Frequently Asked Questions about Orthaheel Products

Q: How do Orthaheel products feel compared to shoes without orthotics?
A: Since most footwear doesn't provide proper support for your feet, Orthaheel products may feel different when you initially put them on. The Orthaheel orthotic footbed is designed to realign your foot and leg to a more neutral, more natural position. For some people, this difference may immediately feel more comfortable, while others may need some time to get used to the new support. For the greatest comfort, we recommend you wear your Orthaheel product for just a few hours at a time during the first several days to gradually allow your body to adjust to the orthotic technology. Most people that give them a little time report excellent comfort and support within a week.

Q: What exactly is a foot "orthotic"?
A: A foot orthotic is designed to restore your natural foot function. Many "biomechanical" complaints such as heel pain, knee pain, and low-back pain are caused by poor foot function. Biomechanics, the science of movement, studies the body's movements during walking, running, and sports. Orthotics help to realign the foot and ankle bones to their neutral positions, thereby allowing you to reclaim your natural footprint. In turn, this can help alleviate problems in other parts of the body. In addition, orthotics provide a more even weight distribution, take pressure off of sore spots (e.g., the ball of the foot, corns in between toes, bunions, etc.), and offer some shock absorption.

Q: What's the difference between a footbed or insole and a foot orthotic?
A: Regular footbeds are designed to provide a cushioning effect and absorb shock. They may feel comfortable at first, but they do not address the biomechanical cause of "excess pronation." Orthotics provide some degree of shock absorption but, more importantly, they are functional and designed to help you reclaim your natural footprint. Some footbeds also feature an arch support; however, quality orthotics such as Orthaheel do a lot more than just support the arches.

Q: What are orthotics made of and how long will they last?
A: Traditional orthotics are made from rigid materials, such as hard plastic or even metal. Although they provide correct alignment, they are very hard to get accustomed to, and they limit the foot's natural suspension mechanism.
Orthaheel orthotics and sandals are made of a flexible material called EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate). The key advantage of EVA is that it's supportive and "giving" at the same time! As you apply weight to the foot, there is a certain amount of "give" in Orthaheel orthotics and sandals, providing shock absorption to the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back. Yet, at the same time, they're firm enough to help realign the foot and allow you to claim back your natural footprint.
Because Orthaheel orthotics and sandals are somewhat flexible, they'll need to be replaced every 12 to 18 months. Older people or those with sensitive feet will benefit from a softer type of orthotic such as Orthaheel, as they may have difficulty tolerating anything hard underneath the foot.

Q: Who can benefit from wearing orthotics and why?
A: Most people with a foot problem can benefit from wearing orthotics. Much of the population suffers from their feet rolling inwards and fallen arches, or excess pronation, which is a major contributing factor to foot problems. As we get older, this problem often worsens. Of course if any conditions persist, you should consult your doctor or medical specialist.
People most likely to suffer excess pronation-related conditions are:

Q: What pains and ailments can be aided by orthotics?
A: Many foot conditions respond favorably to orthotic treatment. Orthotics can aid pain in the foot, knee, and back from over-pronation caused by footwear that does not properly support your feet.

Q: What can I use Orthaheel shoes and sandals for?
A: The slippers and sandals are an ideal solution to wear around the home. We recommend keeping them beside your bed so you can slip them on before you stand up each morning. Orthaheel sandals can also be worn any time you would wear other sandals or flip-flops, and they will provide much better support and alignment than regular flat sandals.

Q: How long does it take to get used to Orthaheel orthotics or footwear?
A: Because Orthaheel is made of "foot-friendly" flexible EVA, it only takes a few hours for most people to get used to them. The feeling of a good orthotic will be different than regular shoes. Since the arch support is significant, you should wear them for just a few hours at a time for the first few days to get used to the correction. Ongoing discomfort may occur occasionally. If it does, you should discontinue use and seek further medical advice.

Q: Can Orthaheel sandals get wet?
A: Yes; however, we do recommend rinsing them in salt water after use to remove salt residue.

Q: How do I clean Orthaheel orthotics and shoes?
A: The easiest way to clean Orthaheel orthotics or sandals is to gently wipe them with a warm soapy cloth and let them dry in direct sunlight. Please do not soak them or put them in the washing machine.

Q: How do I know if Orthaheel will work for me?
A: If you have over-pronation caused by footwear that does not properly support your feet, there's a good chance that Orthaheel will be able to improve your alignment and comfort.

Information provided by Orthaheel & Vasyli Medical.