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Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Posted by Pat S. on 2/14/01 at 19:27 (038987)

Hello All:
I am really happy to find this list. There is no one that I know
who has ever heard of, nor has PF, so finding this group is terrific!

Some questions on footwear, but first some history. I have been dx
with PF since summer of 2000. The first Pod I went to told me I have
Bursitis, and the second Pod told me I have PF. My internist feels its PF, too. The heel pain seems very sensitive to weather changes (I live
in upstate NY, and we get LOTS of that!) The pain is the typical pain
whereby I DIE when I first get up in the morning. It resolves somewhat
after about 20-30 minutes in AM, but can give me shooting pain throughout
the day. The end of the day and nighttime is the worst. I had x-rays
for spurs, but thankfully, was negative.

I have tried taping, cortizone shots and streching (I admit, I am lazy on that end). The taping was annoying, and I was told I couldn't shower for five days with the tape. Not a great thing, when I run around all day
with six kids (and a baby). At any rate, the taping did not give me
any relief.

At present I wear New Balance and put in a Spenco for added support.
Its OK, but not great. I used to be an avid race/walker, but can't
walk more than 10 minutes now at a stretch. As a result, I am putting
on the pounds. HATE IT!

I've seen threads about Birkenstocks. As I am moving to Florida in a few
months, I thought I would try their sandals. Any suggestions? They appear
hard in the sole and heel area, however? How does that affect the heel
pain? Is there any other sandal/summer shoe that might be better for
warm weather use?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Patty

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Barbara TX on 2/14/01 at 21:21 (039003)

Patty - A mother of six with PF! You have your work cut out for you! I like Birks very much, and although they are hard in the sole, the arch support protects you (or so the theory goes) by firm arch support, taking some of the burden off your plantar fascia in the area of the heel. You might go to a store that carries lots of them (there is a Birk store locator at Birkenstock.com) and there are lots of pretty styles for the Florida heat. People also seem to like Mephisto sandals too. I wouldn't order any of these over the internet, as the fit is very individual. Try on lots and maybe take them home and walk on the carpet in them awhile. Did the stretching seem to help when you are disciplined about it? Also, before any surgery is considered, click on the ESWT link for info about a new procedure that might help you. I know they have a machine in Florida.

I was an avid walker before Pf hit, and then I got a stationary bike and started swimming. Have youy considered that? All the best, B.

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Kim B. on 2/14/01 at 21:43 (039008)

Hi Newbie Pat,

Use the word search option at the top of each message board and input the word 'shoes' you will get a ton of shoe opinions. Make a list of the ones that may work best for you. Then do searches on those names to see what has been said. Use your browser or ask here to find shoe sites, phone numbers and locations. YOu'll have to try several, and your foot may even go through changes that will make what used to feel good hurt, and what used ot hurt feel good.

There is a ton of good suggestions on shoe sampling and shoe buyting. You'll need a few different pairs. One pair wears out so quickly when it's all you can use. Having a choice of styles is good because you can rotate shoes sometimes and because it hits different pressure points, it will often make the feet feel better as soon as you change shoes. Also do a search on 'Socks'. The right socks are helpful for many, me being one of them. Also check out what has been written about 'shower shoes' the help too. It's sounds silly but a lot of little things will add up to quite a bit of relief for you.

Welcome aboard! this gang will do everything they can yo help you.

Kim B.

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Julie on 2/15/01 at 02:14 (039018)

Hi Pat

Welcome to this excellent website, where you will get a lot of useful information and make new friends, too.I have a few suggestions for you.

First, go to the home page and click on the PF Book in the upper left hand corner. Print it out and read it carefully. It has armed many of us with the facts we need to help us talk to our doctors, and it's replete with good treatment ideas.

Tape supplies the tension needed to support the arch that has been lost when the fascia tears away from the heelbone, so if you really have PF, I'm surprised that taping did not give you some relief. You might ]ike to try again. I'm a fan of the simplest method described and illustrated in part 2 of the PF Book: two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. It's easy to apply, and you can take it off at night (which you should do anyway, to allow the skin to recover). This taping method has helped me a lot.

(By the way - if you do try the more complex wrapping method again and leave it on for days, you CAN take a shower: just put your foot and lower leg in a big plastic bag and tie it tightly above the knee. A little water will probably get inside, but you can quickly dry the tape off afterwards with a hair dryer. I speak from experience.)

NEVER go barefoot. Your arches need support all the time, and walking barefoot is a sure way to keep re-injuring the fascia. Keep a pair of shoes by your bedside and put your feet into them the moment you swing your legs over the side of the bed.

Lots of us, including me, love Birkenstocks and find them helpful. They do not suit everybody. They are hard, but that's probably one of their good aspects: they really do give good support. For some people, the heel bed may be too low. You need to find a store that stocks a full range where you can be fitted properly and try out different styles: they vary. I wear the classic Arizona sandal - it comes in several different colours and materials. Birkenstock also make 'proper' shoes. If you get fitted and decide you like them, you can buy them on line at http://www.birkenstock-cn.com . This is the German website, and their prices are the lowest: about half what you will pay in a store.

Rest is the essential factor in recovery from PF, so stay off your feet as much as you can. Yes, I know you have six children, but one or two of them at least must be old enough to take over some of your chores, so enlist their help if you haven't already. You might be able to adjust your routines with simple things like sitting down to peel vegetables, and so on.

If the pain is worst at night, you might find icing before you go to bed a help. It always relieved that end-of-the-day pain for me. Ice-cubes wrapped in a kitchen towel, or one of those sports gel packs.

Can you swim? It's excellent aerobic exercise and will help keep the pounds at bay.

May I ask if the podiatrist who diagnosed you as having PF did a full gait analysis? If not, you should have one to establish whether the cause is a functional, biomechanical problem, such as excessive pronation. If so, you might benefit from functional orthotics. You can do a search for information about these, and Richard, our resident CPed, is knowledgeable and helpful about orthoses - and shoes. He will probably reply to your post himself.

You mention having had cortisone shots. I hope you're aware that you shouldn't have too many: they can atrophy the fat pad under the heel and then you have real problems. I believe Dr Zuckerman and Dr Biehler feel that two is the maximum (I hope I've got that right, doctors).

Best of luck with your treatment programme, and let us know how you get on.

Julie

Re: seal-tight protector for showering

Donna SL on 2/15/01 at 10:27 (039043)

Pat,

There is a boot called seal-tight, especially made to put over feet, legs, arms etc. to protect cast and bandages. You can take a shower or bath with it. It's a plastic boot you just slip over your foot, and it doesn't leak. I found it a life saver in the past. A thin nylon stocking over the tape/foot will keep the tape from catching. I always had leakage with regular plastic bags . Most medical supply stores sell it. It's made by Brown Medical. They show pictures of the various kinds, but the foot/ankle one is enough for the foot. It's only cost about $20.00, and worth every penny. They may even sell it direct.

It's called SEAL-TIGHT below is the address for picture and description

http://www.brownmed.com/products/seal-tight/seal-tight/index.htm

Donna

Re: Tips from a shoe queen

Beverly on 2/15/01 at 18:40 (039075)

Pat,

Shoes and I have a real love affair going. PF made me switch from beautiful shoes to healthy shoes. I've tried lots and lots and lots of 'healthy' shoes. What you like will have alot to do with the kind of arch you have and what type of arch support you like. For instance, I have an archs somewhere between average and slightly high. I love the classic Birks. I do best with the Arizona sandal and Boston clog. But I can't wear the Tatami (higher arch Birk or the Footbeds/lower arch Birk). You need to go to a store that has alot of them with sales people who know how to fit. Ask for someone who wears Birks and knows alot about them. Don't settle for someone who started working there last month. Breaking in Birks is slow going. Don't wear them more than an hour at first.

My second favorite shoe is the Dansko classic footbed (Meta sandal style or Professional clog). I can't wear them all day, but if I have a dressy event to attend that just won't work with Birks, they are a good alternative for me. Ditto on Mephesto sandals and Ecco outdoor Gor-Tex walking shoes.

I wear Chaco water sandals in the shower and in the bathroom. I never go barefooted. My shower shoes are right by the tub, waiting for me. I like Chaco because they have some arch support. Not cheap but I don't hurt while in the shower. Teva is another good shower shoe. Some Teva styles have some arch support but not as much as Chaco. Birks also make shower shoes with arch support.

I too wear Spenco arch support (full-length) -- in my Brooks athletic shoes and Ecco walking shoes. I'm not completely satisfied with them either but after trying numerous otc products and several custom sets, they have been my best choice. Another popular otc arch support is by Superfeet. For me, they had too much arch support. Others had too little. This is a real hit and miss/trial and error thing.

Good luck. If you're moving to Florida, you'll be able to wear Birks year round. But don't wear them in the rain. They get ruinned if you get them wet. I wear my athletic shoes when it is raining.
Best of luck,
Beverly

Re: Eccos and showers

Julie on 2/16/01 at 02:00 (039111)

Beverly, are you really ok with your Eccos? I'd worn them pretty exclusively for about a hundred years, but retired them to the back of the cupboard in favour of Birks and trainers when I got pf. I've been so much better lately that I got the Eccos out the other day and wore them to a gathering I didn't want to attend in trainers, and had a bit of a setback. I felt they were too soft and had too much give in the shank - even with my orthotics in.

I miss them, especially my favourite multi-coloured pair. But I'm glad you can still wear them.

Donna, you're a mine of information. Thanks for telling us about the tape/cast shower protector (sorry, I've forgotten it's name and daren't go back to your post to check - last time I did that yesterday I lost the whole of the recent messages page. If I ever have to tape seriously again, I'll get one. My plastic bags always leaked too - but it was better than nothing.

Julie

Re: Hail Beverly

Barbara TX on 2/16/01 at 10:45 (039148)

You really are the undisputed queen of shoes. If you ever put your picture on the website, you should wear a crown, like Kim! B.

Re: Newbie Says Thanks!!!!!

Pat S. on 2/16/01 at 15:38 (039185)

Hi All You Wonderful People!
Wow....thanks so much for all your responses and the dirth of fantastic
info you all had to impart.
The first thing I have done is read the PF book. What a super resource!
I am still in the process of dissecting it to get more feedback.
I also tried that Birk web site, and ordered a pair of sandals. I thought,
what the heck, for 36,00 euro, versus 89.00 US, I should just experiment
and see how they feel. I am still mulling over some of the other suggestions for shoes you good people have shared.
Regarding exercise....I have tried swimming, and it is a weird thing. When
I swim, more specifically kick, it feels like my heel has something
bouncing around in it. It is an unsettling feeling. Has anyone ever
felt that? I worry that I might be injuring the fascia more.
No, my pod never tested my gait. Basically, the two pods I have seen
are the type who rush me, only want to give me injections, and have me
make a follow up appointment. I had one cortisone shot, and it hurt like
heck. Worse, it did absolutely nothing for me!!! So thus far, I cancelled
my last appointment with the pod feeling that I might try to fix this
myself. Hence, finding this site. Not to say I should self-treat, yet,
nothing has been done since July to help the problem by the docs.
With six kids its hard to get rest ;) however, I do pace myself, and
sit as much as possible. We went down to Universal Studios in Orlando
a month ago, and I found myself renting a wheelchair, as it was much too
difficult to negotiate the parks. The kids thought it was 'cool' and
liked to take turns in the chair. We drew some stares, but who cares,
right?
You have also energized me to try streching again. Wish me luck, as I
tend to be lazy about it.
Well, all, thanks again. I will be following the posts, and might be back
with some more questions.
Patty

Re: To Julie on Eccos

Beverly on 2/16/01 at 16:08 (039186)

Hi Julie,

I can't wear the women's Ecco's. Like your experience, I found them too soft. I have one pair of men's Ecco walking shoes (outdoor/Gortex style) that are as close as I can get in looks to a 'boat shoe/loafer look.' It is the Track II. It is much sturdier and built up than any of their other shoes, and the men's version seems sturdier than the women's version. I wear arch supports in them. I still would not wear them all day. I like wearing them in the winter with pants when I want something more professional looking than athletic shoes. Actually, Birks and high quality athletic shoes with Spenco arch supports are the only shoes I can wear all day. But I still say Birks are superior to any of the arch supports or custom arch supports I've tried.

Barbara, thanks for the tiarra offer. I'll take a picture of my shoe collection.
Beverly

Re: To Beverly on Eccos

Julie on 2/16/01 at 16:20 (039187)

Hi Beverly

That explains it! Many thanks for explaining. I'll have to see if I can find a pair of men's Eccos to fit me. We seem to have the same taste (if you can call it that) in shoes: Birks, athletic shoes, Eccos...

Julie

Re: Newbie Says Thanks!!!!!

Julie on 2/16/01 at 16:26 (039188)

Pat, I really think you should find another pod, one who will give you a thorough gait analysis. Self-diagnosis is risky: you need a proper diagnosis. And you need a pod who won't rush you and won't be too needle-happy.

If swimming hurts, maybe leave it out for the time being.

I hope the Birkenstocks you ordered fit you. You need plenty of room around the foot - I think they say a good half inch. I take a size bigger in Birks than I normally do. When you walk in them, grip with your toes: Birks are meant to exercise the feet, which is one of the reasons they are so good - as long as they suit you, which I hope they will.

Care with the stretching. If you are in enough pain to need a wheelchair, weight-bearing stretching is probably not for you. If anything you do hurts, stop. (Did I say this before? Excuse me if I did.)

Good luck!

Julie

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Beth PA on 2/17/01 at 10:30 (039250)

Birkenstocks are what allow me to walk. I've had this problem for the past 4 yrs, steadily worsening, and Birkenstocks have been my saving grace. At first they were the only shoe that completely relieved my pain. After my problem became severe and I couldn't walk barefoot at all, I would keep a pair next to my bed and put them on immediately so that I could at least walk. I think the arch support is what really helps--they are basically like wearing orthotics--they put your foot in the correct position, so it really isn't about a cushion for the heel as much as it is about putting your entire foot in the correct position for walking.

Re: Re:This is what is working for me

MargeB on 2/21/01 at 17:01 (039575)

I, too, have been suffering with PF since July 2000 and I think this site is WONDERFUL. I am usually a lurker and don't often post but today I thought I would share my PF experience. I was fortunate to go to a sports podiatrist in NJ who was very sympathetic and, in fact, had PF herself.

This is what I have done:

Taped my feet (I just showered and dryed the tape off) and changed it every three days. I put the tape on a bit differently than shown here but the end result is the same. To give support to your arch.

Calf stretching against the wall and on the stairs.

Superfeet inserts (superfeet.com-an informative site)

I had a succession of three shots (I did not find them so painful)

I went for physical therapy for 12 sessions where they did whirpool, massage (wonderful), heat packs, ice packs, ultrasound and stretching.

And the thing that help the most are Dansko clogs. Dansko clogs and superfeet inserts and I can walk all day. They have been a lifesaver although the other things and especially the physical therapy contributed. I took the inserts with me to get the right size and they have to be the ones with backs, I think they are the called 'professional.' Many doctors/nurses/cooks who are on their feet a lot wear them. I love them.

It's amazing how much better one can feel after relief from this pain. I told people it is like a bad toothache, a knawing annoying pain that makes you cranky. Hope I helped. Where do you live in upstate NY.

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Barbara TX on 2/14/01 at 21:21 (039003)

Patty - A mother of six with PF! You have your work cut out for you! I like Birks very much, and although they are hard in the sole, the arch support protects you (or so the theory goes) by firm arch support, taking some of the burden off your plantar fascia in the area of the heel. You might go to a store that carries lots of them (there is a Birk store locator at Birkenstock.com) and there are lots of pretty styles for the Florida heat. People also seem to like Mephisto sandals too. I wouldn't order any of these over the internet, as the fit is very individual. Try on lots and maybe take them home and walk on the carpet in them awhile. Did the stretching seem to help when you are disciplined about it? Also, before any surgery is considered, click on the ESWT link for info about a new procedure that might help you. I know they have a machine in Florida.

I was an avid walker before Pf hit, and then I got a stationary bike and started swimming. Have youy considered that? All the best, B.

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Kim B. on 2/14/01 at 21:43 (039008)

Hi Newbie Pat,

Use the word search option at the top of each message board and input the word 'shoes' you will get a ton of shoe opinions. Make a list of the ones that may work best for you. Then do searches on those names to see what has been said. Use your browser or ask here to find shoe sites, phone numbers and locations. YOu'll have to try several, and your foot may even go through changes that will make what used to feel good hurt, and what used ot hurt feel good.

There is a ton of good suggestions on shoe sampling and shoe buyting. You'll need a few different pairs. One pair wears out so quickly when it's all you can use. Having a choice of styles is good because you can rotate shoes sometimes and because it hits different pressure points, it will often make the feet feel better as soon as you change shoes. Also do a search on 'Socks'. The right socks are helpful for many, me being one of them. Also check out what has been written about 'shower shoes' the help too. It's sounds silly but a lot of little things will add up to quite a bit of relief for you.

Welcome aboard! this gang will do everything they can yo help you.

Kim B.

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Julie on 2/15/01 at 02:14 (039018)

Hi Pat

Welcome to this excellent website, where you will get a lot of useful information and make new friends, too.I have a few suggestions for you.

First, go to the home page and click on the PF Book in the upper left hand corner. Print it out and read it carefully. It has armed many of us with the facts we need to help us talk to our doctors, and it's replete with good treatment ideas.

Tape supplies the tension needed to support the arch that has been lost when the fascia tears away from the heelbone, so if you really have PF, I'm surprised that taping did not give you some relief. You might ]ike to try again. I'm a fan of the simplest method described and illustrated in part 2 of the PF Book: two strips of tape connecting the ball of the foot and the heel. It's easy to apply, and you can take it off at night (which you should do anyway, to allow the skin to recover). This taping method has helped me a lot.

(By the way - if you do try the more complex wrapping method again and leave it on for days, you CAN take a shower: just put your foot and lower leg in a big plastic bag and tie it tightly above the knee. A little water will probably get inside, but you can quickly dry the tape off afterwards with a hair dryer. I speak from experience.)

NEVER go barefoot. Your arches need support all the time, and walking barefoot is a sure way to keep re-injuring the fascia. Keep a pair of shoes by your bedside and put your feet into them the moment you swing your legs over the side of the bed.

Lots of us, including me, love Birkenstocks and find them helpful. They do not suit everybody. They are hard, but that's probably one of their good aspects: they really do give good support. For some people, the heel bed may be too low. You need to find a store that stocks a full range where you can be fitted properly and try out different styles: they vary. I wear the classic Arizona sandal - it comes in several different colours and materials. Birkenstock also make 'proper' shoes. If you get fitted and decide you like them, you can buy them on line at http://www.birkenstock-cn.com . This is the German website, and their prices are the lowest: about half what you will pay in a store.

Rest is the essential factor in recovery from PF, so stay off your feet as much as you can. Yes, I know you have six children, but one or two of them at least must be old enough to take over some of your chores, so enlist their help if you haven't already. You might be able to adjust your routines with simple things like sitting down to peel vegetables, and so on.

If the pain is worst at night, you might find icing before you go to bed a help. It always relieved that end-of-the-day pain for me. Ice-cubes wrapped in a kitchen towel, or one of those sports gel packs.

Can you swim? It's excellent aerobic exercise and will help keep the pounds at bay.

May I ask if the podiatrist who diagnosed you as having PF did a full gait analysis? If not, you should have one to establish whether the cause is a functional, biomechanical problem, such as excessive pronation. If so, you might benefit from functional orthotics. You can do a search for information about these, and Richard, our resident CPed, is knowledgeable and helpful about orthoses - and shoes. He will probably reply to your post himself.

You mention having had cortisone shots. I hope you're aware that you shouldn't have too many: they can atrophy the fat pad under the heel and then you have real problems. I believe Dr Zuckerman and Dr Biehler feel that two is the maximum (I hope I've got that right, doctors).

Best of luck with your treatment programme, and let us know how you get on.

Julie

Re: seal-tight protector for showering

Donna SL on 2/15/01 at 10:27 (039043)

Pat,

There is a boot called seal-tight, especially made to put over feet, legs, arms etc. to protect cast and bandages. You can take a shower or bath with it. It's a plastic boot you just slip over your foot, and it doesn't leak. I found it a life saver in the past. A thin nylon stocking over the tape/foot will keep the tape from catching. I always had leakage with regular plastic bags . Most medical supply stores sell it. It's made by Brown Medical. They show pictures of the various kinds, but the foot/ankle one is enough for the foot. It's only cost about $20.00, and worth every penny. They may even sell it direct.

It's called SEAL-TIGHT below is the address for picture and description

http://www.brownmed.com/products/seal-tight/seal-tight/index.htm

Donna

Re: Tips from a shoe queen

Beverly on 2/15/01 at 18:40 (039075)

Pat,

Shoes and I have a real love affair going. PF made me switch from beautiful shoes to healthy shoes. I've tried lots and lots and lots of 'healthy' shoes. What you like will have alot to do with the kind of arch you have and what type of arch support you like. For instance, I have an archs somewhere between average and slightly high. I love the classic Birks. I do best with the Arizona sandal and Boston clog. But I can't wear the Tatami (higher arch Birk or the Footbeds/lower arch Birk). You need to go to a store that has alot of them with sales people who know how to fit. Ask for someone who wears Birks and knows alot about them. Don't settle for someone who started working there last month. Breaking in Birks is slow going. Don't wear them more than an hour at first.

My second favorite shoe is the Dansko classic footbed (Meta sandal style or Professional clog). I can't wear them all day, but if I have a dressy event to attend that just won't work with Birks, they are a good alternative for me. Ditto on Mephesto sandals and Ecco outdoor Gor-Tex walking shoes.

I wear Chaco water sandals in the shower and in the bathroom. I never go barefooted. My shower shoes are right by the tub, waiting for me. I like Chaco because they have some arch support. Not cheap but I don't hurt while in the shower. Teva is another good shower shoe. Some Teva styles have some arch support but not as much as Chaco. Birks also make shower shoes with arch support.

I too wear Spenco arch support (full-length) -- in my Brooks athletic shoes and Ecco walking shoes. I'm not completely satisfied with them either but after trying numerous otc products and several custom sets, they have been my best choice. Another popular otc arch support is by Superfeet. For me, they had too much arch support. Others had too little. This is a real hit and miss/trial and error thing.

Good luck. If you're moving to Florida, you'll be able to wear Birks year round. But don't wear them in the rain. They get ruinned if you get them wet. I wear my athletic shoes when it is raining.
Best of luck,
Beverly

Re: Eccos and showers

Julie on 2/16/01 at 02:00 (039111)

Beverly, are you really ok with your Eccos? I'd worn them pretty exclusively for about a hundred years, but retired them to the back of the cupboard in favour of Birks and trainers when I got pf. I've been so much better lately that I got the Eccos out the other day and wore them to a gathering I didn't want to attend in trainers, and had a bit of a setback. I felt they were too soft and had too much give in the shank - even with my orthotics in.

I miss them, especially my favourite multi-coloured pair. But I'm glad you can still wear them.

Donna, you're a mine of information. Thanks for telling us about the tape/cast shower protector (sorry, I've forgotten it's name and daren't go back to your post to check - last time I did that yesterday I lost the whole of the recent messages page. If I ever have to tape seriously again, I'll get one. My plastic bags always leaked too - but it was better than nothing.

Julie

Re: Hail Beverly

Barbara TX on 2/16/01 at 10:45 (039148)

You really are the undisputed queen of shoes. If you ever put your picture on the website, you should wear a crown, like Kim! B.

Re: Newbie Says Thanks!!!!!

Pat S. on 2/16/01 at 15:38 (039185)

Hi All You Wonderful People!
Wow....thanks so much for all your responses and the dirth of fantastic
info you all had to impart.
The first thing I have done is read the PF book. What a super resource!
I am still in the process of dissecting it to get more feedback.
I also tried that Birk web site, and ordered a pair of sandals. I thought,
what the heck, for 36,00 euro, versus 89.00 US, I should just experiment
and see how they feel. I am still mulling over some of the other suggestions for shoes you good people have shared.
Regarding exercise....I have tried swimming, and it is a weird thing. When
I swim, more specifically kick, it feels like my heel has something
bouncing around in it. It is an unsettling feeling. Has anyone ever
felt that? I worry that I might be injuring the fascia more.
No, my pod never tested my gait. Basically, the two pods I have seen
are the type who rush me, only want to give me injections, and have me
make a follow up appointment. I had one cortisone shot, and it hurt like
heck. Worse, it did absolutely nothing for me!!! So thus far, I cancelled
my last appointment with the pod feeling that I might try to fix this
myself. Hence, finding this site. Not to say I should self-treat, yet,
nothing has been done since July to help the problem by the docs.
With six kids its hard to get rest ;) however, I do pace myself, and
sit as much as possible. We went down to Universal Studios in Orlando
a month ago, and I found myself renting a wheelchair, as it was much too
difficult to negotiate the parks. The kids thought it was 'cool' and
liked to take turns in the chair. We drew some stares, but who cares,
right?
You have also energized me to try streching again. Wish me luck, as I
tend to be lazy about it.
Well, all, thanks again. I will be following the posts, and might be back
with some more questions.
Patty

Re: To Julie on Eccos

Beverly on 2/16/01 at 16:08 (039186)

Hi Julie,

I can't wear the women's Ecco's. Like your experience, I found them too soft. I have one pair of men's Ecco walking shoes (outdoor/Gortex style) that are as close as I can get in looks to a 'boat shoe/loafer look.' It is the Track II. It is much sturdier and built up than any of their other shoes, and the men's version seems sturdier than the women's version. I wear arch supports in them. I still would not wear them all day. I like wearing them in the winter with pants when I want something more professional looking than athletic shoes. Actually, Birks and high quality athletic shoes with Spenco arch supports are the only shoes I can wear all day. But I still say Birks are superior to any of the arch supports or custom arch supports I've tried.

Barbara, thanks for the tiarra offer. I'll take a picture of my shoe collection.
Beverly

Re: To Beverly on Eccos

Julie on 2/16/01 at 16:20 (039187)

Hi Beverly

That explains it! Many thanks for explaining. I'll have to see if I can find a pair of men's Eccos to fit me. We seem to have the same taste (if you can call it that) in shoes: Birks, athletic shoes, Eccos...

Julie

Re: Newbie Says Thanks!!!!!

Julie on 2/16/01 at 16:26 (039188)

Pat, I really think you should find another pod, one who will give you a thorough gait analysis. Self-diagnosis is risky: you need a proper diagnosis. And you need a pod who won't rush you and won't be too needle-happy.

If swimming hurts, maybe leave it out for the time being.

I hope the Birkenstocks you ordered fit you. You need plenty of room around the foot - I think they say a good half inch. I take a size bigger in Birks than I normally do. When you walk in them, grip with your toes: Birks are meant to exercise the feet, which is one of the reasons they are so good - as long as they suit you, which I hope they will.

Care with the stretching. If you are in enough pain to need a wheelchair, weight-bearing stretching is probably not for you. If anything you do hurts, stop. (Did I say this before? Excuse me if I did.)

Good luck!

Julie

Re: Newbie to List.....What Shoes?

Beth PA on 2/17/01 at 10:30 (039250)

Birkenstocks are what allow me to walk. I've had this problem for the past 4 yrs, steadily worsening, and Birkenstocks have been my saving grace. At first they were the only shoe that completely relieved my pain. After my problem became severe and I couldn't walk barefoot at all, I would keep a pair next to my bed and put them on immediately so that I could at least walk. I think the arch support is what really helps--they are basically like wearing orthotics--they put your foot in the correct position, so it really isn't about a cushion for the heel as much as it is about putting your entire foot in the correct position for walking.

Re: Re:This is what is working for me

MargeB on 2/21/01 at 17:01 (039575)

I, too, have been suffering with PF since July 2000 and I think this site is WONDERFUL. I am usually a lurker and don't often post but today I thought I would share my PF experience. I was fortunate to go to a sports podiatrist in NJ who was very sympathetic and, in fact, had PF herself.

This is what I have done:

Taped my feet (I just showered and dryed the tape off) and changed it every three days. I put the tape on a bit differently than shown here but the end result is the same. To give support to your arch.

Calf stretching against the wall and on the stairs.

Superfeet inserts (superfeet.com-an informative site)

I had a succession of three shots (I did not find them so painful)

I went for physical therapy for 12 sessions where they did whirpool, massage (wonderful), heat packs, ice packs, ultrasound and stretching.

And the thing that help the most are Dansko clogs. Dansko clogs and superfeet inserts and I can walk all day. They have been a lifesaver although the other things and especially the physical therapy contributed. I took the inserts with me to get the right size and they have to be the ones with backs, I think they are the called 'professional.' Many doctors/nurses/cooks who are on their feet a lot wear them. I love them.

It's amazing how much better one can feel after relief from this pain. I told people it is like a bad toothache, a knawing annoying pain that makes you cranky. Hope I helped. Where do you live in upstate NY.