Care & Maintenance of your Step Forward Orthotics
Your orthotics require just three things:
- Protect them from danger.
- Flex (reverse-bend) them occasionally.
- Wear them regularly.
The Instructions can be downloaded here.
Protect them from Danger
Your orthotics will suffer from heat (above 50°C) such as hot water, microwaving, behind glass in the sun, on the stove or by the fire. Yes, people have done all these things, and "no" we do not warranty or replace your orthotics from excessive heat.
Your orthotics will be ruined if you allow your dog to chew on them. This also is not covered by the warranty.
Your orthotics will wear out by abrasion. As they rub on sand and grit in your shoes, on harsh seams, on stitching or on the raw floor of the shoe the orthotics will wear away. If you remove the original shoe lining (see the Footwear section) then always replace it with a cheap flat shoe liner (from the supermarket or cobbler). Never wear the orthotics in an unlined shoe or abrasion will rapidly destroy them and this is NOT covered by the warranty.
Flex (reverse-bend) them Periodically
Some people, with some sizes, will find that after a few months their orthotics will have flattened somewhat. To function to best effect, the arch of the orthotic needs to be well raised when you are not standing on it. To restore this arch, flex the orthotic by bending the front of the orthotic back under towards the heel. Put the thumb of your right thumb in the hollow of the heel, and the fingers of your right hand across the flange at the front. Lay the index finger of your left hand under the centre of the orthotic. Then press your hands together, thus your left hand is forcing the middle of the orthotic up into the palm of your right hand. The thumb and fingers of the right hand can be squeezed together, thus forcing the arch into an excessively high arch. Do this two or three times on each orthotic. Some people like to do this daily, others once each week or once each month. The main thing is that the arch is high and flexing with each step.
The only exception to this exercise is for the larger wide sizes, which should retain their arch without this exercise.
Wear Your Orthotics Regularly
If they are against your feet, then they cannot get too hot, and your dog cannot get to them. Furthermore, they will become so comfortable that you will want to wear them all the time. If you only wear them from time to time, then they will never be fully comfortable and they will not be helping you to their full potential. They don't give you any benefit when they sit in your wardrobe!
Your orthotics come with an Australia-wide manufacturer's warranty. Step Forward Orthotics are guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship. If they break, crack or split with normal use, within 10 years of purchase, contact our office to arrange a free replacement. If they flatten, contact our office for instructions on how to restore the arch. The warranty does NOT cover damage by heat (above 50°C) or abrasion (wearing out). You will be required to produce your original invoice to take advantage of this extended warranty. Please note that we can tell if they have been damaged abnormally (cut, chewed by a dog, microwaved, etc)! While many people get many years of satisfactory wear (sometimes over 25 years) others may find their orthotics wear away within just a few years. This would be more common when worn in rubber boots, by farmers, or others who may have dirt and sand in their boots. Should you accidentally lose or damage just one orthotic, we can replace half a pair, for half the price of a new pair. We must see your original invoice to be sure your replacement is the correct size.
To look after your orthotics, and to get maximum life and benefit from them, we recommend you read again the detailed Instruction Sheet that came with your orthotics. Please pay particular attention to the section on doing a reverse-bend to restore the flexing 'memory'.
Your product warranty is detailed here.