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Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Posted by Beverly on 7/29/00 at 20:15 (024259)

I may have asked this in the past. If so, I hope you all can bear with me. Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I already know that Robin only wears Birks.)

As many of you know, I alternate several different sandals like Birkenstocks, Danskos, and Mephestos sandals. I have tried one custom orthodic and more over-the-counter inserts than you can shake a stick at. There was something about each of them that I found too unpleasant to wear, and in some cases, they pushed me up too high in my shoes and bothered the tops of my feet. I diligantly tried them the first two months of PF, and then switched to Birks and other similar sandals.

As we get closer to winter, I do need to rethink this. Either find a running shoe and insert that works or a warm clog (Who has tried Haflinger or Steggman clogs? I need arch support. The Dansko clog would be okay for dressup, but the heel looks too high for just around the house.)

There is no way I can wear a running shoe without an orthodic of some kind. I'm considering ordering Mephesto walking shoes (Rush model) or the orthepedic line of Finn Comfort walking shoes. Both are very expensive, but if they allow me to be in a walking shoe without an orthodic, it will be worth it to me. I talked to Happyfeet.com's pedorthodist (sp?), and he said Finn Comfort is made by the same people as Birkenstock and has a similar kind of medatarsal support and negative heel cup. He suggested the Finn Comfort over the Mephisto. Of course, as luck has it, it is in a six week back order.

I have even tried getting regular US running shoes a size too big and putting the insert in, but it still is not comfortable. (I don't even have a wide foot. It is somewhere between narrow and average.) It may just be that after months of wearing sandals, my feet are not used to closed in shoes!

My doctor and PT would prefer that I wore a running shoe with orthodic but they both agree that with PF, it is important not to wear a shoe that makes my feet feel worse. They both agree these are well made sandals, and I know many of us are Birk fans. Yet, as I poured over Scott's book and his chart with statistics, I can't help but notice that stretching and arch support were the two most helpful things. So, common sense is saying to me, do both. It also seems like I read a journal article here that said the greatest benefit comes from combining stretching with some form of orthodic, whether custom or otc.

Thanks,
Beverly

PS: On that arch support thought, since Birks have good arch support, I wonder if they offer the same or similar arch support that I'd get from an orthodic or otc insert?


Re: Heel height and pain reduction

Dolcelen on 7/29/00 at 21:15 (024263)

I am confused about whether a higher or lower heel is supposed to reduce heel pain. I tried Danskos and Mephisto clogs and there was not enough cushioning for the heel. That sore spot got worse in the store and I had to stretch on their step for 5 minutes!! The Birkenstock makes more sense because it seems to simulate the angle produced by a night splint or boot. So I don't get why both are touted to be winners for PF! Thanks.

PS Wore fake Birkis today (got them for the beach) and am I paying for it tonight. Am I looking forward to taking the POOCH out now. :(


Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Kathy on 7/29/00 at 21:24 (024264)

I to have had one pair of custom orthodics that I can't wear and that pod. said couldn't be adjusted because of positve bone scan ( whatever that means) I've bought so many over the counter ones I could open my own store. I've made an appointment with an pedorthist for the end of August ( first available time) and they will adjust them until they are right, they also will not be made out of a hard plastic like my first ones. I found the pedorthist in the yellow pages under shoes. The cost will be 50.00 for evaluation which will take an hour, 50.00 for casting which she will send home with you so if you need another pair you don't have to be recast and 150.00 - 200.00 for the orthodics.
Good luck to you Bev. I hope these ones don't end up under the bed with the others.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Dr.Biehler on 7/29/00 at 21:48 (024266)

I would like to mention that if a custom orthotic is worn in a shoe that does not hold the foot in the right poisition on the orthotic or without the correct shoes the orthotic needs a medial and lateral flanges to keep the foot in the right position; then the orthotic becomes nothing more than an exspensive insert.The foot tends to slide sideways off an orthotic which has the effect of creating a lower arch. Dr. Biehler

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Nancy S. on 7/29/00 at 22:10 (024268)

I don't wear any orthotics anymore; just Birks.
My $300 custom hard orthotics hurt my heels; every one of the many otc inserts I bought ended up hurting my arches, including the Birks inserts.
I did finally discover that, not as good as Birks but better than orthotics in my hiking boots, were the hiking boots by themselves. Only took me 10 or 11 months to figure this out!
I plan to buy a larger size of Boston Birks and wear really thick socks in them when it's cold and we have a little snow. When we have a lot of snow, I'll wear the naked hiking boots -- unless I find something better that I also can wear without orthotics, and I am going to look around. The fall LL Bean catalog has a few interesting-looking, supportive hiking boots, so I will probably meander up to Freeport one of these days and put on another shoe store/department circus for the unlucky salespeople. If I find anything promising, I'll let you know.
--Nancy

Re: Heel height and pain reduction

Nancy S. on 7/29/00 at 22:18 (024270)

Dolcelen, personally I find the height and shape of Birks just about perfect. Before I bought them, I wore hiking boots, first with orthotics and then without. In either case, my heel was quite a bit higher in the hiking boots, and it seems to take pressure off -- but only for a little while. And it created pains elsewhere in my feet. I'm wearing Birks at all times except in 3-foot blizzards, and even when that time comes I may say the heck with it and wear them in the snow too!
--Nancy
p.s. I haven't yet heard a good thing about the Birki for foot problems. I too tried on a pair in a store and YIKES right away.

Re: ME ME ME

wendyn on 7/29/00 at 23:31 (024276)

I have had 3 pairs of orthotics. All made by different people- made different ways. I cannot wear any of them and I (in retrospect) attribute a lot of my 'new' foot problems to my 2nd pair of orthotics. I wear Birks and when in running shoes I use the blue birks insert (very comfortable). My tolerance for running shoes is small though because they put too much pressure on the tarsal tunnel area. Ideally - I would be in orthotics because I do have significant structual problems. When I went to the last podiatrist to ask for a new pair, he wouldn't make them for me (he's the one that told me to try the birks insert). Everyone is saying for now to stick with what works.

Re: Kathy, does your pedorthist require a dr's. prescription? eom

Helene M on 7/30/00 at 12:27 (024288)

*

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Barbara on 7/30/00 at 12:59 (024290)

I have tried countless over-the-counter and custom orthotics and inserts and cannot tolerate any of them. I now live in my New Balance 852 running shoes and nothing else. As long as I don't stand still too long in one place, I am able to walk distances without any pain. I do use gel heel inserts in both of them. When I found that NB was discontinuing this model, I went on the web, found a company that still had some left and bought 5 pairs. This should hold me for a while until I can find another model that is comfortable.

I sincerely believe that not everyone should be using orthotics.


Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

mss on 7/30/00 at 15:58 (024299)

I had been having pain again after moving some furniture and other activities and at a follow up visit to my podiatrist, he asked me if I felt like I needed more or less support, I assume he meant in the arch. I currently have what the package that my custom orthotics came, calls Leather Balance Orthotics and I think they have the flanges on the sides that you mention. At first I thought I had too much support since it was hurting at that place, back of the arch side of the foot, so we tried taking out the pads in some shoes to see if that would reduce it enough, but now I am wondering if maybe I need even more support or some way to keep my foot where it is supposed to be. It does feel like I am walking on the outside sometimes. Any suggestions? I am thinking I will sound pretty funny when I go back Friday and say I have changed my mind to more support, instead of less. Basically I do not know which way to try, either more orthotic support or less. Has any else had a similar situation? Thanks.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

JudyS on 7/30/00 at 16:11 (024301)

Hey! I want to go to Freeport!

Can you believe it - since I was there in June, I'm now lobbying our local city council to check out the idea - my little suburban town city council has been working overtime trying to develop an angle for rehabing our downtown..........


Re: Kathy, does your pedorthist require a dr's. prescription? eom

Kathy on 7/30/00 at 20:02 (024310)

Helene, The pedorthist doesn't need a prescription but they told me to get one that said I needed 'extra depth shoes' and they would help fill out insurance forms for reimbursment. My insurance paid for my first pair that I can't wear. The pedorthist also sells shoes and if you have a problem with them will exchange them or some how make it right, some of the brands she sells are P.W. Miner, Propay, Drew and new Balance, other then new balance I've never heard of the others. Her total cost is what the one pair of orthodics cost form my pod. and that didn't include the eval. and castings so I feel that the price isn't to bad. Remember if you look in the yellow pages I found this pedorthist listed under shoes. Good Luck

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

KarenK on 8/01/00 at 13:58 (024331)

Like Robin, I also wear Birks exclusively. When I wear something with more of a heel, I can't walk flat-footed for days. My calf tightens up almost immediately. In the winter I wear the Birk Boston, and Oaklahoma with Birkenstock socks. The socks are very warm. On really sloppy days I wear socks with my waterproof Birks and then change when I get in the office.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Pauline on 8/02/00 at 14:05 (024452)

I often wonder who makes orthotics for PF sufferers in under developed
countries. Do they collect our old ones and send them over there
or do they just sell the need for orthotics to folks with insurance?
Something to think about. I would love statistics showing Dr visits to orthotics perscribed. They used to be available only by perscription but now sporting good stores and physical therapist make them. I would venture to say that orthotics are a low sale item
in undeveloped countries---theres no money in it.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Nancy S. on 8/02/00 at 14:53 (024454)

Pauline: Interesting questions. My husband has traveled extensively in underdeveloped Asian countries -- the cheapo way, meaning he spends all his time with 'common' folk in native surroundings, no fancy hotels or eateries -- and he says they don't get the foot problems that we have over here. No need for orthotics. These countries include India, Nepal, Burma, China, Thailand, Laos, New Guinea and other parts of Indonesia. Does make you wonder, doesn't it? He suspects the pace of life in the U.S. and the intensity and hurriedness (Tension) that comes with it.
My new doctor today (sports med.) is not very interested in orthotics. He asked me about mine, and guessed that I'd had the hard rigid ones without my telling him. He has a long plan of attack for me -- and it doesn't include orthotics. --Nancy

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

wendyn on 8/02/00 at 16:16 (024459)

Very interesting questions. Nancy - your thoughts are the same as mine. From what I understand - a lot of what is wrong with our feet is from the unatural things we do to them. The further we get away from our 'cave man' ways - the more problems we seem to have.

We were probably never meant to wear shoes like we do today. We cram our feet into all sorts of un natural contraptions (look at our high heels). We have to wear shoes because we spend our lives on cement roads that never existed before. Anyone who has tried running on cement vs. dirt can attest to the difference in the way your body reponds.

I also read, somewhere in my research that the running shoes we wear now actually cause muscles in our feet to atrophy because they muscles are not being used the way nature intended us to use them.

I wonder if there's research out there that backs our ideas up? Are foot problems really that much more common in developed countries?


Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Nancy S. on 8/02/00 at 16:26 (024461)

Wendy, that running shoes may actually cause muscle atrophy is so, I don't know, head-turning. I never even considered that, although I have vaguely wondered why, in our running-shoe cultures, people are having so many foot problems. I always just assumed they're the best things you can put on your feet -- everyone wears them, even nonrunners. You don't recall any details, do you, about exactly why they would make muscles atrophy? Too Much Support?
Ya, think of all the differences between our cultures and less developed ones: footwear, roads, what we do to and with our feet, the pace of life, the floors in homes . . . the list is endless. And OUR feet hurt. I really wonder.
--Nancy

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

JudyS on 8/02/00 at 17:31 (024466)

Hmmmmm.....here we go with the orthotics thing again. I went to PT today - he started with way-deep massage just like the chiro did before. yep - WAY painful!! He too, demonstrated a certain disdain for the orthotics. Hmmmmmmm. On the other had, my Pod, an LD runner, says he cured his PF with his orthotics! Hmmmmmm. As if I wasn't born confused enough!

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

wendyn on 8/02/00 at 18:25 (024470)

Sorry - I can't remember where I read this so I guess you'll have to take it with a grain of salt. I suppose the theory makes sense though - after all, we weren't born with shoes on our feet. If you look back in history, pretty much any time mankind thought that they could improve on mother nature - they've failed miserably. We have to wear shoes because of our concrete world - so I guess we don't have much of a choice.

Maybe that's why so many of us do so well with birks. They provide some protection, but not a bunch of extra cushioning?


Re: Heel height and pain reduction

Dolcelen on 7/29/00 at 21:15 (024263)

I am confused about whether a higher or lower heel is supposed to reduce heel pain. I tried Danskos and Mephisto clogs and there was not enough cushioning for the heel. That sore spot got worse in the store and I had to stretch on their step for 5 minutes!! The Birkenstock makes more sense because it seems to simulate the angle produced by a night splint or boot. So I don't get why both are touted to be winners for PF! Thanks.

PS Wore fake Birkis today (got them for the beach) and am I paying for it tonight. Am I looking forward to taking the POOCH out now. :(


Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Kathy on 7/29/00 at 21:24 (024264)

I to have had one pair of custom orthodics that I can't wear and that pod. said couldn't be adjusted because of positve bone scan ( whatever that means) I've bought so many over the counter ones I could open my own store. I've made an appointment with an pedorthist for the end of August ( first available time) and they will adjust them until they are right, they also will not be made out of a hard plastic like my first ones. I found the pedorthist in the yellow pages under shoes. The cost will be 50.00 for evaluation which will take an hour, 50.00 for casting which she will send home with you so if you need another pair you don't have to be recast and 150.00 - 200.00 for the orthodics.
Good luck to you Bev. I hope these ones don't end up under the bed with the others.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Dr.Biehler on 7/29/00 at 21:48 (024266)

I would like to mention that if a custom orthotic is worn in a shoe that does not hold the foot in the right poisition on the orthotic or without the correct shoes the orthotic needs a medial and lateral flanges to keep the foot in the right position; then the orthotic becomes nothing more than an exspensive insert.The foot tends to slide sideways off an orthotic which has the effect of creating a lower arch. Dr. Biehler

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Nancy S. on 7/29/00 at 22:10 (024268)

I don't wear any orthotics anymore; just Birks.
My $300 custom hard orthotics hurt my heels; every one of the many otc inserts I bought ended up hurting my arches, including the Birks inserts.
I did finally discover that, not as good as Birks but better than orthotics in my hiking boots, were the hiking boots by themselves. Only took me 10 or 11 months to figure this out!
I plan to buy a larger size of Boston Birks and wear really thick socks in them when it's cold and we have a little snow. When we have a lot of snow, I'll wear the naked hiking boots -- unless I find something better that I also can wear without orthotics, and I am going to look around. The fall LL Bean catalog has a few interesting-looking, supportive hiking boots, so I will probably meander up to Freeport one of these days and put on another shoe store/department circus for the unlucky salespeople. If I find anything promising, I'll let you know.
--Nancy

Re: Heel height and pain reduction

Nancy S. on 7/29/00 at 22:18 (024270)

Dolcelen, personally I find the height and shape of Birks just about perfect. Before I bought them, I wore hiking boots, first with orthotics and then without. In either case, my heel was quite a bit higher in the hiking boots, and it seems to take pressure off -- but only for a little while. And it created pains elsewhere in my feet. I'm wearing Birks at all times except in 3-foot blizzards, and even when that time comes I may say the heck with it and wear them in the snow too!
--Nancy
p.s. I haven't yet heard a good thing about the Birki for foot problems. I too tried on a pair in a store and YIKES right away.

Re: ME ME ME

wendyn on 7/29/00 at 23:31 (024276)

I have had 3 pairs of orthotics. All made by different people- made different ways. I cannot wear any of them and I (in retrospect) attribute a lot of my 'new' foot problems to my 2nd pair of orthotics. I wear Birks and when in running shoes I use the blue birks insert (very comfortable). My tolerance for running shoes is small though because they put too much pressure on the tarsal tunnel area. Ideally - I would be in orthotics because I do have significant structual problems. When I went to the last podiatrist to ask for a new pair, he wouldn't make them for me (he's the one that told me to try the birks insert). Everyone is saying for now to stick with what works.

Re: Kathy, does your pedorthist require a dr's. prescription? eom

Helene M on 7/30/00 at 12:27 (024288)

*

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Barbara on 7/30/00 at 12:59 (024290)

I have tried countless over-the-counter and custom orthotics and inserts and cannot tolerate any of them. I now live in my New Balance 852 running shoes and nothing else. As long as I don't stand still too long in one place, I am able to walk distances without any pain. I do use gel heel inserts in both of them. When I found that NB was discontinuing this model, I went on the web, found a company that still had some left and bought 5 pairs. This should hold me for a while until I can find another model that is comfortable.

I sincerely believe that not everyone should be using orthotics.


Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

mss on 7/30/00 at 15:58 (024299)

I had been having pain again after moving some furniture and other activities and at a follow up visit to my podiatrist, he asked me if I felt like I needed more or less support, I assume he meant in the arch. I currently have what the package that my custom orthotics came, calls Leather Balance Orthotics and I think they have the flanges on the sides that you mention. At first I thought I had too much support since it was hurting at that place, back of the arch side of the foot, so we tried taking out the pads in some shoes to see if that would reduce it enough, but now I am wondering if maybe I need even more support or some way to keep my foot where it is supposed to be. It does feel like I am walking on the outside sometimes. Any suggestions? I am thinking I will sound pretty funny when I go back Friday and say I have changed my mind to more support, instead of less. Basically I do not know which way to try, either more orthotic support or less. Has any else had a similar situation? Thanks.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

JudyS on 7/30/00 at 16:11 (024301)

Hey! I want to go to Freeport!

Can you believe it - since I was there in June, I'm now lobbying our local city council to check out the idea - my little suburban town city council has been working overtime trying to develop an angle for rehabing our downtown..........


Re: Kathy, does your pedorthist require a dr's. prescription? eom

Kathy on 7/30/00 at 20:02 (024310)

Helene, The pedorthist doesn't need a prescription but they told me to get one that said I needed 'extra depth shoes' and they would help fill out insurance forms for reimbursment. My insurance paid for my first pair that I can't wear. The pedorthist also sells shoes and if you have a problem with them will exchange them or some how make it right, some of the brands she sells are P.W. Miner, Propay, Drew and new Balance, other then new balance I've never heard of the others. Her total cost is what the one pair of orthodics cost form my pod. and that didn't include the eval. and castings so I feel that the price isn't to bad. Remember if you look in the yellow pages I found this pedorthist listed under shoes. Good Luck

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

KarenK on 8/01/00 at 13:58 (024331)

Like Robin, I also wear Birks exclusively. When I wear something with more of a heel, I can't walk flat-footed for days. My calf tightens up almost immediately. In the winter I wear the Birk Boston, and Oaklahoma with Birkenstock socks. The socks are very warm. On really sloppy days I wear socks with my waterproof Birks and then change when I get in the office.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Pauline on 8/02/00 at 14:05 (024452)

I often wonder who makes orthotics for PF sufferers in under developed
countries. Do they collect our old ones and send them over there
or do they just sell the need for orthotics to folks with insurance?
Something to think about. I would love statistics showing Dr visits to orthotics perscribed. They used to be available only by perscription but now sporting good stores and physical therapist make them. I would venture to say that orthotics are a low sale item
in undeveloped countries---theres no money in it.

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Nancy S. on 8/02/00 at 14:53 (024454)

Pauline: Interesting questions. My husband has traveled extensively in underdeveloped Asian countries -- the cheapo way, meaning he spends all his time with 'common' folk in native surroundings, no fancy hotels or eateries -- and he says they don't get the foot problems that we have over here. No need for orthotics. These countries include India, Nepal, Burma, China, Thailand, Laos, New Guinea and other parts of Indonesia. Does make you wonder, doesn't it? He suspects the pace of life in the U.S. and the intensity and hurriedness (Tension) that comes with it.
My new doctor today (sports med.) is not very interested in orthotics. He asked me about mine, and guessed that I'd had the hard rigid ones without my telling him. He has a long plan of attack for me -- and it doesn't include orthotics. --Nancy

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

wendyn on 8/02/00 at 16:16 (024459)

Very interesting questions. Nancy - your thoughts are the same as mine. From what I understand - a lot of what is wrong with our feet is from the unatural things we do to them. The further we get away from our 'cave man' ways - the more problems we seem to have.

We were probably never meant to wear shoes like we do today. We cram our feet into all sorts of un natural contraptions (look at our high heels). We have to wear shoes because we spend our lives on cement roads that never existed before. Anyone who has tried running on cement vs. dirt can attest to the difference in the way your body reponds.

I also read, somewhere in my research that the running shoes we wear now actually cause muscles in our feet to atrophy because they muscles are not being used the way nature intended us to use them.

I wonder if there's research out there that backs our ideas up? Are foot problems really that much more common in developed countries?


Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

Nancy S. on 8/02/00 at 16:26 (024461)

Wendy, that running shoes may actually cause muscle atrophy is so, I don't know, head-turning. I never even considered that, although I have vaguely wondered why, in our running-shoe cultures, people are having so many foot problems. I always just assumed they're the best things you can put on your feet -- everyone wears them, even nonrunners. You don't recall any details, do you, about exactly why they would make muscles atrophy? Too Much Support?
Ya, think of all the differences between our cultures and less developed ones: footwear, roads, what we do to and with our feet, the pace of life, the floors in homes . . . the list is endless. And OUR feet hurt. I really wonder.
--Nancy

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

JudyS on 8/02/00 at 17:31 (024466)

Hmmmmm.....here we go with the orthotics thing again. I went to PT today - he started with way-deep massage just like the chiro did before. yep - WAY painful!! He too, demonstrated a certain disdain for the orthotics. Hmmmmmmm. On the other had, my Pod, an LD runner, says he cured his PF with his orthotics! Hmmmmmm. As if I wasn't born confused enough!

Re: Who besides me does not wear orthodics or inserts? (I know Robin doesn't but who else?)

wendyn on 8/02/00 at 18:25 (024470)

Sorry - I can't remember where I read this so I guess you'll have to take it with a grain of salt. I suppose the theory makes sense though - after all, we weren't born with shoes on our feet. If you look back in history, pretty much any time mankind thought that they could improve on mother nature - they've failed miserably. We have to wear shoes because of our concrete world - so I guess we don't have much of a choice.

Maybe that's why so many of us do so well with birks. They provide some protection, but not a bunch of extra cushioning?