intended benefits
Don’t forget, orthotic insoles are intended to improve how your footwear functions. So, if you’re having problems with excessive fatigue or foot, arch or leg pain, you may want to consult a podiatrist. And you may benefit from custom orthotics—designed specifically to address the nuances of your foot structure and/or specific issues you may have.