USE & MAINTENANCE
Caring For Your Orthotic Insoles
Your orthotic insoles do not require special care. Simply keep it clean by doing the following:
Wear socks when you are wearing your shoes
Take your insoles out of your shoes to air it regularly
Wash your insoles regularly. Do make sure they are completely dry before inserting them back into your shoes.
Caring For Your Orthotic Shoes
Your orthotic shoes are designed to wrap snugly around your feet and hold them in their ideal positions while you are standing and moving about. It is important that you take care of your orthotic shoes so they can keep their shape and perform their intended function.
Your orthotic shoes are made from natural leather because it is tough and supple enough to hold your feet in their ideal positions without feeling stiff or uncomfortable to move about in. It is also highly resistant to bending and can withstand repeated stress. However, it needs to be taken care of to remain tough and supple for many years.
Fortunately, leather is a relatively easy material to care for; keeping it dry is usually enough. This is to protect the natural oils in the leather which keeps it strong. When leather gets wet, the natural oils in it binds to water molecules and gets drawn out when the water dries and evaporates. This causes the leather to become brittle and flimsy, making your orthotic shoes unusable.
Fig 1. Water molecules binds to and draws out the natural oils in leather, damaging it. ICON CREDIT: freepik / flaticon.com
Fig 2. Water damage weakens the leather, making it flimsy and unable to keep the shape of the shoe.
Fig 3. It can also weaken the glue that binds the upper and the sole, causing the shoe to split.
Should the leather on your orthotic shoes lose it strength you will not be able to wear your orthotic shoes for treatment until you have them repaired at our centre. Therefore, make sure to not let your shoes get wet.
Besides moisture from your surroundings, take care to not let perspiration build up and dampen the leather of your shoes. Here are some things you can do to keep your orthotic shoes dry and happy:
Wear an overshoe over your shoes if you are wearing them out on rainy days.
Consider changing your socks mid-day if you are wearing your shoes for the whole day.
If possible, do not wear the same pair of shoes every day if you are wearing them for the whole day so they have time to air.
Fig 4. A blue overshoe worn over a brown shoe. Overshoes come in a variety of designs.
In the event that your shoes get wet, do the following to minimize the damage to the leather:
Wipe off any water on the surface of your shoes with a cloth or newspaper
Stuff the inside of your shoes with newspaper to absorb moisture and keep their shape
Leave your shoes in a cool, dry place to air
Do not use a hair dryer or place the shoes under direct sunlight.
Do not wear your shoes until they are completely dry.
Fig 5. Do not place your shoes under direct sunlight or other sources of heat as it may cause the leather to dry up, shrink, and crack. ICON CREDIT: freepik / flaticon.com
Watch Out for Wear Pattern
Your should observe the wear pattern that form on the soles of your orthotic shoes as they can tell you whether you are walking with poor walking habits. This is especially so for patients who are early in their treatment and have yet to correct their gait entirely.
Ideally, you should observe wear on three parts of the soles of your shoes; on the heel, at the ball of your feet, around your first and second toe. These three parts of the sole get worn out more quickly if you are walking properly; striking the ground with your heel; rolling through your heel to your toe; and pushing off the ground with your toes.
Fig 6. The damage on the outside of the toebox indicate that the wearer is not pushing off the ground with his toes properly.
If you observe that the wear pattern on your soles differ from the one described above, consider visiting the centre to have another training session to have your gait corrected.
Fig 7. Uneven wear patterns on the two soles.