When should I replace my orthotics?


We often get orthotics when we notice pain or a problem with our feet. The orthotics help with realigning our feet, legs and spine. They help to offset any unnecessary loads on our body.

We may use the orthotics day in and day out. They may last for one to five years. Orthotics, when used over time, begin to lose their support. But how do you know when they need to be replaced?

Here are some signs that you can look for to see if your custom orthotics need to be replaced:

  1. Pain in your feet, ankles, knees or back. You may experience pain in these areas due to orthotics that may be worn out. It is not normal to experience pain in your feet, ankles, knees or back when you perform your normal activities including walking and standing.
  2. Painful callouses or corns. Painful callouses or corns can be caused by your foot rubbing into your shoe. If you have a good pair of fitted shoes but continue to experience pain, it may mean that you need to replace your orthotics.
  3. Time since you last replaced your orthotics and general use. Orthotics generally last one to five years depending on their use and how many kilometres you put on your feet. If you suddenly experience pain or discomfort without any other known cause, take a look at your orthotics.
  4. Appearance of your orthotics. Are your orthotics worn out? Do they have any holes? Are there any cracks or pieces missing? Are they thin in certain parts? These could be signs that your orthotics need to be replaced.
  5. Appearance of your shoe. Have a look at the bottom of your shoe. Is there uneven wear? It is possible that uneven wear on the bottom of the shoe can be a sign that the orthotics are no longer doing what they are supposed to do.
  6. Changes that may put more stress on your feet. Hip or knee replacements, fractures of your leg, weight gain, surgery or pregnancy may all change the alignment of how you stand and walk. Taking up a new activity such as running or jogging or starting a new job may require different support for your feet. It may be a good time to revisit your chiropodist to find out if your orthotics needs to be replaced or modified.

painful foot

Are my custom orthotics covered by my extended health plan?

If you have extended health benefits, check your policy. Some policies cover two pairs of orthotics a year. Other policies replace orthotics once per year or once every two to three years. Every policy is different. It is important to check your policy to determine what coverage you have to avoid disappointment.

If you think it is time to replace your orthotics, visit Ace Physio in Downtown Toronto and Allied Health for custom orthotics. Our Chiropodist can assess the condition of your existing orthotics and using sophisticated technology determine your alignment to see if you need a new pair or orthotics. We usually recommend annual check-ups with your Chiropodist for proper foot health. To book at an appointment with our Chiropodist, click here.


  • Sharon Gabison

    Registered Physiotherapist BSc, BScPT, MSc, PhD: A graduate of the University of Toronto in Human Biology, Sharon completed her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. She went on to pursue further graduate work, completing her Master of Science from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and a PhD from the Institute of Medical Science both from the University of Toronto. Her interest in Physiotherapy originated while pursuing her first undergraduate degree while struggling with postural challenges and seeking physiotherapy treatment. Her interest in medicine, working with people, and developing and adhering to therapeutic plans inspired her to pursue a career in Physiotherapy. Her interest in research, orthopaedics, neurology, therapeutic agents and pressure injuries (bed sores) lead her to pursue graduate work. Sharon emphasizes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Her experience of raising a son with a disability has continued to inform her career that has spanned over 25 years. She is able to appreciate the rehabilitation process not only from the professional perspective, but from the client perspective. Her extensive knowledge of biomechanics, orthopaedics, exercise prescription, electrophysical agents with a strong background in research enables her to provide evidence based treatment when designing and implementing rehabilitation plans. With a special interest in patient and family engagement through her volunteer work, Sharon is able to ensure that treatment that is provided takes into consideration the unique challenges that individuals may experience when adhering to treatment recommendations in their busy lives.

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