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Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Posted by Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 07:15 (068897)

I wondered if anyone had used the 'Blue Footbed arch support for casual shoes' made by Birkenstock.

My PF began the first week of June, and I visited my family doctor the next week. That was the diagnosis, and he told me to ice and stretch and wear inserts in my shoes, and said it wouldn't go away anytime soon. I bought some of the Dr. Scholls variety.

I limped around all summer doing this and then after being back teaching the first week of August, was desperate for help and found this site. I found a Birkenstock store the next day and bought a pair which have really helped. I also got a referral for a POD and saw him in two weeks.

He x-rayed, taped my feet, prescribed a week of steroids, and then NSAIDs. Every visit he talks of stretching mostly. I have shown him my Birks and the first inserts, and he basically said to do what seemed to work. (He said I had high arches and said he thought the Arizonas might not have enough arch support, so he stuck some foam type material right on the arch spot. After about a week I pulled it off because it hurt and didn't feel right.) I have only worn Birks since then, but recently bought a pair of the blue arch supports made by Birkenstock(They are 3/4 length, seem semi-rigid to me - they are firm, but they can be bent with pressure).

They feel good in my warm boots which I wear when it is snowy or slick, so I have worn them in the boots recently.

I just wondered what anyone's thoughts would be on these arch supports.

Thank you.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Mary J on 1/06/02 at 08:18 (068900)

Suzanne, I use Birkenstock blue footbed arch support velcroed to a pair of soft thongs. They are too hard for me to use inside my shoes, but they work very well on a soft surface. I am still searching for something good to wear inside my shoes. I can't wear thongs to very many places. Ha! I also cannot wear Birkenstocks because they are too hard. Good luck to you. Mary J

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Carole C on 1/06/02 at 08:32 (068906)

Suzanne, since you are a first grade teacher, as I recall, you are standing and working on your feet most of the day, I would think. Seven months must seem like eternity. Do you feel that your feet are healing? If not, have you thought of buying real custom orthotics? I know they don't work as well for everyone as they do for me, but they have made a tremendous difference for me.

They aren't cheap but then I haven't bought anything else but a shower stool since I got them, no other shoes or inserts, so in the long run they have been cost effective for me.

Carole C

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 08:34 (068907)

Thank you for your response, Mary!

Have you tried on Birkenstock shoes with the soft footbed? My Arizonas and Bostons both have the soft footbed; the regular footbed found in most is too hard for me, too.

Good luck to you as well!

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 08:41 (068910)

Carole, I have been reading your posts with great interest - both being happy for you and also wondering if custom orthotics would make that much difference for me.

I have my next appointment with my POD next week and I will bring the matter up to him. In some respects, because of the things I have learned from this site, I wonder why he hasn't made more of an issue of the orthotics and some other things mentioned here. I am also taping now to see if that helps. I have been doing that for about a week now.

For me, after the initial visit to the POD and the taping and meds, I felt a significant improvement - from an 8 or 9 level of pain most of the time and waking up at night, etc. Now I seem to be at about a 4 - which I am thankful for in relation to what I HAD been experiencing, but I seem stuck here. I think he is reacting to the initial improvement I have had and just seems to think in time I will keep improving.

Yes, I am on my feet a great deal of the day teaching first grade although I TRY to sit whenever I can and make fewer trips upstairs, etc., stretching whenever possible.

Thanks for your thoughts and concern! :-)

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

wendyn on 1/06/02 at 09:04 (068919)

Suzanne I liked them - but once I was able to tolerate a really good pair of orthotics - the custome orthotics were better.

If you don't need or want orthotics - I think the Birk inserts are the way to go. And they're pretty inexpensive.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Carole C on 1/06/02 at 09:53 (068931)

Because my orthotics have helped me so much, I am so tempted to promote them as a cure-all or miracle for everyone. However, I have noticed that most people on this board who have orthotics don't seem to have the same miraculous response to them, and they cost hundreds of dollars.

So on the one hand, I am trying to be cautious about recommending them. But on the other hand, I want to say, 'Suzanne!!! Get some custom orthotics right now so your feet get better!!!' LOL

Apparently the art/skill/expertise of the person who does your custom orthotics makes a huge difference. So, even if your POD is good at what he does, if you decide on custom orthotics you might want to consider looking around and asking around to find out who is really really good at this in your area. (?) My pedorthist has a C.Ped. though I don't know if that makes a difference or not. My rheumatologist recommended her.

Carole C

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

JudyS on 1/06/02 at 11:30 (068949)

Suzanne - I don't know if our BobG will see your question here so I hope he doesn't mind if I tell you about his experience......he's been using the Birk inserts for a long time, and still uses them religiously (and is pain-free). He has said that they've been very helpful for him. He also swears by the use of nite splints.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 12:20 (068955)

Thanks, Wendy! At least I know they are good, and that it will be reasonable to wear them until I get something custom made - if that is what I need.

And you're right: I was surprised that they did not cost any more than they did ($45). I have a friend who went to the Good Feet Store and paid much much more for a pair that do not look to me as if they would feel as good. And she doesn't seem to have improved that much, either.

They DO 'feel right' when I wear them, and so I am hopeful that they will help.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 12:23 (068956)

THANKS, Judy!! That is encouraging to hear! Thanks for responding.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

BrianG on 1/07/02 at 12:52 (069068)

Hi Suzanne,

I bought a pair a couple years ago and wore them at work for about 6 months. For me, they did not work. They seemed comfertable when I 1st bought them, but after awhile, it was pain, as usual. I'm not a typical patient though. I bought Viscoheels for $50, no help at all. Two pairs of custom orthotics made by STJ Orthotic Services. Hated them, ice scrapers!! For over 6 months I've been wearing Sporthotics, by Langer Biomechanics Group. These are also custom made, and expensive, $375. It's the 1st pair I can wear without pain from the orthotic. I still have bad PF, but I can wear this pair all day, if need be. Good luck, we have so many choices, and it is very expensive to keep trying everying out there. I wished I had used the 30 day money back guarantees on some of the OTC products I wasted my money on. Good luck

BCG

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/07/02 at 15:38 (069094)

Thank you, Brian, and good luck to you, too! I hope this last pair will help you!

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Mary J on 1/06/02 at 08:18 (068900)

Suzanne, I use Birkenstock blue footbed arch support velcroed to a pair of soft thongs. They are too hard for me to use inside my shoes, but they work very well on a soft surface. I am still searching for something good to wear inside my shoes. I can't wear thongs to very many places. Ha! I also cannot wear Birkenstocks because they are too hard. Good luck to you. Mary J

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Carole C on 1/06/02 at 08:32 (068906)

Suzanne, since you are a first grade teacher, as I recall, you are standing and working on your feet most of the day, I would think. Seven months must seem like eternity. Do you feel that your feet are healing? If not, have you thought of buying real custom orthotics? I know they don't work as well for everyone as they do for me, but they have made a tremendous difference for me.

They aren't cheap but then I haven't bought anything else but a shower stool since I got them, no other shoes or inserts, so in the long run they have been cost effective for me.

Carole C

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 08:34 (068907)

Thank you for your response, Mary!

Have you tried on Birkenstock shoes with the soft footbed? My Arizonas and Bostons both have the soft footbed; the regular footbed found in most is too hard for me, too.

Good luck to you as well!

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 08:41 (068910)

Carole, I have been reading your posts with great interest - both being happy for you and also wondering if custom orthotics would make that much difference for me.

I have my next appointment with my POD next week and I will bring the matter up to him. In some respects, because of the things I have learned from this site, I wonder why he hasn't made more of an issue of the orthotics and some other things mentioned here. I am also taping now to see if that helps. I have been doing that for about a week now.

For me, after the initial visit to the POD and the taping and meds, I felt a significant improvement - from an 8 or 9 level of pain most of the time and waking up at night, etc. Now I seem to be at about a 4 - which I am thankful for in relation to what I HAD been experiencing, but I seem stuck here. I think he is reacting to the initial improvement I have had and just seems to think in time I will keep improving.

Yes, I am on my feet a great deal of the day teaching first grade although I TRY to sit whenever I can and make fewer trips upstairs, etc., stretching whenever possible.

Thanks for your thoughts and concern! :-)

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

wendyn on 1/06/02 at 09:04 (068919)

Suzanne I liked them - but once I was able to tolerate a really good pair of orthotics - the custome orthotics were better.

If you don't need or want orthotics - I think the Birk inserts are the way to go. And they're pretty inexpensive.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Carole C on 1/06/02 at 09:53 (068931)

Because my orthotics have helped me so much, I am so tempted to promote them as a cure-all or miracle for everyone. However, I have noticed that most people on this board who have orthotics don't seem to have the same miraculous response to them, and they cost hundreds of dollars.

So on the one hand, I am trying to be cautious about recommending them. But on the other hand, I want to say, 'Suzanne!!! Get some custom orthotics right now so your feet get better!!!' LOL

Apparently the art/skill/expertise of the person who does your custom orthotics makes a huge difference. So, even if your POD is good at what he does, if you decide on custom orthotics you might want to consider looking around and asking around to find out who is really really good at this in your area. (?) My pedorthist has a C.Ped. though I don't know if that makes a difference or not. My rheumatologist recommended her.

Carole C

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

JudyS on 1/06/02 at 11:30 (068949)

Suzanne - I don't know if our BobG will see your question here so I hope he doesn't mind if I tell you about his experience......he's been using the Birk inserts for a long time, and still uses them religiously (and is pain-free). He has said that they've been very helpful for him. He also swears by the use of nite splints.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 12:20 (068955)

Thanks, Wendy! At least I know they are good, and that it will be reasonable to wear them until I get something custom made - if that is what I need.

And you're right: I was surprised that they did not cost any more than they did ($45). I have a friend who went to the Good Feet Store and paid much much more for a pair that do not look to me as if they would feel as good. And she doesn't seem to have improved that much, either.

They DO 'feel right' when I wear them, and so I am hopeful that they will help.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/06/02 at 12:23 (068956)

THANKS, Judy!! That is encouraging to hear! Thanks for responding.

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

BrianG on 1/07/02 at 12:52 (069068)

Hi Suzanne,

I bought a pair a couple years ago and wore them at work for about 6 months. For me, they did not work. They seemed comfertable when I 1st bought them, but after awhile, it was pain, as usual. I'm not a typical patient though. I bought Viscoheels for $50, no help at all. Two pairs of custom orthotics made by STJ Orthotic Services. Hated them, ice scrapers!! For over 6 months I've been wearing Sporthotics, by Langer Biomechanics Group. These are also custom made, and expensive, $375. It's the 1st pair I can wear without pain from the orthotic. I still have bad PF, but I can wear this pair all day, if need be. Good luck, we have so many choices, and it is very expensive to keep trying everying out there. I wished I had used the 30 day money back guarantees on some of the OTC products I wasted my money on. Good luck

BCG

Re: Anyone have good results with Birkenstock arch supports?

Suzanne D on 1/07/02 at 15:38 (069094)

Thank you, Brian, and good luck to you, too! I hope this last pair will help you!