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CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Posted by Nancy S. on 10/19/00 at 18:04 (030859)

I admit it, I haven't paid much attention to orthotics postings in the last god-only-knows-how-many months, because I was sold those blasted hard monstrosities over a year ago by my ex-pod and I swore off them.
But I really need your opinions now. My gone PT and my new PT, who I start with tomorrow after this past Tues. evaluation, both have insisted that I need orthotics -- they think the semi-rigid kind. In fact my new PT has scheduled me for just twice-a-week therapy because she doesn't think it will be really effective until my feet are supported properly in between appts. She gave me the phone no. to call to schedule appt. This orthotics place is supposed to be really good. Same one that my old PT recommended, which I never did anything about, of course, because it's ORTHOTICS.
I haven't made the appt. yet, but I swore I would before my PT appt. tomorrow! The thing is, my Birks are wonderful for PF but not for my multi-tendonitis; and my new swinging miners' boots are great for the tendonitis but not for PF. (I've been wearing Spencos in them, and they're better than nothing, but I still get heel pain after not a very long time-- especially since I think something in there got torn extra during the Tues. evaluation --I'm trying to be forgiving . . . it's a real downer, though.)
Anyway, no shoe/boot by itself covers all the territories, yet I practically swore off custom orthotics after the first debacle. Do you all think that I should give it another try? I did a search on 'semi-rigid' and didn't come up with all that much, though what I found seemed generally favorable. I hate to spend that money we don't have and get my hopes up, yet if the right orthotics would make a big difference . . . I remember it seemed like a lot of posters stuffed all their custom orthotics in the closet, where my first pair are. In my situation, would you try semi-rigid? Or try another pair at all? I feel like a gullible idiot already. I know I know, I have to make the decision myself, but I sure would like your thoughts. Thank you so much!
Nancy

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Beverly on 10/19/00 at 19:16 (030864)

Nancy,

I hope you have better luck with custom orthodics than I did. I got smart last time and had the orthodics person make a temporary pair first. It was FREE. I figure if someone believes in their work, they'll let you try a temporary set for free. In my case, it once again pushed me up too high in my shoes and irritated a bunion. I've come to the conclusion that the only way custom orthodics would work for me is with extra-depth shoes. I think they cost about the same $$ as a pair of good running shoes.

What is the latest scoop on your Birks? No one has taken me out of them, and I am relunctant to give them up. I still have tendonitis. It is not very swollen. You have to compare both my ankles to see it, but it still hurts, and my PT says my tendons are very squishy.

I will be very curious how you proceed.
Best wishes,
Beverly

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Laurie R on 10/19/00 at 20:12 (030872)

Hi Nancy,
This is a very good question .At first I thought 'yes' you should try the agian and then I read on to see that you have to pay for them your self. I would really think about them before paying out that kind of money.Here is a good thing that happened to me with my custom orthotics .I had just a little PF in my good foot ,then when I got my orthotics it seem to have helped it . I only have a little bit of PF in the good foot now.It only bothers me once in a while. My Pod did say it was the orthotics that helped.

Now I was very lucky that my workmans comp paid for them .They were 400.00 and there was no way that I could of paid for them.

Nancy can you check to see if the insurance you have now will pay for them ? Just maybe they will .I know you also have AT which I don't know all that much about ,will orthotics help with that also?

I would say if you knew for sure they were going to help you ,then yes but you don't know that for sure . Maybe you can do what Beverly did ,try a sample pair. My best to you. I hope your pain is down tonight ....thinking about you Nancy. Laurie R

Re: We should demand more out of most Pod's, PT's, etc. who make orthotics

Lynn S. on 10/19/00 at 20:22 (030873)

Nancy, Read my post on 'Soft orthotic success' dated 9-07-00. The orthotics support my foot very well without irritating the PF, and is allowing everything to heal. Semi rigid ones only irritated the fascia more. Also, look at my other post 'Beware of otc orthotics my soft orthotics are custom made' on 9-07-00 which discusses a different type of soft orthotic. I think if I hadn't gotten these I would I have been in wheelchair by now.

There are so many materials out there to make comfortable, yet supportive orthotics, yet most pods, PTs, etc, just use plain old semi rigid polypropylene for orthotics, because it's easy and cheap to make, and adjust, and it's a very inexpensive material. It takes a little more creativity to make something that is soft yet supportive. These softer orthotics may consist of a composite of several different materials. For example there are softer more flexible, and thinner plastics, (or different densities of polypropylene), that can be supported with a softer arch fill, but the orthotic will have a little more give. Orthotics can also be made out leather, cork, plastizote, EVA, poron (human tissue replacement), combinations of these, etc. Orthotics can also be covered full lenghth with poron, and/or spenco to increase the comfort even more. They may be slightly more bulky, but comfort and healing is most important, and most of these will fit in sneakers, and some casual shoes.

If you do a search on orthotics, many different labs display different types of orthotics that are available in their custom line. One lab I know that has a good website is KLM labs. http://www.klm-lab.com You can get a good idea of some of the materials that are available to pods, etc. Pods can order any type or combination of materials they want to make an orthotic. Look at some of the materials under the diabetic section also. (You don't have to be diabetic to use these.)

I just think most Pods want to take 50 cents worth of semi hard plastic, and charge $500.00 for them, and hope you take them and go away. Most charge additional office fees for adjustments. I don't think they should be marking them up so high. Some pedorthist, and PT's are a little more reasonable. Most labs only charge an average of $50.00 to $60.00 to make the initial orthotics, because that includes the correction of the plaster cast the doctor sends them. Extra pairs cost practically nothing. I've had to work very hard and demand that the pods I have gone to, take the time to make something comfortable. It's a lot of time and effort, but you may have to go to several professionals, before you find one who can make them properly, and listen to your needs in terms of comfort , and also have the biomechanical knowledge to put your foot in the proper postion. Even the womderful pod I'm seeing now made my first pair out of the horrible semi rigid stuff, and I told him that was unacceptable. He did all kinds of adjustments and they still hurt. Now that my foot is getting better, I'm going to have him design something a little trimmer, with a little more support, like the ones I described above.
Remember this is your foot, and no one should dictate to you what should feel comfortable on your feet. A lot of these pods ordering orthotics have never worn these hard things themselves. Also, any orthotic, either, hard, semi rigid, or soft may take several adjustment until they are comfortable. If they don't feel right insist they make them feel right or go some where else.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

matt on 10/19/00 at 20:38 (030875)

I credit orthotics for helping for a long time after I go over my first round of pf and ptt. I went bowling without them and moved some boxes and now am haveing a bad relapse, this was stupid on my part and maybe could have avoided this. My podiatrist made the first pair of rigid ones, but I think my foot was to messed up at that point, so after a while in a boot he made me some leather balance orthotics which are the ones that worked well, I took a few weeks getting used to them put they worked for several months. This guy charged $200 for the first pair and has not charged anything since until we get them right. He also revised the leather ones once at no cost. I do not know exactly how it worked but my insurance did pay on that one time cost. Good Luck

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: Long Reply /Rant)

Kim B. on 10/19/00 at 21:14 (030882)

Nancy, Does you insurance cover the cost of custom orthotics? Do your docs have any (kickback or) financial interest in your purchase of orthitics? Do they get a 'refferal bonus' of ANY kind? If so, they have a conflict of interest.

First, I wouldn't buy a pair of custom orthotic unless they came with at least a 30 money back comfort gaurantee. They say they are 'custom' and no good for anyone else, right? Well, if they hurt MY feet they are NO good to me either. They can darn sure melt 'em down for all I care, but I'm not paying THAT kind of money just to try them on. What is their incentive to get them perfect if I'm STUCK with them whether they are comfortable or not? Perfect is EXACTLY what my feet would have to have for them to work for me. If their material or craftmanship is not up to par on the day they make mine, I don't want to be stuck with THEIR mistake on my feet. The sooner we PF people STOP being 'Chumps' for the orthotics industry, the better for everyone.

I dislike the buracracy of insurance companies, but typically they do what works best for the majority of people. One of the reasons they don't cover custom orthotics (often the case, anyway) is because they are a roll of the dice gamble, and evidently, they don't help enough people to come up on the RIGHT SIDE of the numbers. Beleive me, if orthitics had a better average, the insurance companies would get off a lot cheaper, cause Vioxx, Celebrex and surgeries and physical therapy are very expensive. Insurance companies would gladly pay if they had a better success rate.

If your insurance doesn't cover the cost, mine doesn't btw, here is an alternative I found at http://www.intelihealth.com , go to the 'online store' and in put 'Heel Spurs', TWO WORDS as the 'ailment search'. Look for 'custom molded orthotics'. $139.00. They send you a foam impression kit to make a print of your foot. All free shipping, btw.

There was another one that is custom molded and done at home too and is simularly priced. I think it was at http://www.feelgoodfast.com . Not sure. I had found it a while back and can't find the info or the post I made about them now. JOHN?? or someone else may remember what they were called. These two home molded ones I've just mentioned MAY have a money back gaurantee if not completely satisfied, as do ALL of the products for these two companies. (Intelihealth Home Healthy Store and feelgoodfast.com.

Chiropractors are a good source for orthitics sometimes btw. They understand body mechanics and have seen most of what's out there.

I hope you find what is right for you. Lord know, I hope I do too someday. Semi-rigid sounds better than rigid to me. Again, soft support is what I am looking for.

I know there is probably a downside to home-fitted orthotics. I can also see where being fitted for custom should be done by someone who either does it everyday and/or understands body mechanics. If the impression is poorly done, then the orthotics are doomed from the start. The weight distribution element is probably crucial to getting a proper fit.

Where are the ones that you walk across a special matt and it measures your foot impact? That kind looks interesting IF they are comfy. Anybody remember these?

While I was looking for the other I found two more otc green ones that may be the OTC greens you were looking for. Both are at http://www.feelgoodfast.com . one is a 3/4 dark green called the EuorArch Footbeds (29.95 ea. or 2 or more for $25. ea.), The other is a Ugly green and yellow full length kind call BioStride LX Polimer Insolses. Also, If memory serves me, http://www.SofSoles.com also has a dark green 3/4 length otc.

Good luck, keep us posted, Kim B.

Re: ORTHOTICS Foam box cast save your money

Lynn S. on 10/19/00 at 22:17 (030885)

The problem with foam box orthotics is that the foot is not held in neutral position, and if you try to make functional corrective orthotics with this method then the finished orthotic will reflect the same pathologies that you already have, and will not have corrections. Functional, or corrective orthotics are taken in a non weight bearing, or sometimes semi weight bearing state, and the foot is held in a neutral position by maniuplating the sub talar joint. This is why a professdional is needed to make a corrective orthotic. Foam box weight bearing cast are ok if you are just making a cushioned accomadative orthotics that does not correct any abnomalities in your gate, They are for someone not suffering any biomechanical problems. Not all PF suffers need custom orthotics. Not everyone gets PF because of abnormal gait, etc. and will benefit from a OTC, but if someone is an excessive pronator, or has a flat foot, or collasped arch, excessive supinator, has valgus or varus problems, etc, then they would benefit from a custom orthotic. At least until the PF symtoms were resolved. Other people might be helped with just a good cushioned OTC and a heel lift. The foam boxed orthotics are just expensive OTC's, that don't do much more than a $20.00 to $30.00 OTC's

I do think more doctors should guarntee their orthotics. They shouldn't charge most of the fee if you can't wear them, or they don't have the ability to make a comfortable pair for you.
But they claim they have to pay the lab for them anyway, and need to charge for their time. Since getting the right orthotic can involve some trial an error, just like if you bought several OTC's and experimented then I think they should just charge you the cost that they pay the lab, until they get it right.


Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Julie F on 10/20/00 at 05:22 (030891)

Hello Nancy

I've had custom orthotics for six years to correct excessive pronation. I've always found them comfortable and have worn them all the time, but they didn't stop me getting PF! So I don't have anything to contribute to your orthotics dilemma, but would like to tell you that I've been putting 1/2 inch heel lifts in my Birks, made out of three pieces of rubber cut to size for the Birk heel bed and glued together. Very unorthodox, but it seems to work. I don't have tendonitis but the deep heel bed did make me feel a pull on the Achilles which I didn't like. Using the lifts cuts down somewhat, but not altogether, on the arch support.

Julie

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: Long Reply /Rant)

Diana B on 10/20/00 at 07:13 (030898)

I have 2 pairs of orthotics that I cannot wear. My first pair I was able to wear for 4 years; they were rigid ones. My second pair were made in Sept. 99 they were semi rigid. they did not help at all. They were made by walking over a mat. The machine was call FOOTMAXX. The machine itself told me that my arch collapsed when I walked. But that didn't do me any good.I had my 1st surgery in Feb.00 my second was Sept 00.I changed doctors after the2nd pair of orthotics were made. My new doc did the 2 surgeries. He also is making me my third pair of orthotics Soft kind this time. Even after my 1st surgery I couldn't wear my orthotics.I may be gullible or naive but I have to try anything to make my feet work again. I have 6 kids and worked full time until this all started,so I have to hope that these work this time to get back to work before Christmas.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Jen H on 10/20/00 at 07:35 (030903)

I have a pair of orthodics that were made 7 years ago. I wore them faithfully for a year or so then when my pain was gone I too stuffed them away in a drawer. ( I had broken my foot in a car accident, pain wasn't PF related) When I started going to my pod last month for heel pain, he had me bring them in for inspection. They are rigid but there is no heel support, which he likes and feels I need. mine will kind of rock back and forth, the type he likes do not do this. He has also told me that the plastic gives over years and is not as rigid as they once were, therefore he feels I need new ones (he charges $200.00) I also am torn between wearing them at all, wearing the old ones (which I have been doing, sometimes they bother me, other times they are fine) or getting new ones made. My insurance has approved them and will pay. I most dislike trying to find a pair of shoes that they will fit in and be comfortable. I have always found they lift my foot too high and my ankle rubs wrong or the top of my foot. Let us know what you decide.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: Long Reply /Rant)

john a on 10/20/00 at 08:32 (030905)

Kim, you may be referring to: ArchCrafters - https://www.footsmart.com/cgi-bin/KineticQuery?record_ID=2000080821044743&DCONFIG=/product/user/config.txt

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: My opinion and disagreement (long)

Richard C.Ped on 10/20/00 at 08:32 (030906)

Hi Nancy. Yes, it is an old topic, but a great refresher. It will be an asset to anyone new to the board who does not know about the search function. First, my disagreement. I also have to begin this by saying to Lynn that I mean no disrespect by any means:-). I have to disagree with Lynn about her opinion of the foam box casting system. I use this system on all my patients, if applicable, with great success. She mentioned that you can not hold the foot and ankle in sub-talor neutral while taking the weight bearing impression. I take a semi-weight bearing impression, after location sub-talor neutral, while the patient is sitting. I take the impression by holding the foot in neutral with my index finger and thumb on my left hand, while pushing with the palm of my left hand on the forefoot. I push down on the knee with my right. I do this slowly, constantly making sure that the foot is in neutral. Standing in a foam box does not give the proper impression needed. Certified Pedorthists are properly trained in taking foam impressions, as well as many other ways. I strongly believe that the foam box (IF USED CORRECTLY) will give one of the best impressions of the foot needed to make a cast. There are many other ways such as: wax, sand and wax, and bi-valve casting. I prefer the foam box. Again, I promise I mean no disrespect to Lynn at all. I know that it works if the person knows what he/she is doing.
Nancy, if someone came to me with a history such as yours, I would recommend using a soft orthotic at first, at full price (hopefully insurance will pay). This will allow your feet to get used to the support. After a couple of weeks or so, when you think you are ready for a slightly harder insert, I would grind the soft posting off and add semi-ridgid material, for about $5 (only to cover cost of the material). After you become comfortable with that, I would grind again then add a more ridgid material(not that hard plastic junk) for the same price. Adjusting the inserts to your shoes can be an ongoing process. This is where the customer service issue kicks in. If the person who makes your inserts is not willing to work with you on adjustments, well, you know what to do. Please do not be afraid to ask them questions. If they give you information you do not understand, ask me or the docs. I am sure they will be as happy to help you as I am. Ask to view samples of their work. That way you can see what materials will be used. Make sure that the insets are properly interfaced or 'sitting flat' with your shoes/boots. This is SO important. With the insert in the shoe/boot, push down just behind the arch toward the heel with your index finger. If the insert 'bows up' at the edges, it is not interfaced with the shoe. Have them adjust it on the spot until it is right. So many places will not take the time to do this. Make sure the inserts are flat on the bottom. Rounded inserts will certainly 'bow'. If it does not fit, it will not work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask either by posting or e-mail.
Richard, Certified Pedorthist

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: My opinion and disagreement (long)

Dr. Biehler on 10/20/00 at 08:51 (030907)

I agree with Richard C.Ped., unless you are just trying to buy an insert that is not too long for your foot, you need someone who is trained in taking the correct impression when using the foam. For the hard orthotic that was originaly made there might have been to much correction build in from the first and complicated by not allowing a long enough break in period. These orthotics can have accomadative covers put on them such as PPT and can be adjusted in the office using a high temperature hot air gun. The labs should be willing to make adjustments if the fit is not right.When possible having a specialist like Richard C. Ped id the best way to go. Dr. B.

Re: Yes John, Thanks. Nancy, take a look at these.

Kim B. on 10/20/00 at 09:33 (030908)

These look soft to me. I would think soft would be accomodated by more pair of shoes, though nothing is going to fit in all of them.

My last suggestion is there are some thin bricks down at the hardware store, they are a lot like hard custom orthotics.

:-) Kim B.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Nancy S. on 10/20/00 at 10:02 (030909)

Wow, thanks so much for all your input and the dialogue and websites to check, etc. I've had a long morning of reading! I really appreciate all your tips (Julie, if I can ever go back to Birks, I'm going to try your 'heel lift' idea).
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that another pair of custom orthotics is worth a try for me, given that over the last year and a half my problems have multiplied; and my first pair were plaster-casted by my ex-pod, who never even watched me walk or evaluated my gait or anything else, and ordered the hard as rocks plastic ones -- and was not even around to see if they fit, no offer of adjustment, etc.
This morning I called the office of the orthotist recommended to me. This is his work. He has his own lab, right there. He does a biomechanical evaluation and takes a history. He casts using plaster or the foam-box method, and depending on the case uses a great variety of materials.
There is no money-back guarantee -- but they offer a no-charge 60-day adjustment period, to be used as often as needed until the orthotics are right. The overall cost should be about $200.
Richard, thank you So Much for your detailed, educational post. I've printed it out, and will take it with me to my dr. follow-up appt. on Monday and to the orthotist -- in case I need back-up for my questions or wonder about his approach. And I will email you if I have any further specific questions -- thanks again.
I'm holding off on actually making the appt. till after the dr. appt. on Monday -- but then I suspect I'll be plunging in. Nothing else seems to support my lovely combo of PF and the three tendonitises; I have to try again.
I'll let you how it goes, of course. Thanks to all --
Nancy

Re: Yes John, Thanks. Nancy, take a look at these.

Nancy S. on 10/20/00 at 10:25 (030911)

Ya, thanks Kim, I tried those thin bricks from the hardware store after the hard orthotics made me worse, and the bricks felt great in comparison.
I'm bookmarking those sites for the future in case I need them. But my feet are such a mess now, I think I need to stop fooling around with distance or generic or whatever and get some close-up, hands-on help with what to walk around on. The tendonitises have screwed everything up -- I'm beginning to long for the days when I 'only' had PF! The only reason I can walk from room to room anymore is probably PT and Acu-Flex. Think I'd be in the mental ward if it weren't for those, not that this house hasn't become some sort of mental ward all by itself (oh, not true -- it's a mental ward with my help).
For psychotherapy last night, I painted 8 watercolors of what my worse foot feels like. What a sight.
I'm glad you've had some relief lately. If you're looking for softer, have you tried Jello? I can send you some unopened packages from about 1978.
Nancy

Re: Custom Orthodics push me up too high in shoe/Extra depth shoes?

Beverly on 10/20/00 at 17:32 (030938)

I think if not for a small dorsal bunion, orthodics might work for me.
No matter what I try, they always push me up too high in my shoe & irritate that bunion. (Mind you, before I tried orthodics, I never had a bunion.)
The next time I am in a large city, I want to visit a shoe store that carries the extra depth shoes made for problem feet. Perhaps, then I could wear custom orthodics.
Beverly

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Pauline on 10/21/00 at 22:18 (030991)

Nancy,
The final decision on ordering another pair of custom orthotics is one only you can make. I can only share my experience. I think
because we suffer with PF for such long periods of time we become desperate seeking everything and anything we can afford to eliminate the suffering, get rid of our pain and just go on with our lives.
I know for I have my own stock pile of items that I have tried including 4 pairs of custom orthotics. We look around every corner with the hope that something out there might provide the solution to our problem. We are limited only by what we can afford. The way I look at it is if you end up ordering another pair and it doesn't work simply chalk it up to and educated try. You did your research and so now you want to try a different pair. I'd make sure the final product you end up with is totally different from the original ones you had made. If they work its a blessing if they don't its only money. I had saying that because we all work hard for the stuff and many can't afford the first pair of orthotics, but in the end it's the only sane way of thing about it. If you fail in your decision you can't beat yourself up on the money you threw away.

My personal experience is that I have gotten better twice now without orthotics. I have never had success with them. Currently I am about 90% better than I was in March. I walk basicly without pain. I had 2 injections in the very beginning. 10 weeks of physical therapy, I message often. iced in the beginning and do my stretching many times daily. I still swear by a cream Comfort Zone that I purchased over the TV. It contains Arnica which others on this board purchase at health food stores. I think it broke my inflammation cycle. When that happened my healing started and continued very slowly.

I wish you the best in trying new orthotics and hope this pair works for you.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Nancy S. on 10/21/00 at 22:35 (030992)

Thanks, Pauline, for your thoughtful post. You're right: After 1.5 years of PF and now all this tendonitis, I think I can consider a second try at orthotics an 'educated' try. My first pair were the pits, and I knew nothing. Now I am having PT and am doing stretching and what little strengthening exercises I can do -- and I have slowly realized that in my current state I have got to find the right support for all 4 conditions I now have. At least, I've got to try. I appreciate your attitude toward the money if this attempt fails -- money is very short, but it's a gamble I have to take, and if the money is lost for nothing, then so be it. I'll move on.
You sound like you're doing really great, Pauline! I'm very happy for you.
Nancy

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: One other thing to bear in mind.

Kim B. on 10/21/00 at 23:46 (030999)

Nancy, the only other thing that concerns me is that I've heard people say that your foot changes as time goes by, so the orthotics, even if you get them right, and they feel great for awhile, may not feel great later down the road. Since insurance can help you with the cost, definately go for it. And, if it's the solution for you, plan on updating them every so often, just like one does their eyeglasses. Let us know. I hope the best for you.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: Several days of Powersteps still feel good.

Beverly on 10/22/00 at 10:56 (031013)

Nancy,

I know you and I both like the green Spenco's. As you know, I bought Powerstep inserts a few days ago. Although I've yet to wear them all day, I still like them and they make both my PF and tendonitis feel a little bit better.

I also meant to tell you about the athletic shoe I've been wearing for about three months now. It is by Brooks. A women's shoe. Also available in a men's shoe. It is called 'The Beast.' I know, awful name, but it is actually well named, because it gives more support than any other athletic shoe I've tried. It runs a little wide; so it may not work for your narrow foot. However, I have found that when I put an insert in, even an over-the-counter insert, it takes up room in the shoe and leads to a snugger fit.

What I like about the Powersteps is that they have more arch support.
They also come in more specific sizes.

As far as custom orthodics and your foot chaning over time, my Dad has worn them for 30 years, and a couple of times a year, he goes in and has his checked out and adjusted if needed.

I know this is a hard decision to make.
Take care,
Beverly

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: to Truffle and Beverly

Nancy S. on 10/22/00 at 20:53 (031041)

Truffle, my Nebraska Birks have a removable footbed, but it's too wide to fit into any of my other shoes; I even tried to ram it into the walking cast I was wearing, but no go. But your reminder made me think that I could take them along to a shoe store and see if they fit well enough into some athletic shoes that I might not otherwise buy . . . an idea for the future. Thanks.
Beverly, I'll keep Powersteps in mind for the future too. I have a very small, low arch, which is what I've liked about the green spencos, so I don't know if the Powersteps would work for me -- most otc haven't worked for me for long because the highness of the arch (even though they probably make them 'average') always ends up bothering me. But I never tried those and will give them a shot if the customs are a bust.
I'm figuring I spent $300 over a year ago on bad orthotics through a bad pod. Think I might owe it to myself to spend $200 alamost at the end of year 2 on a better bet . . . but you can say 'I told you so' if I come crying here to the board after they fail! Actually, I'm allowing myself to have some hopes for them. . . . I think these six tendons in both feet, on top of the PF, are crying out for something specific to them.
I don't remember you mentioning Brooks before! That's a new name to me. Actually, the name 'the Beast' rather appeals to me! I am going to check them out, because the usual brands of athletic shoes that seem to help a good number of people all feel terrible to me, I don't know why. I will seek out the Brooks to try, thanks.
Nancy

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Anne on 10/30/00 at 22:35 (031674)

I've had four pair of orthodics made and all four made the pain worse. I have problems with athletic shoes (which we need for the orthodics)...My toes begin getting numb after about 5 minutes of walking in them. Also...any flat shoe causes the same thing. And it's much worse with the orthodics.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Beverly on 10/19/00 at 19:16 (030864)

Nancy,

I hope you have better luck with custom orthodics than I did. I got smart last time and had the orthodics person make a temporary pair first. It was FREE. I figure if someone believes in their work, they'll let you try a temporary set for free. In my case, it once again pushed me up too high in my shoes and irritated a bunion. I've come to the conclusion that the only way custom orthodics would work for me is with extra-depth shoes. I think they cost about the same $$ as a pair of good running shoes.

What is the latest scoop on your Birks? No one has taken me out of them, and I am relunctant to give them up. I still have tendonitis. It is not very swollen. You have to compare both my ankles to see it, but it still hurts, and my PT says my tendons are very squishy.

I will be very curious how you proceed.
Best wishes,
Beverly

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Laurie R on 10/19/00 at 20:12 (030872)

Hi Nancy,
This is a very good question .At first I thought 'yes' you should try the agian and then I read on to see that you have to pay for them your self. I would really think about them before paying out that kind of money.Here is a good thing that happened to me with my custom orthotics .I had just a little PF in my good foot ,then when I got my orthotics it seem to have helped it . I only have a little bit of PF in the good foot now.It only bothers me once in a while. My Pod did say it was the orthotics that helped.

Now I was very lucky that my workmans comp paid for them .They were 400.00 and there was no way that I could of paid for them.

Nancy can you check to see if the insurance you have now will pay for them ? Just maybe they will .I know you also have AT which I don't know all that much about ,will orthotics help with that also?

I would say if you knew for sure they were going to help you ,then yes but you don't know that for sure . Maybe you can do what Beverly did ,try a sample pair. My best to you. I hope your pain is down tonight ....thinking about you Nancy. Laurie R

Re: We should demand more out of most Pod's, PT's, etc. who make orthotics

Lynn S. on 10/19/00 at 20:22 (030873)

Nancy, Read my post on 'Soft orthotic success' dated 9-07-00. The orthotics support my foot very well without irritating the PF, and is allowing everything to heal. Semi rigid ones only irritated the fascia more. Also, look at my other post 'Beware of otc orthotics my soft orthotics are custom made' on 9-07-00 which discusses a different type of soft orthotic. I think if I hadn't gotten these I would I have been in wheelchair by now.

There are so many materials out there to make comfortable, yet supportive orthotics, yet most pods, PTs, etc, just use plain old semi rigid polypropylene for orthotics, because it's easy and cheap to make, and adjust, and it's a very inexpensive material. It takes a little more creativity to make something that is soft yet supportive. These softer orthotics may consist of a composite of several different materials. For example there are softer more flexible, and thinner plastics, (or different densities of polypropylene), that can be supported with a softer arch fill, but the orthotic will have a little more give. Orthotics can also be made out leather, cork, plastizote, EVA, poron (human tissue replacement), combinations of these, etc. Orthotics can also be covered full lenghth with poron, and/or spenco to increase the comfort even more. They may be slightly more bulky, but comfort and healing is most important, and most of these will fit in sneakers, and some casual shoes.

If you do a search on orthotics, many different labs display different types of orthotics that are available in their custom line. One lab I know that has a good website is KLM labs. http://www.klm-lab.com You can get a good idea of some of the materials that are available to pods, etc. Pods can order any type or combination of materials they want to make an orthotic. Look at some of the materials under the diabetic section also. (You don't have to be diabetic to use these.)

I just think most Pods want to take 50 cents worth of semi hard plastic, and charge $500.00 for them, and hope you take them and go away. Most charge additional office fees for adjustments. I don't think they should be marking them up so high. Some pedorthist, and PT's are a little more reasonable. Most labs only charge an average of $50.00 to $60.00 to make the initial orthotics, because that includes the correction of the plaster cast the doctor sends them. Extra pairs cost practically nothing. I've had to work very hard and demand that the pods I have gone to, take the time to make something comfortable. It's a lot of time and effort, but you may have to go to several professionals, before you find one who can make them properly, and listen to your needs in terms of comfort , and also have the biomechanical knowledge to put your foot in the proper postion. Even the womderful pod I'm seeing now made my first pair out of the horrible semi rigid stuff, and I told him that was unacceptable. He did all kinds of adjustments and they still hurt. Now that my foot is getting better, I'm going to have him design something a little trimmer, with a little more support, like the ones I described above.
Remember this is your foot, and no one should dictate to you what should feel comfortable on your feet. A lot of these pods ordering orthotics have never worn these hard things themselves. Also, any orthotic, either, hard, semi rigid, or soft may take several adjustment until they are comfortable. If they don't feel right insist they make them feel right or go some where else.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

matt on 10/19/00 at 20:38 (030875)

I credit orthotics for helping for a long time after I go over my first round of pf and ptt. I went bowling without them and moved some boxes and now am haveing a bad relapse, this was stupid on my part and maybe could have avoided this. My podiatrist made the first pair of rigid ones, but I think my foot was to messed up at that point, so after a while in a boot he made me some leather balance orthotics which are the ones that worked well, I took a few weeks getting used to them put they worked for several months. This guy charged $200 for the first pair and has not charged anything since until we get them right. He also revised the leather ones once at no cost. I do not know exactly how it worked but my insurance did pay on that one time cost. Good Luck

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: Long Reply /Rant)

Kim B. on 10/19/00 at 21:14 (030882)

Nancy, Does you insurance cover the cost of custom orthotics? Do your docs have any (kickback or) financial interest in your purchase of orthitics? Do they get a 'refferal bonus' of ANY kind? If so, they have a conflict of interest.

First, I wouldn't buy a pair of custom orthotic unless they came with at least a 30 money back comfort gaurantee. They say they are 'custom' and no good for anyone else, right? Well, if they hurt MY feet they are NO good to me either. They can darn sure melt 'em down for all I care, but I'm not paying THAT kind of money just to try them on. What is their incentive to get them perfect if I'm STUCK with them whether they are comfortable or not? Perfect is EXACTLY what my feet would have to have for them to work for me. If their material or craftmanship is not up to par on the day they make mine, I don't want to be stuck with THEIR mistake on my feet. The sooner we PF people STOP being 'Chumps' for the orthotics industry, the better for everyone.

I dislike the buracracy of insurance companies, but typically they do what works best for the majority of people. One of the reasons they don't cover custom orthotics (often the case, anyway) is because they are a roll of the dice gamble, and evidently, they don't help enough people to come up on the RIGHT SIDE of the numbers. Beleive me, if orthitics had a better average, the insurance companies would get off a lot cheaper, cause Vioxx, Celebrex and surgeries and physical therapy are very expensive. Insurance companies would gladly pay if they had a better success rate.

If your insurance doesn't cover the cost, mine doesn't btw, here is an alternative I found at http://www.intelihealth.com , go to the 'online store' and in put 'Heel Spurs', TWO WORDS as the 'ailment search'. Look for 'custom molded orthotics'. $139.00. They send you a foam impression kit to make a print of your foot. All free shipping, btw.

There was another one that is custom molded and done at home too and is simularly priced. I think it was at http://www.feelgoodfast.com . Not sure. I had found it a while back and can't find the info or the post I made about them now. JOHN?? or someone else may remember what they were called. These two home molded ones I've just mentioned MAY have a money back gaurantee if not completely satisfied, as do ALL of the products for these two companies. (Intelihealth Home Healthy Store and feelgoodfast.com.

Chiropractors are a good source for orthitics sometimes btw. They understand body mechanics and have seen most of what's out there.

I hope you find what is right for you. Lord know, I hope I do too someday. Semi-rigid sounds better than rigid to me. Again, soft support is what I am looking for.

I know there is probably a downside to home-fitted orthotics. I can also see where being fitted for custom should be done by someone who either does it everyday and/or understands body mechanics. If the impression is poorly done, then the orthotics are doomed from the start. The weight distribution element is probably crucial to getting a proper fit.

Where are the ones that you walk across a special matt and it measures your foot impact? That kind looks interesting IF they are comfy. Anybody remember these?

While I was looking for the other I found two more otc green ones that may be the OTC greens you were looking for. Both are at http://www.feelgoodfast.com . one is a 3/4 dark green called the EuorArch Footbeds (29.95 ea. or 2 or more for $25. ea.), The other is a Ugly green and yellow full length kind call BioStride LX Polimer Insolses. Also, If memory serves me, http://www.SofSoles.com also has a dark green 3/4 length otc.

Good luck, keep us posted, Kim B.

Re: ORTHOTICS Foam box cast save your money

Lynn S. on 10/19/00 at 22:17 (030885)

The problem with foam box orthotics is that the foot is not held in neutral position, and if you try to make functional corrective orthotics with this method then the finished orthotic will reflect the same pathologies that you already have, and will not have corrections. Functional, or corrective orthotics are taken in a non weight bearing, or sometimes semi weight bearing state, and the foot is held in a neutral position by maniuplating the sub talar joint. This is why a professdional is needed to make a corrective orthotic. Foam box weight bearing cast are ok if you are just making a cushioned accomadative orthotics that does not correct any abnomalities in your gate, They are for someone not suffering any biomechanical problems. Not all PF suffers need custom orthotics. Not everyone gets PF because of abnormal gait, etc. and will benefit from a OTC, but if someone is an excessive pronator, or has a flat foot, or collasped arch, excessive supinator, has valgus or varus problems, etc, then they would benefit from a custom orthotic. At least until the PF symtoms were resolved. Other people might be helped with just a good cushioned OTC and a heel lift. The foam boxed orthotics are just expensive OTC's, that don't do much more than a $20.00 to $30.00 OTC's

I do think more doctors should guarntee their orthotics. They shouldn't charge most of the fee if you can't wear them, or they don't have the ability to make a comfortable pair for you.
But they claim they have to pay the lab for them anyway, and need to charge for their time. Since getting the right orthotic can involve some trial an error, just like if you bought several OTC's and experimented then I think they should just charge you the cost that they pay the lab, until they get it right.


Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Julie F on 10/20/00 at 05:22 (030891)

Hello Nancy

I've had custom orthotics for six years to correct excessive pronation. I've always found them comfortable and have worn them all the time, but they didn't stop me getting PF! So I don't have anything to contribute to your orthotics dilemma, but would like to tell you that I've been putting 1/2 inch heel lifts in my Birks, made out of three pieces of rubber cut to size for the Birk heel bed and glued together. Very unorthodox, but it seems to work. I don't have tendonitis but the deep heel bed did make me feel a pull on the Achilles which I didn't like. Using the lifts cuts down somewhat, but not altogether, on the arch support.

Julie

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: Long Reply /Rant)

Diana B on 10/20/00 at 07:13 (030898)

I have 2 pairs of orthotics that I cannot wear. My first pair I was able to wear for 4 years; they were rigid ones. My second pair were made in Sept. 99 they were semi rigid. they did not help at all. They were made by walking over a mat. The machine was call FOOTMAXX. The machine itself told me that my arch collapsed when I walked. But that didn't do me any good.I had my 1st surgery in Feb.00 my second was Sept 00.I changed doctors after the2nd pair of orthotics were made. My new doc did the 2 surgeries. He also is making me my third pair of orthotics Soft kind this time. Even after my 1st surgery I couldn't wear my orthotics.I may be gullible or naive but I have to try anything to make my feet work again. I have 6 kids and worked full time until this all started,so I have to hope that these work this time to get back to work before Christmas.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Jen H on 10/20/00 at 07:35 (030903)

I have a pair of orthodics that were made 7 years ago. I wore them faithfully for a year or so then when my pain was gone I too stuffed them away in a drawer. ( I had broken my foot in a car accident, pain wasn't PF related) When I started going to my pod last month for heel pain, he had me bring them in for inspection. They are rigid but there is no heel support, which he likes and feels I need. mine will kind of rock back and forth, the type he likes do not do this. He has also told me that the plastic gives over years and is not as rigid as they once were, therefore he feels I need new ones (he charges $200.00) I also am torn between wearing them at all, wearing the old ones (which I have been doing, sometimes they bother me, other times they are fine) or getting new ones made. My insurance has approved them and will pay. I most dislike trying to find a pair of shoes that they will fit in and be comfortable. I have always found they lift my foot too high and my ankle rubs wrong or the top of my foot. Let us know what you decide.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: Long Reply /Rant)

john a on 10/20/00 at 08:32 (030905)

Kim, you may be referring to: ArchCrafters - https://www.footsmart.com/cgi-bin/KineticQuery?record_ID=2000080821044743&DCONFIG=/product/user/config.txt

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: My opinion and disagreement (long)

Richard C.Ped on 10/20/00 at 08:32 (030906)

Hi Nancy. Yes, it is an old topic, but a great refresher. It will be an asset to anyone new to the board who does not know about the search function. First, my disagreement. I also have to begin this by saying to Lynn that I mean no disrespect by any means:-). I have to disagree with Lynn about her opinion of the foam box casting system. I use this system on all my patients, if applicable, with great success. She mentioned that you can not hold the foot and ankle in sub-talor neutral while taking the weight bearing impression. I take a semi-weight bearing impression, after location sub-talor neutral, while the patient is sitting. I take the impression by holding the foot in neutral with my index finger and thumb on my left hand, while pushing with the palm of my left hand on the forefoot. I push down on the knee with my right. I do this slowly, constantly making sure that the foot is in neutral. Standing in a foam box does not give the proper impression needed. Certified Pedorthists are properly trained in taking foam impressions, as well as many other ways. I strongly believe that the foam box (IF USED CORRECTLY) will give one of the best impressions of the foot needed to make a cast. There are many other ways such as: wax, sand and wax, and bi-valve casting. I prefer the foam box. Again, I promise I mean no disrespect to Lynn at all. I know that it works if the person knows what he/she is doing.
Nancy, if someone came to me with a history such as yours, I would recommend using a soft orthotic at first, at full price (hopefully insurance will pay). This will allow your feet to get used to the support. After a couple of weeks or so, when you think you are ready for a slightly harder insert, I would grind the soft posting off and add semi-ridgid material, for about $5 (only to cover cost of the material). After you become comfortable with that, I would grind again then add a more ridgid material(not that hard plastic junk) for the same price. Adjusting the inserts to your shoes can be an ongoing process. This is where the customer service issue kicks in. If the person who makes your inserts is not willing to work with you on adjustments, well, you know what to do. Please do not be afraid to ask them questions. If they give you information you do not understand, ask me or the docs. I am sure they will be as happy to help you as I am. Ask to view samples of their work. That way you can see what materials will be used. Make sure that the insets are properly interfaced or 'sitting flat' with your shoes/boots. This is SO important. With the insert in the shoe/boot, push down just behind the arch toward the heel with your index finger. If the insert 'bows up' at the edges, it is not interfaced with the shoe. Have them adjust it on the spot until it is right. So many places will not take the time to do this. Make sure the inserts are flat on the bottom. Rounded inserts will certainly 'bow'. If it does not fit, it will not work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask either by posting or e-mail.
Richard, Certified Pedorthist

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: My opinion and disagreement (long)

Dr. Biehler on 10/20/00 at 08:51 (030907)

I agree with Richard C.Ped., unless you are just trying to buy an insert that is not too long for your foot, you need someone who is trained in taking the correct impression when using the foam. For the hard orthotic that was originaly made there might have been to much correction build in from the first and complicated by not allowing a long enough break in period. These orthotics can have accomadative covers put on them such as PPT and can be adjusted in the office using a high temperature hot air gun. The labs should be willing to make adjustments if the fit is not right.When possible having a specialist like Richard C. Ped id the best way to go. Dr. B.

Re: Yes John, Thanks. Nancy, take a look at these.

Kim B. on 10/20/00 at 09:33 (030908)

These look soft to me. I would think soft would be accomodated by more pair of shoes, though nothing is going to fit in all of them.

My last suggestion is there are some thin bricks down at the hardware store, they are a lot like hard custom orthotics.

:-) Kim B.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Nancy S. on 10/20/00 at 10:02 (030909)

Wow, thanks so much for all your input and the dialogue and websites to check, etc. I've had a long morning of reading! I really appreciate all your tips (Julie, if I can ever go back to Birks, I'm going to try your 'heel lift' idea).
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that another pair of custom orthotics is worth a try for me, given that over the last year and a half my problems have multiplied; and my first pair were plaster-casted by my ex-pod, who never even watched me walk or evaluated my gait or anything else, and ordered the hard as rocks plastic ones -- and was not even around to see if they fit, no offer of adjustment, etc.
This morning I called the office of the orthotist recommended to me. This is his work. He has his own lab, right there. He does a biomechanical evaluation and takes a history. He casts using plaster or the foam-box method, and depending on the case uses a great variety of materials.
There is no money-back guarantee -- but they offer a no-charge 60-day adjustment period, to be used as often as needed until the orthotics are right. The overall cost should be about $200.
Richard, thank you So Much for your detailed, educational post. I've printed it out, and will take it with me to my dr. follow-up appt. on Monday and to the orthotist -- in case I need back-up for my questions or wonder about his approach. And I will email you if I have any further specific questions -- thanks again.
I'm holding off on actually making the appt. till after the dr. appt. on Monday -- but then I suspect I'll be plunging in. Nothing else seems to support my lovely combo of PF and the three tendonitises; I have to try again.
I'll let you how it goes, of course. Thanks to all --
Nancy

Re: Yes John, Thanks. Nancy, take a look at these.

Nancy S. on 10/20/00 at 10:25 (030911)

Ya, thanks Kim, I tried those thin bricks from the hardware store after the hard orthotics made me worse, and the bricks felt great in comparison.
I'm bookmarking those sites for the future in case I need them. But my feet are such a mess now, I think I need to stop fooling around with distance or generic or whatever and get some close-up, hands-on help with what to walk around on. The tendonitises have screwed everything up -- I'm beginning to long for the days when I 'only' had PF! The only reason I can walk from room to room anymore is probably PT and Acu-Flex. Think I'd be in the mental ward if it weren't for those, not that this house hasn't become some sort of mental ward all by itself (oh, not true -- it's a mental ward with my help).
For psychotherapy last night, I painted 8 watercolors of what my worse foot feels like. What a sight.
I'm glad you've had some relief lately. If you're looking for softer, have you tried Jello? I can send you some unopened packages from about 1978.
Nancy

Re: Custom Orthodics push me up too high in shoe/Extra depth shoes?

Beverly on 10/20/00 at 17:32 (030938)

I think if not for a small dorsal bunion, orthodics might work for me.
No matter what I try, they always push me up too high in my shoe & irritate that bunion. (Mind you, before I tried orthodics, I never had a bunion.)
The next time I am in a large city, I want to visit a shoe store that carries the extra depth shoes made for problem feet. Perhaps, then I could wear custom orthodics.
Beverly

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Pauline on 10/21/00 at 22:18 (030991)

Nancy,
The final decision on ordering another pair of custom orthotics is one only you can make. I can only share my experience. I think
because we suffer with PF for such long periods of time we become desperate seeking everything and anything we can afford to eliminate the suffering, get rid of our pain and just go on with our lives.
I know for I have my own stock pile of items that I have tried including 4 pairs of custom orthotics. We look around every corner with the hope that something out there might provide the solution to our problem. We are limited only by what we can afford. The way I look at it is if you end up ordering another pair and it doesn't work simply chalk it up to and educated try. You did your research and so now you want to try a different pair. I'd make sure the final product you end up with is totally different from the original ones you had made. If they work its a blessing if they don't its only money. I had saying that because we all work hard for the stuff and many can't afford the first pair of orthotics, but in the end it's the only sane way of thing about it. If you fail in your decision you can't beat yourself up on the money you threw away.

My personal experience is that I have gotten better twice now without orthotics. I have never had success with them. Currently I am about 90% better than I was in March. I walk basicly without pain. I had 2 injections in the very beginning. 10 weeks of physical therapy, I message often. iced in the beginning and do my stretching many times daily. I still swear by a cream Comfort Zone that I purchased over the TV. It contains Arnica which others on this board purchase at health food stores. I think it broke my inflammation cycle. When that happened my healing started and continued very slowly.

I wish you the best in trying new orthotics and hope this pair works for you.

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Nancy S. on 10/21/00 at 22:35 (030992)

Thanks, Pauline, for your thoughtful post. You're right: After 1.5 years of PF and now all this tendonitis, I think I can consider a second try at orthotics an 'educated' try. My first pair were the pits, and I knew nothing. Now I am having PT and am doing stretching and what little strengthening exercises I can do -- and I have slowly realized that in my current state I have got to find the right support for all 4 conditions I now have. At least, I've got to try. I appreciate your attitude toward the money if this attempt fails -- money is very short, but it's a gamble I have to take, and if the money is lost for nothing, then so be it. I'll move on.
You sound like you're doing really great, Pauline! I'm very happy for you.
Nancy

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: One other thing to bear in mind.

Kim B. on 10/21/00 at 23:46 (030999)

Nancy, the only other thing that concerns me is that I've heard people say that your foot changes as time goes by, so the orthotics, even if you get them right, and they feel great for awhile, may not feel great later down the road. Since insurance can help you with the cost, definately go for it. And, if it's the solution for you, plan on updating them every so often, just like one does their eyeglasses. Let us know. I hope the best for you.

Regards, Kim B.

Re: Several days of Powersteps still feel good.

Beverly on 10/22/00 at 10:56 (031013)

Nancy,

I know you and I both like the green Spenco's. As you know, I bought Powerstep inserts a few days ago. Although I've yet to wear them all day, I still like them and they make both my PF and tendonitis feel a little bit better.

I also meant to tell you about the athletic shoe I've been wearing for about three months now. It is by Brooks. A women's shoe. Also available in a men's shoe. It is called 'The Beast.' I know, awful name, but it is actually well named, because it gives more support than any other athletic shoe I've tried. It runs a little wide; so it may not work for your narrow foot. However, I have found that when I put an insert in, even an over-the-counter insert, it takes up room in the shoe and leads to a snugger fit.

What I like about the Powersteps is that they have more arch support.
They also come in more specific sizes.

As far as custom orthodics and your foot chaning over time, my Dad has worn them for 30 years, and a couple of times a year, he goes in and has his checked out and adjusted if needed.

I know this is a hard decision to make.
Take care,
Beverly

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: to Truffle and Beverly

Nancy S. on 10/22/00 at 20:53 (031041)

Truffle, my Nebraska Birks have a removable footbed, but it's too wide to fit into any of my other shoes; I even tried to ram it into the walking cast I was wearing, but no go. But your reminder made me think that I could take them along to a shoe store and see if they fit well enough into some athletic shoes that I might not otherwise buy . . . an idea for the future. Thanks.
Beverly, I'll keep Powersteps in mind for the future too. I have a very small, low arch, which is what I've liked about the green spencos, so I don't know if the Powersteps would work for me -- most otc haven't worked for me for long because the highness of the arch (even though they probably make them 'average') always ends up bothering me. But I never tried those and will give them a shot if the customs are a bust.
I'm figuring I spent $300 over a year ago on bad orthotics through a bad pod. Think I might owe it to myself to spend $200 alamost at the end of year 2 on a better bet . . . but you can say 'I told you so' if I come crying here to the board after they fail! Actually, I'm allowing myself to have some hopes for them. . . . I think these six tendons in both feet, on top of the PF, are crying out for something specific to them.
I don't remember you mentioning Brooks before! That's a new name to me. Actually, the name 'the Beast' rather appeals to me! I am going to check them out, because the usual brands of athletic shoes that seem to help a good number of people all feel terrible to me, I don't know why. I will seek out the Brooks to try, thanks.
Nancy

Re: CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: I know, I know, old topic, but I do need your opinions please

Anne on 10/30/00 at 22:35 (031674)

I've had four pair of orthodics made and all four made the pain worse. I have problems with athletic shoes (which we need for the orthodics)...My toes begin getting numb after about 5 minutes of walking in them. Also...any flat shoe causes the same thing. And it's much worse with the orthodics.