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Yes, Me too! Removble insoles in a shoe are a first choice, but Birks are only for some people....

Posted by dang dave on 3/20/00 at 00:00 (017562)

I tried the Birk insoles Twice, two different sizes and found them seriously wanting as to their WAY too thick and far too forward arch support under the metatarsals, where it is not the real high point of the arch in front of the heal bone. Painful, but Tony recommended getting a shoe repairman to grind off a whole quarter inch from the offending portion. Instead of paying a shoe repairperson I ground it off with a belt sander myself with a rough grit belt and It seems almost okay,,, except now standard off the shelf arch supports seem to have a higher arch than the Birks. Arch supports for PF seem for me to be like my recommended Superfeet... where the arch is custom fitted just before the heal, but Superfeet will not attempt to call their product a 'orthotic' and others won't either at the risk of being sued by Poditrists..... I think the 'Birk' may work for me now but not as well as my custom Kort by superfeet.

However I've noticed one problem with either of the Half length inserts like the Birk's or my Superfeet... (which has just minimal cushioning under the front of the foot). I just did an 8 and a half mile mountain hike and towards the end of the hike I began noticing pain under my middle ball of my right foot... but after awhile it went away with just toughing it out... but I would have liked a little more cushioning in the front of the foot.

Also with the Birks there is still the question of putting back the standard inserts over or under the Birk insert... in order to achieve some cushioning under the fronts of the feet. Which? under or over??
And as most supplied inserts do have cushioning under arches, the Birks then seem to accentuate and over pad under the metatarsals, unless one gets out a belt sander and sculps 'em to fit... like I did but then discovered that not much support was offered just before the arches... only the offending forward bulge under the metatarsal area...

I noticed the same problem with Birk sandals, but the Cork in the Sandals seems to form to the feet after time while the fake Cork cardboard plastic mix in the inserts doesn't really give to the feet... also makes a bit of a mess when belt sanding....

btw, my plantar fascia did seem to be under stress while going up steep snow covered trails yesterday but after a short rest in a mountain hut, the slight twinge of pain went away. And after a short night's sleep, my feet feel great.... now the rest of my middle aged body is needing a little tlc.... and aspirin.

so with regular exercise and a good shoe (Garmont's Vegan is now my favorite, but definitely an outdoor shoe, with a very rough and good gripping outer sole or tread by Vibram) and a good insert (again Superfeet's Custom Kork), I seem to have kept PF at bay for the last couple of months or so... thanks to regular exercise, a cortisone shot in one more painful foot, and good shoes and inserts, (expect of pay at least a hundred dollars for each, unless a cheaper insert works for you..)