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Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

Posted by Marti C on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014676)

I have been wearing my Arizona birks for almost 2 months now. They have made such a difference in my pain relief. Now, all of a sudden my left foot, around the ball of my foot and left big toe are cramping and hurting. It, almost feels like Ive lost my support. I dont understand it, these birks are not worn out at all. My, understanding with these shoes is that they are supposed to conform to your feet the longer you wear them.Is this correct? I dont see how I could have worn them down this quickly. Any suggestions or comments would be great thanks! Its really easy to become discouraged, everytime I think Iam headed in the healing direction something else starts hurting. Thanks again,
Marti

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

john a on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014682)

Hmmm, did you get them from the german site? If so, I dearly hope your problem is not a sign that they make their birks with sub-standard materials. Someone else here warned about 'wearing down' birks she bought over the internet, but I think her time frame was 6 months, and not a mere two as in your case.

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

VLJ on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014684)

A question/idea: when you first started wearing your Birks were you 'barefoot' in them...and then did you have to start wearing socks with them as it got colder? My feet (in the arch area) had to adjust to the slightly different fit when I had to start wearing socks for the winter.

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

john a on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014685)

Brilliant idea! (no kidding) Particularly if the socks have extra padding in the heel and toe, this would raise them both and make the arch feel less pronounced. I started wearing just such socks when I had a worsening in my PF, thinking the extra cushioning would be good for me, but it actually seemed to make it _worse_.

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

Robin B. on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014686)

Marti, I wouldn't presume that your toe pain is necessarily a function of the Birkenstocks. There is not an enormous 'support' for the metatarsal area with Birkenstocks. If you study the structure of the Birk (looking at it head on an eye level, with the toe of the shoe closest to your face), you can see that most of the support in the Birkenstock is in the arch area. The 'support' for your toes is supposedly in that little toe ridge at the front end of the shoe. It is pretty minor.

I think the description of Birks 'conforming' to your foot the longer you wear them is a little overdone (even though that's what the Birk folks promote). Most people here know me as a Birkenstock devotee -- got 8 pairs, wear them ALL the time. And yes, to a point, they conform to your foot. But they certainly don't bend, mold or shape themselves to your foot. What happens (particularly with the 2 pairs I have had now for 13 months) is that as you walk and step, the shoe becomes a wee bit more flexible and the toe of the shoe tends to round up a smidgeon. Not a lot, just a tad. Believe me, I have one pair of leather Arizonas that are my house shoes. I wear them every single day of the year and have since December 1998 -- and they have not dramatically conformed to my feet. I've just broken them in a bit.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that your toe pain is not a result of the toe ridge wearing down or of the Birkenstocks falling apart after 2 months. I would bet it has to do with your gait, how you walk and stand or the distribution of your weight into the shoes. Are you absolutely sure you have the right size Birk for your foot? When I wear a Birk that is 2 sizes larger than I normally wear -- it's ultra painful. Everything is in the wrong place and my foot hurts all over. I'd also look at any unusual movements, lunges, lurches, climbs or steps you may have taken recently that put undue stress onto the ball of your foot. The reason I say this is because there is so little to the structure of the Birk that would relate to toe cramping that I'd have to think your pain stems from somewhere else.

Wish I had more suggestions for you, but I honestly don't think it's the shoes. They don't go bad after 2 months. I have one pair that's 13 months old; I've worn them in the rain and to the beach. They DO in truth need a little repair work -- but after months of abuse, they're still pretty doggone good. So my best recommendation is to be very careful of how you move and walk, and to take a few days and study your movements. Sometimes when ourfeet start feeling better, we overdo things and/or move more dramatically than we realize. It may be that you were getting better and feeling you could do more that resulted in your unknowingly doing more, and re-injuring a little.


Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

VLJ on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014692)

I do find it AMAZING--and confounding--how even the smallest changes can makes things better or worse!

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

Trish on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014696)

My heel pain is worse when I wear socks, perhaps because my heel slides around a bit with socks on......hard to believe such a small change can make a difference!

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them / Re: Robin

Marti C on 1/14/00 at 00:00 (014724)

Hi Robin,
Thank you for the the suggestions. Iam pretty certain, I have the correct size. I origanly had a pair too small, took those back and tried on the next two larger sizes. I could deffinetly tell the size that was too large.
It may be that my gait has changed since wearing them. The other thought I had, the strap that fits across the toes maybe stretched already. Iam going to get an extra hole put in them,to see if it will hold my foot in place better. Since you are the proud owner of so many birks, which style have you had the best luck with?
Thanks again, Marti

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them / re:john

Marti C on 1/14/00 at 00:00 (014727)

john,
This pair I purchased at a birk store. I have not recieved my pair from Germany yet.Yes, lets hope they are not irregulars or seconds when they do come!
Thanks, Marti

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them???/VLJ ???

Marti C on 1/14/00 at 00:00 (014728)

VLJ,
Good point about the socks,but I think I have been wearing socks with them since I purchased them.I use the Anywears, in the house like slippers. Could be the switching of the two different shoes. The anywear clogs are firm, but not hard like the birks.They are both comfortable, except for the recent problem. I have not noticed it with the clogs tho. Thanks for you in-put! Marti

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

john a on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014682)

Hmmm, did you get them from the german site? If so, I dearly hope your problem is not a sign that they make their birks with sub-standard materials. Someone else here warned about 'wearing down' birks she bought over the internet, but I think her time frame was 6 months, and not a mere two as in your case.

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

VLJ on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014684)

A question/idea: when you first started wearing your Birks were you 'barefoot' in them...and then did you have to start wearing socks with them as it got colder? My feet (in the arch area) had to adjust to the slightly different fit when I had to start wearing socks for the winter.

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

john a on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014685)

Brilliant idea! (no kidding) Particularly if the socks have extra padding in the heel and toe, this would raise them both and make the arch feel less pronounced. I started wearing just such socks when I had a worsening in my PF, thinking the extra cushioning would be good for me, but it actually seemed to make it _worse_.

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

Robin B. on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014686)

Marti, I wouldn't presume that your toe pain is necessarily a function of the Birkenstocks. There is not an enormous 'support' for the metatarsal area with Birkenstocks. If you study the structure of the Birk (looking at it head on an eye level, with the toe of the shoe closest to your face), you can see that most of the support in the Birkenstock is in the arch area. The 'support' for your toes is supposedly in that little toe ridge at the front end of the shoe. It is pretty minor.

I think the description of Birks 'conforming' to your foot the longer you wear them is a little overdone (even though that's what the Birk folks promote). Most people here know me as a Birkenstock devotee -- got 8 pairs, wear them ALL the time. And yes, to a point, they conform to your foot. But they certainly don't bend, mold or shape themselves to your foot. What happens (particularly with the 2 pairs I have had now for 13 months) is that as you walk and step, the shoe becomes a wee bit more flexible and the toe of the shoe tends to round up a smidgeon. Not a lot, just a tad. Believe me, I have one pair of leather Arizonas that are my house shoes. I wear them every single day of the year and have since December 1998 -- and they have not dramatically conformed to my feet. I've just broken them in a bit.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that your toe pain is not a result of the toe ridge wearing down or of the Birkenstocks falling apart after 2 months. I would bet it has to do with your gait, how you walk and stand or the distribution of your weight into the shoes. Are you absolutely sure you have the right size Birk for your foot? When I wear a Birk that is 2 sizes larger than I normally wear -- it's ultra painful. Everything is in the wrong place and my foot hurts all over. I'd also look at any unusual movements, lunges, lurches, climbs or steps you may have taken recently that put undue stress onto the ball of your foot. The reason I say this is because there is so little to the structure of the Birk that would relate to toe cramping that I'd have to think your pain stems from somewhere else.

Wish I had more suggestions for you, but I honestly don't think it's the shoes. They don't go bad after 2 months. I have one pair that's 13 months old; I've worn them in the rain and to the beach. They DO in truth need a little repair work -- but after months of abuse, they're still pretty doggone good. So my best recommendation is to be very careful of how you move and walk, and to take a few days and study your movements. Sometimes when ourfeet start feeling better, we overdo things and/or move more dramatically than we realize. It may be that you were getting better and feeling you could do more that resulted in your unknowingly doing more, and re-injuring a little.


Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

VLJ on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014692)

I do find it AMAZING--and confounding--how even the smallest changes can makes things better or worse!

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them??????

Trish on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014696)

My heel pain is worse when I wear socks, perhaps because my heel slides around a bit with socks on......hard to believe such a small change can make a difference!

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them / Re: Robin

Marti C on 1/14/00 at 00:00 (014724)

Hi Robin,
Thank you for the the suggestions. Iam pretty certain, I have the correct size. I origanly had a pair too small, took those back and tried on the next two larger sizes. I could deffinetly tell the size that was too large.
It may be that my gait has changed since wearing them. The other thought I had, the strap that fits across the toes maybe stretched already. Iam going to get an extra hole put in them,to see if it will hold my foot in place better. Since you are the proud owner of so many birks, which style have you had the best luck with?
Thanks again, Marti

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them / re:john

Marti C on 1/14/00 at 00:00 (014727)

john,
This pair I purchased at a birk store. I have not recieved my pair from Germany yet.Yes, lets hope they are not irregulars or seconds when they do come!
Thanks, Marti

Re: Birk related question for those who are wearing them???/VLJ ???

Marti C on 1/14/00 at 00:00 (014728)

VLJ,
Good point about the socks,but I think I have been wearing socks with them since I purchased them.I use the Anywears, in the house like slippers. Could be the switching of the two different shoes. The anywear clogs are firm, but not hard like the birks.They are both comfortable, except for the recent problem. I have not noticed it with the clogs tho. Thanks for you in-put! Marti