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today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Posted by Nancy S. on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018924)

Thank you to all of you who posted in answer to my shoe-hunting questions. You were helpful in numerous ways. I spent hours, trying on all kinds of mostly pain-producing footwear, waited on by the least knowledgeable person in the store -- but grabbed advice from more knowledgeable folks in passing. I wore my Birks in, and took along my hiking boot-like shoes and my orthotics. I tried on about 25 pairs of shoes, including New Balance and Reeboks, a bunch of nonBirk German types, some really serious ortho shoes that cost hundreds, and what I learned is that I am apparently odd. Nothing felt good; they were all too low, or the arch hit wrong, or I felt as if I would walk right out of them because they didn't reach my ankles. So that's why I think I must be odd (and they thought so too, although it seemed to give them their laugh for the day) -- maybe I have weak ankles, I used to sprain them a lot when I was a kid.
But some good things came out of it. One guy who knew a lot thoroughly examined the hiking things I wear and pronounced them excellent footwear for PF. I then asked him what he thought of my rigid plastic orthotics (I wanted an objective opinion, but the lady waiting on me exclaimed to him 'She HATES them, she just HATES them!!'). He said he's seen worse -- and he's seen a lot better. He agrees that this type is too hard and can cause other problems.
So the upshot was, I tried on different inserts to wear in my current bootshoes. And what did I wear home? Birk inserts! (And some, why not, Birk socks.) I haven't seen these Birk inserts before -- they've got cork bottoms and are tan on top, all one piece. They're 3/4 length and very strong. (I needed a size bigger in the inserts than in the Boston Birks I wear.) I didn't see them on the Birk web site. All I know is, so far they feel really good, and time will tell me if this was the way to go.
So my big lesson for today is that I relearned I have Birks feet no matter what else I try. I will stick with Birks, or the Birk inserts in good hiking bootshoes if the inserts continue to feel good.
All day I thought what intricate creatures these things called feet are. Now that I have to pay attention to them, every single shoe feels different. I suppose I used to just think of feet as flippers or something, that come in long or short, wide or narrow, and that's it. If only they were that simple, except I'm trying to cut out 'if only's. I figure I'm lucky that shoes I can wear even exist, and one day I'll have as many as Robin -- well, maybe not quite, Robin!
I hope this wasn't too boring. It's amazing what can totally occupy your mind if you don't watch out. --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

ChrisO on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018927)

Hi Nancy - isn't it funny too how those flippers lead us to desperate searches for the perfect footwear! I bought the Birks a couple weeks ago along with a new pair of Nikes, I've ordered a pair of Clarks clogs (the arch was perfect) and am now out the door to shop for Reebok DMX. All I want is my life back - or a reasonable version thereof! Continued good luck with your odd-i-see.....

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

dfeet on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018929)

Hi, Nancy! No It wasn't boring at all!!! I too Am in the hunt for shoes ,and your posts about footwear were great. On Thursday i'm hoping to get myself to this shoe store that carries Birks, Eccos, Danskos, etc. It always took me hours to find shoes before. I can only imagine how long it will take me now-Imelda Marcos here I come!-dfeet

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

wendyn on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018935)

Isn't it annoying to go into a shoe store that specializes in 'hard to fit feet' and talk to some 18 year old who's only related experience is that they also worked a cash register at McDonald's????!?!?! I am glad you found someone intelligent to talk to.

It is worth the extra money and effort to go to a good store with knowledgable staff.

I wear the Blue Birks inserts in my gym shoes for a little while for weight training. I would be tempted to wear them more - but the edge of any running shoe puts pressure on my inner ankle (the Tarsal Tunnel area) and it can cause irritation in a very short time.

So, I stick with my ugly Birks, and am happy that soon it will be summer and I will not look like such a Dufas in my sandals anymore.


Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

SuzanneK on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018939)

Nancy, I didn't think it was at all boring. In fact, I think I lived vicariously thru your shopping trip. I, too, have spent many hours in mega-shoe-stores trying on hundreds of pairs of shoes in the vain hope that I will find just one pair that my orthotics fit in and that feel comfortable and that I don't walk out of and .... well, you get the picture. Sigh. Hope what you found works for you. I LOVE my birk milanos, waiting for another paycheck and drooling over the birks catalog. Never thought I could get so, well, aroused (!) by ugly shoes!! LOL

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

ShirleyWho on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018947)

Loved your comments. Very helpful. My feet have never fit most shoes and now I've got new things to look for in shoes. My foot dr/technician recommended some New Balance styles to check out. It's an adventure all right.

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Nancy S. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018961)

Hi dfeet, how are you? To have all those shoes, I don't think Imelda could have taken much time picking them out. We're probably much worse than Imelda when it comes to taking up the time of a shoe salesperson. I had to keep holding back from apologizing -- but gee, I didn't request the gift of PF as a means to annoy shoe salespeople. Actually they were nice about it. Good luck on Thursday --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Nancy S. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018962)

Hi Chris! The store I went to had Clark's -- I just saw them, didn't try any because I was looking for something different. But they looked great, good for this lovely condition. Good luck to you and all in shoe searches --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)Re Nancy

Laurie R on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018983)

Hi Nancy,
What a day you had.And no your shoe story is not boring you know we all like hearing from you.Have you ever tried NIKE? I have a few pairs and they are almost the only name brand shoe I can wear.I have found one pair of new balance shoes I like and feel good.You are so right you just have to try them on to see if they feel good .I know your poor feet most of hurt after trying on all those shoes yesterday.Oh Nancy I forgot to tell you or anyone else who would like to know there is a web site that sells name brand shoe for good prices it is http://www.eastbay.com check it out they have all kinds of running and walking shoes,and no I have nothing to do with the web site a friend of mine told me about it.Good day to all. Laurie R

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Nancy S. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018997)

Wendy, yes, it is annoying. I remember calling the Birks store before I went in in December, telling them I have PF and do they know about that, and hearing 'Oh YES, ALL our staff are trained to deal with that.' I got there and no one knew anything, except for a customer I was lucky enough to chat with for a good while.
Can you not wear a high sports shoe that goes up over your ankles? Would that still put too much pressure? (I now think the store I went to yesterday was low in variety; I checked out the web site Laurie posted and I see some shoes that look more possible for me.)
By the way, $25 lip liner, Wendy! Well I know just what you mean. But now I don't feel so bad about the $6.50 I spent on an antique bottle of Rawleigh's 'colic and bloat compound for horses and cattle' that I bought on a very weird day in February. In fact, maybe I should rub some on my foot and see what happens. --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)RE Nancy

Laurie R on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (019008)

Hi Nancy, I forgot to tell you that web site for spot shoes there is no tax when you buy something .I have never ordered anything from there yet but my friend has........Laurie R

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

ChrisO on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018927)

Hi Nancy - isn't it funny too how those flippers lead us to desperate searches for the perfect footwear! I bought the Birks a couple weeks ago along with a new pair of Nikes, I've ordered a pair of Clarks clogs (the arch was perfect) and am now out the door to shop for Reebok DMX. All I want is my life back - or a reasonable version thereof! Continued good luck with your odd-i-see.....

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

dfeet on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018929)

Hi, Nancy! No It wasn't boring at all!!! I too Am in the hunt for shoes ,and your posts about footwear were great. On Thursday i'm hoping to get myself to this shoe store that carries Birks, Eccos, Danskos, etc. It always took me hours to find shoes before. I can only imagine how long it will take me now-Imelda Marcos here I come!-dfeet

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

wendyn on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018935)

Isn't it annoying to go into a shoe store that specializes in 'hard to fit feet' and talk to some 18 year old who's only related experience is that they also worked a cash register at McDonald's????!?!?! I am glad you found someone intelligent to talk to.

It is worth the extra money and effort to go to a good store with knowledgable staff.

I wear the Blue Birks inserts in my gym shoes for a little while for weight training. I would be tempted to wear them more - but the edge of any running shoe puts pressure on my inner ankle (the Tarsal Tunnel area) and it can cause irritation in a very short time.

So, I stick with my ugly Birks, and am happy that soon it will be summer and I will not look like such a Dufas in my sandals anymore.


Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

SuzanneK on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018939)

Nancy, I didn't think it was at all boring. In fact, I think I lived vicariously thru your shopping trip. I, too, have spent many hours in mega-shoe-stores trying on hundreds of pairs of shoes in the vain hope that I will find just one pair that my orthotics fit in and that feel comfortable and that I don't walk out of and .... well, you get the picture. Sigh. Hope what you found works for you. I LOVE my birk milanos, waiting for another paycheck and drooling over the birks catalog. Never thought I could get so, well, aroused (!) by ugly shoes!! LOL

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

ShirleyWho on 4/18/00 at 00:00 (018947)

Loved your comments. Very helpful. My feet have never fit most shoes and now I've got new things to look for in shoes. My foot dr/technician recommended some New Balance styles to check out. It's an adventure all right.

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Nancy S. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018961)

Hi dfeet, how are you? To have all those shoes, I don't think Imelda could have taken much time picking them out. We're probably much worse than Imelda when it comes to taking up the time of a shoe salesperson. I had to keep holding back from apologizing -- but gee, I didn't request the gift of PF as a means to annoy shoe salespeople. Actually they were nice about it. Good luck on Thursday --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Nancy S. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018962)

Hi Chris! The store I went to had Clark's -- I just saw them, didn't try any because I was looking for something different. But they looked great, good for this lovely condition. Good luck to you and all in shoe searches --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)Re Nancy

Laurie R on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018983)

Hi Nancy,
What a day you had.And no your shoe story is not boring you know we all like hearing from you.Have you ever tried NIKE? I have a few pairs and they are almost the only name brand shoe I can wear.I have found one pair of new balance shoes I like and feel good.You are so right you just have to try them on to see if they feel good .I know your poor feet most of hurt after trying on all those shoes yesterday.Oh Nancy I forgot to tell you or anyone else who would like to know there is a web site that sells name brand shoe for good prices it is http://www.eastbay.com check it out they have all kinds of running and walking shoes,and no I have nothing to do with the web site a friend of mine told me about it.Good day to all. Laurie R

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)

Nancy S. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (018997)

Wendy, yes, it is annoying. I remember calling the Birks store before I went in in December, telling them I have PF and do they know about that, and hearing 'Oh YES, ALL our staff are trained to deal with that.' I got there and no one knew anything, except for a customer I was lucky enough to chat with for a good while.
Can you not wear a high sports shoe that goes up over your ankles? Would that still put too much pressure? (I now think the store I went to yesterday was low in variety; I checked out the web site Laurie posted and I see some shoes that look more possible for me.)
By the way, $25 lip liner, Wendy! Well I know just what you mean. But now I don't feel so bad about the $6.50 I spent on an antique bottle of Rawleigh's 'colic and bloat compound for horses and cattle' that I bought on a very weird day in February. In fact, maybe I should rub some on my foot and see what happens. --Nancy

Re: today's little shoe odyssey (odd-i-see)RE Nancy

Laurie R on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (019008)

Hi Nancy, I forgot to tell you that web site for spot shoes there is no tax when you buy something .I have never ordered anything from there yet but my friend has........Laurie R