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Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Posted by Carole C in NOLA on 2/11/02 at 00:29 (073328)

Believe it or not, I'm probably the only person here who has never used an over the counter orthotic (other than thin gel heel lifts from Walmart). My doctor sent me to get custom soft orthotics as soon as I was diagnosed with PF, and although they are huge and only fit in gargantuan shoes, they have worked really well for me. I'm healing well so I'd like to move on to something else a little more normal sized. About all that I've dared to wear is Birkenstocks, and they are OK but I'd be more comfortable with some heel lift too.

Anybody know of a good, easily available over the counter orthotic or shoe that has plenty of arch support for high arches, and some heel lift?

I'd be interested in an over the counter orthotic like this, or possibly some sort of shoe.

The arch support is mandatory, and needs to be extremely high if possible (I've not found any that are too high). Medium arch support might do if that's all I can find. A low arch support like is found in shoe inserts that are not really orthotics is no better for me than a concrete sidewalk - - if possible I need lots of high arch support in the rear arch, or at least central arch.

By heel lift, I don't mean high heels but at least 3/8' or more would be nice; enough to take the stress off my tendons a little bit. Hopefully I could manage to stuff an orthotic with all this arch support and heel lift into a New Balance or other fairly normal walking shoe, and still have room for my foot. (grin)

Any ideas? If there is a shoe already available like this, I'd get it instead of the orthotic. Otherwise I'm going to experiment with over the counter orthotics from the grocery store or drug store, so have pity and give me some suggestions! :)

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carmen H on 2/12/02 at 11:16 (073433)

Carole...You really need to visit the Walking Co. and just do some trying on and wlaking around.
the Dansko has a high definition arch....you will feel itthe minute you put it on.
My neighbor had PF and her foot looked llike a claw the arch was so high and she put on a Dansko and felt it immediately!

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 11:38 (073437)

Thanks for the advice, Carmen! I took a look and we do have a Walking Co. store here in New Orleans, down at the River Walk which is a sort of mall at the foot of Canal St. right at the river (center of downtown, near the Quarter). Today being Mardi Gras, I can't go down there... but I can probably go down there soon.

I didn't realize that about Dansko, at all. I know a store in uptown that carries Dansko, and I will check there too after Mardi Gras. It looks like Dansko has at least a little heel lift, which would be nice.

I probably have a week or two anyway. My feet are not cooperating today even in my custom orthotics. (sigh)

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carmen H on 2/12/02 at 15:17 (073476)

Hang in there...You are soo lucky to have come so far!!!
:-)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 16:02 (073481)

Yes, you are right. I think feet are like children; they will always push you until you just can't stand any more. With kids, you can send them to their room. I want to send my feet to their room too! LOL I have been doing so well that even this itty bitty setback is hard.

I still went to the grocery store today without problems, and I remember when (like John K) I couldn't do that, so I should be glad. I wore my orthotics to work yesterday (ugh), and I've been wearing them since I woke up today, so that has helped.

My feet started having a mild burning feeling on the soles. Also, when I do my mild stretching (which is just sitting with my legs stretched out in front of me and pointing my toes towards my nose), I have started to feel sharp pain in the insertional point on my heel, in one foot. That was a little worrisome. So, the last couple of days I haven't been stretching so hard on that foot. Same stretch, just more gently. Also I can't wear my Birkenstocks without feeling more pain than usual on the sides of my feet (illustrated in purple on http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/footpain.html about half way down the page). And, the green spot on that same drawing is getting sharp tearing pains if I'm not careful.

So, I'm back to my orthotics and rest for a while. I might ice my feet this afternoon. Tomorrow I *have* to wear my Birkenstock high arch Tatami Amsterdams for a meeting with scientists that are flying into town, but I think I will be OK. I will put my orthotics/SAS shoes in the car so I can get to them just in case.

I will be like Superman dodging into a phone booth to change! Carole dodging into her car to put on her 'Super Orthotics'. :)

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carmen H on 2/12/02 at 16:55 (073497)

Been there ....done that.
changed from tennis shoes in my skirt to wlaking co shoes in the car.
Hey whatever works right?

Re: Right!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 17:06 (073501)

right! Now, I wish I could just FLY to that meeting like super-woman too! That would keep my feet from hurting. LOL :)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

JudyS on 2/12/02 at 18:54 (073523)

you can send kids to their rooms?
Imagine that. :)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 19:21 (073526)

Well, I only had one! She was outnumbered. LOL

Carole C

Re: Kids in their rooms

wendyn on 2/12/02 at 21:22 (073540)

I still find the odd occassion to send my now 16 and a half year old 6 ft child to his room. Seems a bit silly - but sometimes he can just be such a pain in the %^@ that I don't know what else to do with him, and I just want him to go away for a while.

But - he still goes!

Re: Kids in their rooms

Carmen H on 2/13/02 at 07:35 (073584)

He GOES??
Can you call my sister and tell her that trick??

Re: Kids in their rooms

wendyn on 2/13/02 at 09:13 (073592)

Yes he still goes (sometimes I wonder what I'll do if and when he just says NO). Mind you I think it's only happened twice in the last year - and probably not for about 6 months now.

It's pretty funny really (later) - we both have nasty tempers when we get really fired up - and sometimes it's just a good idea for us both to go to our seperate corners.

Re: Kids in their rooms

JudyS on 2/13/02 at 09:57 (073598)

Well, yeah......THEY always sent me to MY room.....:)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Liam on 2/14/02 at 21:27 (073754)

Hi Carole,
Last week I went to the podiatrist and he reccomended I go to the shoefixer or maker and have him add a 1/2 inch sole(heels) under my running shoes.
All the guy did was glue to the bottom of my heels 2 shoe heels, the black rubber ones, it cost me twenty dollars and now the pain in my acchilles tendons is almost gone. The good thing is that once this pain is gone he said I can remove the 2 heels and my shoes are back to normal.
Take care good luck Liam

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 09:52 (073778)

Thanks for the suggestion, Liam. I just feel like if I'm paying $100 or more for a pair of shoes, I should be able to get good, firm, HIGH arch support and heel lift in the same shoe without having to modify it. Then I could tell when I try them on if they are going to work for me or not, before coughing up my hard-earned money. Most good shoes that attempt to include arch support simply don't have anywhere near enough for my foot (and usually it's too far forward). In my quest for the perfect shoes since I got PF, I've not come across a shoe with too much arch support.

So far, only my custom orthotics truly seem to provide great support and a heel lift for me. My Birkenstock Tatami Amsterdams come a close second. They don't have any heel lift and the arch support is almost though not quite high enough. I have them on right now and they do work a lot better for me than most shoes. They would be great if only they had a little heel; but I am reluctant to modify them. Yesterday I ordered the Birkenstock 'Fulda' sandal yesterday which is supposed to have the same footbed as the Amsterdam, and I also ordered the classic footbed Birkenstock 'Grenada' in a smaller size, because supposedly then what arch is in it will at least be located a little further back on my foot, which would be a better location for me. Neither of these has a heel lift, though.

Maybe I can get down to the Walking Co. like Carmen suggests, after my dentist appointment today (my day off). Unless, of course, the dentist leaves me feeling like the walking wounded. We shall see. LOL

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

BG CPed on 2/15/02 at 22:41 (073852)

Carole I noted that you are confused as to if you pronate or supinate. If you can take a pic of your feet from front and back while standing barefoot I may be able to tell you. I would also expect that if you have been evaluated ask for the notes or chart records. Caveat: If you do supinate or have a subtle cavus foot they may have mistakenly called you a pronator, I had 3 cases today like that.

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 23:48 (073854)

Thank you, BG CPed! Here are the photos.

http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/pronate-supinate.html

What do you think? If it's too hard to tell, I can retake them or call my pedorthist and see if they kept any records.

THANK YOU so much for taking a look at them, and if it's too hard to tell from a photo I am still grateful that you tried!

Carole C

Re: pronate or suppinate?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 13:23 (073896)

I went to my pedorthist's office/shoestore this morning to try to find out from one of the pedorthists there if I pronate or suppinate, but they couldn't find any record for me. It's lost.

My pedorthist wasn't in. The lady at the counter (possibly a pedorthist or else an assistant) told me that I should continue wearing my orthotics until my doctor told me to wear something else, and then wear that. She did not seem to be willing to discuss further about what I might need or look for in a shoe.

Oh well! Anyway, if anyone here wants to venture an opinion it's more than welcome. Just looking at the photos, it's kind of hard for me to tell.

http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/pronate-supinate.html

Carole C

Re: pronate or suppinate?

BG CPed on 2/16/02 at 15:42 (073920)

Carole, It is hard from the pic but from a purely static look I would say you are in between. Your midfoot would probably be described as 'pronated' or lower. You do look to have a peek-a-boo heel and a peek-a-boo 1st mtp. I would be willing to bet that you have a plantarflexed 1st met head. That means that the joint that you would normally get bunion in (big toe) is most likely plantarflexed, meaning it is lower than 2 3 4 and 5. You may have a subtle cavus foot. If you are on an exam table you probably have a high arch and plantarflexed 1st but when wt bearing the arch drops some.

Many folks would say you pronate. I would have it checked and if your ortho person is good have them put a cut out under the 1st met head. You may get a cold response from the person that made them. Your foot type is one that is in between and often gets missed or treated a little off base. Hope I didnt confuse you and I hope your ortho person is capable of checking and making adjustment if needed.

Re: Thank you so much!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 18:57 (073931)

BG CPed, thank you so much for your comments. I realize it would be extremely difficult to get much from the photos and I greatly appreciate the attempt for what it is; a friendly attempt to guide me in the right direction, not a definitive diagnosis of my condition.

My pedorthist did say that my arch drops when weight bearing, which agrees with what you are saying. Just looking at my own feet (not weight bearing), I would be inclined to agree about my plantarflexed 1st. It appears to be lower than 2, 3, 4, and 5, and is definitely not higher than them.

Thanks again for the information and suggestions!

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carmen H on 2/12/02 at 11:16 (073433)

Carole...You really need to visit the Walking Co. and just do some trying on and wlaking around.
the Dansko has a high definition arch....you will feel itthe minute you put it on.
My neighbor had PF and her foot looked llike a claw the arch was so high and she put on a Dansko and felt it immediately!

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 11:38 (073437)

Thanks for the advice, Carmen! I took a look and we do have a Walking Co. store here in New Orleans, down at the River Walk which is a sort of mall at the foot of Canal St. right at the river (center of downtown, near the Quarter). Today being Mardi Gras, I can't go down there... but I can probably go down there soon.

I didn't realize that about Dansko, at all. I know a store in uptown that carries Dansko, and I will check there too after Mardi Gras. It looks like Dansko has at least a little heel lift, which would be nice.

I probably have a week or two anyway. My feet are not cooperating today even in my custom orthotics. (sigh)

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carmen H on 2/12/02 at 15:17 (073476)

Hang in there...You are soo lucky to have come so far!!!
:-)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 16:02 (073481)

Yes, you are right. I think feet are like children; they will always push you until you just can't stand any more. With kids, you can send them to their room. I want to send my feet to their room too! LOL I have been doing so well that even this itty bitty setback is hard.

I still went to the grocery store today without problems, and I remember when (like John K) I couldn't do that, so I should be glad. I wore my orthotics to work yesterday (ugh), and I've been wearing them since I woke up today, so that has helped.

My feet started having a mild burning feeling on the soles. Also, when I do my mild stretching (which is just sitting with my legs stretched out in front of me and pointing my toes towards my nose), I have started to feel sharp pain in the insertional point on my heel, in one foot. That was a little worrisome. So, the last couple of days I haven't been stretching so hard on that foot. Same stretch, just more gently. Also I can't wear my Birkenstocks without feeling more pain than usual on the sides of my feet (illustrated in purple on http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/footpain.html about half way down the page). And, the green spot on that same drawing is getting sharp tearing pains if I'm not careful.

So, I'm back to my orthotics and rest for a while. I might ice my feet this afternoon. Tomorrow I *have* to wear my Birkenstock high arch Tatami Amsterdams for a meeting with scientists that are flying into town, but I think I will be OK. I will put my orthotics/SAS shoes in the car so I can get to them just in case.

I will be like Superman dodging into a phone booth to change! Carole dodging into her car to put on her 'Super Orthotics'. :)

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carmen H on 2/12/02 at 16:55 (073497)

Been there ....done that.
changed from tennis shoes in my skirt to wlaking co shoes in the car.
Hey whatever works right?

Re: Right!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 17:06 (073501)

right! Now, I wish I could just FLY to that meeting like super-woman too! That would keep my feet from hurting. LOL :)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

JudyS on 2/12/02 at 18:54 (073523)

you can send kids to their rooms?
Imagine that. :)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/12/02 at 19:21 (073526)

Well, I only had one! She was outnumbered. LOL

Carole C

Re: Kids in their rooms

wendyn on 2/12/02 at 21:22 (073540)

I still find the odd occassion to send my now 16 and a half year old 6 ft child to his room. Seems a bit silly - but sometimes he can just be such a pain in the %^@ that I don't know what else to do with him, and I just want him to go away for a while.

But - he still goes!

Re: Kids in their rooms

Carmen H on 2/13/02 at 07:35 (073584)

He GOES??
Can you call my sister and tell her that trick??

Re: Kids in their rooms

wendyn on 2/13/02 at 09:13 (073592)

Yes he still goes (sometimes I wonder what I'll do if and when he just says NO). Mind you I think it's only happened twice in the last year - and probably not for about 6 months now.

It's pretty funny really (later) - we both have nasty tempers when we get really fired up - and sometimes it's just a good idea for us both to go to our seperate corners.

Re: Kids in their rooms

JudyS on 2/13/02 at 09:57 (073598)

Well, yeah......THEY always sent me to MY room.....:)

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Liam on 2/14/02 at 21:27 (073754)

Hi Carole,
Last week I went to the podiatrist and he reccomended I go to the shoefixer or maker and have him add a 1/2 inch sole(heels) under my running shoes.
All the guy did was glue to the bottom of my heels 2 shoe heels, the black rubber ones, it cost me twenty dollars and now the pain in my acchilles tendons is almost gone. The good thing is that once this pain is gone he said I can remove the 2 heels and my shoes are back to normal.
Take care good luck Liam

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 09:52 (073778)

Thanks for the suggestion, Liam. I just feel like if I'm paying $100 or more for a pair of shoes, I should be able to get good, firm, HIGH arch support and heel lift in the same shoe without having to modify it. Then I could tell when I try them on if they are going to work for me or not, before coughing up my hard-earned money. Most good shoes that attempt to include arch support simply don't have anywhere near enough for my foot (and usually it's too far forward). In my quest for the perfect shoes since I got PF, I've not come across a shoe with too much arch support.

So far, only my custom orthotics truly seem to provide great support and a heel lift for me. My Birkenstock Tatami Amsterdams come a close second. They don't have any heel lift and the arch support is almost though not quite high enough. I have them on right now and they do work a lot better for me than most shoes. They would be great if only they had a little heel; but I am reluctant to modify them. Yesterday I ordered the Birkenstock 'Fulda' sandal yesterday which is supposed to have the same footbed as the Amsterdam, and I also ordered the classic footbed Birkenstock 'Grenada' in a smaller size, because supposedly then what arch is in it will at least be located a little further back on my foot, which would be a better location for me. Neither of these has a heel lift, though.

Maybe I can get down to the Walking Co. like Carmen suggests, after my dentist appointment today (my day off). Unless, of course, the dentist leaves me feeling like the walking wounded. We shall see. LOL

Carole C

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

BG CPed on 2/15/02 at 22:41 (073852)

Carole I noted that you are confused as to if you pronate or supinate. If you can take a pic of your feet from front and back while standing barefoot I may be able to tell you. I would also expect that if you have been evaluated ask for the notes or chart records. Caveat: If you do supinate or have a subtle cavus foot they may have mistakenly called you a pronator, I had 3 cases today like that.

Re: Suggestions for high arch support AND some heel lift in a shoe or OTC orthotic?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 23:48 (073854)

Thank you, BG CPed! Here are the photos.

http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/pronate-supinate.html

What do you think? If it's too hard to tell, I can retake them or call my pedorthist and see if they kept any records.

THANK YOU so much for taking a look at them, and if it's too hard to tell from a photo I am still grateful that you tried!

Carole C

Re: pronate or suppinate?

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 13:23 (073896)

I went to my pedorthist's office/shoestore this morning to try to find out from one of the pedorthists there if I pronate or suppinate, but they couldn't find any record for me. It's lost.

My pedorthist wasn't in. The lady at the counter (possibly a pedorthist or else an assistant) told me that I should continue wearing my orthotics until my doctor told me to wear something else, and then wear that. She did not seem to be willing to discuss further about what I might need or look for in a shoe.

Oh well! Anyway, if anyone here wants to venture an opinion it's more than welcome. Just looking at the photos, it's kind of hard for me to tell.

http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/pronate-supinate.html

Carole C

Re: pronate or suppinate?

BG CPed on 2/16/02 at 15:42 (073920)

Carole, It is hard from the pic but from a purely static look I would say you are in between. Your midfoot would probably be described as 'pronated' or lower. You do look to have a peek-a-boo heel and a peek-a-boo 1st mtp. I would be willing to bet that you have a plantarflexed 1st met head. That means that the joint that you would normally get bunion in (big toe) is most likely plantarflexed, meaning it is lower than 2 3 4 and 5. You may have a subtle cavus foot. If you are on an exam table you probably have a high arch and plantarflexed 1st but when wt bearing the arch drops some.

Many folks would say you pronate. I would have it checked and if your ortho person is good have them put a cut out under the 1st met head. You may get a cold response from the person that made them. Your foot type is one that is in between and often gets missed or treated a little off base. Hope I didnt confuse you and I hope your ortho person is capable of checking and making adjustment if needed.

Re: Thank you so much!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 18:57 (073931)

BG CPed, thank you so much for your comments. I realize it would be extremely difficult to get much from the photos and I greatly appreciate the attempt for what it is; a friendly attempt to guide me in the right direction, not a definitive diagnosis of my condition.

My pedorthist did say that my arch drops when weight bearing, which agrees with what you are saying. Just looking at my own feet (not weight bearing), I would be inclined to agree about my plantarflexed 1st. It appears to be lower than 2, 3, 4, and 5, and is definitely not higher than them.

Thanks again for the information and suggestions!

Carole C