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How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Posted by Beverly on 6/10/00 at 22:32 (021629)

I'm trying not to get discouraged, but I am not impressed with my new silicone insert from the nice new pod. I think it is made by Silipos.
I've only been in it two days. I know I lack all patience (never been my gift). So, in general how long does it take to know if an insert is working? Also, have any of you tried this or other silicone inserts.
I can't see how it's going to fix my PF, but I like this pod so well, I'm willing to give it a try. He says give it three weeks. It is very cushy but there's almost no arch support.

Beverly


Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Nancy S. on 6/10/00 at 23:13 (021631)

Beverly, this is just one person's take on it, but having tried about 10 different kinds of inserts, including custom orthotics, I have given them all up. Not that you should -- but I wore the customs for about three months because my pod told me to, and the upshot was that they hurt me and set me back in a fairly major way, I think.
Since then, I have given OTC inserts 4 or 5 days tops. Some of them felt really good for a day or two, but if they hurt me for 2 or 3 days thereafter, they're in the closet. (In fact, they're all there right now!)
If your new inserts don't work for you, I wouldn't assume this to reflect badly on your nice new pod. That said, I think 3 weeks in inserts that hurt would not be wise. I would call him and tell him whatever is happening to your feet in them, and see what he says. If you're hurting after 3 or 4 days in them, and he recommends stopping wearing them, you still have a winner there.
Remember, this is the opinion of an orthotics deserter.
--Nancy

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Kim B. on 6/10/00 at 23:53 (021634)

That's a great question Beverly. I wish I had asked it back when I was orthotic shopping.

It is very individualized I suppose, but in my experience, I know within 1-3 days if they are right for me. Knowing what I know now, my rule would be that if they increase my pain, I discontinue them immediately. If they don't start helping (even a little) in a few days, I cut my losses and move on to the next. I know some (especially docs) may disagree with this, but it is my approach. Same thing goes with shoes btw. I have gotten immediate relief from new inserts and/or shoes, and that seems like the logical thing to shoot for. As a matter of fact, it was when I started getting relief (even in small doses) that my case of PF began to heal. It makes sense to me.

Also, I have found that it is not always about how much arch support there is, but whether the arch support was hitting (or rather, supporting) the unique shape of MY arch/foot. When I finally found the kind that fits MY arch, the relief began right away. Not that I could go all day in them at first, but, the time span of being able to stay on my feet grew instead of shortened.

Good luck. Look for Money back gaurantees and keep your receipts.

Regards, Kim B.


Re: Dern it, did it again. Scott, is there a treading problem or is it just me?

Kim B. on 6/10/00 at 23:57 (021635)

It's probaby me. I must be threaded disabled tonight. My post aren't falling where I plan them for them to. Sorry, don't mean to confuse. :-) Kim

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/11/00 at 08:18 (021641)

Thats the stuff I wanted to put in your socks. It is a great for lack of shock problems from pf. It either works or doesn't. Sorry.!!

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Beverly on 6/11/00 at 12:31 (021647)

Hum... What you all are saying makes sense to me. I had to break in the Green SuperFeet... took several days, and for awhile they felt pretty good. Then, they didn't feel so good.

Next, came the soft custom orthodics. They felt pretty good almost at once... the left foot a better fit than the right foot.But they increased my arch pain while decreasing heel pain. The left foot was better than the other... after two weeks, old pod adjusted right foot. But who knows, if that helped, because that was just after I came home from my miserable vacation in agony.

So, now I'm in these silicone things. They have less arch support, and so my arch feels alot better, but my heel feels worse in these than in the custom ones. So, one gives increased arch pain, decreased heel pain, and the other the reverse. I'm giving the silicone things another couple of days since I just got them.

I'm ready to try some Birks. The orthodics fitter said I 'slightly supplinate... wear out shoes along the outer edge.' I'm not up for the 2.5 hour drive to a big city to get them. I guess I will have to order them by mail. I just can't decide which shoe to start with...style... strap or no strap, and in women's shoes, I can wear anything from a 9 to a 10, depending on the shoe. I guess I could order two and send one back. Should a Birk fit snug or loose? (One foot tends to be an A width. One foot more a B. Depends on shoes which way I go.) Extra toe/heel room or just enough to fit the outline of the foot? I'm still thinking about Mephesto's, but they are so expensive. If I thought the Mephesto would help, sure I would buy it, but I hate the thought of spending $200.00 for shoes that don't fit. Like many of you have written, I don't always know right away about shoes, and by the time I do know, it's too late to take them back.

Beverly


Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Nancy S. on 6/11/00 at 15:30 (021653)

Hi Beverly. Your Birks questions are a tough call, because the fitting is a bit tricky. For example, I wear size 8.5 or 9 in regular shoes (what ARE those again?), and for me that translated into size 39 narrow in Boston classic Birks but size 40 narrow in Nebraska Tatami Birks. I find that the footbeds can feel very different in different styles, even though Birkenstock says most of them are the same.
The fit should be fairly snug -- no extra room at the heel and little to none at the toes.
Although I found the Arizonas uncomfortable, I get the impression that the majority of Birks wearers on this board go for the Arizonas. But there are many many to choose from, as you'll see if you wander through the Birks site.
If you do decide to order via Scott's link to the German Birkenstock site, you might e-mail them with your fitting questions. I have e-mailed them a few times with questions and they were very responsive.
But nothing will replace getting fitted in person, I'm afraid. Could you get a friend to drive you to the big city?
Good luck, either route. I don't think I could live without my Birks! When I first got on the board last December, after being in great pain for 8 months, the first thing I did was go out and buy a pair of Birks, mostly because of Robin's postings about them. Within a few days my pain level plummeted and has never again been as bad as it was before Birks. I'll still be wearing them in the nursing home if I end up there.
--Nancy

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Kim B. on 6/11/00 at 16:34 (021657)

Hi Non-Geek,

Have you figured out how to use the site's search function yet? If so, even a simple word like 'straps' could bring you a wealth of information and view points. i.e the pros and cons of straps VS no straps. That's one example, but try putting in different words that have something to do with what you are wondering about. It never ceases to amaze me, how may topics have been debated and discussed here. Another example would be that sometimes I was able to look up a specific kind of insert or other product to get a better idea of if it might be right for me, before I ordered and paid postage on it. Somtimes you can rule stuff in or out that way.

I encourge you to check out http://www.sofsole.com Very nice site for inserts and lots of info too. Once it loads you can pass your mouse lightly over the product pictures and it will give you front and backs of what they look like out of the package. (I use the RED, RUN/WALK inserts btw.) Another great thing is that you can do a zip code search at this site and find out where the closest SofSoles reatailers are in proximity to your home, which means you can go try them on before you buy them. (I found 12 retailers within a 15 mile radious of my home, mostly sport and mens shoe retailers.) I tried the hard ones first and ended up trading them for the softs. They have several styles. Also, they come with a 30 day money back gaurantee and if they are not right for you, return them. No postage hassels. Pricing ranges 18.50, 29.50, 35.00. Good products for the buck.

Regards, Kim B.


Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

john h on 6/11/00 at 20:16 (021669)

if you have not been wearing orthotics the instructions that came with my new ones said to wear them for 1 hr the first day, 2 hr the second day, 3-4 hr the third day and gradually work into them.

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

john h on 6/11/00 at 20:20 (021670)

bev: the mesphito is a nice shoe but i think you can do just as well with some $80 Reeboks such as the 852 as far as comfort and support goes.

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

john h on 6/11/00 at 20:22 (021671)

the airizona is still my first choice among birks. i have both the ones with the rear strap and ones without. tend to wear the ones without more as i use them for bedroom shoes. even mow the lawn in them. you can buy them at just for feet for about $40.

Re: Do the other Birkies agree with Nancy on snug fit?

Beverly on 6/11/00 at 21:01 (021675)

Thanks for all your ideas. Do you other Birk wearers agree with Nancy that it should be a snug fit both in length and width?

I have thought about tracing my foot and sending that in with whatever I order to try to have to store help me decide which size. I have a big foot for a girl. I've only had a few European shoes. They range from a 41 to a 42. I used to wear closer to a 40-41. But since this foot problem, it seems like I'm taking a bigger shoe. I guess that is inflammation, but I can't see it with my naked eye. Or perhaps, it's that extra 20 lbs I've been carrying the last few years. I was shocked when my usual 9.5 shoe size in women's athletic shoes suddenly turned into a 10. But then, these inserts take up extra room.

Is it just the way it looks in the picture or does the Nebraska have a higher heel? The higher the heel, the better for me.

I will try to think of a friend to drive me to the big city, but I have a hard time asking for that kind of help.

My other big delimma is whether to go with narrow or regular width. I always wore a narrow until the last year or two. Lately, I have more often found myself in a regular. But it's still iffy. My heel is narrow, but I guess that doesn't matter with a sandal.

Thanks for all your help,
Beverly



Re: Do the other Birkies agree with Nancy on snug fit?

Nancy S. on 6/11/00 at 22:14 (021679)

The Nebraskas don't actually have a higher heel, I don't think (I'm holding one in my hand right now, trying to decide). They do have a low footbed, which means the shoe comes up a little bit higher all around the foot, which I like. The Nebraskas (like the whole Tatami line) have a very slightly higher arch. I like the way they feel even better than the Bostons. I also like the strap in back, feels more secure.
This is totally a guess, but from what you say it sounds like you might need a narrow. You want your heel to be secure and fitted in there, not moving or wobbling around a lot.
I have at least 18 more Birk styles I want to try when I win some lottery or something!
--Nancy

Re: about Birks

Robin B. on 6/12/00 at 04:24 (021688)

Beverly, I am a super-Birk wearer, with 10 pairs. Here is what I know about Birks; maybe it will help.

First, it's critical to be fitted professionally. You can't guess with Birks unless you are going to order about 6 pairs, different sizes and widths, and try them all on. When I wore regular shoes I would take a 9, and sometimes a 9.5 or even 10, depending on where the shoes were made. In a Birk, I take a 38, which is the equivalent to an 8 or 8.5. It fits perfectly. I can wear a 39 but it doesn't fit as well. A 40 -- which is what I would have bought for myself based on my regular size -- would have been wrong.

I can't urge you enough to make the drive to the city if they have a professional Birk store with Birk salespeople. The Birk should fit with about 1/8 inch of space between your toes and the outer ridge. The heel should fit squarely back in the heelcup. The strap nearest your toes should be relatively snug, so you could almost slide your little finger under it but not quite. The other straps can be a bit looser. But -- having a knowledgeable Birk person fit you is VERY important. The wrong fit and you will hate them -- and they will hurt you.

I also suggest that you make sure you get a pair of LEATHER or SUEDE Birks for your first -- not the manmade cheaper ones. There IS a difference to me, even though the Birk people say there is none. I like the Arizona style the very best, but Florida is good too. I would stay away from the Tatami line for your first pair -- they have a higher arch than regular Birks and may be more difficult to get used to.

Again -- it's a day into the city -- that's all. It's your FEET. I still urge you to go get fitted properly, spring for the full price for your first pair, and give them a good try.

I wouldn't be where I am today -- which is pretty much recovered and back to a normal life -- where it not for Birkenstocks. And I would have bought the wrong size and disregarded them if left on my own.



Re: about Birks

Nancy S. on 6/12/00 at 07:51 (021690)

Hi Robin -- I defer to your better judgment in all Birks matters. I do want to make sure that you aren't talking about the 'Nubuk' when you say manmade. I always assumed the Nubuk material was manmade because the term sounds so, well, synthetic. But when I bought the Nebraskas, which I tried on in Nubuk unknowingly, I was surprised when the excellent saleswoman told me that Nubuk is leather -- just a more finely combed version of suede. I kept asking her if she was _sure_ because I didn't want synthetic. She was sure, and I smelled the shoes and sure enough, they are leather. They still smell like leather even after these 3 or 4 weeks, and they act like leather. Do you mean that felt material that some of them come in now? Or do you know something about Nubuk that I haven't heard yet? Just checking, to have my facts straight on this. Thanks --Nancy

Re: about Birks -- P.S. to Beverly

Nancy S. on 6/12/00 at 08:05 (021691)

Beverly, Robin's post about size, compared against mine, is a perfect example of why she is right that getting fitted is necessary. In other shoes it sounds as if her size is slightly larger than mine, but she takes a smaller size Birk than I do. This may have something to do with the shape of the foot somewhere -- maybe my toes slant more than hers or something. In any case, you also have a long wait when you order by mail, and it sounds like you could use the relief (if they work for you) Now. --Nancy

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

davidb on 6/12/00 at 08:38 (021695)

I've had problems with hard and soft custom-made orthotics. Here's what finally worked for me. I found an orthopedic shoe store with a patient pedorthist. He made me custom-made soft orthotics specifically designed for a pair of shoes I was going to buy. He put an arch pad that could be shaved in the orthotics. Since then, he has adjusted the arch pad by either shaving, replacing or moving the arch pad. The key was that I was buying shoes from him and he knew I would continue to buy shoes from him if he could fit me right. It took months of frustration until we worked out the right level--I visited him every Saturday for adjustment. Since then, I have ordered two more pairs of shoes that the orthotics will fit in.

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

john h on 6/12/00 at 09:51 (021699)

i have now had my Footmax custom orthotics for about 4 days and they have felt great from the get go. seems that all other orthotics i have had created a sensation in the arch area where my pain is. no such problem with these. these are the ones that are made using computer generated images of your foot on a pad while walking. dr z recommended these. nfl and nba players use them so if these rich guys use them there must be something to it. much to early to make a final judgement but at this point i give them an 'A'. i would say they are full length semi-regid with padding on top.

Re: You've convinced me. Will make a Birk study of city

Beverly on 6/12/00 at 10:47 (021703)

Robin, Nancy, and all,

You have convinced me to go to the city and not do mail order till I know my size.

I'm going to rest my feet another week while doing research on stores.
I have one friend who wears them. Perhaps, I can entice her into a shopping trip. If not, I'll spend the night if I have to.
My nearest major city is San Antonio. The main store I know about is 'The Whole Earth Providence Store.' I'll look into Kim's tip about The San Antonio Shoe Store. Does anyone have other ideas for San Antonio?
Whole Earth Providence is not a Birks store, but they are a specialty store selling things like Tevas, Birks, Mephestos, ect. I'm not aware of any exclusive Birk store near me.

Thanks for all your help,
Beverly


Re: about Birks

Robin B. on 6/12/00 at 18:18 (021727)

Hi Nancy --

No, Nubuck are indeed leather -- and that's usually what I buy. I have some of the waxy leather, suede and nubuck leather. Where I have gotten into trouble is with the 'birkibuc' and 'birkoflor' manmade stuff. I swear -- those manmade Birks just don't feel or wear like leather ones.

I even bought one of the metallic leathers in an Arizona -- and even though they have a metallic finish, they feel and wear better, just like all the other leathers. I guess it must be me -- but my feet just don't feel as good in the manmade shoes. The leather Birks...aaaaah.


Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Angie on 6/12/00 at 21:03 (021736)

Beverly- Hi. I purchased my Birks at Marshal Fields. They are the Milano style and cost $95. I absolutely love them. I personally like the Milano style because they have the back strap behind the heel as well. This holds my foot more in place and I do not feel like I am straining my PF are like I often feel when I wear sandals with no back strap behind the heel. I honestly have to say that with taking Bromelain and my Birks I am now 85-90% better. In the last three days I have had no pain at all ! So it is very possible that I am healed at this point but I still am taking it slow! ANgie

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Nancy S. on 6/10/00 at 23:13 (021631)

Beverly, this is just one person's take on it, but having tried about 10 different kinds of inserts, including custom orthotics, I have given them all up. Not that you should -- but I wore the customs for about three months because my pod told me to, and the upshot was that they hurt me and set me back in a fairly major way, I think.
Since then, I have given OTC inserts 4 or 5 days tops. Some of them felt really good for a day or two, but if they hurt me for 2 or 3 days thereafter, they're in the closet. (In fact, they're all there right now!)
If your new inserts don't work for you, I wouldn't assume this to reflect badly on your nice new pod. That said, I think 3 weeks in inserts that hurt would not be wise. I would call him and tell him whatever is happening to your feet in them, and see what he says. If you're hurting after 3 or 4 days in them, and he recommends stopping wearing them, you still have a winner there.
Remember, this is the opinion of an orthotics deserter.
--Nancy

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Kim B. on 6/10/00 at 23:53 (021634)

That's a great question Beverly. I wish I had asked it back when I was orthotic shopping.

It is very individualized I suppose, but in my experience, I know within 1-3 days if they are right for me. Knowing what I know now, my rule would be that if they increase my pain, I discontinue them immediately. If they don't start helping (even a little) in a few days, I cut my losses and move on to the next. I know some (especially docs) may disagree with this, but it is my approach. Same thing goes with shoes btw. I have gotten immediate relief from new inserts and/or shoes, and that seems like the logical thing to shoot for. As a matter of fact, it was when I started getting relief (even in small doses) that my case of PF began to heal. It makes sense to me.

Also, I have found that it is not always about how much arch support there is, but whether the arch support was hitting (or rather, supporting) the unique shape of MY arch/foot. When I finally found the kind that fits MY arch, the relief began right away. Not that I could go all day in them at first, but, the time span of being able to stay on my feet grew instead of shortened.

Good luck. Look for Money back gaurantees and keep your receipts.

Regards, Kim B.


Re: Dern it, did it again. Scott, is there a treading problem or is it just me?

Kim B. on 6/10/00 at 23:57 (021635)

It's probaby me. I must be threaded disabled tonight. My post aren't falling where I plan them for them to. Sorry, don't mean to confuse. :-) Kim

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/11/00 at 08:18 (021641)

Thats the stuff I wanted to put in your socks. It is a great for lack of shock problems from pf. It either works or doesn't. Sorry.!!

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Beverly on 6/11/00 at 12:31 (021647)

Hum... What you all are saying makes sense to me. I had to break in the Green SuperFeet... took several days, and for awhile they felt pretty good. Then, they didn't feel so good.

Next, came the soft custom orthodics. They felt pretty good almost at once... the left foot a better fit than the right foot.But they increased my arch pain while decreasing heel pain. The left foot was better than the other... after two weeks, old pod adjusted right foot. But who knows, if that helped, because that was just after I came home from my miserable vacation in agony.

So, now I'm in these silicone things. They have less arch support, and so my arch feels alot better, but my heel feels worse in these than in the custom ones. So, one gives increased arch pain, decreased heel pain, and the other the reverse. I'm giving the silicone things another couple of days since I just got them.

I'm ready to try some Birks. The orthodics fitter said I 'slightly supplinate... wear out shoes along the outer edge.' I'm not up for the 2.5 hour drive to a big city to get them. I guess I will have to order them by mail. I just can't decide which shoe to start with...style... strap or no strap, and in women's shoes, I can wear anything from a 9 to a 10, depending on the shoe. I guess I could order two and send one back. Should a Birk fit snug or loose? (One foot tends to be an A width. One foot more a B. Depends on shoes which way I go.) Extra toe/heel room or just enough to fit the outline of the foot? I'm still thinking about Mephesto's, but they are so expensive. If I thought the Mephesto would help, sure I would buy it, but I hate the thought of spending $200.00 for shoes that don't fit. Like many of you have written, I don't always know right away about shoes, and by the time I do know, it's too late to take them back.

Beverly


Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Nancy S. on 6/11/00 at 15:30 (021653)

Hi Beverly. Your Birks questions are a tough call, because the fitting is a bit tricky. For example, I wear size 8.5 or 9 in regular shoes (what ARE those again?), and for me that translated into size 39 narrow in Boston classic Birks but size 40 narrow in Nebraska Tatami Birks. I find that the footbeds can feel very different in different styles, even though Birkenstock says most of them are the same.
The fit should be fairly snug -- no extra room at the heel and little to none at the toes.
Although I found the Arizonas uncomfortable, I get the impression that the majority of Birks wearers on this board go for the Arizonas. But there are many many to choose from, as you'll see if you wander through the Birks site.
If you do decide to order via Scott's link to the German Birkenstock site, you might e-mail them with your fitting questions. I have e-mailed them a few times with questions and they were very responsive.
But nothing will replace getting fitted in person, I'm afraid. Could you get a friend to drive you to the big city?
Good luck, either route. I don't think I could live without my Birks! When I first got on the board last December, after being in great pain for 8 months, the first thing I did was go out and buy a pair of Birks, mostly because of Robin's postings about them. Within a few days my pain level plummeted and has never again been as bad as it was before Birks. I'll still be wearing them in the nursing home if I end up there.
--Nancy

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Kim B. on 6/11/00 at 16:34 (021657)

Hi Non-Geek,

Have you figured out how to use the site's search function yet? If so, even a simple word like 'straps' could bring you a wealth of information and view points. i.e the pros and cons of straps VS no straps. That's one example, but try putting in different words that have something to do with what you are wondering about. It never ceases to amaze me, how may topics have been debated and discussed here. Another example would be that sometimes I was able to look up a specific kind of insert or other product to get a better idea of if it might be right for me, before I ordered and paid postage on it. Somtimes you can rule stuff in or out that way.

I encourge you to check out http://www.sofsole.com Very nice site for inserts and lots of info too. Once it loads you can pass your mouse lightly over the product pictures and it will give you front and backs of what they look like out of the package. (I use the RED, RUN/WALK inserts btw.) Another great thing is that you can do a zip code search at this site and find out where the closest SofSoles reatailers are in proximity to your home, which means you can go try them on before you buy them. (I found 12 retailers within a 15 mile radious of my home, mostly sport and mens shoe retailers.) I tried the hard ones first and ended up trading them for the softs. They have several styles. Also, they come with a 30 day money back gaurantee and if they are not right for you, return them. No postage hassels. Pricing ranges 18.50, 29.50, 35.00. Good products for the buck.

Regards, Kim B.


Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

john h on 6/11/00 at 20:16 (021669)

if you have not been wearing orthotics the instructions that came with my new ones said to wear them for 1 hr the first day, 2 hr the second day, 3-4 hr the third day and gradually work into them.

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

john h on 6/11/00 at 20:20 (021670)

bev: the mesphito is a nice shoe but i think you can do just as well with some $80 Reeboks such as the 852 as far as comfort and support goes.

Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

john h on 6/11/00 at 20:22 (021671)

the airizona is still my first choice among birks. i have both the ones with the rear strap and ones without. tend to wear the ones without more as i use them for bedroom shoes. even mow the lawn in them. you can buy them at just for feet for about $40.

Re: Do the other Birkies agree with Nancy on snug fit?

Beverly on 6/11/00 at 21:01 (021675)

Thanks for all your ideas. Do you other Birk wearers agree with Nancy that it should be a snug fit both in length and width?

I have thought about tracing my foot and sending that in with whatever I order to try to have to store help me decide which size. I have a big foot for a girl. I've only had a few European shoes. They range from a 41 to a 42. I used to wear closer to a 40-41. But since this foot problem, it seems like I'm taking a bigger shoe. I guess that is inflammation, but I can't see it with my naked eye. Or perhaps, it's that extra 20 lbs I've been carrying the last few years. I was shocked when my usual 9.5 shoe size in women's athletic shoes suddenly turned into a 10. But then, these inserts take up extra room.

Is it just the way it looks in the picture or does the Nebraska have a higher heel? The higher the heel, the better for me.

I will try to think of a friend to drive me to the big city, but I have a hard time asking for that kind of help.

My other big delimma is whether to go with narrow or regular width. I always wore a narrow until the last year or two. Lately, I have more often found myself in a regular. But it's still iffy. My heel is narrow, but I guess that doesn't matter with a sandal.

Thanks for all your help,
Beverly



Re: Do the other Birkies agree with Nancy on snug fit?

Nancy S. on 6/11/00 at 22:14 (021679)

The Nebraskas don't actually have a higher heel, I don't think (I'm holding one in my hand right now, trying to decide). They do have a low footbed, which means the shoe comes up a little bit higher all around the foot, which I like. The Nebraskas (like the whole Tatami line) have a very slightly higher arch. I like the way they feel even better than the Bostons. I also like the strap in back, feels more secure.
This is totally a guess, but from what you say it sounds like you might need a narrow. You want your heel to be secure and fitted in there, not moving or wobbling around a lot.
I have at least 18 more Birk styles I want to try when I win some lottery or something!
--Nancy

Re: about Birks

Robin B. on 6/12/00 at 04:24 (021688)

Beverly, I am a super-Birk wearer, with 10 pairs. Here is what I know about Birks; maybe it will help.

First, it's critical to be fitted professionally. You can't guess with Birks unless you are going to order about 6 pairs, different sizes and widths, and try them all on. When I wore regular shoes I would take a 9, and sometimes a 9.5 or even 10, depending on where the shoes were made. In a Birk, I take a 38, which is the equivalent to an 8 or 8.5. It fits perfectly. I can wear a 39 but it doesn't fit as well. A 40 -- which is what I would have bought for myself based on my regular size -- would have been wrong.

I can't urge you enough to make the drive to the city if they have a professional Birk store with Birk salespeople. The Birk should fit with about 1/8 inch of space between your toes and the outer ridge. The heel should fit squarely back in the heelcup. The strap nearest your toes should be relatively snug, so you could almost slide your little finger under it but not quite. The other straps can be a bit looser. But -- having a knowledgeable Birk person fit you is VERY important. The wrong fit and you will hate them -- and they will hurt you.

I also suggest that you make sure you get a pair of LEATHER or SUEDE Birks for your first -- not the manmade cheaper ones. There IS a difference to me, even though the Birk people say there is none. I like the Arizona style the very best, but Florida is good too. I would stay away from the Tatami line for your first pair -- they have a higher arch than regular Birks and may be more difficult to get used to.

Again -- it's a day into the city -- that's all. It's your FEET. I still urge you to go get fitted properly, spring for the full price for your first pair, and give them a good try.

I wouldn't be where I am today -- which is pretty much recovered and back to a normal life -- where it not for Birkenstocks. And I would have bought the wrong size and disregarded them if left on my own.



Re: about Birks

Nancy S. on 6/12/00 at 07:51 (021690)

Hi Robin -- I defer to your better judgment in all Birks matters. I do want to make sure that you aren't talking about the 'Nubuk' when you say manmade. I always assumed the Nubuk material was manmade because the term sounds so, well, synthetic. But when I bought the Nebraskas, which I tried on in Nubuk unknowingly, I was surprised when the excellent saleswoman told me that Nubuk is leather -- just a more finely combed version of suede. I kept asking her if she was _sure_ because I didn't want synthetic. She was sure, and I smelled the shoes and sure enough, they are leather. They still smell like leather even after these 3 or 4 weeks, and they act like leather. Do you mean that felt material that some of them come in now? Or do you know something about Nubuk that I haven't heard yet? Just checking, to have my facts straight on this. Thanks --Nancy

Re: about Birks -- P.S. to Beverly

Nancy S. on 6/12/00 at 08:05 (021691)

Beverly, Robin's post about size, compared against mine, is a perfect example of why she is right that getting fitted is necessary. In other shoes it sounds as if her size is slightly larger than mine, but she takes a smaller size Birk than I do. This may have something to do with the shape of the foot somewhere -- maybe my toes slant more than hers or something. In any case, you also have a long wait when you order by mail, and it sounds like you could use the relief (if they work for you) Now. --Nancy

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

davidb on 6/12/00 at 08:38 (021695)

I've had problems with hard and soft custom-made orthotics. Here's what finally worked for me. I found an orthopedic shoe store with a patient pedorthist. He made me custom-made soft orthotics specifically designed for a pair of shoes I was going to buy. He put an arch pad that could be shaved in the orthotics. Since then, he has adjusted the arch pad by either shaving, replacing or moving the arch pad. The key was that I was buying shoes from him and he knew I would continue to buy shoes from him if he could fit me right. It took months of frustration until we worked out the right level--I visited him every Saturday for adjustment. Since then, I have ordered two more pairs of shoes that the orthotics will fit in.

Re: How long does it take to know if orthodic/insert works?

john h on 6/12/00 at 09:51 (021699)

i have now had my Footmax custom orthotics for about 4 days and they have felt great from the get go. seems that all other orthotics i have had created a sensation in the arch area where my pain is. no such problem with these. these are the ones that are made using computer generated images of your foot on a pad while walking. dr z recommended these. nfl and nba players use them so if these rich guys use them there must be something to it. much to early to make a final judgement but at this point i give them an 'A'. i would say they are full length semi-regid with padding on top.

Re: You've convinced me. Will make a Birk study of city

Beverly on 6/12/00 at 10:47 (021703)

Robin, Nancy, and all,

You have convinced me to go to the city and not do mail order till I know my size.

I'm going to rest my feet another week while doing research on stores.
I have one friend who wears them. Perhaps, I can entice her into a shopping trip. If not, I'll spend the night if I have to.
My nearest major city is San Antonio. The main store I know about is 'The Whole Earth Providence Store.' I'll look into Kim's tip about The San Antonio Shoe Store. Does anyone have other ideas for San Antonio?
Whole Earth Providence is not a Birks store, but they are a specialty store selling things like Tevas, Birks, Mephestos, ect. I'm not aware of any exclusive Birk store near me.

Thanks for all your help,
Beverly


Re: about Birks

Robin B. on 6/12/00 at 18:18 (021727)

Hi Nancy --

No, Nubuck are indeed leather -- and that's usually what I buy. I have some of the waxy leather, suede and nubuck leather. Where I have gotten into trouble is with the 'birkibuc' and 'birkoflor' manmade stuff. I swear -- those manmade Birks just don't feel or wear like leather ones.

I even bought one of the metallic leathers in an Arizona -- and even though they have a metallic finish, they feel and wear better, just like all the other leathers. I guess it must be me -- but my feet just don't feel as good in the manmade shoes. The leather Birks...aaaaah.


Re: On my inserts & trying to decide which Birk to order by mail

Angie on 6/12/00 at 21:03 (021736)

Beverly- Hi. I purchased my Birks at Marshal Fields. They are the Milano style and cost $95. I absolutely love them. I personally like the Milano style because they have the back strap behind the heel as well. This holds my foot more in place and I do not feel like I am straining my PF are like I often feel when I wear sandals with no back strap behind the heel. I honestly have to say that with taking Bromelain and my Birks I am now 85-90% better. In the last three days I have had no pain at all ! So it is very possible that I am healed at this point but I still am taking it slow! ANgie