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Lorraine - about Birks

Posted by Jenny Lewis, London, UK on 9/02/99 at 00:00 (010501)

Hi Lorraine

Don't get depressed! Easier said than done, I know, but I try to think positive. I have been hobbling now since January, discovered this message board not long after that, and it was a revelation. Knowing there are lots of people in the same boot, er, boat, may not help get rid of the pain, but it's nice to have sympathetic company!

My doctor had been unhelpful, but the message board got me thinking about shoes, and I went and bought my first pair of Birkenstocks, as well as a pair of their rigid blue inserts. They have helped so much, and I now have 2 pairs of sandals, 2 pairs closed shoes, and last week I bought some Birki's for when I go swimming and don't want to walk on that changing room floor that always manages to look slightly icky no matter how clean they keep it.

Disclaimer - I have absolutely NO connection with the company, and don't own any shares, and as I've said before I wish I did! They have been something of a fashion craze in London recently (which I hadn't known about, not being your average trendy type). Anyway, the pain is still around but far less than it was, and as long as I don't overdo the walking - or worse, standing - I'm ok.

I know there is a Birkenstock web site which is helpful if you are in the USA - http://www.birkenstock.com I seem to remember. It was full of pictures of the different styles and I believe there is a page that you can type in your state and get info on your nearest stockists. In this neck of the woods though, I phoned their head office and they gave me addresses - I went to their shop in central London and am now a regular visitor.

They are not ideal for everyone, I know, but for me they have been wonderful. Expensive, but worth it (3 of my 5 pairs were reduced price on sale, which helped). There are also some good arch-supporting Scholls shoes and sandals, if you have any of them in your area, worth a try. I have a pair of their sandals which I wear when for pottery - not as comfortable for walking but ok for a few hours of splashing clay around, when I try to sit as much as I can.

Just had a couple of weeks off work, and I was being a tourist part of the time, which was great, but I overdid it on one or two days and my feet were very painful by the evening. So, the next day I would take things easy, and get back to what passes for normal nowadays.

I'm rambling on, too long, sorry, hope you are still awake. Good luck with whatever is the 'right' answer for you.