You have your orthotics, and you love them.  But did you ever consider getting a 2nd pair?  If you have not considered this yet, here are a few reasons why you should consider a second pair. 

They Make The Current Pair Of Custom Orthotics Last Longer - They Prolong the Orthotic Life

shoes with orthoticsJust like any item, if you wear it half the time, then this prolongs the life of the current item.  This is exacely the same of the custom orthotics.  Wear and tear is normal, and getting a seond pair can help prolong the orthotic life.  Most people wear two to three different pairs of shoes in a week.  If you think about it, the fact that you do not wear the same pair of shoes every day prolongs the durability of all two to three pairs of those shoes.  The same goes for custom orthotics.  

Not All Orthotics Fit In All Shoes -You May Need A Dress Pair If You Have A Pair For Your Gym Shoes Already

different types of orthoticsYou may have a pair of orthotics for your gym shoes and you finally have gotten rid of your pain, and you wear them for continuity and to prevent injury from recurring.  The orthotics help you stay out of pain and revert back to the habits that caused the injury in the first place.  For example, for heel pain or plantar fasciitis, you have worked so hard to stretch tight muscles and tendons that give your heel support.  If you revert to wearing a pair of dress shoes over and over again without the proper arch support that a custom orthotic can bring, then you are in danger of that plantar fascia tightening up again, thus causing the heel pain to recur.  It is very important for consistency and decreasing undo stress on your feet. You have already trained your body that the position that the custom orthotic is holding your foot in is biomechaincally the best position for your foot to operate to prevent pain.  That premise should not be sacrificed if you are now wearing a ballet flat or a dress shoe instead of your gym shoes. With a seoncd pair of custom orthotics that fit into your dress shoes, then you can be sure that the chances of the pain returning are greatly reduced.  

Get A Second Pair For The Convenience Of It And To Improve Compliance

foot with an orthotic fittingThat is all you have to say to me, and I am sold!  Too often I hear patients state that the one pair of orthotics is in her work boots, and they stay in the work boots, but then she has no foot support when they reach home.  Instead of having to take them out of work shoes, place them in shoes you wear home, then vice vers the next day at work, it may be a good time to order a second pair or custom orthotics. Some of my patients even get a pair to wear in their house slippers for the convenience of slipping off shoes at home and slipping on house slippers with ease, and without the hassle of switching the orthotics back and forth. Plus it helps with compliance! You know you will wear them if they are in multiple pairs of shoes and a pair in your house slippers. 

gym shoeHow Easy Is It To Obtain Another Pair (Or Two!) Of Custom Orthotics? 

It is quite simple, especially in the few weeks after you have been casted.  If you recall, the process for obtaining custom orthotics starts with a proper exam by your doctor.  After this, a mold, or cast, is taken of both feet using fiberglass slipper casts.  These casts are total contact to your feet, capturing the exact dimensions of the deformity causing your pain.  The slipper casts are removed from your feet and then sent to the lab where an exact replica is scanned.  Then, the orthotic shell is molded to your foot model, and specifications are made according to the prescription written by your doctor.  Here is where the magic is - it is in the shell.  The topcover can be made full length and with cushioning or cutouts/accomodations in certain areas, and the full length topcover is usually for a gym shoe.  But as I said before, the magic is in the shell, and the shell can be thinner, shorter, or longer.  For example, the length would be made to be only three-quarter length to fit into a dress shoe.  When you order a second pair, the lab already has the mold of your foot and it is very easy for them to manufacture a second pair.  If you have a sport orthotic for your gym shoe and you want a dress custom orthotic for your formal shoes, it is made from the same mold.  When you order the second pair at the time of casting, this is the easiest for the lab because then they can make two pairs off at the same time and have them shipped to the office and you can have them both fitted to different shoes in the same visit.  

person holding a footWhen Do I Get A Second Pair Of The Same Prescription Versus Being Re-Evaluated and Re-Casted For A New Pair Of Custom Orthotics?

If it has been more than a year, our doctors recommend re-evaluation for new custom orthotics.  The reason is because after a year, your feet may have changed and getting a second pair with the old prescription and old castings may not be exactly what is the best for your feet. For our pediatric population, this is understandable as kids grow well into their teenage years.  However this may be surprising for adults, as it may seem that our feet have stopped growing; however, over time, our feet may go up a size or two.  This is not because adult bones continue to grow - in fact the bones are not growing.  However, due to age, ligamentous laxity, and time, the ligaments and joints may expand.  And over 28 bones in the body, it is an additive effect that may cause you to end up with a bigger size.  In addition, sometimes our tendons stretch and this has an effect on our arch hieght, and even the width of the foot.   Thus, have a re-evaluation with the doctor after a year may result in new castings and a new orthotic, not just a duplicate of the old prescription.  

So don't even think twice about a second pair of orthotics - go ahead and go forward with it.  It makes sense in the long run. 

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