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How do Birks help??

Posted by Melody on 7/12/00 at 15:26 (023227)

I am about to go and try out some Birks but before I do I wonder if anyone can answer a few questions. How do Birks help? Is it just when you are wearing them or does it last longer than that? I wear trainers all day and find that my feet hurt in them but is generally bearable. Trouble comes when I take them off. Oh boy what pain! Doesn;t matter whether I try to walk or not. Just hurts like crazy. Are Birks going to be the same? IN which case is it really worth spending all that money????

I have to do something quite drastic now cos I am not coping at all well. I spent the day at a farm on Tuesday and walked adn walked... a bit stupid but we were on a field trip with my class and I had to go. Ouch... won't be doing that again in a hurry!!!!

Thanks for any help

Mel


Re: How do Birks help??

Lori E. on 7/12/00 at 16:31 (023232)

Melody,
I got my birks a couple of weeks ago, and the change has been quite noticable. I just had an appt. with my Pod. and we were talking about what causes the flare ups I had been having. She said that PF is alot about the mechanics of your feet, and that if you have a shoe that corrects the suppination(sp?) it helps your PF. Birks are designed to hold your foot in the footbed and keep them stable.
I find that my feet feel better in the birks and when I take them off after work or at the end of the day. I resisted Birks for a long time,(they didn't seem practical in the cold MN winter) and finally got fitted and found the right kind. I LOVE my birks and am hoping I can find a pair that will work when it gets cold and sloppy.

Re: How do Birks help??

Angie on 7/12/00 at 18:38 (023242)

I wear my birk sandals every chance I get. For me wearing other shoes -I am ok for a couple of hours. Then I start to have a very minor pain again (nothing like the pain use to be). Since the birk sandals work so well for me- I am going this weekend to buy birk dress shoes. I am hoping then that I can wear birks at all times. Since birks do not come in athletic shoes, I am buying a dressy loafer that I can wear at work as well as casually with jeans. Birks have been my savior! Angie

Re: How do Birks help??

Beverly on 7/12/00 at 20:18 (023244)

Melody,

I've been wearing the Birk Arizona for about a month, and it is by far the most helpful shoe I have found. I have tried many, many, many shoes...Aasics, Eccos, Mephesto's... Some of them were helpful, but nothing compares to the Birk.

I have given this much thought, and I am sure there are technical types on the board who can explain this better than I can, but here goes:
The cork footbed is made to mold to your particular foot. It has a definite heel cup and arch support. As it molds to your foot it takes on some of the same contouring that an orthodic does. Yet, you are not trying to stuff something extra into a shoe. The cork footbed is firm and somehow all of this relieves heel pain. I wish I understood it better, but that is the best I have figured out so far.

The Birk has not cured me yet, but when I wear a different shoe... even a good shoe, I feel increased pain. Then I put on the Birk Arizona and the pain is less... still there but not as extreme.

It is imperative to get fitted properly. I tried the 41's first, and I would have expected to wear a 41, but I have found the 40 fits me better. My foot just fits in the 40. With other shoes, I have always liked a 'roomy' fit, but with the Birk it is important that your heel fits squarely in the heel cup.

I just ordered the Birk Milano and Zurich. I will probably go to Birks all the time or mostly. Surprisingly, the only other shoes that for me can 'compete' with the Birks are my Chaco River Shoes. I wear them in 'wet' areas.

Good luck with your Birks,
Beverly


Re: How do Birks help??

Robin B on 7/13/00 at 04:27 (023257)

Melody, I have had PF for more than 2 years, although it is greatly reduced now. I have been wearing Birks exclusively since January 1999. I have 10 pairs now and as soon as I get enough $$$, I may buy more. (I have actually worn one of the 10 out.) I attribute a significant part of my recovery to Birks, so in answer to your question -- why spend all that money -- I would spend double to cure my feet.

If you are looking for shoes that will cure PF so you can take them off and go barefoot -- alas, you are right. Birks probably won't help. Nothing will. Barefoot is a thing of the past. I wear Birks all the time. I have one pair dedicated to being 'house slippers' that never go outside the house, all the rest I wear everywhere. I take them off when I go to sleep at night, and put them on when I get out of bed in the morning. 'All the time' is not an exaggeration.

I have written about my recovery in numerous places on this board and you can do a search if you're interested. I can now live a pretty normal life, go where I want, do what I want including standing and walking, shopping and strolling.

You might want to try a pair. Nothing is going to allow you to walk barefoot, nor should you anymore. But Birks have made a significant difference for me and I plan to wear them for the rest of my life if necessary -- and it probably will be. I love having my feet feel good again.


Re: How do Birks help??

john a on 7/13/00 at 09:03 (023259)

Beverly, we may have about the same size feet. And I'm trying to decide if a 41 or 40 is my size. Could you do me a favor and measure the length of your feet using a ruler? Do it like this: while sitting, put your foot flat on a hard floor on a piece of white paper and measure from the back of the heel (mentally drop a perpendicular from the farthest back part of the heel bulge) to the tip of your big toe. You should put slight downward pressure on the foot to simulate expansion while standing.

For comparison, my left is 260 mm (millimeters) and my right is 265. Everything/one seems to indicate that I should be wearing a size 41, which is billed as being 265 mm long, but an Arizona in this size seems a little too big for me. (BTW, I wear an 8.5 - 9 men's shoe.)


Re: How do Birks help?? To john

Beverly on 7/13/00 at 13:01 (023273)

John,

I am a mathmatical idiot. When it gets harder than 1/4 inches, a ruler is a foreign tool to me, but I did my best. Depending on where and how I place the ruler at my heel, my foot measures about nine and three quarters. My left foot is just a tad bigger. Sometimes the ruler is just under the nine and three quarters, and sometimes it is just over it... depending on where I put it.

I would guess that width plays into this also. A woman will have a more narrow foot than a guy. For comparision, in men's shoes I usually wear an 8 in sandals. In a man's running shoe, I'll wear a 9 or 9.5. In a woman's U.S. dress shoe, I used to be a perfect 9N, now I wear a 9.5-10 B. But for some reason, my foot fits better in a 40R Birk. To look at it, I would go with a 41. All I can figure is that the arch hits me in a better place on the 40. The 40 has my toes right up to the rim. When I first broke in the Arizona's, the rim bugged me. But with time, it molded to my foot and I rarely even notice it anymore.

However, because the 40 just barely fits me, I think I would have to go up a size for any of the closed toe shoes like the Boston. I remember trying it on in the store and my toes hit the edge in an uncomfortable way. I have to do something for winter, and I am hoping that with thick socks, the 41 Boston's will balance out. Course, I have nothing to complain about down here in the tropics. Our 'winter' lasts about two months. Whenever it gets colder than 60, we break out the sweaters!
Good luck,
Beverly


Re: How do Birks help?? To john

john a on 7/13/00 at 13:41 (023275)

Thanks for taking the time to measure. So, if you measured the same way I did, your 9.75 foot would be about 248 mm, which would make it about a half inch shorter than mine. But, since the size 40 is billed as 260 mm (10.25 inches), it seems to me that you would have more toe and/or heel room than you indicate. Oh well, I guess measuring the foot is a somewhat inexact science at best :-)

Re: How do Birks help??

SuzanneK on 7/13/00 at 17:21 (023281)

Hi John! I measured my foot for you in the hopes it would help. I wear a 40 regular width in Arizonas. My left foot (which is slightly larger than the right) was 265 mm. The 40 fits perfectly. BTW, I usually wear a 9 to 9 1/2 in women's shoes.

Re: How do Birks help??

john a on 7/14/00 at 08:24 (023311)

Thanks for another data point. I guess I should probably be wearing size 40, but I'm still not totally convinced :-)

Re: How do Birks help??

Lori E. on 7/12/00 at 16:31 (023232)

Melody,
I got my birks a couple of weeks ago, and the change has been quite noticable. I just had an appt. with my Pod. and we were talking about what causes the flare ups I had been having. She said that PF is alot about the mechanics of your feet, and that if you have a shoe that corrects the suppination(sp?) it helps your PF. Birks are designed to hold your foot in the footbed and keep them stable.
I find that my feet feel better in the birks and when I take them off after work or at the end of the day. I resisted Birks for a long time,(they didn't seem practical in the cold MN winter) and finally got fitted and found the right kind. I LOVE my birks and am hoping I can find a pair that will work when it gets cold and sloppy.

Re: How do Birks help??

Angie on 7/12/00 at 18:38 (023242)

I wear my birk sandals every chance I get. For me wearing other shoes -I am ok for a couple of hours. Then I start to have a very minor pain again (nothing like the pain use to be). Since the birk sandals work so well for me- I am going this weekend to buy birk dress shoes. I am hoping then that I can wear birks at all times. Since birks do not come in athletic shoes, I am buying a dressy loafer that I can wear at work as well as casually with jeans. Birks have been my savior! Angie

Re: How do Birks help??

Beverly on 7/12/00 at 20:18 (023244)

Melody,

I've been wearing the Birk Arizona for about a month, and it is by far the most helpful shoe I have found. I have tried many, many, many shoes...Aasics, Eccos, Mephesto's... Some of them were helpful, but nothing compares to the Birk.

I have given this much thought, and I am sure there are technical types on the board who can explain this better than I can, but here goes:
The cork footbed is made to mold to your particular foot. It has a definite heel cup and arch support. As it molds to your foot it takes on some of the same contouring that an orthodic does. Yet, you are not trying to stuff something extra into a shoe. The cork footbed is firm and somehow all of this relieves heel pain. I wish I understood it better, but that is the best I have figured out so far.

The Birk has not cured me yet, but when I wear a different shoe... even a good shoe, I feel increased pain. Then I put on the Birk Arizona and the pain is less... still there but not as extreme.

It is imperative to get fitted properly. I tried the 41's first, and I would have expected to wear a 41, but I have found the 40 fits me better. My foot just fits in the 40. With other shoes, I have always liked a 'roomy' fit, but with the Birk it is important that your heel fits squarely in the heel cup.

I just ordered the Birk Milano and Zurich. I will probably go to Birks all the time or mostly. Surprisingly, the only other shoes that for me can 'compete' with the Birks are my Chaco River Shoes. I wear them in 'wet' areas.

Good luck with your Birks,
Beverly


Re: How do Birks help??

Robin B on 7/13/00 at 04:27 (023257)

Melody, I have had PF for more than 2 years, although it is greatly reduced now. I have been wearing Birks exclusively since January 1999. I have 10 pairs now and as soon as I get enough $$$, I may buy more. (I have actually worn one of the 10 out.) I attribute a significant part of my recovery to Birks, so in answer to your question -- why spend all that money -- I would spend double to cure my feet.

If you are looking for shoes that will cure PF so you can take them off and go barefoot -- alas, you are right. Birks probably won't help. Nothing will. Barefoot is a thing of the past. I wear Birks all the time. I have one pair dedicated to being 'house slippers' that never go outside the house, all the rest I wear everywhere. I take them off when I go to sleep at night, and put them on when I get out of bed in the morning. 'All the time' is not an exaggeration.

I have written about my recovery in numerous places on this board and you can do a search if you're interested. I can now live a pretty normal life, go where I want, do what I want including standing and walking, shopping and strolling.

You might want to try a pair. Nothing is going to allow you to walk barefoot, nor should you anymore. But Birks have made a significant difference for me and I plan to wear them for the rest of my life if necessary -- and it probably will be. I love having my feet feel good again.


Re: How do Birks help??

john a on 7/13/00 at 09:03 (023259)

Beverly, we may have about the same size feet. And I'm trying to decide if a 41 or 40 is my size. Could you do me a favor and measure the length of your feet using a ruler? Do it like this: while sitting, put your foot flat on a hard floor on a piece of white paper and measure from the back of the heel (mentally drop a perpendicular from the farthest back part of the heel bulge) to the tip of your big toe. You should put slight downward pressure on the foot to simulate expansion while standing.

For comparison, my left is 260 mm (millimeters) and my right is 265. Everything/one seems to indicate that I should be wearing a size 41, which is billed as being 265 mm long, but an Arizona in this size seems a little too big for me. (BTW, I wear an 8.5 - 9 men's shoe.)


Re: How do Birks help?? To john

Beverly on 7/13/00 at 13:01 (023273)

John,

I am a mathmatical idiot. When it gets harder than 1/4 inches, a ruler is a foreign tool to me, but I did my best. Depending on where and how I place the ruler at my heel, my foot measures about nine and three quarters. My left foot is just a tad bigger. Sometimes the ruler is just under the nine and three quarters, and sometimes it is just over it... depending on where I put it.

I would guess that width plays into this also. A woman will have a more narrow foot than a guy. For comparision, in men's shoes I usually wear an 8 in sandals. In a man's running shoe, I'll wear a 9 or 9.5. In a woman's U.S. dress shoe, I used to be a perfect 9N, now I wear a 9.5-10 B. But for some reason, my foot fits better in a 40R Birk. To look at it, I would go with a 41. All I can figure is that the arch hits me in a better place on the 40. The 40 has my toes right up to the rim. When I first broke in the Arizona's, the rim bugged me. But with time, it molded to my foot and I rarely even notice it anymore.

However, because the 40 just barely fits me, I think I would have to go up a size for any of the closed toe shoes like the Boston. I remember trying it on in the store and my toes hit the edge in an uncomfortable way. I have to do something for winter, and I am hoping that with thick socks, the 41 Boston's will balance out. Course, I have nothing to complain about down here in the tropics. Our 'winter' lasts about two months. Whenever it gets colder than 60, we break out the sweaters!
Good luck,
Beverly


Re: How do Birks help?? To john

john a on 7/13/00 at 13:41 (023275)

Thanks for taking the time to measure. So, if you measured the same way I did, your 9.75 foot would be about 248 mm, which would make it about a half inch shorter than mine. But, since the size 40 is billed as 260 mm (10.25 inches), it seems to me that you would have more toe and/or heel room than you indicate. Oh well, I guess measuring the foot is a somewhat inexact science at best :-)

Re: How do Birks help??

SuzanneK on 7/13/00 at 17:21 (023281)

Hi John! I measured my foot for you in the hopes it would help. I wear a 40 regular width in Arizonas. My left foot (which is slightly larger than the right) was 265 mm. The 40 fits perfectly. BTW, I usually wear a 9 to 9 1/2 in women's shoes.

Re: How do Birks help??

john a on 7/14/00 at 08:24 (023311)

Thanks for another data point. I guess I should probably be wearing size 40, but I'm still not totally convinced :-)