Your feet are built to carry you around and support your weight, but sometimes they need a little help in order to do that job comfortably. Most people rely on shoes for that help, but there are times when even shoes are not enough. Here are some signs that you could benefit from putting orthotic supports in your shoes.
Your feet are often painful at the end of the day.
Most people will have foot pain occasionally after a really long day, such as a day on which they walked 10 miles or ran a marathon. But if you are suffering from foot pain at the end of most days, or even just many days, that is a bigger problem. Orthotics can provide some relief before your foot pain turns into something more sinister, like plantar fasciitis or a stress fracture.
You have abnormal arches.
If you have flat feet or if you have a really high arch, then your foot's natural shape is not protecting you as it should. Flat feet do not "give" as much as they should, which can be really hard on your bones. High arches put too much strain on tendons and ligaments. Wearing orthotics can help in either case. Make sure you get ones designed for your particular foot shape.
You have uneven wear on your shoes.
Flip over the pair of shoes that you wear most often. Are the bottoms worn evenly, or is there more wear on one side than on the other? If just the inside or outside is worn, then that part of your foot is being put under more strain. A pair of orthotics designed to re-balance your weight distribution can help prevent injuries to the side of your foot that you're putting too much weight on.
You have diabetes.
Diabetes and foot problems go hand-in-hand. Diabetics often have limited circulation in their feet, which means small problems like blisters can turn into serious infections very quickly. It is easier to prevent these problems in the first place, and a good pair of orthotics helps do that. In this scenario, your best option is to get a pair of custom orthotics from a podiatrist as you can then be confident they fit your feet perfectly and won't exacerbate any underlying problems.
Many people can benefit from orthotics. If you think you might be one of them, reach out to a foot doctor near you.