Why do my Orthotics Squeak? Troubleshooting Common Fitment Issues

As podiatrists, we understand the crucial role orthotics play in supporting the feet and correcting various biomechanical issues. However, even the most meticulously crafted orthotics can encounter a few hiccups along the way. From annoying squeaks to uncomfortable heel lifting, these issues can disrupt your daily life and hinder the effectiveness of your orthotic therapy. Fear not! In this post, we’ll delve into some common orthotic issues and provide practical solutions to keep you stepping comfortably.

1. Squeaking Orthotics:

There’s nothing quite as irksome as the incessant squeak of your orthotics with every step. This common issue often arises due to friction between the orthotic device and the shoe. Here’s how to silence those squeaks:

  • Powder Power: Sprinkle some talcum powder or cornstarch onto your orthotics and inside your shoes. This helps to reduce friction and absorb moisture, mitigating the squeaking.
  • Lubricate Smartly: Apply a small amount of silicone lubricant or WD-40 to the surface of your orthotics. Be cautious not to overapply, as excess lubricant can cause slipping and discomfort.
  • Visit Your Podiatrist: If the squeaking persists despite your efforts, consult your podiatrist. They can assess your orthotics for any structural issues or recommend alternative materials to alleviate the noise.

2. Heel Lifting:

Heel lifting occurs when the back of your foot lifts away from the orthotic, compromising its support and stability. This issue can stem from improper orthotic fit or insufficient heel cupping. Here’s how to address it:

  • Reassess Fit: Ensure your orthotics fit snugly within your shoes without any gaps or slippage. If your orthotics are too small or too large, they won’t provide adequate support, leading to heel lifting.
  • Enhance Stability: Consider orthotics with deeper heel cups or additional heel stabilizers to prevent excessive movement. These features help cradle the heel and maintain proper alignment throughout your gait cycle.
  • Custom Solutions: For persistent heel lifting issues, consult your podiatrist for custom orthotic adjustments or a new prescription tailored to your specific needs.

3. Shoe Fitting Challenges:

Proper shoe fitting is essential for maximizing the benefits of orthotic therapy. Ill-fitting shoes can exacerbate foot problems and compromise the effectiveness of your orthotics. Here’s how to ensure a harmonious marriage between your orthotics and footwear:

  • Choose Wisely: Opt for shoes with removable insoles and ample toe box space to accommodate your orthotics comfortably. Avoid narrow or excessively tight shoes that restrict movement and cause discomfort.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Visit a reputable shoe store with knowledgeable staff who can assist you in finding the perfect fit for your orthotics. They can recommend suitable styles and sizes that complement your foot shape and orthotic requirements.
  • Regular Evaluations: As your orthotic needs may evolve over time, periodically reassess your footwear choices to ensure they remain compatible with your orthotics. Replace worn-out shoes promptly to maintain optimal support and functionality.

By addressing these common orthotic issues proactively, you can enhance the comfort, longevity, and effectiveness of your orthotic therapy. Remember, a collaborative approach between you and your podiatrist is key to overcoming any challenges and achieving optimal foot health. Don’t let squeaks, heel lifting, or shoe fitting woes hold you back—step forward with confidence and comfort!