Are Your Orthotics Getting You Down?
Nice day today in NYC, and especially in Long Island where I had the pleasure of running the #LImarathon once again, specifically the half. If you’re looking for a nice, well-supported half marathon in the greater NYC area - and don’t want to bother with a lottery - look no further than Eisenhower Park in Nassau County on the first Sunday in May. But that’s not what I’m here to blog about. This week’s blog was inspired by a man, let’s call him Joel, because that’s his name, who wanted to know about how long orthotics are meant to last.
I think you all know the life changing miracle that is rendered by custom orthotics by now, and if you don’t, we can make an appointment for some time this week. In short, orthotics are custom insoles designed to support and balance the foot in an ideal biomechanical position, thereby optimizing gait, enhancing runners’ strides, and potentially relieving foot, ankle, knee, hip and back pain. Yes, all that and they will even do windows too. But seriously, as I tell my NYC podiatry patients, it’s intuitive that most people will feel better with a custom foot bed in their shoes.
Ideally, a good pair of custom orthotics should last a lifetime. The plastic or graphite shell that is responsible for the structure and support is very strong and can withstand a lifetime of activity without wearing down or cracking. And we, with the support of our lab, warranty the shells for life. The fabric or vinyl top cover on the shell will wear down after a few years, necessitating a simple replacement of the cover. Over time, however, feet may change, which may decrease the shelf life of a particular pair of orthotics. I usually recommend having the foot and orthotics checked every 1-2 years and expect at least 5-10 years of good use before needing replacement, which of course may differ based on usage and personal preference.
So thanks to Joel, now you know. Orthotics should last pretty much forever, with an occasional refurbishing every few years. Not bad for something that is used every day and will completely and profoundly change your life for the better, or so I’m told.
See you in the office.