Orthotic inserts can help with a lot of different foot and ankle ailments. You may be wearing them to prevent general foot soreness. Or, you may be wearing them to help Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or another specific condition heal. Regardless of why you're using orthotics, your first day with them may be a bit of a change. Here are some tips to help that first day with orthotics goes more smoothly and comfortably.
Trim your orthotics to fit your shoes.
Most orthotics are designed to be trimmed to fit inside your shoes. So, on your first day, you'll need to decide which shoes you plan on wearing with them. Then, trace the outside of the shoe's sole into the orthotic using a permanent marker. Next, use scissors to cut just inside your traced line. Try sliding the orthotics into your shoes. The fit might still be just a little too tight. If so, use your scissors to trim just a little more off the outside of the orthotics, going around the entire orthotic evenly.
Find the right socks.
If you normally wear thicker socks, you may need to switch to thinner socks once you start using orthotics. The fit inside your shoes might be too tight otherwise. Take the time to try your shoes and orthotics on with a few different pairs of socks in order to see which ones are most comfortable. Breathable socks made from wool or a wool blend tend to be best since they help prevent blisters and rubs.
Wear the orthotics for half a day.
Wearing the orthotics all day right off the bat might cause some pain or soreness in different parts of your feet. Your tendons, ligaments, and muscles just need a little time to adapt to the new foot position inside your shoes. So, on your first day with orthotics, it is often best to just wear them for half a day. Work your way up to a full day over the course of a week or so.
Every once in a while, jot down some notes about how your feet feel. Note any new aches or pains. Or, if aches and pains you normally have are absent, write that down, too. You can give these notes to your orthopedic doctor, who can use them to better tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs.
Wearing orthotics can be really beneficial for your feet. Just make sure you give yourself time to adapt!