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birkenstocks

Posted by Nicki on 6/22/99 at 00:00 (008042)

I just read that other sufferers of PK have found that birkenstocks help alleviate the pain. I there anyone out there who can recommend a particular style?

Re: birkenstocks

Cornelius Vanden Top on 12/26/98 at 00:00 (002850)

I have never tried birkenstocks. I have had PF for quite a while, I am desperately looking for relief from the pain, the pain is on the whole bottom of my feet, presently I am taking Tylenol 3 and another anti in flammatory over the counter drug.
Is surgery the answer??? I have been on naproxen for 1 year, and have had ultrasound for 10 weeks = 2 times a we but the pain keeps coming back. Suggestions are welcome, any good doctors in the Niagara Falls or Buffalo areas??
Thanks - Cornelius

Re: birkenstocks

Alicia on 12/28/98 at 00:00 (002902)

Cornelius: From what I am reading on this message board, surgery is not the answer. Neither are injections. It's very frustrating, but I think we have to find what works (a relative term) by trial and error. Some of us can stretch and get some relief, for some of us, stretching makes the PF worse. Some of us can ride a stationary bike, some cannot. Keep reading and investigating - but, for now, let the surgery be a last resort. Enough of my two cents worth....

Re: birkenstocks

Jean A. on 12/28/98 at 00:00 (002909)

I agree with Alicia..for what it's worth, my podiatrist told that surgery had a 30 per cent risk of complications. I really think it is the treatment of last resort!



Re: birkenstocks

Bea on 12/29/98 at 00:00 (002912)

I don't recall reading about anyone that has had success with surgury. If that is the case it shouldn't be the last resort. It shouldn't even be considered. I would like to hear from anyone that has had sucess with surgury.

Re: birkenstocks

Jenny Lewis on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008048)

Hi Nicki

If you look back over messages on this site, you will see my regular ravings about how wonderful I found Birks. I have no connection with the company, no shares (wish I did!) and previously thought they were just plain ugly, but oh my goodness, they feel sooooooooooo good. And the pain has lessened dramatically. I now walk nearly normally most of the time, get an occasional twinge though just to remind me not to overdo it.

You definitely need to try on and walk around in different styles. The footbed is the same basic shape but the uppers all feel different. If you don't have anywhere near you to buy them in person, mail order with guaranteed return/exchange/refund should be ok. I have plain sandals (Milano), and two pairs of closed shoes for the colder weather. I found the backless sandals less comfortable, and needed the support of a strap round the back.

And by the way, they take a bit of getting used to. I wore them round the house quite a lot before venturing out into the world.

Good luck with them.

jl


Re: birkenstocks

BillC on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008054)

I have Az Birks. Been wearing them off and on for about 3 - 4 months but they hurt my arch. I think I have very flat feet. I do better when I wear thick socks with them. I also have square (hard to fit) feet.

Re: birkenstocks

Phyllis on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008063)

I am a 60 year old wife and mother of four. I have been suffering from pf since sometime in 1996. I never thought I would ever wear sandals, but am a true believer in Birks. I like the three strap, with no heel. I have three pair of them, two pair with two wide straps, one pair completely closed, and one pair closed toe and strap on back. When I talked to the shoe person about how ugly the shoes are he reminded me that Americans don'g want to wear shoes that are good for their feet, because the want something they think looks better. I very seldom wear anything but my Birks. I do wear socks with the tight instep area. It seems the tightness around the instep helps. I have given these socks to several people I know who also have trouble and between the socks and Birks they too have been helped. I refer to my feet as my million dollar feet. As you can see by looking at the various messages on this message board, it seems people have to try various things to see what works best for them. I have been to a podiatrist, therapist, and talked extensively to the internist. One thing strongly suggested is to walk and exercise, stopping the walking when your feet start hurting. My question is what do you do when you get a mile away and your feet start hurting. I have almost crawled home at times! Riding an exercise bike and using the Nordic track also hurts my feet and thigh area.

I think the only thing to be said for sure is that it is 'heck' getting older, but the alternative isn't so great either. I guess I am glad that I didn't develop this earlier in life, like a lot of the people on this message board have.

Phyllis


Re: birkenstocks

Bobbi on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008074)

Hi Jenny, read your message and hope you can help me. I have pf and heel spurs in my right foot. I have an orthotic and have ordered a Birkenstock catalog. Could you please tell me if there are certain styles for high arches? I live in a very rural area--so no Birk
stores near me--I'll have to order. Any help you could give me about particular styles for high arches would be appreciated. I am very glad to hear they have helped you so much. I'll be waiting to hear from you--and will let you know how I make out. Thanks, Bobbi

Re: birkenstocks

Nicki on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008077)

Phyllis,

Thank you for your very useful comments and suggestions. You are very inspiring to me. I am 31, and have been suffering with PF for several years (but increasingly in the last couple). I also have scoliosis (curved spine), kyphosis (curved shoulders-my mother constantly reminds me to stand up straight), and lordosis (curved lower back). So i have a great deal of back pain. I am hoping that birks (which I am going out to try on first thing tomorrow) will help with the foot and back. I wonder if there are other PF people out there with similar back problems. Anyway, I was actually wondering what kind of socks you prefer (the ones with the 'tight instep.'


Re: birkenstocks

Nicki on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008078)

Jenny-
Thank you so much for your comments! First thing tomorrow I'm going out to find a place to try some birks on. Yes, I agree that they are ugly, but I am quickly learning to not care. I am so tired of hurting. Do you wear casual dresses? If so, do you wear birks with them? Also, do you exercise? I power walk, bike, occasionally kick box, and hike. I'm wondering about a good shoe (e.g., ReeboK, Nike, etc. )for these kinds of activities. Do you have any suggestions?

Re: birkenstocks

Robin on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008084)

I too am an exclusive Birk wearer. Have 5 pairs, and they have helped the PF more than anything else.

Except for the rubbery water sport Birks, most other Birks basically have the same footbed. The heel is carved and sunken, the arch is definitely supported, and there is a metatarsel ridge for your toes. The difference then become what is on top -- the style, how many straps, where, etc.

If you haven't work Birks before, my recommendation would be to start with the basic Arizona -- two strap backless sandal. It is the classic Birk. Or the Milano, which is a two strap sandal with a backstrap. When you get used to them, you may want to try other styles. Other styles WILL feel different, because of the placement and location of the straps on top. Best to get used to them first with the basic sandal.

The Tatami line of Birks has an even higher arch than regular Birks and a narrower footbed. I wouldn't start out with them. The people in the Birk store I go to suggested wearing regular Birks about two or three months before deciding if I wanted to try Tatamis. They were right.

Most important advice I can offer: If you have a Birkenstock store near you, go there and get fitted. Their salespeople are generally very knowledgeable. Birks are made in European sizes so you have to convert from your American size. I normally wear a 9 or 9.5 -- I would have selected a size 40 Birk based on normal conversion charts. Because I was properly fitted, I wear a size 38. Makes a world of difference. The Birk arch is high and solid -- if it does hit you exactly where you arch is (i.e., if you are wearing the wrong size), it will cause you even more pain. There should be no more than 1/4 inch of space between your toe and the ending ridge of the shoe. If possible -- get fitted.

P.S spend another $10 and buy some stuff to take care of them -- spray for leather, cream revitalizer for the cork. These are shoes you must take care of. But if you do -- you can wear them 24/7 and they still look very good. I will buy my 6th pair next month-- I'm a believer.


Re: birkenstocks

Jenny Lewis on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008085)

Hi Bobbi

I'm not an expert on high arches, but I have half-noticed a mention or two on this board about Birks appropriate for them. I didn't pay much attention as it didn't apply to me - how selfish! But, if you go through the messages you should find the info (in the past week or two, I think, not too long ago).

I found the Birks people very helpful and I would guess your best bet would be to give them a call and talk through the choices. It's a bit strange ordering shoes by mail in a way, but they do so much mail order that it will probably be ok. They give you a while to try them indoors, on carpet, and if necessary you can return them.

Hope this helps,

jl


Re: birkenstocks

Phyllis on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008097)

Nicki, I have two versions of socks that I wear. Both types have kind of an elasticized band around the instep. Thorlo socks, which you can get at some of the shoe stores where you get Birks, especially the good stores that deal in orthodics, etc., and you can also get them sometimes at stores like Athlete's Foot, etc. These socks are more expensive and I have found they are thick and hot. Could be my age that makes EVERYTHING hot! I wear them in the winter and with shoes that fit loose. I also wear some cheaper kind that I get at WalMart. I will try to go to WalMart sometime today to get the exact name of them. I wear them all summer and also with tighter fitting shoes. My husband says I look wierd with socks and my Birks, I say who cares if my feet are more comfortable!

I have included my e-mail address. If you have trouble finding the socks, let me know and I will try to send you some. I have given a pair to any friend of mine who complains of foot pain, and they have ALL seemed to feel they helped. As gimpers we have to stick together.

Good luck!

Phyllis


Re: birkenstocks

Bobbi on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008111)

Hi Jenny, thanks for answering my note--I looked again for a net posting for birkenstocks and found that there are a few stores that are only 2 to 21/2 hours from me. I am definetly going to go to one of these stores and get fitted for a shoe. I hope I have good luck--you get where you are willing to try anything!!!!

I read about massageing your heel and arch by rolling a soup can back and forth under you foot--this really feels pretty good--it seems to loosen the pf--I'll be in touch after I get my Birks--if you hear of anything that helps--keep us up to date--OK? Thanks again, Bobbi


Re: birkenstocks

Jenny Lewis on 6/25/99 at 00:00 (008136)

Hi Bobbi

Good luck on the hunt for Birks. By the way, don't forget, they are not instantly easy (at least, they weren't for me). They are fairly rigid and took a few days to get used to. But they do soften up somewhat, and seem to work with the feet. Having said that, hmmm, slight correction, the closed ones were perfect from day one. So, I lied. Anyway, I think as long as your feet feels supported and comfortable in them, you should be ok.

It's thanks to this message board I found them. Nice to read about other people making the discovery as well.


Re: birkenstocks

Jill T. on 6/25/99 at 00:00 (008139)

Welcome to the wonderful world of birks. I started wearing them before I had the heel spurs/PF - I was waitressing during grad school and was suffering with my high arches taking a pounding. . .They are the only shoe I wear when I am not in business attire (haven't been able to make the leap and wear my birks with a suit). I have several pairs and simply could not live without them. . . 'Stylish shoes' are fine, but birks to me are gorgeous - supplying comfort for these aching feet. . . .(QVC has begun carrying birks - flipped by the show a couple months ago - great new styles!)

Best wishes!


Re: birkenstocks

Jenny Lewis on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008048)

Hi Nicki

If you look back over messages on this site, you will see my regular ravings about how wonderful I found Birks. I have no connection with the company, no shares (wish I did!) and previously thought they were just plain ugly, but oh my goodness, they feel sooooooooooo good. And the pain has lessened dramatically. I now walk nearly normally most of the time, get an occasional twinge though just to remind me not to overdo it.

You definitely need to try on and walk around in different styles. The footbed is the same basic shape but the uppers all feel different. If you don't have anywhere near you to buy them in person, mail order with guaranteed return/exchange/refund should be ok. I have plain sandals (Milano), and two pairs of closed shoes for the colder weather. I found the backless sandals less comfortable, and needed the support of a strap round the back.

And by the way, they take a bit of getting used to. I wore them round the house quite a lot before venturing out into the world.

Good luck with them.

jl


Re: birkenstocks

BillC on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008054)

I have Az Birks. Been wearing them off and on for about 3 - 4 months but they hurt my arch. I think I have very flat feet. I do better when I wear thick socks with them. I also have square (hard to fit) feet.

Re: birkenstocks

Phyllis on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008063)

I am a 60 year old wife and mother of four. I have been suffering from pf since sometime in 1996. I never thought I would ever wear sandals, but am a true believer in Birks. I like the three strap, with no heel. I have three pair of them, two pair with two wide straps, one pair completely closed, and one pair closed toe and strap on back. When I talked to the shoe person about how ugly the shoes are he reminded me that Americans don'g want to wear shoes that are good for their feet, because the want something they think looks better. I very seldom wear anything but my Birks. I do wear socks with the tight instep area. It seems the tightness around the instep helps. I have given these socks to several people I know who also have trouble and between the socks and Birks they too have been helped. I refer to my feet as my million dollar feet. As you can see by looking at the various messages on this message board, it seems people have to try various things to see what works best for them. I have been to a podiatrist, therapist, and talked extensively to the internist. One thing strongly suggested is to walk and exercise, stopping the walking when your feet start hurting. My question is what do you do when you get a mile away and your feet start hurting. I have almost crawled home at times! Riding an exercise bike and using the Nordic track also hurts my feet and thigh area.

I think the only thing to be said for sure is that it is 'heck' getting older, but the alternative isn't so great either. I guess I am glad that I didn't develop this earlier in life, like a lot of the people on this message board have.

Phyllis


Re: birkenstocks

Bobbi on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008074)

Hi Jenny, read your message and hope you can help me. I have pf and heel spurs in my right foot. I have an orthotic and have ordered a Birkenstock catalog. Could you please tell me if there are certain styles for high arches? I live in a very rural area--so no Birk
stores near me--I'll have to order. Any help you could give me about particular styles for high arches would be appreciated. I am very glad to hear they have helped you so much. I'll be waiting to hear from you--and will let you know how I make out. Thanks, Bobbi

Re: birkenstocks

Nicki on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008077)

Phyllis,

Thank you for your very useful comments and suggestions. You are very inspiring to me. I am 31, and have been suffering with PF for several years (but increasingly in the last couple). I also have scoliosis (curved spine), kyphosis (curved shoulders-my mother constantly reminds me to stand up straight), and lordosis (curved lower back). So i have a great deal of back pain. I am hoping that birks (which I am going out to try on first thing tomorrow) will help with the foot and back. I wonder if there are other PF people out there with similar back problems. Anyway, I was actually wondering what kind of socks you prefer (the ones with the 'tight instep.'


Re: birkenstocks

Nicki on 6/23/99 at 00:00 (008078)

Jenny-
Thank you so much for your comments! First thing tomorrow I'm going out to find a place to try some birks on. Yes, I agree that they are ugly, but I am quickly learning to not care. I am so tired of hurting. Do you wear casual dresses? If so, do you wear birks with them? Also, do you exercise? I power walk, bike, occasionally kick box, and hike. I'm wondering about a good shoe (e.g., ReeboK, Nike, etc. )for these kinds of activities. Do you have any suggestions?

Re: birkenstocks

Robin on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008084)

I too am an exclusive Birk wearer. Have 5 pairs, and they have helped the PF more than anything else.

Except for the rubbery water sport Birks, most other Birks basically have the same footbed. The heel is carved and sunken, the arch is definitely supported, and there is a metatarsel ridge for your toes. The difference then become what is on top -- the style, how many straps, where, etc.

If you haven't work Birks before, my recommendation would be to start with the basic Arizona -- two strap backless sandal. It is the classic Birk. Or the Milano, which is a two strap sandal with a backstrap. When you get used to them, you may want to try other styles. Other styles WILL feel different, because of the placement and location of the straps on top. Best to get used to them first with the basic sandal.

The Tatami line of Birks has an even higher arch than regular Birks and a narrower footbed. I wouldn't start out with them. The people in the Birk store I go to suggested wearing regular Birks about two or three months before deciding if I wanted to try Tatamis. They were right.

Most important advice I can offer: If you have a Birkenstock store near you, go there and get fitted. Their salespeople are generally very knowledgeable. Birks are made in European sizes so you have to convert from your American size. I normally wear a 9 or 9.5 -- I would have selected a size 40 Birk based on normal conversion charts. Because I was properly fitted, I wear a size 38. Makes a world of difference. The Birk arch is high and solid -- if it does hit you exactly where you arch is (i.e., if you are wearing the wrong size), it will cause you even more pain. There should be no more than 1/4 inch of space between your toe and the ending ridge of the shoe. If possible -- get fitted.

P.S spend another $10 and buy some stuff to take care of them -- spray for leather, cream revitalizer for the cork. These are shoes you must take care of. But if you do -- you can wear them 24/7 and they still look very good. I will buy my 6th pair next month-- I'm a believer.


Re: birkenstocks

Jenny Lewis on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008085)

Hi Bobbi

I'm not an expert on high arches, but I have half-noticed a mention or two on this board about Birks appropriate for them. I didn't pay much attention as it didn't apply to me - how selfish! But, if you go through the messages you should find the info (in the past week or two, I think, not too long ago).

I found the Birks people very helpful and I would guess your best bet would be to give them a call and talk through the choices. It's a bit strange ordering shoes by mail in a way, but they do so much mail order that it will probably be ok. They give you a while to try them indoors, on carpet, and if necessary you can return them.

Hope this helps,

jl


Re: birkenstocks

Phyllis on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008097)

Nicki, I have two versions of socks that I wear. Both types have kind of an elasticized band around the instep. Thorlo socks, which you can get at some of the shoe stores where you get Birks, especially the good stores that deal in orthodics, etc., and you can also get them sometimes at stores like Athlete's Foot, etc. These socks are more expensive and I have found they are thick and hot. Could be my age that makes EVERYTHING hot! I wear them in the winter and with shoes that fit loose. I also wear some cheaper kind that I get at WalMart. I will try to go to WalMart sometime today to get the exact name of them. I wear them all summer and also with tighter fitting shoes. My husband says I look wierd with socks and my Birks, I say who cares if my feet are more comfortable!

I have included my e-mail address. If you have trouble finding the socks, let me know and I will try to send you some. I have given a pair to any friend of mine who complains of foot pain, and they have ALL seemed to feel they helped. As gimpers we have to stick together.

Good luck!

Phyllis


Re: birkenstocks

Bobbi on 6/24/99 at 00:00 (008111)

Hi Jenny, thanks for answering my note--I looked again for a net posting for birkenstocks and found that there are a few stores that are only 2 to 21/2 hours from me. I am definetly going to go to one of these stores and get fitted for a shoe. I hope I have good luck--you get where you are willing to try anything!!!!

I read about massageing your heel and arch by rolling a soup can back and forth under you foot--this really feels pretty good--it seems to loosen the pf--I'll be in touch after I get my Birks--if you hear of anything that helps--keep us up to date--OK? Thanks again, Bobbi


Re: birkenstocks

Jenny Lewis on 6/25/99 at 00:00 (008136)

Hi Bobbi

Good luck on the hunt for Birks. By the way, don't forget, they are not instantly easy (at least, they weren't for me). They are fairly rigid and took a few days to get used to. But they do soften up somewhat, and seem to work with the feet. Having said that, hmmm, slight correction, the closed ones were perfect from day one. So, I lied. Anyway, I think as long as your feet feels supported and comfortable in them, you should be ok.

It's thanks to this message board I found them. Nice to read about other people making the discovery as well.


Re: birkenstocks

Jill T. on 6/25/99 at 00:00 (008139)

Welcome to the wonderful world of birks. I started wearing them before I had the heel spurs/PF - I was waitressing during grad school and was suffering with my high arches taking a pounding. . .They are the only shoe I wear when I am not in business attire (haven't been able to make the leap and wear my birks with a suit). I have several pairs and simply could not live without them. . . 'Stylish shoes' are fine, but birks to me are gorgeous - supplying comfort for these aching feet. . . .(QVC has begun carrying birks - flipped by the show a couple months ago - great new styles!)

Best wishes!