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Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Posted by SHIRLEY K on 2/14/02 at 18:46 (073733)

I am new to this board. I am supposed to go to a Medical Supply place and be 'casted' for custom orthotics. I am wondering if these will really help. I used a 'non custom' semi rigid (which is what is perscribed) and thought they were terrible. They were too hard in my opinion, totally inflexible. In all fairness, they did not fit well - the arch was really not in the right place. I never wore them. I do not want to pay that kind of money for something if it may not work. What is the vote, folks? Orthotics or not. I am a minor PT sufferer- can walk fine, not much pain at all (had a torn plantar fascia seven years ago, but totally healed- I thought) . I just want to do be able to do the hard stuff- back on the treadmill on hard court tennis. I am told the orthotics will enable me to do this. What's your vote? I REALLY NEED HELP HERE.
THANKS BUNCHES

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/14/02 at 19:50 (073738)

Hi, Shirley. Custom orthotics have helped me a lot, more than anything I've tried so far, but I am not yet healed to the point that you are and have a ways to go. When I got them in December, I was pretty disabled and not able to do much, and now I can go grocery shopping, and so on, but nothing as challenging as a treadmill yet. I wonder if custom orthotics might not be 'overkill' for you?

I haven't ever tried over the counter orthotics like you have tried. If you get custom orthotics, they should definitely fit your feet better. What other things have you tried so far? Have you tried Birkenstocks? A lot of people here seem to like them and to think that their orthotic footbed works pretty well for them.

Carole C

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SHIRLEY K on 2/14/02 at 19:58 (073741)

Hi Carole. Wow, a response so soon. I am thrilled. I have only tried OTC gheel pads and they did wonders. The problem only occurred abouta month ago. I saw a Phys. Therapist today and he said it should not take long. But I forgot to clarify how 'not long' meant. I am leery about the orthotics - I was told I just have one heel spur, and saw it on the x-ray. But I walk and work all day with 1.5' Hush puppie regular dress shoes without a problem. Other than that- it is Reeboks for me. I hear about these birkenstocks. I think there is a store about an hour's drive away. Perhaps I should check them out. Are they worth the money? How can eveyrone's arch be in the same place? That is where I have the problem - the position of my arch.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/14/02 at 20:10 (073743)

I think it would be worth checking them out. Although you can buy Birkenstocks online, if you go to a Birkenstock store they will fit you and hopefully they would get the size right so that the arch is in the right place. Tell the saleslady that you have heelspurs so that she does an extra good job of fitting you. If they can't fit you well enough, you can always get up and walk out! That's why it's worth driving there. Most people like the Birkenstock 'Arizona' sandal the best. You can see what they look like at http://www.birkenstockexpress.com .

I think they are worth the money. The arch on mine is not quite in the right place (I bought them online, instead of getting them fitted). Still, I feel like I am getting my money's worth because I can wear them for a few hours and longer as my feet heal. Last week I even wore them for several days straight without problems. I cannot wear other shoes like Easy Spirits at all, without hurting my feet.

I like them because they are 'regular shoes' instead of big clumpy tank-like shoes with custom orthotics in them. I feel prettier and more normal in them. If your feet were worse, I'd say to forget them and go for the custom orthotic. However, it might be worthwhile to go try some Birkenstocks on and see how they feel.

Carole C

Re: All orthotics are not created equal

BrianG on 2/14/02 at 21:41 (073757)

Hi Shirley,

Custom orthotics are only worth it, if you can wear them every day. It seems most people are not lucky enough to get that 'comfertable' pair the first, or second try. I finally got a pair that I wear all the time, on my third try. The first two were very rigid, like ice scrapers. They are now collecting dust. If your interested in spending some pretty big money, $375, I would give these a try. They are called Sporthotics, by The Langer Biomechanics Group, Inc. They are semi rigid.

You can find the information on the internet. There are others available, at less money, and do work for some people. But you asked, and this is what works for me. They haven't healed me, but I can wear them without a problem. Good luck.

BrianG

BCG

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Donna SL on 2/15/02 at 00:59 (073762)

Shirley,

There's an old saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you're doing pretty well without orthotics then why start? They may cause a new set of problems. Maybe just carefully selecting the right shoe gear for the choosen activity may be all you need. Even if you got orthotics you might need a different type for different sports. Tennis for example might require a more forgiving orthotic shell with additional forefoot cushion.

Also, there's no guarantee you would be able to do more hard core stuff with them anyway. Maybe just taping when you do these activities would help. A lot of athletes without any foot problems even do this.

Donna

Re: Shirley

Carmen H on 2/15/02 at 07:52 (073771)

I am assuming by PT you mean Plantar Fasciitis...? I just want to make sure...there are so many letters floating around this board that represent conditions it's unreal.
First things first....if you are having trouble with your PF again right you probably don't need to go back into the 'hard stuff' right now. Your foot is giving you a hint...ease up and take a rest. You could possibly have NO pain at all if you do. Second....yes those hard orthotics you speak of are bad news for me too...I had a pair. But now in my new soft orthotics...I am experiencing miracles at least for today. (shhh no jinxing me!!!) and I truly think they would be worth it for you.
It can't really hurt...and wouldn't you rather be on the safe side? I assume you remember the pain of the past and don't want to revisit there again?
Let us know how it goes....but I would give the orthotics a chance...and Birks? I have been wearing them since early 90's and can tell you that they conform to your foot and the arch gradually gets built in...but it's totally worth it if you can tolerate them in the begininng ....They are a great shoe!
I would try somethign like New Balance also instead of the Hush Puppies...I don't know much about HP but have never heard anything about good support in those shoes.
I hope you find the answers and heal to the fullest!

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

CarlW on 2/15/02 at 15:04 (073804)

Shirley,

I would reccomend trying taping your foot using one of the techniques in the heelpain book before you buy the custom orthotic. If the taping provides you relief it may show that you would benefit from a well designed orthotic. I have been using a product called leuko tape that holds very well. If you ask a physiotherapist they should be able to tell you were to find it. The tape is fairly expensive but if you use the 'two strip method' a roll should last you at least 3 weeks and is a lot cheaper than the custom orthotics.

If you do go the orthotic route I would definitely reccomend getting them from someone who builds them and sells them, making adjustments easier and not just sent to some 'black box' lab.

Carl

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Sandy H. on 2/15/02 at 20:14 (073831)

My recommendation is to get a good gait analysis on a treadmill with someone you trust and isn't trying to fleece you for the profit on selling the orthotics (good luck). It took me three pairs of orthotics and different specialists before two people said my foot function is pretty normal. Meanwhile I got arthritis in my ankles from the orthotics tipping my foot over which has gone now since I stopped wearing any orthotics. In other words, be VERY careful. Not everyone who has PF has a gait that is helped by orthotics and some people have problems that orthotics make even worse because they restrict the movement of your foot. Your foot moves and your arch collapses to spread the impact of a footstrike and putting something that stops that movement or stops one area of the foot from functioning when you don't need it like your big toe can be counterproductive. That's just my experience 6 months into PF. I HATE orthotics and love motion control shoes like Asics and New Balance do BUT a friend of mine just got injured BECAUSE he was wearing such shoes and didn't need them....what a minefield!

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 21:10 (073840)

Sandy, how did you know what kind of Asics and New Balance would work for you? Did you just go and try them on until you found one that you liked, or if you researched them beforehand what did you do?

I have heard that New Balance are very good, but there are a million different models and they are all different. I even read today that the 1120 with the PF-2 footbed has lots of arch support and is good for severe pronators. I don't know if I pronate or supinate though. What did you look for in your shoes?

Carole C

Re: NB 854's

BrianG on 2/15/02 at 21:43 (073845)

Hi Carole C,

Take a little time and read up on the NB 854's. They have roll bar technology (bend in the right area) and are good for people who over over pronate. They are also a wide shoe, that pretty much has a straight bottom, rather than the ones that have a good sized curve to them. I like mine.

BrianG

PS The roll bar technology lets them bend towads the front of the shoe, rather than near the middle. I believe when the shoes bend near the center, it over stretches the PF tendon.

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 22:15 (073848)

What if I don't over pronate? My pedorthist told me either that I pronate a lot, or else that I supinate a lot. At the time, I didn't know what either one was (except that they were opposites) so I got mixed up and now I don't know (although I have this uneasy feeling that she said I was a supinator). I read somewhere that 854's are bad for supinators. Is that true? How did you know which you were?

I also read that the 1120 is good for pronators or supinators, but then I read something about posting on the medial or lateral side, so maybe they are adjustable. (?)

The 810 is the most attractive looking, to me. But I don't know if it is good for PF feet with high arches or not.

I like the fact that you say the 854 are a wide shoe. I am not sure what you mean by a curve; do you mean in the right/left directions? If you mean an arch, I need a substantial one. :)

At any rate, thanks for the tip! From what you are saying, I definitely will want a roll bar then, if I get a NB. My Easy Spirits bend too much in the arch area and wearing them injures my feet.

Carole C

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carmen H on 2/15/02 at 23:58 (073855)

Yikes...here I go again. There is a difference in pronating and supinating.....find out what you do...give em a ring and just ask. ;-)
The 854's were great for me for awhile...then...pain. Major pain.
I do not pronate and the rollbar was probably aggravating my condition and I was told it was good for Pf'ers...NOT true unless you need that rollbar.
So....I guess I am just warning...854's might not be the best thing for people who don't absolutely need that rollbar.
Plus...NB makes a wide shoe in a LOT of their styles...so if wide is what you need you aren't limited to the 854's.
Which is good to know. ;-)

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 00:08 (073857)

Thanks, Carmen, you are super to warn me about them. BG CPed posted a while ago (you probably saw his post when you scrolled down after posting this one) that he would try to tell me if I pronate or supinate, from photos of my feet. I have never been to a podiatrist, so the only person I could 'give a ring' to would be my C.Ped. I can definitely try and see what sort of records if any they may keep there. Thanks again for the warning on the NB's! That is exactly the kind of thing that concerns me about buying shoes if I don't do my research before I go to the store, and part of that is just asking people here what kind of shoes they think would provide a lot of arch support and a heel lift... so I kinda hang out over here on this board... :)

Carole C

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SueC on 2/16/02 at 07:18 (073862)

I, too, went the Birkenstock route. I like them but they did not really improve my problem. I have bunions starting and pain in the ball of my foot as well as arch pain. I want to continue walking 3 miles per day but the pain was giving me trouble. I got a custom orthodic and it has been wonderful! I don't need to get any special glunky shoes (certainly not more glunky than Birkenstocks) and they are soft and flxible. The orthodics fit in all my sneakers (New Balance and Ryka) as well as in my SAS shoes. The SAS shoes are, of course, the most comfortable. This has been well worth the money. My only problem is that I like to walk barefoot around the house and now, if I do that, my feet start to hurt after a while. So, most of the time, I keep on my shoes (with the orthodics).
Best of luck

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SHIRLEY K on 2/16/02 at 09:07 (073876)

Thanks Sandy. Those are my feelings. I was treated for a torn plantar fascia (due to injury) 6 years ago and totally healed. I have played hard court tennis for years. That pod and phys thera was GREAT. (They moved to another state). Point is that he never recommended orthotics at all.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Richard, C.Ped on 2/16/02 at 09:29 (073878)

Hi Shirley,
Now for the pedorthists opinion...

I wear orthotics myself. Nothing really wrong with my feet, but I love wearing them. I am a firm believer that IF MADE CORRECTLY, an orthosis is wonderful for the person suffering pain, as well as anyone not in pain. Yes, that is very easy for me to say since I have the benefit of being able to make an orthosis for myself anytime I want (someone, somewhere is thinking that...I am sure), but, just to let you know, I have been wearing the same one for the past three years.

Anyway, here is my advice. Seek out a Board Certified Pedorthist. I became very skeptical when I read that you were going to a 'medical supply place'. check then double check to see if they are board certified in pedorthics. If not, or if you want a second opinion, go to my web site. I have a ton of information that you can use when you need to be fitted for an orthosis. You can also find a pedorthist in your area using one of the links. To get there, just go to the top of the 'Orthotics/Shoes message board and click on my name (Richard Graham). It will take you there. Do not be shy or think you are bothering me if you have any questions at all. I love to answer questions and help. That is why I am here.

As for the 'Ain't broke' theory...well, I am a firm believer that an orthosis can help no matter what. We make them for all types of sports teams ranging from about ten local high schools, minor league baseball, and our new minor league hockey team. We also make them for snow skiiers. That is why I believe in them.

the reason the non custom item hurt your feet is just that. It was not made to your foot. the arch will not fit you where it should. If it were me, I would start you off with a softer material, and not throw hard stuff at you.

Check to see if there is any type of money back guarantee. Also, check to see if they offer free adjustments, if needed. I have plenty of important questions to ask on the web site.

Good luck to you....and please, keep us informed.

Richard, C.Ped

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SHIRLEY K on 2/16/02 at 14:02 (073906)

Richard,
Thanks a lot. I went to your site and printed every page out. I may postpone the orthotics appt until I get more info. I notice most people mention the word 'pair.' I am just to be fitted for left foot only. The script is worded as such - 'please cast and fit semi rigid orthotics- post to cast. Dx: HSS' This medical supply place is supposedly the only place in town. I will heed all your advice and ask them all these questions. They told me it would cost around $120.00 for one foot. My insurance will cover 80% of it. But.... I want to get the right thing. I was coming along great (this is my 5th week) UNTIL the therapist told me to stretch my foot back as hard as it could go. Now the middle of my arch hurts very badly AND I can hardly walk on it. I did not have this problem prior to Phys Therapy, Hmmmmmm... Back to the main question? - Is one okay or is a pair more worthwhile? (even if no problem in right foot? (7 years aga tore the plantar fasicia, in cast, crutches, but had total recovery). Hope this is not too lenghthy for it. Prior to your post, I had been talked out of orthotics. I am up in the air now.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Richard, C.Ped on 2/16/02 at 14:11 (073909)

Hey Shirley...
In all my experience, unless you are not able to walk with the other foot such as having a cast or amputation, you do not want to get casted for only one. If the casting is done correctly, you will be casted in sub talor neutral...or at lest close to it. This means that your ankle will be in a more neutral position, the way we are supposed to be standing. If you have one foot in neutral and the other out of neutral, it will throw you off physically. You may end up favoring one side to the other which could create knee, back, and other problems. If you decide to get them, please get a pair.

Please, please, please contact me either here, email ((email removed)) or even feel free to call me if you have any questions at all. If you decide to get the orthosis made, I want you to have the best possible device...not some piece of crap.

If your insurace pays 80%...$48 is not bad. Make sure you have met any deductibles and see if there are any up front charges.

Richard

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

BrianG on 2/16/02 at 18:56 (073930)

Hi Carole,

I know that I over pronate bcause me Pod told me, a few years ago. I know there is a way to tell by wetting the bottom of your foot, and stepping on a paper, or piece of cardboard. I'm not exactlly sure how it works though, never tried it.

If you look at the bottom of a pair of Nike Air's, you'll see what I mean about the bottom being curved. You can really see the difference between the Nike's and the NB. I'm really impressed with all the technology that NB uses, but it can be overwhelming for someone like us, who is going in, looking for a shoe that will work in a certain way.

I think you really have to get to know your feet, and what they are doing when you walk. Your Pod should be able to tell you this. From there, you can go to the NB website and look for the shoes that are made for your type of gait. Then go to a store that sells NB and has knowlegeable help, not just a 17 year old kid worring about his date for the night :*)

Of course there are other types of athletic shoes that work well. What I'm trying to do is find a pair that works really good for me, wait until a big sale, and then buy 3 or 4 pairs :*) So far, the 854's are much better than any of the Nike Air's I've had. Good luck

BrianG

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 19:11 (073934)

Brian, thanks for the info. I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by all this shoe technology. Until last fall when I got PF, I didn't pay any attention to shoes; I just wore them.

I don't have a Pod, and I don't know of any stores that sell NB and know what they are doing. However, there are a few athletically oriented stores that sell NB and have been around here a while. I'll check them out (haven't been inside those stores yet). They might at least have someone over 20 who has been fitting shoes for a while.

My Nike Airs don't do good things for my PF either.

If you buy 3 or 4 pairs, be ready to accept that you may have wasted your money on one or two of the pairs, because the material the soles are made of tends to get brittle after 5 years or so. As a majorly frugal person myself, I've been down that road twice (though not with NB, but with other high quality shoes). They self destruct in about a month if/when this happens.

Carole C

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Sandy H. on 2/16/02 at 22:14 (073956)

Definitely get a pair of orthotics not one as that could totally throw your balance, gait etc. etc. By the way I do still wear soft orthotics in my work shoes but not my asics 2060s which are the ones I can walk fastest in. If I try to walk fast in orthotics all sorts of strange tipping over feelings and limping impulses start happening. I tried NB 854s but the toe area didn't appear to give any support and my PF hurt where it is attached to the ball of my foot near the big toe so I ditched them for now. Also, Carole, I read something about supinating people with high arches getting orthotics that jag into the arches and this being the WRONG type of orthotic for them because their problem is lack of shock absorption and not turning inwards which is what a high arch support limits. I'm not an expert but read that somewhere. On shock absorption and heel lifts you may want to try sorbothane full length gel insoles. Anything you do, don't keep doing it if it causes you pain is the lesson I've learned.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 23:22 (073960)

Thanks, Sandy. I appreciate your ideas and the insights that your own experiences have given you. The onset of my PF was coincident with trying to move out of a period of near immobility, with a newly capable but unexercised body and poorly thought out new exercise regimen. I think my problem with my feet may have been caused by a combination of barefoot recumbent cycling, poor seat adjustment (so that my tendons were getting 'twanged' each time the pedals went around), a calisthenics program that I devised for myself and that included several leg lift and toe touch exercises that may have also aggravated my tendons, a much too long and vigorous hike around the mall wearing a terribly fitting pair of cheap new shoes that forced my foot into a very unnatural position, and (dare I say it?) growing older and entering my early 50's. What the orthotic feels like it is doing is to hold my feet in a position where they can heal, without stretching the PF or tendons too much, and giving my poor arch some support so that I don't get those tearing feelings. I agree with you 100% about not continuing things that cause me pain, by the way! I also firmly believe that it helps me to push my feet less than I think is ok, because otherwise they seem to get hurt. Slow but steady wins the race.

Carole C

Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Carole C in NOLA on 3/02/02 at 16:00 (075476)

Brian, today I bought some 854's. This shoe might just be THE PERFECT SHOE for me; time will tell but they sure feel good right now. Here's the full story:

I went to a half dozen stores that sell New Balance, looking for the 1121. However, it is apparently not carried by ANY store in the New Orleans area that I could find. Not even Just For Feet, which had a bazillion styles of New Balance and had it in men's, but doesn't even bother to carry it in women's. I was so disgusted. It looked very nice in men's, but I am tired of wearing gender neutral shoes and I want a women's shoe! Most of the other stores did not have any of the NB motion control shoes at all, and only carried the cheaper NB shoes. If they can sell it for $30, they'd carry it but otherwise forget it.

Finally, I was talking to a tennis player at Sports Authority and she directed me to a small local store named Phiddipides that sells athletic shoes only. The store is run by an older man that knows his business! At last! When I asked for an 1121, instead of looking blank, he said he didn't have it but that since I wanted a motion control shoe I should try an 854.

So, I tried on the 854 (mostly to get the size right so I could order the 1121 online). But you know what? On me, it felt GREAT. He also tried a Brooks and an Asics motion control shoe on me for comparison, but the Brooks gave me a very weird motion and neither the Brooks nor the Asics had as good a heel for me. So, I bought the NB854.

Carmen, I will be wary and I will be on the lookout for any pain in my feet, never fear! I am glad you warned me about the 854, just in case. If I start feeling pain, I'll retire them to the furthest darkest corner of my closet, which is reserved for nasty bad shoes only.

I wore them to Super Walmart and felt as great leaving as entering, so that's a pretty good start. While I was there, I saw a man I used to date and we stood and talked for twenty minutes or so. No problem. I felt NORMAL for the first time in ages. My feet were really not bothering me. One thing that I noticed and will keep an eye on is that when I wear the 854's, I tend to walk with my feet like this, looking down on them:

\ /

not pigeon-toed / \, and not straight (PIPE) (PIPE) . I angle my feet outward like this more in the 854's than in any other shoe. I don't know why, and it might be bad for me. When I wear my SAS shoes and orthotics, my feet are absolutely straight (PIPE) (PIPE) although when I'm barefoot they tend to angle out \ / .

However, in general the 854's feel very good on my feet so I will see how it goes and if this angling causes a problem. I don't intend to actually RUN in these running shoes, but just to walk around and live life, so maybe it will not trouble me.

The heel of these shoes feels GREAT. They raise my heel up a little, hold it firmly, and provide some push on the insertion point, which feels nice. They also have a heel counter that feels very sturdy to me compared with the other brands and taller.

The NB 854 has the SL-1 last, which does not have the arch support of the SL-2 last used in the 1121. That concerns me because I thought that having the increased arch support would be better. However, I'm getting a lot of support elsewhere in the shoe, and there seems to be some support right at the insertion point so maybe this will work for me even without mid-arch support if I don't overdo it. I guess I will see how it goes.

I bought the 854 from the guy who fit me, instead of online, because he did the work. It turned out that at $81, he sold them to me cheaper than the places online that I know of (and no shipping charge, and no waiting).

Carole C

Re: Watch out! Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Donna SL on 3/02/02 at 18:57 (075495)

Carole,

Keep an eye on your gait with the 854's. The reason you may be standing the way you described to Brian is that your body may be compensating by widing your base of gait to maintain balance. The 854's have a very strong medial piece, and the lateral side is really only single density eva. As you stand the lateral side being softer, will have a tendency to give against the forces of the strong medial posting.

I had bought that 850 series several years ago, 851, 852, etc., and at first loved the shoe, because they felt so good in the arch, had nice cushioning, and fit, and a good heel lift. I stood the same way that you did in them. But, I think they are the shoes that did my feet in. It was so gradual I didn't notice especially as the shoe wore, that I was supinating more, and more, and my gait, and standing position started to change for the worse in response to the shoe. The more the lateral side softened the wider my gait became. Basically your body starts to compensate to prevent you from completly going over on your ankles. The changes to your stance will not only cause irritation in the foot stuctures, but also the legs will start to stiffen in response to trying to maintain balance.

It's when I was wearing them over some period of time that my worse foot troubles began. I didn't realize it was from the shoes. I remember when I first went to by current pod, and he saw me in those shoes, he said to trash them, and explained to me what they were doing to my feet,legs, etc.. I felt over 50% just getting out of them. He recommends this type of shoe all the time to severe pronators, but said it was the worse shoe for me.

Maybe a small wedge inserted on the lateral side of the shoe under the sock liner may help maintain some form of neutrality, but I think it would only work for a short time. The shoes have such a large medial post, because someone that has a tendency to over pronate will be exaggerated when running. They really are not meant to be worn by someone with normal, or slightly supinated feet, especially for just walking. They should come with a warning sign on them. It would be a great shoe for most people if it didnt have the hard plastic medial post, and just had equal amounts of dual density eva in the heel. The 1121 isn't that much better, just more money. It has an even bigger medial post, so the lateral side does nothing.

The 854 is a great shoe for some people, but if you notice your stance position is changed already, then it is probably worse when you are walking, and this could already be spelling trouble. The way you feel in your SAS shoes is how your feet should feel, or as close to that as possible. They don't have to be as straight, but wearing a heavily posted medial shoe, when not necessary can have devasting results.

There are not many decent neutral shoes around in the running shoe market. Most of the neutral ones are very mushy, unless they state that they are for the heavier runner. But even then they may not be great. Road runner sports on-line usually will tell what kind of shoe goes with the foot type, but again that is only a guideline. At least you can try them for 60 days if you join the running club, and return them after being worn if they don't work out.

You may also be better off with a good neutral cross training shoe, or a light hiking/walking shoe. Adidas, and Timberland make some nice ones. The Adidas Sahale is a nice stable shoe, but doesn't have as much lift in the back. Some neutral feet do well in the NB 879 which is considered neutral shoe. I only tried the 878, and thought it was a little too soft. NB may have improved on the newer 879 model. That series has a good lift in the heel, and a nice rocker type sole with good cushioning though. Also Asics makes a couple of neutral running shoes. The prelus (sp?) may not be bad either. If you feel the neutral ones don't give enough support then maybe some of the shoes that state they are for stability ve motion control may be ok, because the medial posting is just a dual density eva instead of plastic, and may have a little more give. But,you have to be selective with them too. Most of the NB shoes are geared to over pronation. Also, most running shoe companies are more concerned with the lightness of the shoe for running than long term support, because they assume most people are just going to use them for running.

This is just my opinion, but if it was me, I would clean up the bottoms, and return them.

Donna

Re: Watch out! Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Carole C in NOLA on 3/02/02 at 19:36 (075500)

Donna, thank you. Fooey. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it is probably what I need to hear if it will prevent my PF from relapsing. The bottoms are not even that dirty yet.

I really like the support that the shoe has, but the way my feet point outwards \ / concerns me, especially because it is quite marked. I'll look for the 879. Also, I'll look at the NB site to see what they recommend in a neutral shoe. You are right that most of their shoes are for over-pronators, but if my recollection is correct, some are not. I felt like the 856 was so much better than the Asics or Brooks that I tried on, as far as the heel counter and lift was concerned.

Carole C

Re: Watch out! Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Julie on 3/03/02 at 02:52 (075512)

Carole, I'll add my voice to Donna's. I have a pair of 854s languishing at the back of my closet: they felt great in the shop, but I grew suspicious of them very quickly when I wore them around the house: they changed my gait. I bought them about a year ago, kept thinking I'd give them another try, and of course it's now much too late to take them back.

When I read your post, and before seeing Donna's, I wanted to say immediately: watch your back and your knees, not just your gait. I noticed on the photos you posted that your feet turn out: that already suggests there might be a slight strain on your lower back and your knees, and anything that increases that turning out will exacerbate the strain.

I'd take the 854s back.

The Adidas Sahale that Donna mentions is a very nice shoe: I wore them for a long time and liked them a lot until I discovered North Face Targas, which I like better.

You say that your SAS shoes with the orthotics allow you to walk straight. That is really what you're looking for in any shoe you buy, to avoid problems higher up.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/14/02 at 19:50 (073738)

Hi, Shirley. Custom orthotics have helped me a lot, more than anything I've tried so far, but I am not yet healed to the point that you are and have a ways to go. When I got them in December, I was pretty disabled and not able to do much, and now I can go grocery shopping, and so on, but nothing as challenging as a treadmill yet. I wonder if custom orthotics might not be 'overkill' for you?

I haven't ever tried over the counter orthotics like you have tried. If you get custom orthotics, they should definitely fit your feet better. What other things have you tried so far? Have you tried Birkenstocks? A lot of people here seem to like them and to think that their orthotic footbed works pretty well for them.

Carole C

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SHIRLEY K on 2/14/02 at 19:58 (073741)

Hi Carole. Wow, a response so soon. I am thrilled. I have only tried OTC gheel pads and they did wonders. The problem only occurred abouta month ago. I saw a Phys. Therapist today and he said it should not take long. But I forgot to clarify how 'not long' meant. I am leery about the orthotics - I was told I just have one heel spur, and saw it on the x-ray. But I walk and work all day with 1.5' Hush puppie regular dress shoes without a problem. Other than that- it is Reeboks for me. I hear about these birkenstocks. I think there is a store about an hour's drive away. Perhaps I should check them out. Are they worth the money? How can eveyrone's arch be in the same place? That is where I have the problem - the position of my arch.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/14/02 at 20:10 (073743)

I think it would be worth checking them out. Although you can buy Birkenstocks online, if you go to a Birkenstock store they will fit you and hopefully they would get the size right so that the arch is in the right place. Tell the saleslady that you have heelspurs so that she does an extra good job of fitting you. If they can't fit you well enough, you can always get up and walk out! That's why it's worth driving there. Most people like the Birkenstock 'Arizona' sandal the best. You can see what they look like at http://www.birkenstockexpress.com .

I think they are worth the money. The arch on mine is not quite in the right place (I bought them online, instead of getting them fitted). Still, I feel like I am getting my money's worth because I can wear them for a few hours and longer as my feet heal. Last week I even wore them for several days straight without problems. I cannot wear other shoes like Easy Spirits at all, without hurting my feet.

I like them because they are 'regular shoes' instead of big clumpy tank-like shoes with custom orthotics in them. I feel prettier and more normal in them. If your feet were worse, I'd say to forget them and go for the custom orthotic. However, it might be worthwhile to go try some Birkenstocks on and see how they feel.

Carole C

Re: All orthotics are not created equal

BrianG on 2/14/02 at 21:41 (073757)

Hi Shirley,

Custom orthotics are only worth it, if you can wear them every day. It seems most people are not lucky enough to get that 'comfertable' pair the first, or second try. I finally got a pair that I wear all the time, on my third try. The first two were very rigid, like ice scrapers. They are now collecting dust. If your interested in spending some pretty big money, $375, I would give these a try. They are called Sporthotics, by The Langer Biomechanics Group, Inc. They are semi rigid.

You can find the information on the internet. There are others available, at less money, and do work for some people. But you asked, and this is what works for me. They haven't healed me, but I can wear them without a problem. Good luck.

BrianG

BCG

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Donna SL on 2/15/02 at 00:59 (073762)

Shirley,

There's an old saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you're doing pretty well without orthotics then why start? They may cause a new set of problems. Maybe just carefully selecting the right shoe gear for the choosen activity may be all you need. Even if you got orthotics you might need a different type for different sports. Tennis for example might require a more forgiving orthotic shell with additional forefoot cushion.

Also, there's no guarantee you would be able to do more hard core stuff with them anyway. Maybe just taping when you do these activities would help. A lot of athletes without any foot problems even do this.

Donna

Re: Shirley

Carmen H on 2/15/02 at 07:52 (073771)

I am assuming by PT you mean Plantar Fasciitis...? I just want to make sure...there are so many letters floating around this board that represent conditions it's unreal.
First things first....if you are having trouble with your PF again right you probably don't need to go back into the 'hard stuff' right now. Your foot is giving you a hint...ease up and take a rest. You could possibly have NO pain at all if you do. Second....yes those hard orthotics you speak of are bad news for me too...I had a pair. But now in my new soft orthotics...I am experiencing miracles at least for today. (shhh no jinxing me!!!) and I truly think they would be worth it for you.
It can't really hurt...and wouldn't you rather be on the safe side? I assume you remember the pain of the past and don't want to revisit there again?
Let us know how it goes....but I would give the orthotics a chance...and Birks? I have been wearing them since early 90's and can tell you that they conform to your foot and the arch gradually gets built in...but it's totally worth it if you can tolerate them in the begininng ....They are a great shoe!
I would try somethign like New Balance also instead of the Hush Puppies...I don't know much about HP but have never heard anything about good support in those shoes.
I hope you find the answers and heal to the fullest!

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

CarlW on 2/15/02 at 15:04 (073804)

Shirley,

I would reccomend trying taping your foot using one of the techniques in the heelpain book before you buy the custom orthotic. If the taping provides you relief it may show that you would benefit from a well designed orthotic. I have been using a product called leuko tape that holds very well. If you ask a physiotherapist they should be able to tell you were to find it. The tape is fairly expensive but if you use the 'two strip method' a roll should last you at least 3 weeks and is a lot cheaper than the custom orthotics.

If you do go the orthotic route I would definitely reccomend getting them from someone who builds them and sells them, making adjustments easier and not just sent to some 'black box' lab.

Carl

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Sandy H. on 2/15/02 at 20:14 (073831)

My recommendation is to get a good gait analysis on a treadmill with someone you trust and isn't trying to fleece you for the profit on selling the orthotics (good luck). It took me three pairs of orthotics and different specialists before two people said my foot function is pretty normal. Meanwhile I got arthritis in my ankles from the orthotics tipping my foot over which has gone now since I stopped wearing any orthotics. In other words, be VERY careful. Not everyone who has PF has a gait that is helped by orthotics and some people have problems that orthotics make even worse because they restrict the movement of your foot. Your foot moves and your arch collapses to spread the impact of a footstrike and putting something that stops that movement or stops one area of the foot from functioning when you don't need it like your big toe can be counterproductive. That's just my experience 6 months into PF. I HATE orthotics and love motion control shoes like Asics and New Balance do BUT a friend of mine just got injured BECAUSE he was wearing such shoes and didn't need them....what a minefield!

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 21:10 (073840)

Sandy, how did you know what kind of Asics and New Balance would work for you? Did you just go and try them on until you found one that you liked, or if you researched them beforehand what did you do?

I have heard that New Balance are very good, but there are a million different models and they are all different. I even read today that the 1120 with the PF-2 footbed has lots of arch support and is good for severe pronators. I don't know if I pronate or supinate though. What did you look for in your shoes?

Carole C

Re: NB 854's

BrianG on 2/15/02 at 21:43 (073845)

Hi Carole C,

Take a little time and read up on the NB 854's. They have roll bar technology (bend in the right area) and are good for people who over over pronate. They are also a wide shoe, that pretty much has a straight bottom, rather than the ones that have a good sized curve to them. I like mine.

BrianG

PS The roll bar technology lets them bend towads the front of the shoe, rather than near the middle. I believe when the shoes bend near the center, it over stretches the PF tendon.

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/15/02 at 22:15 (073848)

What if I don't over pronate? My pedorthist told me either that I pronate a lot, or else that I supinate a lot. At the time, I didn't know what either one was (except that they were opposites) so I got mixed up and now I don't know (although I have this uneasy feeling that she said I was a supinator). I read somewhere that 854's are bad for supinators. Is that true? How did you know which you were?

I also read that the 1120 is good for pronators or supinators, but then I read something about posting on the medial or lateral side, so maybe they are adjustable. (?)

The 810 is the most attractive looking, to me. But I don't know if it is good for PF feet with high arches or not.

I like the fact that you say the 854 are a wide shoe. I am not sure what you mean by a curve; do you mean in the right/left directions? If you mean an arch, I need a substantial one. :)

At any rate, thanks for the tip! From what you are saying, I definitely will want a roll bar then, if I get a NB. My Easy Spirits bend too much in the arch area and wearing them injures my feet.

Carole C

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carmen H on 2/15/02 at 23:58 (073855)

Yikes...here I go again. There is a difference in pronating and supinating.....find out what you do...give em a ring and just ask. ;-)
The 854's were great for me for awhile...then...pain. Major pain.
I do not pronate and the rollbar was probably aggravating my condition and I was told it was good for Pf'ers...NOT true unless you need that rollbar.
So....I guess I am just warning...854's might not be the best thing for people who don't absolutely need that rollbar.
Plus...NB makes a wide shoe in a LOT of their styles...so if wide is what you need you aren't limited to the 854's.
Which is good to know. ;-)

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 00:08 (073857)

Thanks, Carmen, you are super to warn me about them. BG CPed posted a while ago (you probably saw his post when you scrolled down after posting this one) that he would try to tell me if I pronate or supinate, from photos of my feet. I have never been to a podiatrist, so the only person I could 'give a ring' to would be my C.Ped. I can definitely try and see what sort of records if any they may keep there. Thanks again for the warning on the NB's! That is exactly the kind of thing that concerns me about buying shoes if I don't do my research before I go to the store, and part of that is just asking people here what kind of shoes they think would provide a lot of arch support and a heel lift... so I kinda hang out over here on this board... :)

Carole C

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SueC on 2/16/02 at 07:18 (073862)

I, too, went the Birkenstock route. I like them but they did not really improve my problem. I have bunions starting and pain in the ball of my foot as well as arch pain. I want to continue walking 3 miles per day but the pain was giving me trouble. I got a custom orthodic and it has been wonderful! I don't need to get any special glunky shoes (certainly not more glunky than Birkenstocks) and they are soft and flxible. The orthodics fit in all my sneakers (New Balance and Ryka) as well as in my SAS shoes. The SAS shoes are, of course, the most comfortable. This has been well worth the money. My only problem is that I like to walk barefoot around the house and now, if I do that, my feet start to hurt after a while. So, most of the time, I keep on my shoes (with the orthodics).
Best of luck

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SHIRLEY K on 2/16/02 at 09:07 (073876)

Thanks Sandy. Those are my feelings. I was treated for a torn plantar fascia (due to injury) 6 years ago and totally healed. I have played hard court tennis for years. That pod and phys thera was GREAT. (They moved to another state). Point is that he never recommended orthotics at all.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Richard, C.Ped on 2/16/02 at 09:29 (073878)

Hi Shirley,
Now for the pedorthists opinion...

I wear orthotics myself. Nothing really wrong with my feet, but I love wearing them. I am a firm believer that IF MADE CORRECTLY, an orthosis is wonderful for the person suffering pain, as well as anyone not in pain. Yes, that is very easy for me to say since I have the benefit of being able to make an orthosis for myself anytime I want (someone, somewhere is thinking that...I am sure), but, just to let you know, I have been wearing the same one for the past three years.

Anyway, here is my advice. Seek out a Board Certified Pedorthist. I became very skeptical when I read that you were going to a 'medical supply place'. check then double check to see if they are board certified in pedorthics. If not, or if you want a second opinion, go to my web site. I have a ton of information that you can use when you need to be fitted for an orthosis. You can also find a pedorthist in your area using one of the links. To get there, just go to the top of the 'Orthotics/Shoes message board and click on my name (Richard Graham). It will take you there. Do not be shy or think you are bothering me if you have any questions at all. I love to answer questions and help. That is why I am here.

As for the 'Ain't broke' theory...well, I am a firm believer that an orthosis can help no matter what. We make them for all types of sports teams ranging from about ten local high schools, minor league baseball, and our new minor league hockey team. We also make them for snow skiiers. That is why I believe in them.

the reason the non custom item hurt your feet is just that. It was not made to your foot. the arch will not fit you where it should. If it were me, I would start you off with a softer material, and not throw hard stuff at you.

Check to see if there is any type of money back guarantee. Also, check to see if they offer free adjustments, if needed. I have plenty of important questions to ask on the web site.

Good luck to you....and please, keep us informed.

Richard, C.Ped

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

SHIRLEY K on 2/16/02 at 14:02 (073906)

Richard,
Thanks a lot. I went to your site and printed every page out. I may postpone the orthotics appt until I get more info. I notice most people mention the word 'pair.' I am just to be fitted for left foot only. The script is worded as such - 'please cast and fit semi rigid orthotics- post to cast. Dx: HSS' This medical supply place is supposedly the only place in town. I will heed all your advice and ask them all these questions. They told me it would cost around $120.00 for one foot. My insurance will cover 80% of it. But.... I want to get the right thing. I was coming along great (this is my 5th week) UNTIL the therapist told me to stretch my foot back as hard as it could go. Now the middle of my arch hurts very badly AND I can hardly walk on it. I did not have this problem prior to Phys Therapy, Hmmmmmm... Back to the main question? - Is one okay or is a pair more worthwhile? (even if no problem in right foot? (7 years aga tore the plantar fasicia, in cast, crutches, but had total recovery). Hope this is not too lenghthy for it. Prior to your post, I had been talked out of orthotics. I am up in the air now.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Richard, C.Ped on 2/16/02 at 14:11 (073909)

Hey Shirley...
In all my experience, unless you are not able to walk with the other foot such as having a cast or amputation, you do not want to get casted for only one. If the casting is done correctly, you will be casted in sub talor neutral...or at lest close to it. This means that your ankle will be in a more neutral position, the way we are supposed to be standing. If you have one foot in neutral and the other out of neutral, it will throw you off physically. You may end up favoring one side to the other which could create knee, back, and other problems. If you decide to get them, please get a pair.

Please, please, please contact me either here, email ((email removed)) or even feel free to call me if you have any questions at all. If you decide to get the orthosis made, I want you to have the best possible device...not some piece of crap.

If your insurace pays 80%...$48 is not bad. Make sure you have met any deductibles and see if there are any up front charges.

Richard

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

BrianG on 2/16/02 at 18:56 (073930)

Hi Carole,

I know that I over pronate bcause me Pod told me, a few years ago. I know there is a way to tell by wetting the bottom of your foot, and stepping on a paper, or piece of cardboard. I'm not exactlly sure how it works though, never tried it.

If you look at the bottom of a pair of Nike Air's, you'll see what I mean about the bottom being curved. You can really see the difference between the Nike's and the NB. I'm really impressed with all the technology that NB uses, but it can be overwhelming for someone like us, who is going in, looking for a shoe that will work in a certain way.

I think you really have to get to know your feet, and what they are doing when you walk. Your Pod should be able to tell you this. From there, you can go to the NB website and look for the shoes that are made for your type of gait. Then go to a store that sells NB and has knowlegeable help, not just a 17 year old kid worring about his date for the night :*)

Of course there are other types of athletic shoes that work well. What I'm trying to do is find a pair that works really good for me, wait until a big sale, and then buy 3 or 4 pairs :*) So far, the 854's are much better than any of the Nike Air's I've had. Good luck

BrianG

Re: NB 854's - - THANKS!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 19:11 (073934)

Brian, thanks for the info. I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by all this shoe technology. Until last fall when I got PF, I didn't pay any attention to shoes; I just wore them.

I don't have a Pod, and I don't know of any stores that sell NB and know what they are doing. However, there are a few athletically oriented stores that sell NB and have been around here a while. I'll check them out (haven't been inside those stores yet). They might at least have someone over 20 who has been fitting shoes for a while.

My Nike Airs don't do good things for my PF either.

If you buy 3 or 4 pairs, be ready to accept that you may have wasted your money on one or two of the pairs, because the material the soles are made of tends to get brittle after 5 years or so. As a majorly frugal person myself, I've been down that road twice (though not with NB, but with other high quality shoes). They self destruct in about a month if/when this happens.

Carole C

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Sandy H. on 2/16/02 at 22:14 (073956)

Definitely get a pair of orthotics not one as that could totally throw your balance, gait etc. etc. By the way I do still wear soft orthotics in my work shoes but not my asics 2060s which are the ones I can walk fastest in. If I try to walk fast in orthotics all sorts of strange tipping over feelings and limping impulses start happening. I tried NB 854s but the toe area didn't appear to give any support and my PF hurt where it is attached to the ball of my foot near the big toe so I ditched them for now. Also, Carole, I read something about supinating people with high arches getting orthotics that jag into the arches and this being the WRONG type of orthotic for them because their problem is lack of shock absorption and not turning inwards which is what a high arch support limits. I'm not an expert but read that somewhere. On shock absorption and heel lifts you may want to try sorbothane full length gel insoles. Anything you do, don't keep doing it if it causes you pain is the lesson I've learned.

Re: Orthotics- Are they worth it for PT

Carole C in NOLA on 2/16/02 at 23:22 (073960)

Thanks, Sandy. I appreciate your ideas and the insights that your own experiences have given you. The onset of my PF was coincident with trying to move out of a period of near immobility, with a newly capable but unexercised body and poorly thought out new exercise regimen. I think my problem with my feet may have been caused by a combination of barefoot recumbent cycling, poor seat adjustment (so that my tendons were getting 'twanged' each time the pedals went around), a calisthenics program that I devised for myself and that included several leg lift and toe touch exercises that may have also aggravated my tendons, a much too long and vigorous hike around the mall wearing a terribly fitting pair of cheap new shoes that forced my foot into a very unnatural position, and (dare I say it?) growing older and entering my early 50's. What the orthotic feels like it is doing is to hold my feet in a position where they can heal, without stretching the PF or tendons too much, and giving my poor arch some support so that I don't get those tearing feelings. I agree with you 100% about not continuing things that cause me pain, by the way! I also firmly believe that it helps me to push my feet less than I think is ok, because otherwise they seem to get hurt. Slow but steady wins the race.

Carole C

Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Carole C in NOLA on 3/02/02 at 16:00 (075476)

Brian, today I bought some 854's. This shoe might just be THE PERFECT SHOE for me; time will tell but they sure feel good right now. Here's the full story:

I went to a half dozen stores that sell New Balance, looking for the 1121. However, it is apparently not carried by ANY store in the New Orleans area that I could find. Not even Just For Feet, which had a bazillion styles of New Balance and had it in men's, but doesn't even bother to carry it in women's. I was so disgusted. It looked very nice in men's, but I am tired of wearing gender neutral shoes and I want a women's shoe! Most of the other stores did not have any of the NB motion control shoes at all, and only carried the cheaper NB shoes. If they can sell it for $30, they'd carry it but otherwise forget it.

Finally, I was talking to a tennis player at Sports Authority and she directed me to a small local store named Phiddipides that sells athletic shoes only. The store is run by an older man that knows his business! At last! When I asked for an 1121, instead of looking blank, he said he didn't have it but that since I wanted a motion control shoe I should try an 854.

So, I tried on the 854 (mostly to get the size right so I could order the 1121 online). But you know what? On me, it felt GREAT. He also tried a Brooks and an Asics motion control shoe on me for comparison, but the Brooks gave me a very weird motion and neither the Brooks nor the Asics had as good a heel for me. So, I bought the NB854.

Carmen, I will be wary and I will be on the lookout for any pain in my feet, never fear! I am glad you warned me about the 854, just in case. If I start feeling pain, I'll retire them to the furthest darkest corner of my closet, which is reserved for nasty bad shoes only.

I wore them to Super Walmart and felt as great leaving as entering, so that's a pretty good start. While I was there, I saw a man I used to date and we stood and talked for twenty minutes or so. No problem. I felt NORMAL for the first time in ages. My feet were really not bothering me. One thing that I noticed and will keep an eye on is that when I wear the 854's, I tend to walk with my feet like this, looking down on them:

\ /

not pigeon-toed / \, and not straight (PIPE) (PIPE) . I angle my feet outward like this more in the 854's than in any other shoe. I don't know why, and it might be bad for me. When I wear my SAS shoes and orthotics, my feet are absolutely straight (PIPE) (PIPE) although when I'm barefoot they tend to angle out \ / .

However, in general the 854's feel very good on my feet so I will see how it goes and if this angling causes a problem. I don't intend to actually RUN in these running shoes, but just to walk around and live life, so maybe it will not trouble me.

The heel of these shoes feels GREAT. They raise my heel up a little, hold it firmly, and provide some push on the insertion point, which feels nice. They also have a heel counter that feels very sturdy to me compared with the other brands and taller.

The NB 854 has the SL-1 last, which does not have the arch support of the SL-2 last used in the 1121. That concerns me because I thought that having the increased arch support would be better. However, I'm getting a lot of support elsewhere in the shoe, and there seems to be some support right at the insertion point so maybe this will work for me even without mid-arch support if I don't overdo it. I guess I will see how it goes.

I bought the 854 from the guy who fit me, instead of online, because he did the work. It turned out that at $81, he sold them to me cheaper than the places online that I know of (and no shipping charge, and no waiting).

Carole C

Re: Watch out! Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Donna SL on 3/02/02 at 18:57 (075495)

Carole,

Keep an eye on your gait with the 854's. The reason you may be standing the way you described to Brian is that your body may be compensating by widing your base of gait to maintain balance. The 854's have a very strong medial piece, and the lateral side is really only single density eva. As you stand the lateral side being softer, will have a tendency to give against the forces of the strong medial posting.

I had bought that 850 series several years ago, 851, 852, etc., and at first loved the shoe, because they felt so good in the arch, had nice cushioning, and fit, and a good heel lift. I stood the same way that you did in them. But, I think they are the shoes that did my feet in. It was so gradual I didn't notice especially as the shoe wore, that I was supinating more, and more, and my gait, and standing position started to change for the worse in response to the shoe. The more the lateral side softened the wider my gait became. Basically your body starts to compensate to prevent you from completly going over on your ankles. The changes to your stance will not only cause irritation in the foot stuctures, but also the legs will start to stiffen in response to trying to maintain balance.

It's when I was wearing them over some period of time that my worse foot troubles began. I didn't realize it was from the shoes. I remember when I first went to by current pod, and he saw me in those shoes, he said to trash them, and explained to me what they were doing to my feet,legs, etc.. I felt over 50% just getting out of them. He recommends this type of shoe all the time to severe pronators, but said it was the worse shoe for me.

Maybe a small wedge inserted on the lateral side of the shoe under the sock liner may help maintain some form of neutrality, but I think it would only work for a short time. The shoes have such a large medial post, because someone that has a tendency to over pronate will be exaggerated when running. They really are not meant to be worn by someone with normal, or slightly supinated feet, especially for just walking. They should come with a warning sign on them. It would be a great shoe for most people if it didnt have the hard plastic medial post, and just had equal amounts of dual density eva in the heel. The 1121 isn't that much better, just more money. It has an even bigger medial post, so the lateral side does nothing.

The 854 is a great shoe for some people, but if you notice your stance position is changed already, then it is probably worse when you are walking, and this could already be spelling trouble. The way you feel in your SAS shoes is how your feet should feel, or as close to that as possible. They don't have to be as straight, but wearing a heavily posted medial shoe, when not necessary can have devasting results.

There are not many decent neutral shoes around in the running shoe market. Most of the neutral ones are very mushy, unless they state that they are for the heavier runner. But even then they may not be great. Road runner sports on-line usually will tell what kind of shoe goes with the foot type, but again that is only a guideline. At least you can try them for 60 days if you join the running club, and return them after being worn if they don't work out.

You may also be better off with a good neutral cross training shoe, or a light hiking/walking shoe. Adidas, and Timberland make some nice ones. The Adidas Sahale is a nice stable shoe, but doesn't have as much lift in the back. Some neutral feet do well in the NB 879 which is considered neutral shoe. I only tried the 878, and thought it was a little too soft. NB may have improved on the newer 879 model. That series has a good lift in the heel, and a nice rocker type sole with good cushioning though. Also Asics makes a couple of neutral running shoes. The prelus (sp?) may not be bad either. If you feel the neutral ones don't give enough support then maybe some of the shoes that state they are for stability ve motion control may be ok, because the medial posting is just a dual density eva instead of plastic, and may have a little more give. But,you have to be selective with them too. Most of the NB shoes are geared to over pronation. Also, most running shoe companies are more concerned with the lightness of the shoe for running than long term support, because they assume most people are just going to use them for running.

This is just my opinion, but if it was me, I would clean up the bottoms, and return them.

Donna

Re: Watch out! Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Carole C in NOLA on 3/02/02 at 19:36 (075500)

Donna, thank you. Fooey. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it is probably what I need to hear if it will prevent my PF from relapsing. The bottoms are not even that dirty yet.

I really like the support that the shoe has, but the way my feet point outwards \ / concerns me, especially because it is quite marked. I'll look for the 879. Also, I'll look at the NB site to see what they recommend in a neutral shoe. You are right that most of their shoes are for over-pronators, but if my recollection is correct, some are not. I felt like the 856 was so much better than the Asics or Brooks that I tried on, as far as the heel counter and lift was concerned.

Carole C

Re: Watch out! Re: "Shoe of the Week": I bought some NB854's

Julie on 3/03/02 at 02:52 (075512)

Carole, I'll add my voice to Donna's. I have a pair of 854s languishing at the back of my closet: they felt great in the shop, but I grew suspicious of them very quickly when I wore them around the house: they changed my gait. I bought them about a year ago, kept thinking I'd give them another try, and of course it's now much too late to take them back.

When I read your post, and before seeing Donna's, I wanted to say immediately: watch your back and your knees, not just your gait. I noticed on the photos you posted that your feet turn out: that already suggests there might be a slight strain on your lower back and your knees, and anything that increases that turning out will exacerbate the strain.

I'd take the 854s back.

The Adidas Sahale that Donna mentions is a very nice shoe: I wore them for a long time and liked them a lot until I discovered North Face Targas, which I like better.

You say that your SAS shoes with the orthotics allow you to walk straight. That is really what you're looking for in any shoe you buy, to avoid problems higher up.