Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

rigid orthotics and taping questions

Posted by davidba on 8/23/01 at 15:24 (057698)

I just went to my third podiatrist. This one said that my semi-firm orthotics were not giving me proper support and that what I needed were rigid ones. I've seen a lot of messages posted by folks who have had trouble with rigid ones, but am I correct in assuming that they do help some people? In addition, she recommedned a very simple taping technique of putting athletic tape across my arch to give it more support. This obviously is very different from the method used in Scott's book. Does anyone else use such a simplistic method or would I be wasting my time? By the way, this message board continues to be my main method of support and this doctor's assistant said it appeared to him that I knew more about PF than he did. And of course, it's all from you folks. Thanks again.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Wendy in NJ on 8/23/01 at 17:17 (057717)

Hi David! as a matter of fact, I tape my arches every day. Last weekend I went without tape to let them breathe and it makes my bones hurt in my feet...figure that out. My entire foot hurts when I don't tape as opposed to only my heel when I do. I'm interested in knowing if anyone else does it. As for support...I use a cheap 10.00 insert that cushions my heels and the balls of my feet. Whenever I don't have that support under the balls of my feet, OOWWWEEEE. (did that Sunday all day, using only heel cup..big mistake) Hope this helps.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Ray W on 8/23/01 at 17:34 (057719)

Rigid devices may give sove relief however the problem is that they do not lead to a cure.
It is my understanding that they prevent the natural functioning of the foot and I guess in the long term that is not good.
It seems to me the most important thing is to find out why you have PF.
Is it a biomechanical foot fault in which case it needs to be correctly treated with rest, you cant beat rest.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Pauline on 8/23/01 at 18:12 (057728)

Hi Wendy,
I too tape my feet and use a insert for a running shoe by Dr. Scholls. The combination seem to be working for me. I prefer the cheap athletic
tape from Target. Four rolls for about $5-6 dollars. It supplies enough support for me and comes off easy at night.

A tip I have for ' tape curl' if you have a problem with it when putting on your socks is to leave your foot on the floor only picking up the toes.
Slip the sock on over the tape and gently ease it up the foot, slightly picking up you foot as you pull on the sock. Works every time for me.
Maybe the expensive tape does not cause a ' tape curl' problem but if it does try my suggestion.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Pauline on 8/23/01 at 18:14 (057729)

The insert I use is basicly just a replacement for the insert already found in running shoes. Nothing you would call an orthotic.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/23/01 at 19:42 (057747)

Rigid orthotics can be right for a lot of people. Every patient's needs are different and hopefully your doc can help determine the best device for you. The more rigid the orthotic, the more precise it must be--less room for error. Softer devices are more forgiving.

Rest is good for temporary relief but it is rarely a cure. The goal of orthotics is to change or correct the faulty biomechanics which leads to plantar fasciitis in the first place-- it is one of the primary methods of effecting a long term cure.
Ed

Re: David, tape

Julie on 8/24/01 at 07:01 (057778)

Hi David

To be effective, i.e. to give the arch the support that it needs and that the fascia can no longer give it, the tape needs to connect the heel and the ball of the foot - like the fascia. I'm sorry to disagree with your podiatrist, but I can't see how taping across the arch (presumably you mean from one side of the foot to the other) could achieve the same effect.

Simple methods do work, though. The simplest of the techniques Scott describes - two strips of tape connecting the ball and the heel - worked well for me for the many months I needed it: as well as the complex full wrap my pod used. Try it. You need a good quality tape that won't 'give' in the course of a full day, and that will stay on. I used Leuko tape, made by Beiersdorf. It's available on line at a site John H posted a link to a while ago if you want to go to that trouble. Someone else recommended Johnson's Ortholetic (I think) tape. The good quality tapes tend to be expensive, another advantage of the two-strip technique. (I feel like a cracked record sometimes!)

Come back if you have any questions or problems. Do a search on my name, or on ' tape', or come back if you have any questions or problems.

Re: Rest

Julie on 8/24/01 at 07:04 (057779)

Rest is important, but so is movement. Too much rest can result in muscle weakness and atrophy. Correct non-weight-bearing stretching, targeted, as Glenn points out on another thread, to increasing the angle of dorsiflexion, plus isometric non-weight-bearing strengthening exercises, perhaps with the help of the Personal Foot Trainer, would be a good combination.

Re: Question for Dr. Davis rigid orthotics and taping questions

Pauline on 8/24/01 at 09:36 (057800)

Question Dr. Davis,
So often you refer to faulty biomechanics as the main cause for Plantar fasciitis. Is this the only cause and is it documentated as such or is biomechanics viewed as only one of the contributing factors?

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Richard, C.Ped on 8/24/01 at 09:44 (057802)

Hi David,
A rigid orthosis is wonderful for some feet, but horrible for others. It all depends on your foot type and what is going on there. If someone has a very sensitive foot, I will start them off with a soft orthosis (40 durometer EVA with a 30 shell or tri-lam shell with plastazote). They may have to work their way into a more rigid device.
Richard, C.Ped

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

john h on 8/24/01 at 10:07 (057809)

orthotics have always produced some controversey on the board. some like hard, some like soft, some like semi rigid and some do not like them at all. i have spent a goodly some of money on custom orthitics of all three kinds and after all is said and done i just would not offer an opinion one way or another. the best orthotic for me is aBirkenstock sandal and with its footbed it must be considered an orthotic. if you should get an improper orthotic it would seem clear that it could damage your feet if not properly fitted. you have, after all, been walking on your feet in a given manner for your entire lifetime and to suddenly change the mechanics of how you walk is not to be taken lightly. how to find the right doctor who will get you into the right orthotic and the right guy to construct that orthotic is sort of beyond the patients control.

Re: for Richard and Dr Z

john h on 8/24/01 at 12:52 (057827)

questions: i have semi rigid orthotic in a New Balance 853. all of my waking and work for the past 7 weeks has been aBirkenstock Airizona sandal. as you both know the footbed in this sandal would almost qualify as a hard orthotic. since my foot improvement over the past six weeks i hardly notice the old pain at the insertional point of the pf into the heel while wearing birks. when i put on my orthotics i can clearly feel the orthotic in my usual area of pain no matter what shoes i put them in. i have done this with custom hard orthotics, off the shelf orthotcis, etc i walked a mile on concrete the other day in my birks and hardly noticed anything. yesterday i walked a mile and one half on an indoor padded track with the orthotics and it was just not as comfortable and i could feel the pressure at the insertional point. my feet were just mildly sore after this walk. today i am in birks again and feet are good. the questions that comes to my mind is the orthotic i have not fitted right (every other orthotic has produced the same resut), maybe i need a soft orthotic or maybe i do not need an orthotic at all? i cannot run around in birks for the rest of my life particularly if i can reach my current goal of being able to walk 3 miles a day, 5 days a week. how do you know if soft orthotics are more suited to a particular condition? how do you really know if you really need orthotics at all? certainly birks with a stiff sole and an orthotic type footbed make my feet feel better but why cannot i achieve this in a shoe with a custom orthotic?

Re: Question for Dr. Davis rigid orthotics and taping questions

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/24/01 at 13:12 (057833)

Plantar fasciitis is caused by excess tension on the plantar fascia over a long period of time. As such, I feel that the vast majority of cases have a biomechanical origin. An individual with a large biomechanical defect may get plantar fasciitis easier than one with a small defect. But, take a foot with a minor biomech. defect and stress it hard, occupationally or via running and you get problems.

Plantar fasciitis is also a disease of modern man. It is a long discussion but briefly our feet are not really designed to be on hard surfaces for long periods of time (maybe a subject for an upcoming essay).
Ed

Re: For John h

Pauline on 8/24/01 at 22:34 (057892)

John,
I was toldBirkenstock makes a full line of shoes, even regular tie shoes, why would it be impossible for you to use Birks all the time. Certainly the sandals are worn with heavy socks, but the full shoes look as good as any men's shoes I've seen.

Re: for John re your orthotics

Julie on 8/25/01 at 03:10 (057897)

John, wouldn't it be a good idea to get your orthotics checked out? If Birks give you the right support and take you comfortably through the day, the right orthotic inside the right shoes surely ought to do the same. It should be possible to construct a pair that would give you at least as the same degree of comfort and support as Birks.

Maybe this should go on the agenda for when you next see Dr Z.

Re: for John re your orthotics

john h on 8/25/01 at 10:15 (057909)

julie: your comment about getting the right orthortics right makes . my first pair were hard orthotics and were cast by a reputable podiatrist and were Sportsthotics a well know maker of ortotics ($400). My second pair were by prescripton from an MD foot and ankle surgeon and were of the soft variety. They were cast and made by a highly reputable local firm ($300). My third pair were semi rigid and were made by using the pressure sensitive pad you walk across and then computer generated ($400). I have had these adjusted once as it is free and after your post i will get them adjusted at the Snell Prosethic and Orthotic Labratories. they are highly skilled and i guess it is up to the patient to clearly explain to them what they are feeling. i have tried the birk conventional shoes and for what ever reason they just do not work for my feet like the sandals. i have tried so many off the shelf orthotics i would not waste the space to list them. it would seem evident that you can be comfortable in a birk sandal then you should find similar relief in some orthotic?

Re: for John re your orthotics

Julie on 8/25/01 at 11:49 (057919)

Well, yes, I think you should. But so many people seem to have tried, unsuccessfully, so many pairs of orthotics that you have to wonder about the variation in skill and expertise of those who cast, prescribe and construct them. I guess Richard and Brian would have something to say about that. Are you confident that your present ones were correctly casted in the first place?

I know exactly what you mean about Birks closed shoes. I tried on several pairs and didn't get on with them at all. I didn't like the look of them, any more than the fit of them. So it's Arizonas for me, all the way. I have five pairs now (don't ask me why) in different shades .

Re: for John re your orthotics

john h on 8/25/01 at 14:07 (057947)

when they do not feel good julie you sometimes wonder. siiting from my computer chair i also count 5 pair of birk sandals which includes one pair of the soft bed sandal which is very comfortable. monay i shall give it the old collegey try and have my current orthotics adjusted once more. i have worn birk sandals with everything except a business suite and a tux.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

michael k on 8/27/01 at 11:17 (058095)

Who sells Birks the cheapest, ie. on-line store ? and do you have a web address

Re: Birkenstocks on line

Julie on 8/27/01 at 11:22 (058097)

Michael, the German Birkenstock website has the lowest prices. Click on the blue link right here and you'll be taken to the site. But first get fitted properly in a specialist store with a good stock and trained fitters so you know the size and style you need.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

BG CPed on 8/27/01 at 22:18 (058177)

You left out the part about BUYING the first pair there also. Just like to remind folks that if you dont patronize specialty stores they will go the way of the local hardware store

Re: Birkenstocks on line

Julie on 8/28/01 at 02:27 (058197)

Sorry, Brian! I know how you feel about this, and I feel likewise. I didn't forget, but I was in a hurry, so I didn't give the full spiel. And I do hate sounding like a cracked record!

Michael (and anyone else contemplating buying Birks on line):

it is not fair to put trained staff in a shoe store to the trouble of talking to you, and fitting you, and advising you, and then to say 'thank you' and go off and order what you want on line.

It is also not fair to buy a pair of shoes in a store, walk around the house for a week till you're sure they're all right, and then return them and order them on line.

Buy your first pair from the store you were fitted in. Then order more on line.

There you are, Brian - hope that covers it. Thanks for pulling me up. It's important.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

bg cped on 8/28/01 at 06:36 (058202)

no problem, thanks for the ad-on. I knew that you were aware of it.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

john h on 8/28/01 at 10:19 (058211)

Julie, your position on being fair to your local store is right. However, out here in this business world i am not sure the word 'fair' exist. It is survival of the strongest. i bought my first two pair from my local store and paid $90 each for a pair of Airizona's.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

michael k on 8/28/01 at 17:13 (058267)

Thanks Julie. FYI - i bought two pair of sandals at the local store at a slight discount, one for home and one for outside. I was trying to get a pair of closed top ones, but they mentioned they didn't sell them. So, in fairness , i have supported the local business by buying 2 pairs, and the one i want , they don't sell.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

BG CPED on 8/28/01 at 17:53 (058276)

I do not mean to dredge this issue up, but it is something I feel strong about. You are correct that in the business world there is no 'fair' Buying bottled water or gasoline is a comodity. You can look for the lowest price pick it up and buy it. Birks do require special attention to get full benefit. Once you have correct size it is fine to buy online.

I can say that myself and another retailer have cut back on Birk ordering due to this issue. In fact I have ordered maybe 25 pair in last 4 months lowest in 3 years while my new balance numbers and everything else is up big time. This is due to home shopping and internet birk sales.

I get several calls per week from folks that purchased online and are having troubles. Birk tells them to go to me to fix it, and the customer does not want to pay me for my time. Many feel I am a francise Birk dealer and should do it under some concept of warranty.

I just dont think it is a good idea to buy a european sized product, that can cause problems if wrong from somebody wearinga headset looking at a chart in front of them. This works for many but also causes ill will in customers at retail and wholesale level. A company should not compete with retailers that is uses as dealers, then send problems to the dealer to correct.

There are other shoe lines out there that are gaining on Birk. The sales figures are probably up for Birk, but they are in sams costco home shoping and sold direct from birk via web. Yes they have a right to do it but it is slimey in my opinion. I would liken it to the old hardware store, you could go with any part or question and the old guy in the apron could tell you what it was what you needed and what isle it was in. The big box guys that pushed them out have cheaper prices but try to ask for a roll of duct tape and you will get sent all over and find a box of it most likely going to be priced incorrectly.

I could stop selling shoes tomorrow and do fine. I am not against competition from retailers but I am against a company competing against its dealer networ THEN dumping their problems on me. The explaination they give is 'well think of all the traffic it will create for your store' That is an insult. I dont enjoy when a tire kicker comes in and spends 1/2 hour of my time getting sized, fit and asking questions then they say ok thanks and leave only to go order online.

Some folks may say hey too bad, the guy deserves best price possible. Yes low price is important. I would ask the folks that think it is ok if they would do that at their job? Can you go to a Lawyer and spend 1/2 hour of his time, ask questions then go file yourself in small claims thinking it was ok cause all he did was talk and answer questions? He didnt go to court with you so he didnt really do much? There are millions of examples.

When the good specialty places go out of business or stop selling certain products because of this more people will realize. Birk is making a poor business decision IMHO. but that is their right.

There was a situation on local news the other day, A foriegn lady called tv news to say she was discriminated against at a business. The news hyped it up all day. It was a small auto repair and the owner was put on camera and accused of discrimination. He did estimate and diagnosis on the ladies car.He spent almost an hour on it and told her what was wrong. She said ok and wanted to leave, and didnt want to pay the $60 diagnostic fee. they argued she finally paid and he wrote on her bill 'paid as$hole'

Sure it wasnt professional but I wish I could do that sometimes. The guy apologized on camera and the lady is getting a lawyer. This guy looked like about a 70 year old guy and should have retired already. Some cultures it is common practice to haggle. The us is more I did the work, thats what it costs, now pay me.
She may have thought it was ok to tell him to eat the bill. If he did use any names which she claimed he called her 'foriegn' which is maybe bad taste but factually true.
Sorry I got off track there. Feel free to add on or tell me I am full of it Sorry to Scot if this is on the wrong thread

Re: Birkenstocks on line

Julie on 8/29/01 at 02:15 (058319)

Hi Michael

That's good. I hope you didn't think I was getting at you! Now a word of warning. If you buy a different style of Birks, whether in-store or on-line, be prepared for them to fit (and feel) differently from the style you have. Birks do hundreds of styles. You can learn a fair amount about which styles suit which foot types and activities from reading the descriptions on line, but that is no substitute for proper fitting. If you can't find a shop that sells the ones you're looking for, and you want to take a chance on buying an unfamiliar style on line, bear in mind that you may have to return them, and that therefore it would be better to use one of the American websites. Make sure before you order that there is a good returns policy. (And don't go to BG or another orthotist or a store for adjustments!)

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Wendy in NJ on 8/23/01 at 17:17 (057717)

Hi David! as a matter of fact, I tape my arches every day. Last weekend I went without tape to let them breathe and it makes my bones hurt in my feet...figure that out. My entire foot hurts when I don't tape as opposed to only my heel when I do. I'm interested in knowing if anyone else does it. As for support...I use a cheap 10.00 insert that cushions my heels and the balls of my feet. Whenever I don't have that support under the balls of my feet, OOWWWEEEE. (did that Sunday all day, using only heel cup..big mistake) Hope this helps.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Ray W on 8/23/01 at 17:34 (057719)

Rigid devices may give sove relief however the problem is that they do not lead to a cure.
It is my understanding that they prevent the natural functioning of the foot and I guess in the long term that is not good.
It seems to me the most important thing is to find out why you have PF.
Is it a biomechanical foot fault in which case it needs to be correctly treated with rest, you cant beat rest.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Pauline on 8/23/01 at 18:12 (057728)

Hi Wendy,
I too tape my feet and use a insert for a running shoe by Dr. Scholls. The combination seem to be working for me. I prefer the cheap athletic
tape from Target. Four rolls for about $5-6 dollars. It supplies enough support for me and comes off easy at night.

A tip I have for ' tape curl' if you have a problem with it when putting on your socks is to leave your foot on the floor only picking up the toes.
Slip the sock on over the tape and gently ease it up the foot, slightly picking up you foot as you pull on the sock. Works every time for me.
Maybe the expensive tape does not cause a ' tape curl' problem but if it does try my suggestion.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Pauline on 8/23/01 at 18:14 (057729)

The insert I use is basicly just a replacement for the insert already found in running shoes. Nothing you would call an orthotic.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/23/01 at 19:42 (057747)

Rigid orthotics can be right for a lot of people. Every patient's needs are different and hopefully your doc can help determine the best device for you. The more rigid the orthotic, the more precise it must be--less room for error. Softer devices are more forgiving.

Rest is good for temporary relief but it is rarely a cure. The goal of orthotics is to change or correct the faulty biomechanics which leads to plantar fasciitis in the first place-- it is one of the primary methods of effecting a long term cure.
Ed

Re: David, tape

Julie on 8/24/01 at 07:01 (057778)

Hi David

To be effective, i.e. to give the arch the support that it needs and that the fascia can no longer give it, the tape needs to connect the heel and the ball of the foot - like the fascia. I'm sorry to disagree with your podiatrist, but I can't see how taping across the arch (presumably you mean from one side of the foot to the other) could achieve the same effect.

Simple methods do work, though. The simplest of the techniques Scott describes - two strips of tape connecting the ball and the heel - worked well for me for the many months I needed it: as well as the complex full wrap my pod used. Try it. You need a good quality tape that won't 'give' in the course of a full day, and that will stay on. I used Leuko tape, made by Beiersdorf. It's available on line at a site John H posted a link to a while ago if you want to go to that trouble. Someone else recommended Johnson's Ortholetic (I think) tape. The good quality tapes tend to be expensive, another advantage of the two-strip technique. (I feel like a cracked record sometimes!)

Come back if you have any questions or problems. Do a search on my name, or on ' tape', or come back if you have any questions or problems.

Re: Rest

Julie on 8/24/01 at 07:04 (057779)

Rest is important, but so is movement. Too much rest can result in muscle weakness and atrophy. Correct non-weight-bearing stretching, targeted, as Glenn points out on another thread, to increasing the angle of dorsiflexion, plus isometric non-weight-bearing strengthening exercises, perhaps with the help of the Personal Foot Trainer, would be a good combination.

Re: Question for Dr. Davis rigid orthotics and taping questions

Pauline on 8/24/01 at 09:36 (057800)

Question Dr. Davis,
So often you refer to faulty biomechanics as the main cause for Plantar fasciitis. Is this the only cause and is it documentated as such or is biomechanics viewed as only one of the contributing factors?

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

Richard, C.Ped on 8/24/01 at 09:44 (057802)

Hi David,
A rigid orthosis is wonderful for some feet, but horrible for others. It all depends on your foot type and what is going on there. If someone has a very sensitive foot, I will start them off with a soft orthosis (40 durometer EVA with a 30 shell or tri-lam shell with plastazote). They may have to work their way into a more rigid device.
Richard, C.Ped

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

john h on 8/24/01 at 10:07 (057809)

orthotics have always produced some controversey on the board. some like hard, some like soft, some like semi rigid and some do not like them at all. i have spent a goodly some of money on custom orthitics of all three kinds and after all is said and done i just would not offer an opinion one way or another. the best orthotic for me is aBirkenstock sandal and with its footbed it must be considered an orthotic. if you should get an improper orthotic it would seem clear that it could damage your feet if not properly fitted. you have, after all, been walking on your feet in a given manner for your entire lifetime and to suddenly change the mechanics of how you walk is not to be taken lightly. how to find the right doctor who will get you into the right orthotic and the right guy to construct that orthotic is sort of beyond the patients control.

Re: for Richard and Dr Z

john h on 8/24/01 at 12:52 (057827)

questions: i have semi rigid orthotic in a New Balance 853. all of my waking and work for the past 7 weeks has been aBirkenstock Airizona sandal. as you both know the footbed in this sandal would almost qualify as a hard orthotic. since my foot improvement over the past six weeks i hardly notice the old pain at the insertional point of the pf into the heel while wearing birks. when i put on my orthotics i can clearly feel the orthotic in my usual area of pain no matter what shoes i put them in. i have done this with custom hard orthotics, off the shelf orthotcis, etc i walked a mile on concrete the other day in my birks and hardly noticed anything. yesterday i walked a mile and one half on an indoor padded track with the orthotics and it was just not as comfortable and i could feel the pressure at the insertional point. my feet were just mildly sore after this walk. today i am in birks again and feet are good. the questions that comes to my mind is the orthotic i have not fitted right (every other orthotic has produced the same resut), maybe i need a soft orthotic or maybe i do not need an orthotic at all? i cannot run around in birks for the rest of my life particularly if i can reach my current goal of being able to walk 3 miles a day, 5 days a week. how do you know if soft orthotics are more suited to a particular condition? how do you really know if you really need orthotics at all? certainly birks with a stiff sole and an orthotic type footbed make my feet feel better but why cannot i achieve this in a shoe with a custom orthotic?

Re: Question for Dr. Davis rigid orthotics and taping questions

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/24/01 at 13:12 (057833)

Plantar fasciitis is caused by excess tension on the plantar fascia over a long period of time. As such, I feel that the vast majority of cases have a biomechanical origin. An individual with a large biomechanical defect may get plantar fasciitis easier than one with a small defect. But, take a foot with a minor biomech. defect and stress it hard, occupationally or via running and you get problems.

Plantar fasciitis is also a disease of modern man. It is a long discussion but briefly our feet are not really designed to be on hard surfaces for long periods of time (maybe a subject for an upcoming essay).
Ed

Re: For John h

Pauline on 8/24/01 at 22:34 (057892)

John,
I was toldBirkenstock makes a full line of shoes, even regular tie shoes, why would it be impossible for you to use Birks all the time. Certainly the sandals are worn with heavy socks, but the full shoes look as good as any men's shoes I've seen.

Re: for John re your orthotics

Julie on 8/25/01 at 03:10 (057897)

John, wouldn't it be a good idea to get your orthotics checked out? If Birks give you the right support and take you comfortably through the day, the right orthotic inside the right shoes surely ought to do the same. It should be possible to construct a pair that would give you at least as the same degree of comfort and support as Birks.

Maybe this should go on the agenda for when you next see Dr Z.

Re: for John re your orthotics

john h on 8/25/01 at 10:15 (057909)

julie: your comment about getting the right orthortics right makes . my first pair were hard orthotics and were cast by a reputable podiatrist and were Sportsthotics a well know maker of ortotics ($400). My second pair were by prescripton from an MD foot and ankle surgeon and were of the soft variety. They were cast and made by a highly reputable local firm ($300). My third pair were semi rigid and were made by using the pressure sensitive pad you walk across and then computer generated ($400). I have had these adjusted once as it is free and after your post i will get them adjusted at the Snell Prosethic and Orthotic Labratories. they are highly skilled and i guess it is up to the patient to clearly explain to them what they are feeling. i have tried the birk conventional shoes and for what ever reason they just do not work for my feet like the sandals. i have tried so many off the shelf orthotics i would not waste the space to list them. it would seem evident that you can be comfortable in a birk sandal then you should find similar relief in some orthotic?

Re: for John re your orthotics

Julie on 8/25/01 at 11:49 (057919)

Well, yes, I think you should. But so many people seem to have tried, unsuccessfully, so many pairs of orthotics that you have to wonder about the variation in skill and expertise of those who cast, prescribe and construct them. I guess Richard and Brian would have something to say about that. Are you confident that your present ones were correctly casted in the first place?

I know exactly what you mean about Birks closed shoes. I tried on several pairs and didn't get on with them at all. I didn't like the look of them, any more than the fit of them. So it's Arizonas for me, all the way. I have five pairs now (don't ask me why) in different shades .

Re: for John re your orthotics

john h on 8/25/01 at 14:07 (057947)

when they do not feel good julie you sometimes wonder. siiting from my computer chair i also count 5 pair of birk sandals which includes one pair of the soft bed sandal which is very comfortable. monay i shall give it the old collegey try and have my current orthotics adjusted once more. i have worn birk sandals with everything except a business suite and a tux.

Re: rigid orthotics and taping questions

michael k on 8/27/01 at 11:17 (058095)

Who sells Birks the cheapest, ie. on-line store ? and do you have a web address

Re: Birkenstocks on line

Julie on 8/27/01 at 11:22 (058097)

Michael, the German Birkenstock website has the lowest prices. Click on the blue link right here and you'll be taken to the site. But first get fitted properly in a specialist store with a good stock and trained fitters so you know the size and style you need.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

BG CPed on 8/27/01 at 22:18 (058177)

You left out the part about BUYING the first pair there also. Just like to remind folks that if you dont patronize specialty stores they will go the way of the local hardware store

Re: Birkenstocks on line

Julie on 8/28/01 at 02:27 (058197)

Sorry, Brian! I know how you feel about this, and I feel likewise. I didn't forget, but I was in a hurry, so I didn't give the full spiel. And I do hate sounding like a cracked record!

Michael (and anyone else contemplating buying Birks on line):

it is not fair to put trained staff in a shoe store to the trouble of talking to you, and fitting you, and advising you, and then to say 'thank you' and go off and order what you want on line.

It is also not fair to buy a pair of shoes in a store, walk around the house for a week till you're sure they're all right, and then return them and order them on line.

Buy your first pair from the store you were fitted in. Then order more on line.

There you are, Brian - hope that covers it. Thanks for pulling me up. It's important.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

bg cped on 8/28/01 at 06:36 (058202)

no problem, thanks for the ad-on. I knew that you were aware of it.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

john h on 8/28/01 at 10:19 (058211)

Julie, your position on being fair to your local store is right. However, out here in this business world i am not sure the word 'fair' exist. It is survival of the strongest. i bought my first two pair from my local store and paid $90 each for a pair of Airizona's.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

michael k on 8/28/01 at 17:13 (058267)

Thanks Julie. FYI - i bought two pair of sandals at the local store at a slight discount, one for home and one for outside. I was trying to get a pair of closed top ones, but they mentioned they didn't sell them. So, in fairness , i have supported the local business by buying 2 pairs, and the one i want , they don't sell.

Re: Birkenstocks on line

BG CPED on 8/28/01 at 17:53 (058276)

I do not mean to dredge this issue up, but it is something I feel strong about. You are correct that in the business world there is no 'fair' Buying bottled water or gasoline is a comodity. You can look for the lowest price pick it up and buy it. Birks do require special attention to get full benefit. Once you have correct size it is fine to buy online.

I can say that myself and another retailer have cut back on Birk ordering due to this issue. In fact I have ordered maybe 25 pair in last 4 months lowest in 3 years while my new balance numbers and everything else is up big time. This is due to home shopping and internet birk sales.

I get several calls per week from folks that purchased online and are having troubles. Birk tells them to go to me to fix it, and the customer does not want to pay me for my time. Many feel I am a francise Birk dealer and should do it under some concept of warranty.

I just dont think it is a good idea to buy a european sized product, that can cause problems if wrong from somebody wearinga headset looking at a chart in front of them. This works for many but also causes ill will in customers at retail and wholesale level. A company should not compete with retailers that is uses as dealers, then send problems to the dealer to correct.

There are other shoe lines out there that are gaining on Birk. The sales figures are probably up for Birk, but they are in sams costco home shoping and sold direct from birk via web. Yes they have a right to do it but it is slimey in my opinion. I would liken it to the old hardware store, you could go with any part or question and the old guy in the apron could tell you what it was what you needed and what isle it was in. The big box guys that pushed them out have cheaper prices but try to ask for a roll of duct tape and you will get sent all over and find a box of it most likely going to be priced incorrectly.

I could stop selling shoes tomorrow and do fine. I am not against competition from retailers but I am against a company competing against its dealer networ THEN dumping their problems on me. The explaination they give is 'well think of all the traffic it will create for your store' That is an insult. I dont enjoy when a tire kicker comes in and spends 1/2 hour of my time getting sized, fit and asking questions then they say ok thanks and leave only to go order online.

Some folks may say hey too bad, the guy deserves best price possible. Yes low price is important. I would ask the folks that think it is ok if they would do that at their job? Can you go to a Lawyer and spend 1/2 hour of his time, ask questions then go file yourself in small claims thinking it was ok cause all he did was talk and answer questions? He didnt go to court with you so he didnt really do much? There are millions of examples.

When the good specialty places go out of business or stop selling certain products because of this more people will realize. Birk is making a poor business decision IMHO. but that is their right.

There was a situation on local news the other day, A foriegn lady called tv news to say she was discriminated against at a business. The news hyped it up all day. It was a small auto repair and the owner was put on camera and accused of discrimination. He did estimate and diagnosis on the ladies car.He spent almost an hour on it and told her what was wrong. She said ok and wanted to leave, and didnt want to pay the $60 diagnostic fee. they argued she finally paid and he wrote on her bill 'paid as$hole'

Sure it wasnt professional but I wish I could do that sometimes. The guy apologized on camera and the lady is getting a lawyer. This guy looked like about a 70 year old guy and should have retired already. Some cultures it is common practice to haggle. The us is more I did the work, thats what it costs, now pay me.
She may have thought it was ok to tell him to eat the bill. If he did use any names which she claimed he called her 'foriegn' which is maybe bad taste but factually true.
Sorry I got off track there. Feel free to add on or tell me I am full of it Sorry to Scot if this is on the wrong thread

Re: Birkenstocks on line

Julie on 8/29/01 at 02:15 (058319)

Hi Michael

That's good. I hope you didn't think I was getting at you! Now a word of warning. If you buy a different style of Birks, whether in-store or on-line, be prepared for them to fit (and feel) differently from the style you have. Birks do hundreds of styles. You can learn a fair amount about which styles suit which foot types and activities from reading the descriptions on line, but that is no substitute for proper fitting. If you can't find a shop that sells the ones you're looking for, and you want to take a chance on buying an unfamiliar style on line, bear in mind that you may have to return them, and that therefore it would be better to use one of the American websites. Make sure before you order that there is a good returns policy. (And don't go to BG or another orthotist or a store for adjustments!)