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Altering Birkenstock footbed

Posted by Valerie S on 3/23/01 at hrmin (042274)

Richard:
I have a pair of orthotics prescribed to me by my podiatrist. At the time of the rx, he mentioned that he knew a couple of people who had had their Birkenstocks altered in place of custom orthotics.

I checked on the Birkenstock website, and they state that a pedorthist can alter the construction of the Birk footbed to fit individual needs. I suffer from PF, although I have been wearing Birks for over 10 years. My orthotics are so hard and do not offer the support that the Birks do. The shoe style I wear has a removable footbed, so I switch back and forth, trying to see what works.

My heels have been killing me since I got the orthotics back, so yesterday I replaced them with the cork footbed. I went through the entire day without pain (until eveningtime anyway), a big relief.

The orthotics make me slide to the outside of my shoes, and I feel like I am wearing high heels. The heel cup is not as deep as the one in my Birks, and they cause much pain to my heels. I have had some frustrations with my foot doctor, including the fact that his orthotic experiments on me seem to be random (he hasn't watched me walk or stand, ever...).

My question is: Have you ever taking a Birkenstock footbed and modifying it to fit individual needs? How expensive is it? Do you recommend it, or do you think that custom orthotics are going to be a lot more durable? I need the big toe box of the Birkenstocks to prevent ingrown toenails from flaring up.

I am not getting satisfactory answers about the orthotics that I got from the podiatrist - should I just keep trying to get used to them?

I have been off work for a week (and will be for one more week), combined with physical therapy to see if I can show any improvement. My PT says the inflammation seems to be going down, and I have new hope in this treatment after yesterday (with no orthotics = no pain). I realize it is way too early to tell, but want to do all I can to speed this along.

Thanks for your time.
-Val.

Re: Altering Birkenstock footbed

Richard, C.Ped on 3/23/01 at 12:29 (042284)

Hi Val,
There are a lot of people on the board who have had no success with the custom orthotics and felt better using the Birks. If you are able to switch them to other shoes, I don't see why not. Make sure you let you doctor know that you are doing so.

I have not modified a Birk footbed. If the material is heat moldable, you might be able to suck it down on a cast, then add posting material to it to help it retain its shape. Cost wise, I am not sure. If this is the way to go, you may have to pay a casting fee which varies with each facility.

Does the Birk feel better in all your shoes than the custom?
Richard

Re: Altering Birkenstock footbed

Valerie S on 3/23/01 at hrmin (042286)

Thank you, Richard...

I think I miscommunicated somehow. I only wear Birkenstocks, but I am able to take the cork footbed out and replace it with the orthotic (along with a flat insole to take up some space underneath).

I found links to specific pedorthists through Birkenstock for altering the footbed itself... never have called or written to them; just saw you here and thought I would ask what you thought.

Thanks again.
-Val.

Re: Altering Birkenstock footbed

Richard, C.Ped on 3/23/01 at 12:29 (042284)

Hi Val,
There are a lot of people on the board who have had no success with the custom orthotics and felt better using the Birks. If you are able to switch them to other shoes, I don't see why not. Make sure you let you doctor know that you are doing so.

I have not modified a Birk footbed. If the material is heat moldable, you might be able to suck it down on a cast, then add posting material to it to help it retain its shape. Cost wise, I am not sure. If this is the way to go, you may have to pay a casting fee which varies with each facility.

Does the Birk feel better in all your shoes than the custom?
Richard

Re: Altering Birkenstock footbed

Valerie S on 3/23/01 at hrmin (042286)

Thank you, Richard...

I think I miscommunicated somehow. I only wear Birkenstocks, but I am able to take the cork footbed out and replace it with the orthotic (along with a flat insole to take up some space underneath).

I found links to specific pedorthists through Birkenstock for altering the footbed itself... never have called or written to them; just saw you here and thought I would ask what you thought.

Thanks again.
-Val.