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Leaflet: A Guide to the use and care of orthoses

Podiatry Services

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Last updated: April 2020
Next review: April 2022

Discuss any problems at your next Podiatry appointment or contact the Podiatry Office for advice

  • When attending a Podiatry appointment always bring recommended footwear styles and any Orthoses that have been issued to you (including any you have had to stop wearing).
  • Please discuss any problems with associated footwear or orthoses with the duty Podiatrist.
  • The provision of orthoses and advice on suitable footwear styles will be discussed at your Podiatry assessment and will form part of your treatment plan.
  • Failure to comply with your treatment plan can compromise its effectiveness.

What are foot Orthoses?

These are devices used to manage foot, lower limb and back problems. They will either protect areas of the foot or improve the way the foot works.

How do I look after my Orthoses?

Good foot hygiene is important for your foot health and can dramatically increase the life span of your orthoses.

  • Inspect, then wash and gently dry your feet on a daily basis.
  • If your orthoses become wet, remove, wipe with an absorbent cloth and allow drying naturally.
  • Wipe your orthoses with a damp cloth occasionally to keep the orthoses clean.

What footwear should I wear with my Orthoses?

Orthoses may not be provided if your footwear is unsuitable. Inappropriate footwear may compromise the effectiveness of orthoses and can lead to the development of additional foot problems.

Generally, shoes which fasten up, have a low heel and which are wide enough for your feet are suitable. Orthoses take up room inside shoes so the following features would be beneficial:

  • Broad deep uppers and rounded (not pointed) toes boxes.
  • Soft, flexible upper material. Avoid seams over problem toe areas.
  • Laced, strapped or Velcro fastenings.
  • Low, wide heels.
  • Removal insoles. This will allow more room in your shoe if thicker orthoses are to be used.

When should I wear my Orthoses?

It is important that when orthoses are issued, they are broken in gradually. This means building up the wear by an hour each day.

On the day of issuing, wear for 1 hour then remove or swap shoes.

Day 2 wear for 2 hours, day 3 wear for 3 hours etc.

Once the orthoses can be worn for 8 hours comfortably, they can be worn all the time. If the orthoses cannot be tolerated at all – cease wearing and remove.

Stop wearing them immediately if:

  • Associates aches and pains are severe and prolonged or your original problem worsens.
  • You develop marked irritation (e.g. blisters).
  • You have problems with balance or stability.

Simple orthoses should be worn whenever possible or as described by the Podiatrist.

Make sure they are in the correct shoes.

Only wear them with the recommended footwear styles.

When attending a Podiatry appointment always bring recommended footwear styles and any Orthoses that have been issued to you (including any you have had to stop wearing).

Monday to Friday, 8.30-16.30

Bristol Telephone No: 0117 9190275


North Somerset Tel No: 01275 885192


South Gloucestershire Tel No: 0330 1245857


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