When should you replace your orthotics? Not to answer a question with a question but, why do you think they need replacing? The Foot Mechanic’s™ orthotics are milled out of a highly durable sheet of polypropylene. I jokingly tell our clients that, “they will find your orthotics in a landfill long past when we are gone!” The reason I say this is because the orthotic itself, meaning the polypropylene shell, will not lose its integrity. However, if it is only a matter of the top-cover breaking down, this is a very easy fix. We would need to take your orthotics in and simply replace that top cover.
If it is a function of the bottom wearing down, this can alter the biomechanical function of your orthotics. The question then becomes “why” is this occurring? More so, if you are experiencing a recurrence of your original symptoms or experiencing different areas of pain, it might be time for a reevaluation.
Typically, The Foot Mechanic™ advocates its’ clients be re-evaluated about every three years. This is not because the orthotic will break down, but rather your feet will change over time. Although you might have worn orthotics religiously, your foot structure and function will continue to break down as a function of time, pressure and volume of every step you have taken over that time span. The Foot Mechanic™ saves all of your evaluation data in a database so we may compare your old data to that which we obtain during your re-evaluation. If there is a significant enough difference, The Foot Mechanic™ will make you a replacement set(s) of orthotics at a “returning client” discount.
Dr. Brett Purdom, DPT, ATC, CSCS
The Foot Mechanic™