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Carole, Julie, Donna...shoes, knees and legs

Posted by Suzanne D on 3/03/02 at 20:58 (075581)

I am behind in reading postings and have read with interest about Carole's New Balance shoes, what Donna said about them, and Julie's advice.

First, Carole, I DO hope your new shoes don't hurt your feet. You sounded so excited about them, and I hope they work for you, but you are quite intelligent and I'm sure you won't keep wearing them if they're not right for you.

I have written about my stiff and hurting knees and have wondered after reading Julie's comments about just what is causing this. I went to the doctor about 3 weeks ago who examined them and stated that it wasn't rheumatoid arthritis, probably osteoarthritis, but they didn't seem to have much 'crepidation', which Carole explained to me. He prescibed more Naproxin, which is what the podiatrist had prescribed earlier. This helps, but I am wondering about what Julie wrote about the relation to shoes and walking.

I wear either Birkenstock or Birk inserts all the time. Wearing these have helped my PF pain tremendously, but I have always had the sense that my legs felt somewhat 'heavier' (for lack of a better description) wearing them. I have always thought it was because I was using muscles differently. Now I am wondering just what may be happening with my knees. I am going to pay closer attention to how I walk in my Birks. As far as I know, I am walking straight. I don't know if I supinate or pronate, either. I asked my podiatrist what about my feet might have contributed to my problems, and he said that 'feet like mine' were more prone to these problems. What that means, I don't know.

I'm not trying to ask you all to be my doctors but value your advice and thoughts. I do go to doctors, but maybe have not found the best one yet! Since my PF has been steadily improving (although slowly), I thought I could get along with what I am doing, but now I wonder if I am developing more problems which are not being addressed correctly.

Thanks for your thoughts. It is such a complex issue, this foot condition!

Suzanne :-)

Re: Carole, Julie, Donna...shoes, knees and legs

Carole C in NOLA on 3/03/02 at 23:37 (075594)

Yes, I think it is a complex issue too! And Suzanne, thank you for the compliments about being intelligent; but remember I do not have ANY background in foot matters, at all, because I have always had feet of iron. Nothing could hurt them, and this foot stuff is a whole new world for me. When Donna pointed it out to me that a new gait problem is no good, I felt that what she was saying made good sense. It was one of those 'I shoulda had a V-8' moments! LOL

Suzanne, osteoarthritis calls for shoes with some degree of cushioning, to act as shock absorbers for the joints, or so I've been told. Birkenstocks don't have as much cushioning as these running shoes I've been trying on, for example. I've been ignoring that problem because my arthritis has been less painful and less of an impediment to my mobility than my PF has been lately.

Personally I think there 'ought to be a law' that foot experts should fill out a little form, checking

1) pronate,
2) supinate,
3) neutral, or
4) other (describe),

and secondly checking

1) high arch,
2) flat foot,
3) average arch, or
4) other (describe).

Two check marks on a 3x5 card wouldn't take more than 5 seconds and could be helpful to the patient sometime in the future. I don't have a lot of confidence that my doctor even tried to figure out if I pronate or supinate when he looked at my gait, so much as trying to see the degree of recovery from my pain. He said I had very high arches in November, and flat feet in February, so I don't have a lot of faith in him any more.

It can't hurt to find a shoe that allows us to walk with our feet comfortable and straight forward.

I'm wondering now if maybe the pain that had me crippled for years and was diagnosed as osteoarthritis, was simply soft tissue injuries aggravated by imperfect shoes for my gait. The reason that I am wondering this is that with all the rest and orthotics that keep my feet walking straight, my knees feel much better. My rheumatologist is perplexed at present and waiting to see what happens.

I tend to take Donna's advice, and Julie's concurrence, very seriously. At present I absolutely plan to take these 854's back tomorrow to the little store where I bought them. Today I went to Sports Authority and tried on a few pairs of shoes just as a 'prevue' to discover if it will be difficult to find a satisfactory shoe to trade these for. I have learned that how the shoe feels on the foot, and what it does to the gait, are two different issues and I'd like to have a shoe that does a reasonable job of both. Well, I'd like one that does a SUPERB job of both, but I don't know if such a shoe is made for my foot. According to roadrunner.com, there is no such shoe. But I can find one that will do.

I tried on some NB cross-trainers that I hated, and a cheap running shoe that didn't work for me and felt like it would hurt my PF, and finally a supportive cushioned NB running shoe called the 715.

The 715 supportive cushioned running shoe did not seem to affect my gait so much as the motion control shoe that I plan to return, so in the 715 I was walking more nearly straight. If you drew two straight lines on the floor, that my heels and toes would normally fall on with my orthotics and SAS shoes, the toes of these 715 shoes would deviate outwards from the straight line about two inches rather than the 6-8 inches each with the NB 854 motion control shoes. I think they would be better for my knees, especially later on when I am walking more and resting less.

The 715's do have a medial post, but they don't have the roll bar and TPU posting. They felt good; not great, not as good as the 854's, but good enough, you know what I mean? So I know that there is at least one decent shoe that won't mess with my knees, that I can wear without hurting my PF too much.

I really want to try the 879 that Donna mentioned, if they have it at the little store where I bought the shoes. I am really hoping for that!

Carole C

Re: Suzanne

Julie on 3/04/02 at 03:28 (075597)

Suzanne, hi

My instinct is to say to you: don't get too involved in the complexities of shoes right now. First try to pay closer attention to how you're walking, and to how your gait has altered since your PF began.

My hunch since you first mentioned your knee pain is that it's been caused by the gait compensations you've probably made for the pain in your heel. You are unavoidably on your feet much of the time, standing and walking around in your classroom, so you're going to be especially prone (more so than someone who is able to stay off their feet) to any of the knock-on knee and lower back effects of compensation. Also, for most of the time you're on your feet you are thinking about your pupils, not about your feet. In my experience, we can tolerate and even ignore an awful lot of pain when we're thinking about other people.

I'd be - almost - willing to bet that you don't have osteo-arthritis to any significant degree.

ANY imbalance in the way the feet are used is going to affect the knees. Over-pronation strains them on the medial side: as the foot rolls in, the inside of the knee is pulled. If you do over-pronate, orthotics may be needed to correct that. (Please forgive me if you already have orthotics and I've forgotten.)

I know you like your Birks, but it's possible that orthotics inside a good supportive tie-up shoe would be better for you, at least as an alternative. We've got to be willing to change when change seems to be called for.

I've also felt (and may have said so before) that it would be a good idea for you to see another podiatrist. When you first told us that yours wouldn't tell you what might have caused your PF, only that 'feet like yours' were more prone to these problems, warning bells rang loudly. They're ringing again. If he didn't evaluate you walking on a treadmill to identify the cause accurately, I think you ought to find a podiatrist who can and will.

But I also think you will learn a lot just by watching yourself and being more aware throughout the day of how you are walking.

Oh - and do try to sit down more!

Re: Carole shooping trip , Julie, Donna...shoes, knees and legs

Donna SL on 3/04/02 at 03:58 (075600)

Carole,

Besides the 879 see if the little store has the 804, or newer 805 (w805at) trail running shoe. It's very popular, so they will probably have it. They are neutral, and have decent support, and are probably more stable than the 879. You might like the wo751bt adventure shoe too, but they are a little rugged looking. They are the most stable in the NB neutral line. They may have a little stiffer feel initially, but NB get soft pretty fast. Also NB brought back the old 801 trail shoe in leather. That's a piece of junk, and has no midfoot support. Did you try the 608 cross training shoe? I hate most of the NB cross trainers, but that one isn't bad, and has some decent midfoot support, and heel lift.

Don't worry about the SL1/SL2 thing. You may need to try the D width in the SL1 though. Some of the models run narrow, and short, so you may have to go up one full size. The 715 may cause problems too after several wearings, because it still has a medial post, and is classified as a shoe for over pronation.

The 3 x 5 card is a good idea if you could trust the person that observed your gait. I've had so many incorrect gait analysis it makes me wonder if you can trust many. One pod just said I had a 'funky gait' , and nothing else. Many misdiagnosed me as a pronator. (Wrong!). BG cped has mentioned this happens a lot especially with cavus feet. The only one that I met so far that knew what he was doing biomechanically was my current pod.

I think sometimes you are better off going on instinct to what feels right on your feet, and don't deviate from that. I was so stupid years ago. Even though I was doing great in a soft neutral shoe, and a flexible neutral orthotic I listened to a moron that told me I pronated, and put me in anti-pronation shoes, and orthotics. That pod should have been shot (LOL). Only I'm not really laughing, because I'm still not totally recovered from the damage that combination did to my feet. He should have known better since he authored a book on biomechanics.

You were smart enough to realize something wasn't right with the 854's. When I told the prior pod my foot pain was getting worse he just said some people's feet just break down all of a sudden, and I must stick with what he prescribed. I must have been brain dead, or something at the time, but I thought he was this big biomechanics guru, which later I found was not the case. I can't believe I didn't have the sense myself to realize it was the shoes, and the orthotics. Before I found my current podiatrist I went on several consultations. Two podiatrist at least recognized that I supinated, yet still wanted to put me in an inverted orthotic of even a higher degree than the pair the prior pod made. I stupidly let one pod make a pair like that, because I didn't understand what she meant at the time, and I fell right over on my ankles. I've since read that you only consider that if someone is in a fixed varus (inverted) position, which I'm not. That's why you have to be careful with trusting these evaluations.

Happy shoe hunting.

Donna

Re: Legs feeling heavier ...

Valerie S on 3/04/02 at 06:41 (075601)

Hi Suzanne,

I wear Birks all the time too, have for a long time. For the winter this year, I am wearing a pair of boots that allowed me to fit my cork Birk inserts inside. Unlike the Birks themselves, the boots have a slightly raised heel, and when I wear them, I feel that lift off when I am walking... I don't know if this is the reason that your legs feel 'heavier' in Birks. But when I wear the boots, not only do I feel taller, but I feel like I am almost floating sometimes, like my legs are a lot longer...

I know that might sound a little crazy, but when you said that about your legs feeling heavier, its like a bell went off in my head too!

I have been resisting shoes with a raised heel, and don't like the way I feel like I'm being pushed forward in the shoe, squishing my toes together... I get ingrown toenails and have to be careful... but now that I have the Birk insoles in my boots, it's almost like the perfect combination (and they keep my feet dry!), since the insoles hold my foot in place.

Just an observation... Good luck!

Your friend, Val.

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 12:17 (075624)

I just got back from the little shoe store. It turned out that they had 879's! They didn't have any other NB running shoes worth considering, so I exchanged the shoe for an 879. The man wasn't there and the lady who helped me said she really couldn't tell much about my gait, except that my left foot swings/points out laterally a little more than my right foot (true, that's due to some very slight residual neurological effects from my MS). She said the 854 is a stability shoe, not a motion control shoe, and shouldn't have caused me any problems; but she let me exchange them anyway. I think she is a little full of hogwash but I got the 879.

She put the 879's on me so loosely it was hard to tell how they are. Now that I am home, I have tied them more tightly (like the man tied the 854's on Saturday). That makes them much more comfortable. They seem like a good shoe. They are not as comfortable on my feet as the 854's (I guess the SL-1 last works better for me, and the heel lift is a little less) but they are good enough and my feet don't seem to swing outwards as much as with the 854. I haven't worn them to WalMart yet but I will let you know.

I think this was really smart of you to suggest, Donna. I think the 854's, though amazingly comfortable on my feet, might have begun causing me knee problems as I gradually start to walk more and rest less. I already have knee problems and I'm heavy, so I could have really messed myself up. Thank you!

Carole C

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Donna SL on 3/04/02 at 15:13 (075644)

Carole,

Your right. The 854 is classified as a motion control shoe. Did they have the 804's or 805's? If not try them too if you can find them. They are a little firmer.

I'm glad you found the 879 for now. I hope they work out. If they feel a little sinky in the heel, get a 'firm' 1/16' flat heel lift (no more than that) made out of a rubber, or birkocork material. Don't use the otc soft heel cup. It will make everything more unstable. I dont know where these could be purchased. My pod made them for me for shoes with softer heels, and it makes such a world of difference. The cped place should be able to give them to you, or make them. Otherwise a shoe repair place may have them. Another thing to try would be what's called a 3/4 cardboard shoe last if they start to feel a little soft. This will give a little more stability to the shoe if needed. They should only cost a couple of dollars. There is a running store in my area that sells them, but maybe a shoe repair place would have them too. That's what is in the 854 if you look under the sockliner. It's glued in the shoe, but you could lay one under the sockliner to see if you like it first.

Also, did you ever see your cped, and discuss making your orthotics a little smaller?

I'm glad you got rid of the 854's. They would eventually cause more than just knee problems.

Keep me posted on your progress with them.

Donna

Re: P.S. Carole Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Donna SL on 3/04/02 at 15:32 (075646)

Carole,

Another shoe I forgot to mention to try was the NB 1021. It's a little more expensive, and sometimes tougher to find. It's also a cushioned neutral shoe, but has a little more support. They show it in the RRS catalog. They discount it. It may be worth considering also. Hopefully the 879 may be all you need.

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/cgi-bin/rrs/rrs/ProductPg.jsp?baseProdKey=RRNBA-479&catOID=-9185&BV_SessionID=@@@@0640111744.1015278044@@@@&BV_EngineID=iadcdhcfljfebekgcgecfeedgf.0

It's all trial an error with these shoes sometimes.

Donna

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 18:37 (075667)

I sure appreciate your suggestions, as always, Donna.

For right now (the next couple of days or more), I probably will not wear my 879's all day because I want to ease into this cautiously, and to be sure I can before I do. I wore the 879's over lunch hour, sitting at the computer, but that is all so far. I did a couple of stupid things with my feet in the last day or so and now they hurt a little and I'm feeling a little stressed, so I'm wearing my orthotics right now and I'm not going to push this until the time is right. The 879's feel mushy and they don't position my heel very firmly, nor do they seem to have the rear arch support or as much heel lift as the other shoes had, but they are reasonably good shoes. They do better if I tie them tightly, and they will probably do better when I am de-stressed and taking the time to get the laces adjusted just so; they don't have a very good lacing system so the adjusting is a little harder. If I can wear them for part of the day, that will be a big morale boost. When I'm able to wear them all day (whether that is next week or next year), at least they will be a little safer for my knees.

Thanks for the information about the heel lift and 3/4 cardboard shoe last. My CPed place is the place that told me I have to wear my orthotics until my doctor says to stop, and until then they won't even hear of the idea of my doing anything else. My doctor says to wear my orthotics until I'm six feet under, since they work. I am bound and determined to wear 'real shoes', though. I don't think there is anything so drastically wrong with my feet or gait that I couldn't, when I am healed. I do think that I need a good, high quality shoe to do that. I've accepted that I'll be paying more and being more particular about shoes from here on out.

I will think about asking them to reduce the size of my orthotic. There might even be room in the 879 for it; the SL-2 last seems to have a huge toe box and plenty of 'slop' compared with the SL-1. As I mentioned I have been tying them tightly so far, and that helps, but if I tied them loosely there would be a lot of room. The saleslady double-checked and said my regular size was correct.

If only I pronated more I would have better choices in high quality shoes. It hardly seems fair! LOL People who don't pronate need good quality shoes that provide a firm, snug, and otherwise excellent place for our heels too. I wonder if any neutral New Balance shoes have the 3/4 cardboard shoe last like the 854's. Probably not.

Other shoes:

804,805: The little shoestore didn't have the 804's or 805's, but I will try some on if I come across them. Sports Authority has them but not in my size this week.

715: I think the medial posting in the 715's is done with eva, rather than the rigid material in the 854. Maybe it would not be so very bad.

Carole C

Re: P.S. Carole Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 18:48 (075673)

If I see them, I'll try them on, for sure! Hopefully you are right about the 879's. I tend to be a bit pessimistic about them tonight, but next weekend when I've got lots of time and I'm in a sunnier mood, I'll work with them, mess with the laces, try different socks, and so on. They might work out.

I am a little disappointed that the 856's didn't turn out to be the PERFECT shoe that I thought they were, but I'm not as disappointed as I would have been if they ended up crippling me.

Carole C

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Fonna SL on 3/04/02 at 21:33 (075685)

Carole,

I've also thought that many times that if I over pronated I'd have a great selection of sneakers. It seems like with most of athletic shoes you have to make a decision to walk sideways, or mushy. My pod says most of the athletic shoes on the market right now are ridiculous. He doesn't think the manufacturers know what they are doing. One of the pods in his group is on advisory boards for several of the big athletic shoe companies, but he said they don't really listen anyway. He said maybe only 25% of the population needs all these heavily posted shoes, and yet the market is flooded with them. The rest of the sneakers are the crappy unstable bunch, which they usually recommend for high arches which is wrong. We still need a decent shoe minus the lop-sidedness causing medial lump. Welcome to the reality of the crummy athletic shoe market. On the rare chance I find something that works I buy 3-4 pairs. The shoes l really liked got discontinued. They were cross trainers (which I prefer) called the Newporter by Asics. The uppers on most running shoes are not very supportive either except some of the trail running shoes. The 1021 upper doesn't look bad though.

The 804/805 doesn't have a board last, but it is still pretty supportive. It has a stability web built into the sole. Not all NB shoes with the stability web are good, and a lot of them bend in the wrong part of the sole. You may like the 804/805 a lot. I haven't had a chance to see the new 805 yet. Did you try the 608 x-trainer? Good midfoot support, but a little soft in the lateral heel, but try it. It's ok if your gait is very neutral. None of the NB shoes last very long though. Even when I was wearing the 850 series they started to break-down pretty fast. It's even worse when the un-posted side goes, that's when you really tip over. This happened pretty quickly.

I honestly don't know what the big hoo-ha is about NB. They are good because they offer widths, and have some good shoes in their line, but they also make a lot of junk, just like any other manufacturers.

My pod jokingly said all these bad shoes are keeping him in business. Seriously all these bad athletic shoes may be a big contributor to foot problems. He said it is almost epidemic, and never saw so many young people with pf, etc. He is constantly re-educating them on shoes.

If your Cped is so concerned about not having a prescription from an MD who knows nothing about biomechanics, for every little thing she does, then tell your doctor to give her permission to listen to you, and give you what you need. You only need a stinky heel lift. Ask her to give you the material, and you'll cut it yourself.

Also, with PF the heel can't be too soft, because it pulls on the fascia. I need to put the heel lift in almost all the athletic shoes just to make the heel stiffer, and more level. Even when I was wearing an orthotic, the shoe sinks more than a normal shoe in the rear, because there is always some gel, absorb, or some other extra goop in the heel. You would need this if you tranferred your orthotics to sneakers anyway. My pod was always giving me things if I needed them depending on the shoe regardless if I wore orthotics, or not.

This is your life, and your feet, and nobody should be dictating to you what you should be doing with them. You may have to go shopping too for a pod who is allowed to have some independent thought, or another Cped with a brain. Sorry, but I get so annoyed by petty stuff like this.

I don't know if these will work, and you really shouldn't have to be doing this, but have you tried superfeet otc orthotics? The green ones may not be to bad. Also I tried the insoles by sorbothane with the graphite arch the other day, and the reg ultra sole ones. They don't have as much as a molded heel cup as the superfeet, but give some decent extra cushioning, and may take up slack in the shoe. I didn't buy them, and only tried them real quick in the store. The graphite arch is flexible, and may just give a little stiffness to the shoe. If it's too much try the plain ultra-sole one. The superfeet one is a little more controlling, and has a good heel-cup, but it may, or may not hit you in the right spot. I also don't remember if the was neutral or had some medial posting. Spenco cross-training insoles don't work for me, but you may like them. They all average between 20-3o-dollars. You can get an idea what some of them look like on the RRS catalog except the ultra sole one, but sports stores should sell all of them. Sorbothane has a web site somewhere. The insole that comes with the NB shoes are one of the the worse I've ever seen.

Donna

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 22:46 (075693)

Donna, what do you think about the 991? At Roadrunner sports normally I get the answer that there is no shoe for me, but if I say that I don't know my arch height, the 991 and a couple of others come up. It is listed as supportive cushioning and doesn't say anything about any posting. I haven't tried it on (or seen it) but in the photo the shape looks like something that might work for my foot.

I'm pretty sure I can find the 805 to try on, since they even had it at Sports Authority (just not in my size). I'll look at it more closely.

I think the 608 might have been the white crosstrainer that I tried on. Whatever white crosstrainer it was, was light years away from being anything that would work for me (if that was the shoe). It just did not put my foot in a good shape for me; I don't know how to be more specific because I yanked it off without ever standing up.

The only reason I have been focusing on NB is because I want a well made high quality supportive tie-up shoe of any kind (athletic shoe or not) that is of reasonably conservative appearance and that would be good for a newly recovered PF sufferer. I am open for suggestions! I noticed a the little shoe store that the Brooks and the Asics that he tried on my left foot, while I wore the NB on my right, had a much lower heel and less support.

Before PF I used to wear Nike Airs which worked well for my arthritic knees (especially years ago when my MS was bad and I was hitting the pavement overly hard with my feet). I bought a new pair of them in October which has been banished to the 'Bad Nasty Shoes' corner of my closet because they hurt my PF. Everyone here said that Nike Airs were not a good choice, and I read a lot of posts praising NB here. That's all I know about athletic shoes.

I am annoyed too by the attitude of the people at my CPed's store. She wasn't there herself at the time, but there were other CPeds there who could have helped. I felt rebuffed. One of these days I may have to actually find a good DPM somehow, and have him look at my gait and my feet and tell me that they are as normal as I suspect.

I agree that it's my life and my feet, and that is why I have chosen to try to gradually re-introduce them something normal looking and mass produced that I can get in a half hour without waiting two weeks for a four hour appointment. Shoes come to mind. :) My hypothesis is that my feet are not grossly abnormal, but good, serviceable feet that simply got injured due to a series of stupid things I did out of ignorance last September.

I haven't tried any of the orthotics that you mention. Maybe one of them would improve my 879's a little. I'm always tempted to stuff a crumpled sock in a shoe like this, to make a 'nest' for my heel so it doesn't wobble around so much and to provide something of substance at the insertion point. I'm sure that wouldn't work! It's just a fantasy I have. LOL

Carole C

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 02:03 (075705)

Carole

Opps? just call me Fonna SL. I must of hit the wrong key in the name field in the last post.

I thought the 991 was terrible. Maybe only if you were going to do a short run in it. It has a very narrow base of support, and you will tip right over in it, because the rest of the sole is filled with so much absorb which makes it very soft.The dual density wrap around heel part doesn't seem to be balanced to the rest of the shoe. There are other factors that can make a shoe unstable besides a medial post. You could try it. RRS used to classify it for severe pronators. I can't really recommend these, because if you thought the 879 was too soft like I did you won't like these either. They are still mushy, and sinky in the heel too. People are going to use these to run in, and you're not running. If you want to get a better look at these shoes some sites like NB web express, and Browns NB have pictures of the shoes that you can enlarge. In the Browns web site you can even rotate them.

You're right there are not many neutral running shoes in the RRS catalog, unless you weigh under 130 pounds. That's why they say for small to medium builds. There are plenty of shoes they don't show either. I've never felt so good since I've stopped wearing running shoes. Unless I find some as supportive as the x-trainers I have I refuse to buy running shoes anymore. I've found other casual shoes here, and there with just EVA soles, and I actually feel better. All those pockets of gel,air, absorb, etc, in the heel, and forefoot, are not always a good thing.

Again remember running shoes are really just made for running. They were never built with the intention of long term stability. and support. I don't care what any one says. The uppers are usually flimsy, and there is too much cushioning for all day wear, and not enough support in general. You'd be better off in some of the entry level basketball shoes, or tennis shoe if you could find some with enough lift instead of the running shoes. Even if you don't have PF they are fatiquing to stand in too long. RRS will tell you this if you call them. If you want them to work you need an orthotic for them more than anything, but it would have to be made of at least a flexible plastic to work, or a very firm total contact EVA orthotic, because the shoes are so soft.

Ecco has come out with some nice athletic shoes with some really decent support called the Receptor. They have several models, with various levels of support. They are geared for walking, and day hiking. I only tried it when they first came out, but there was not that much selection in color last year. They have several kinds now. I haven't tried the newer additional styles yet. The only one I tried was the rugged terrain one mid top style which was extremely supportive, but a little stiff , but they seem to have added so many models. The receptor cross terrain looks a little lighter but still supportive, Then they have a lighter style yet.

It would be best to try all of them if you can. I have an Ecco flagship store here, that carries all of them, but haven't been in there lately. The Zappos on line store discounts on some of them. At least you can see just about the entire line on their site. The Zappos web headquarters is right down the street from me.

http://shop.zappos.com/n/b?d=536156250 will take you to the receptors

http://shop.zappos.com/welcome2.zhtml?0304 for main site or just
http://www.zappos.com and click on Ecco, then the receptor.

Once you click on the shoe then you click on the pull down menu it will show you the different colors available. Also, Ecco has a web site, but it's not as clear as this. I think it's http://www.ecco.com , but they may have changed it. There was a problem with the site tonight.

I think these shoes are superior to most athletic shoes on the market right now. My pod loved them, but at the time they only had this one scratchy black mesh upper in my size, so I returned it. Most of the regular athletic shoes are just cheap crap. They only last around a month too. I've really given up on most of them, because there's not even any decent x-trainers around right now. I wrote Asics, and asked why they discontinued the one I liked and they nerve returned my email. That shoe sold well, and was approved my the APMA.

It's much harder to find these shoes. There's plenty of the junk around, but you have to work harder to find good ones. It's not always price either. I found a great shoe by Reebok, called the Tundra, and I don't like most Reeboks. It was a nice looking shoe, in black nubuck with a great supportive upper, and fabulous support. It didn't have any of the bad DMX it it either. It was one of their adventure shoes. It retailed around $50.00 to $60.00. Of course Reebok dropped that. I bought two of them.

Try to look at other brands besides the major sneaker manufactures. There are better quality shoes around for everyday walking, but it may take a little more work to find, because you need a cushioned supportive shoe. Even a couple of the Skecher smodels aren't that bad. Not the popular Energy model, but some of their cross training ones. The Energy doesn't have much mid foot support, but it is still better than most of the regular sneakers on the market.

If you want a really plain neutral shoe look at the SAS in a smaller size. They come in different colors. Also even Easy spirit came out with one that didn't look bad called the Mesa. They have a web site too now. It comes in around 5 colors I haven't tried it yet, but tested it in my hands, and it seemed supportive. Every manufacture has good and bad shoes in their line, so you can't rule out anything. Also, there may be a few in the Softspots line. Some have a steel shank in the sole. I would just stay away from most of the major sneaker manufactures right now, except for a select few that you might get lucky with.

I haven't bought too many shoes lately because I found a couple that work for now, and I got so burned out for a while shoe shopping. SF is a small city, and just about every major shoe manufacturer has a flagship store here within a couple of blocks of each other, including Birkenstock, but I just cannot drag myself into them right now, because I went through what you did. I'm going to have to start soon, so I have something when the pairs I have wear out. If you ever come to SF I could take you to all of them.

I've been bad, and been sitting on the computer too much today, (not good for my back), but I can't resist in sharing the frustrations in finding decent shoes. Keep on shopping.

Donna

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Julie on 3/05/02 at 02:21 (075707)

Hi Fonna

I couldn't agree with you more about running shoes. They aren't built for longterm stability, and I don't understand why they're ever recommended for PF (and other foot pain) sufferers, who need stability above all. And with NB, and possibly other manufacturers, I wonder how many people get caught into buying a shoe that's going to 'correct' biomechanical faults they don't have. A good hiking shoe is a much better bet.

It's interesting what you say about the new Eccos. I'll have a look for the Receptor: an occasional change from Targas would be pleasant. I used to wear the original Ecco all the time, and still have an almost-new pair. But I now realize how thin-soled, soft and mushy it is (it bends everywhere) and it feels extremely unstable. Too bad: I loved them.

Re: New Balance

wendyn on 3/05/02 at 07:32 (075712)

Okay shoe experts...a question for you.

My Nike runners have had it - and I hate shoe shopping SO much.

I dragged my New Balance 712's out of the closet, and I swear they make my feet worse. Any thoughts on the 712's? I wear them with orthotics.

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 10:46 (075728)

Julie,

I couldn't believe how many styles Ecco added to the Receptor line since I looked at them last. Hope you had a chance to go through all the pages on the zappos.com site. The Phaeton Eclipse is a new style. The one on page 4 sort of reminds me of the Targas. I remember the rugged terrain style was built like a tank, so I'm sure the rest of the styles are just as supportive. Most of casual Eccos were too soft for me too, but this is a nice line.

Let me know if you find a good selection of them. I think there are several Ecco flagship stores in London.

Donna

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

JudyS on 3/05/02 at 11:08 (075735)

Donna, I think I may have mentioned this to you before but, for me, it bears repeating - I REALLY appreciate the great information you bring to this board. Like you, I have high, rigid arches and found that orthotics only caused more troubles. But unlike you, I've done virtually no research regarding shoes. So yours is invaluable to me. I also found the 854's to be too 'cushiony' and too overcorrecting so I'm off to try the other style's you've mentioned.
Thanks again - you're a gem!

Re: New Balance

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 11:32 (075738)

Wendy,

Were you wearing your orthotics successfully in the nike shoes? I'm not familiar with your foot type, or what type of correction you have in your orthotics, so I can only guess. If the nike shoes you have are neurtral, and then you put them into a medial posted shoe like the 712, it's going to add more correction to your orthotics. Especially if they already have a correction in the orthotic for over pronation. It would be over kill.

If I'm correct the 712's came out several years ago, so I can't look at any on the web, but it shouldn't have changed that much from the current 715. As far as I know the 750 series always had a medial post in it.

Where are they bothering you? Have they been worn much? Did you try them without the orthotics?

Donna

Re: Judy

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 11:59 (075743)

Hi Judy,

You're a sweetie. Thanks. I forgot you had high arches like me. It's interesting that you've been doing well without orthotics too. It seems my feet are improving more everday without any correction. When my current pod first told me I'd be better off without them I thought he was nuts. Most of his practice is orthotics. When I get around to it I may see him to make some sort of an accomadative only type of orthotic, if I can't find a decent otc. I'm doing ok without them, but could use a little extra cushion, and support in certain shoes.

Donna

Re: Judy

JudyS on 3/05/02 at 12:43 (075747)

well Donna, I can't say I'm doing well without them - but I can say that I think they created more problems so I never could get consistently involved in using them. To be sure, my PF soreness, over time and a couple of ESWT treatments, has abated trememdously. But, because of arch pain and what seems to be PTT pain that continue, I honestly think that, having been braced, casted, nite-splinted and orthotized, I only encountered these additional problems as a result of all those treatments trying to force my feet to do something they didn't want to do. Thus, different tendonitis's. So now I'm sort of in a catch-22.

Re: Judy

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 13:53 (075751)

Judy,

Here I go again with the ART, but have you tried it yet? Please consider it if you haven't tried it already. I think it would help you tremendously. Especially with the tendonitis, and remaining arch pain. I actually had pain in the PTT area, at one time too, but I don't have PTT. It's a rare condition for high arches. The ART took care of that also. That area can get so strained from all you've been through. Also, the acupuncture helped a lot, but the ART was responsible for a great majority of the improvement. I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm a thousand times better than I was last spring.

My most recent ncv test shows all of my nerves to be in the normal range now, so ART must be a powerful therapy. My physiatrist jokingly said this therapy is making me younger, but he's right. If it helped me with TTS, and PF, I'm sure it could help you with any remaining problems. Last April my ncv test was bad.

I put some info on this in a Thread called Nerve Conduction Studies starting 3-1-02 in the TTS section. I also put some links to some good chronic pain articles, in one of the responses in that post on 3-03-02 at 13:45, msg # 75553, and a few after that. I also mention how so many areas get affected from foot pain in that response. This area may help you too.

bbt.cgi?n=75369 This should link you to the entire thread

bbv.cgi?n=75553 This one contains the chronic pain info, and links, and explains why so many areas of the lower extremities get affected.

I hope these direct links work, if not then you can go directly to the TTS section.

They are long post, but maybe some info in there will be of help. The info doen't just pertain to TTS, nerve pain, and ART.

Donna

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Carole C in NOLA on 3/05/02 at 17:59 (075764)

If the 991's are mushier than the 879's, forget it! Thanks, Donna. I will just scratch those off my list. Cushioned is fine, especially with firm positioning, but I don't want overly mushy or slip-slidy around.

I don't have a burning desire to wear running shoes. I just need a well made high quality tie shoe that works for me. A plain black or brown leather tie up shoe would be fine, if it provided firm, secure support where I need it.

I never heard of Skecher, but I'll look at it online. Thanks for the comments on Ecco; I didn't realize that Ecco's aren't all the same and I'll see if I can try on some of those Receptors. I have Easy Spirit Amigos, but they bend too much in the arch, so I'm surprised that their Mesa seemed good.

Carmen is right; if I can't get to The Walking Co., at least I can get to a few shoestores and try some of these shoes on! :)

I don't know if it is due to wearing the 854's to Wal-Mart last Saturday, or if I slept funny, or if I'm coming down with something, but today I felt like a Zulu had impaled me with a spear, through my back. Also my knee joints felt extremely bad, like I had sprained them. Aches and pains are not uncommon for me when I'm getting sick, but I never have had back problems. I am glad I didn't keep those motion control shoes, because I would be too worried about it to wear them again if I had (whether or not they actually are to blame).

I haven't worn the 879's except while seated for an hour, because my feet have been telling me to wear my orthotics for a few days. The reason is that I overslept yesterday, and forgot to do my stretches when I jumped out of bed and into my clothes and zoomed to work. So, now my feet hurt a little bit. They will be fine by the weekend.

Carole C

Re: Carole

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 23:14 (075793)

Hi Carole,

I just looked in the new RRS catalog, and it says the 991 is a 'soft' stable trainer, so I guess I wasn't crazy. I don't know if it says it
on their web site.

NB came out with a new system called the energy cartridge in the heel. They make a neutral shoe with it called the 1040. They claim the cartridge gives more stability in the heel area. I don't know if it's any better, and haven't tried the shoe, but I know the regular Absorb gets sinky very fast. Not sure about the forefoot either. It's just a thought if you happen to see them. They may be too mushy all over too. Otherwise it's probably better to stay away from running shoes for now. From what I remember the Ecco Receptor had a nice sturdy feel.

If I come across anything else interesting I'll let you know. Be careful with the Skechers. There are only a few models I think might be good. I don't think they show these on their web-site. I've only seen them in the Skechers store.

Did your Cped teach you how to test shoes for torsional stability? You can usually reject certain models just by testing them with your hands. The SAS is a good example of how a shoe should react to pressure. If you hold the shoe in the heel with one hand, and push against your other hand while grasping the shoe at the toes, it should bend where your toes bend near the ball, not at the arch. Also the material in the heel shouldn't be to soft, and sinky.

If you're 879 still feel a little loose in the heel, go into one of the running stores, and ask them to show you how to do a runner's loop. Sometimes called rabbit ears. This will pull the heel in, and make it more snug in the heel area without putting more pressure on the top of your feet. If I find an illustration on the web I'll give you the link.

Hope your aches, and pains go away soon.

Donna

Re: Carole

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 06:49 (075798)

Thanks, Donna. The 1040 sounds interesting. Many of the Ecco Receptor styles that I saw online are not terribly appealing to me, for some reason (though the regular Eccos are, but I remember you mentioning that the regular ones were not as good).

I still have the pain in my back, and although it's slightly better after a good night's sleep, I'm trying to decide whether to call in sick or not. The other aches and pains are settling down.

Another 'shoe test' that I read about online is to hold the shoe by the heel counter in one hand, grab the toe of it in the other hand, and twist. A good shoe shouldn't twist much at all, from what I read, because it might put too much strain on the plantar fascia if it does that while on the foot. My Easy Spirit Amigos flunked this test, but my SAS and NB pass it.

According to the Yahoo yellow pages, there's a SAS store in my area. That might be another option. I think SAS is crazy to not allow their shoes to be sold online. Someone should clue them in to the fact that a business either grows or else it shrinks! They could have a lot more customers than they do, if they were more easily available.

Carole C

Re: An interesting shoe

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 08:44 (075811)

I noticed this Rockport shoe while browsing the Zappo site:

http://shop.zappos.com/n/p?dp=69910&c=110

The shoe and description look wonderful! I would love to be able to wear something like this. I wonder if their claims (like 'rearfoot stability') hold water. Of course, one can't expect a shoe manufacturer to ever claim 'overly mushy heels' or 'disastrous footbed shape' or the like! :)

If the insole didn't work for me, maybe a Superfeet one would improve the shoe. If I see this shoe in a store, I might look at it more closely.

Carole C

Re: Rockport world tour - interesting shoe

Donna SL on 3/06/02 at 11:21 (075826)

Carole,

The world tour is a pretty stable shoe. I actually have a pair sitting in my closet somewhere that I forgot all about. I had bought the men's a while back on sale, because I liked the upper in black nubuck. It was a different upper. I think the heel area may be a little to wide, but my pod suggested doing the runners loop. I'll see what happens. It's harder in the forefoot then what I was used to, so I wasn't sure I'd like it. Now that my feet are feeling better all over I'll give a try again

It does have great rearfoot stability. The women's fits much more snugly in the heel. It has a nice strong heel counter, and the contoured sole makes you feel like you are wearing an orthotic. It's very supportive, and you may like it better then the SAS. It also comes in widths. Do you have a Rockport store near you? I would only wear the Ecco Receptors, or sneakers with jeans, or very casual pants. This is a more conservative look. The World tour is not as cushioned as the Eccos, but it stll has an eva sole. You could always throw a more cushioned insole in if you need it. You'll either love it, or hate it, but definitly try it. It may feel strange at first, because it's not really cushy, but give it a chance. You won't get that sinky feeling like you do in the NB after 5 minutes. It has good rocker type sole too.

There's another one from Rockport that's not bad called the Liard. It's a little more cushioned, and trimmer looking. It's made well, but I don't think as supportive as the World Tour in the heel counter area.

Here's the Rockport website
http://www.rockport.com

direct link to Liard shoe
http://www.rockport.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=rkptlatin1/36_subcategory.html?shoe=216&page1=34_womens_footwear.html

I think the Rockport on-line store takes them back under any condition, but things may have changed. I remember even when I was in the Rockport store they said if the shoes hurt after I had worn them they would return them.

Donna

Re: Rockport world tour - this is exciting!

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 11:46 (075828)

There's a Rockport shoe store in Baton Rouge, only about an hour's drive from here, and 13 retailers that sell Rockports in my immediate area. I will definitely try it! I have always like Rockport in my pre-PF days. I like the conservative look of this shoe, which fits in more with my daily life than some. I also love the fact that you say it has a nice strong heel counter (which it looks like it has in the photo) and good support, and this is very encouraging. :)

Carole C

Re: P.S. world tour : An interesting shoe

Donna SL on 3/06/02 at 11:51 (075829)

Carole,

I just noticed Rockport changed to a phylon midsole on the women's WT version. This may make the shoe much more comfortable, and have more of a cushioned feel in the forefoot than the men's. Phylon isn't as hard as regular sheet eva.

I'm definitly going to try the women's myself when I get a chance.

Donna

Re: Judy

JudyS on 3/06/02 at 12:55 (075834)

Hi Donna - yes - I did have ART a year and a half ago and I attribute my initial healing spurt to it. Maybe I'll go back for more now except I'm not sure my insurance will cover it again.

Re: Carole

Julie on 3/06/02 at 15:37 (075845)

Carole, beware the original Eccos. Soft, comfy, fit like gloves, bend everywhere, no support. I'm going to have a look at the Receptors. Donna, do you happen to know where these 'flagship' Ecco stores are in London?

Re: Carole

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 16:54 (075856)

Julie, thanks for tip. Here's an Ecco flagship store's location, that I got from the Ecco site:

ECCO Flagship Store
445 Oxford Street
W1R 1DA London
020-7629-8960

There were a couple of other stores there, but this one is listed as a Flagship Store.

Carole

Re: Carole

Monte on 3/06/02 at 17:33 (075858)

Excuse me for butting...just wanted to let you know that Ecco Receptors for men are really comfortable a have room for an othotic. The women's version should be similar. I like Eccos.

Re: Monte

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 17:43 (075860)

Donna said the Ecco Receptors are a line worth checking into, also. I think it's the original Ecco's that are getting the bad reviews here, not the Ecco Receptors. That's disappointing to me, because I like the style of most Ecco's but not the Ecco Receptors, for some reason.

And you are not butting in, Monte! This is a message board, not a private conversation. (grin) Those of us who are posting here are interested in this kind of thing and would love to hear what people think of various shoes.

Carole C

Re: Monte

Monte on 3/06/02 at 18:01 (075861)

Thanks Carole. Have you tried Zappos.com to look at the Eccos and read some reviews by wearers? One person wearing the Receptors said his heel spur problem felt better with them. I bought 2 pair of Eccos shoes for work so that my foot won't slip out with the orthotics. Plus..they have a heel strike cushion built in and forefoot padding. Nice shoes...expensive..but nice. Did you know that Ecoo provides re-soleing if they wear out? They charge you, but they make them like brand new shoes and even replace the insoles.

Re: Monte

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 18:24 (075864)

That really does sound nice that they repair them like that, Monte. Yes, I have looked at Zappos.com but few to none of the women's Receptors had been reviewed yet. Some of the Receptors aren't that bad looking. Do they have an orthotic type insole in them when you get them, or is it more of a flat insole? I guess the bright pink ones wouldn't be too great for work, but there are some that are a little more conservative. The expense is not bad for a good shoe like that, which you can expect to last for quite a while.

Actually my feet are feeling soooooo good, that I am thinking of getting a shoe that I might actually choose even if I didn't have PF; the Rockport World Tour http://shop.zappos.com/n/p?product_id=106647 . I haven't seen it yet except at Zappos, but I plan to take a look at it soon. Donna says it is a good shoe; she has the men's version and there is a women's version also. It would work with an orthotic but I am hoping to wear it without one.

Carole C

Re: Monte

Monte on 3/06/02 at 19:57 (075873)

The Eccos come with a basic insole...nothing special. Maybe a little cushy in the shoes. I will be using my orthotics for now. You can order from Zappos with free shipping and try the rockports. If they don't fit or you don't like them, they send you a return label for free shipping. No shipping to or from. Not a bad deal.

Re: Monte

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 20:22 (075877)

Zappos sure has a lot of shoes! I'm glad to hear they are so nice about the shipping.

I found out that there is a Rockport store about an hour from me. I am thinking that maybe I'll drive there on Saturday. That way I can look at all their styles, and try different ones on and compare. It might be fun!:)

Too bad there is no Ecco store near me.

Carole C

Re: Julie

Donna SL on 3/07/02 at 01:41 (075883)

Hi Julie,

I'm been having trouble getting on the Ecco site lately, or I would look for you. It may have something to do with some controls on my computer, but you may have better luck.

The address is http://www.ecco.com

Then choose your country, and then I think shoe finder. I remember there was several shops in London when I looked on the site a while ago. I'm glad Carole found the one on Oxford street. They may have a toll free number to call under 'contact'.

Donna

Re: Monte

JudyS on 3/07/02 at 11:24 (075899)

I was looking at some Eccos just the other day at the Walking Co....but they seemed really soft and flexible. I didn't catch the style name as we were on our way to a movie in the mall. I'm assuming that, because they seemed so flexible, these were not the Receptors talked about here?
They were a black, oxford style.

Re: Carole

Julie on 3/07/02 at 15:58 (075916)

Carole, thanks for this! (Delayed thanks because I've just caught up with the board after being away all day yesterday - then I crashed when I logged on this morning and lost all the 'since your last visit' posts.)

Why I should need someone in NOLA to give me the address of a store I walk within a few hundred yards of three times a week I don't know, but thanks. I'll have a look.

Re: Judy

Julie on 3/07/02 at 15:59 (075917)

Judy, this sounds like the original Ecco. It is indeed very soft and flexible. It may be what gave me PF, come to think of it. Stay away from it!

Re: Carole, Julie, Donna...shoes, knees and legs

Carole C in NOLA on 3/03/02 at 23:37 (075594)

Yes, I think it is a complex issue too! And Suzanne, thank you for the compliments about being intelligent; but remember I do not have ANY background in foot matters, at all, because I have always had feet of iron. Nothing could hurt them, and this foot stuff is a whole new world for me. When Donna pointed it out to me that a new gait problem is no good, I felt that what she was saying made good sense. It was one of those 'I shoulda had a V-8' moments! LOL

Suzanne, osteoarthritis calls for shoes with some degree of cushioning, to act as shock absorbers for the joints, or so I've been told. Birkenstocks don't have as much cushioning as these running shoes I've been trying on, for example. I've been ignoring that problem because my arthritis has been less painful and less of an impediment to my mobility than my PF has been lately.

Personally I think there 'ought to be a law' that foot experts should fill out a little form, checking

1) pronate,
2) supinate,
3) neutral, or
4) other (describe),

and secondly checking

1) high arch,
2) flat foot,
3) average arch, or
4) other (describe).

Two check marks on a 3x5 card wouldn't take more than 5 seconds and could be helpful to the patient sometime in the future. I don't have a lot of confidence that my doctor even tried to figure out if I pronate or supinate when he looked at my gait, so much as trying to see the degree of recovery from my pain. He said I had very high arches in November, and flat feet in February, so I don't have a lot of faith in him any more.

It can't hurt to find a shoe that allows us to walk with our feet comfortable and straight forward.

I'm wondering now if maybe the pain that had me crippled for years and was diagnosed as osteoarthritis, was simply soft tissue injuries aggravated by imperfect shoes for my gait. The reason that I am wondering this is that with all the rest and orthotics that keep my feet walking straight, my knees feel much better. My rheumatologist is perplexed at present and waiting to see what happens.

I tend to take Donna's advice, and Julie's concurrence, very seriously. At present I absolutely plan to take these 854's back tomorrow to the little store where I bought them. Today I went to Sports Authority and tried on a few pairs of shoes just as a 'prevue' to discover if it will be difficult to find a satisfactory shoe to trade these for. I have learned that how the shoe feels on the foot, and what it does to the gait, are two different issues and I'd like to have a shoe that does a reasonable job of both. Well, I'd like one that does a SUPERB job of both, but I don't know if such a shoe is made for my foot. According to roadrunner.com, there is no such shoe. But I can find one that will do.

I tried on some NB cross-trainers that I hated, and a cheap running shoe that didn't work for me and felt like it would hurt my PF, and finally a supportive cushioned NB running shoe called the 715.

The 715 supportive cushioned running shoe did not seem to affect my gait so much as the motion control shoe that I plan to return, so in the 715 I was walking more nearly straight. If you drew two straight lines on the floor, that my heels and toes would normally fall on with my orthotics and SAS shoes, the toes of these 715 shoes would deviate outwards from the straight line about two inches rather than the 6-8 inches each with the NB 854 motion control shoes. I think they would be better for my knees, especially later on when I am walking more and resting less.

The 715's do have a medial post, but they don't have the roll bar and TPU posting. They felt good; not great, not as good as the 854's, but good enough, you know what I mean? So I know that there is at least one decent shoe that won't mess with my knees, that I can wear without hurting my PF too much.

I really want to try the 879 that Donna mentioned, if they have it at the little store where I bought the shoes. I am really hoping for that!

Carole C

Re: Suzanne

Julie on 3/04/02 at 03:28 (075597)

Suzanne, hi

My instinct is to say to you: don't get too involved in the complexities of shoes right now. First try to pay closer attention to how you're walking, and to how your gait has altered since your PF began.

My hunch since you first mentioned your knee pain is that it's been caused by the gait compensations you've probably made for the pain in your heel. You are unavoidably on your feet much of the time, standing and walking around in your classroom, so you're going to be especially prone (more so than someone who is able to stay off their feet) to any of the knock-on knee and lower back effects of compensation. Also, for most of the time you're on your feet you are thinking about your pupils, not about your feet. In my experience, we can tolerate and even ignore an awful lot of pain when we're thinking about other people.

I'd be - almost - willing to bet that you don't have osteo-arthritis to any significant degree.

ANY imbalance in the way the feet are used is going to affect the knees. Over-pronation strains them on the medial side: as the foot rolls in, the inside of the knee is pulled. If you do over-pronate, orthotics may be needed to correct that. (Please forgive me if you already have orthotics and I've forgotten.)

I know you like your Birks, but it's possible that orthotics inside a good supportive tie-up shoe would be better for you, at least as an alternative. We've got to be willing to change when change seems to be called for.

I've also felt (and may have said so before) that it would be a good idea for you to see another podiatrist. When you first told us that yours wouldn't tell you what might have caused your PF, only that 'feet like yours' were more prone to these problems, warning bells rang loudly. They're ringing again. If he didn't evaluate you walking on a treadmill to identify the cause accurately, I think you ought to find a podiatrist who can and will.

But I also think you will learn a lot just by watching yourself and being more aware throughout the day of how you are walking.

Oh - and do try to sit down more!

Re: Carole shooping trip , Julie, Donna...shoes, knees and legs

Donna SL on 3/04/02 at 03:58 (075600)

Carole,

Besides the 879 see if the little store has the 804, or newer 805 (w805at) trail running shoe. It's very popular, so they will probably have it. They are neutral, and have decent support, and are probably more stable than the 879. You might like the wo751bt adventure shoe too, but they are a little rugged looking. They are the most stable in the NB neutral line. They may have a little stiffer feel initially, but NB get soft pretty fast. Also NB brought back the old 801 trail shoe in leather. That's a piece of junk, and has no midfoot support. Did you try the 608 cross training shoe? I hate most of the NB cross trainers, but that one isn't bad, and has some decent midfoot support, and heel lift.

Don't worry about the SL1/SL2 thing. You may need to try the D width in the SL1 though. Some of the models run narrow, and short, so you may have to go up one full size. The 715 may cause problems too after several wearings, because it still has a medial post, and is classified as a shoe for over pronation.

The 3 x 5 card is a good idea if you could trust the person that observed your gait. I've had so many incorrect gait analysis it makes me wonder if you can trust many. One pod just said I had a 'funky gait' , and nothing else. Many misdiagnosed me as a pronator. (Wrong!). BG cped has mentioned this happens a lot especially with cavus feet. The only one that I met so far that knew what he was doing biomechanically was my current pod.

I think sometimes you are better off going on instinct to what feels right on your feet, and don't deviate from that. I was so stupid years ago. Even though I was doing great in a soft neutral shoe, and a flexible neutral orthotic I listened to a moron that told me I pronated, and put me in anti-pronation shoes, and orthotics. That pod should have been shot (LOL). Only I'm not really laughing, because I'm still not totally recovered from the damage that combination did to my feet. He should have known better since he authored a book on biomechanics.

You were smart enough to realize something wasn't right with the 854's. When I told the prior pod my foot pain was getting worse he just said some people's feet just break down all of a sudden, and I must stick with what he prescribed. I must have been brain dead, or something at the time, but I thought he was this big biomechanics guru, which later I found was not the case. I can't believe I didn't have the sense myself to realize it was the shoes, and the orthotics. Before I found my current podiatrist I went on several consultations. Two podiatrist at least recognized that I supinated, yet still wanted to put me in an inverted orthotic of even a higher degree than the pair the prior pod made. I stupidly let one pod make a pair like that, because I didn't understand what she meant at the time, and I fell right over on my ankles. I've since read that you only consider that if someone is in a fixed varus (inverted) position, which I'm not. That's why you have to be careful with trusting these evaluations.

Happy shoe hunting.

Donna

Re: Legs feeling heavier ...

Valerie S on 3/04/02 at 06:41 (075601)

Hi Suzanne,

I wear Birks all the time too, have for a long time. For the winter this year, I am wearing a pair of boots that allowed me to fit my cork Birk inserts inside. Unlike the Birks themselves, the boots have a slightly raised heel, and when I wear them, I feel that lift off when I am walking... I don't know if this is the reason that your legs feel 'heavier' in Birks. But when I wear the boots, not only do I feel taller, but I feel like I am almost floating sometimes, like my legs are a lot longer...

I know that might sound a little crazy, but when you said that about your legs feeling heavier, its like a bell went off in my head too!

I have been resisting shoes with a raised heel, and don't like the way I feel like I'm being pushed forward in the shoe, squishing my toes together... I get ingrown toenails and have to be careful... but now that I have the Birk insoles in my boots, it's almost like the perfect combination (and they keep my feet dry!), since the insoles hold my foot in place.

Just an observation... Good luck!

Your friend, Val.

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 12:17 (075624)

I just got back from the little shoe store. It turned out that they had 879's! They didn't have any other NB running shoes worth considering, so I exchanged the shoe for an 879. The man wasn't there and the lady who helped me said she really couldn't tell much about my gait, except that my left foot swings/points out laterally a little more than my right foot (true, that's due to some very slight residual neurological effects from my MS). She said the 854 is a stability shoe, not a motion control shoe, and shouldn't have caused me any problems; but she let me exchange them anyway. I think she is a little full of hogwash but I got the 879.

She put the 879's on me so loosely it was hard to tell how they are. Now that I am home, I have tied them more tightly (like the man tied the 854's on Saturday). That makes them much more comfortable. They seem like a good shoe. They are not as comfortable on my feet as the 854's (I guess the SL-1 last works better for me, and the heel lift is a little less) but they are good enough and my feet don't seem to swing outwards as much as with the 854. I haven't worn them to WalMart yet but I will let you know.

I think this was really smart of you to suggest, Donna. I think the 854's, though amazingly comfortable on my feet, might have begun causing me knee problems as I gradually start to walk more and rest less. I already have knee problems and I'm heavy, so I could have really messed myself up. Thank you!

Carole C

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Donna SL on 3/04/02 at 15:13 (075644)

Carole,

Your right. The 854 is classified as a motion control shoe. Did they have the 804's or 805's? If not try them too if you can find them. They are a little firmer.

I'm glad you found the 879 for now. I hope they work out. If they feel a little sinky in the heel, get a 'firm' 1/16' flat heel lift (no more than that) made out of a rubber, or birkocork material. Don't use the otc soft heel cup. It will make everything more unstable. I dont know where these could be purchased. My pod made them for me for shoes with softer heels, and it makes such a world of difference. The cped place should be able to give them to you, or make them. Otherwise a shoe repair place may have them. Another thing to try would be what's called a 3/4 cardboard shoe last if they start to feel a little soft. This will give a little more stability to the shoe if needed. They should only cost a couple of dollars. There is a running store in my area that sells them, but maybe a shoe repair place would have them too. That's what is in the 854 if you look under the sockliner. It's glued in the shoe, but you could lay one under the sockliner to see if you like it first.

Also, did you ever see your cped, and discuss making your orthotics a little smaller?

I'm glad you got rid of the 854's. They would eventually cause more than just knee problems.

Keep me posted on your progress with them.

Donna

Re: P.S. Carole Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Donna SL on 3/04/02 at 15:32 (075646)

Carole,

Another shoe I forgot to mention to try was the NB 1021. It's a little more expensive, and sometimes tougher to find. It's also a cushioned neutral shoe, but has a little more support. They show it in the RRS catalog. They discount it. It may be worth considering also. Hopefully the 879 may be all you need.

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/cgi-bin/rrs/rrs/ProductPg.jsp?baseProdKey=RRNBA-479&catOID=-9185&BV_SessionID=@@@@0640111744.1015278044@@@@&BV_EngineID=iadcdhcfljfebekgcgecfeedgf.0

It's all trial an error with these shoes sometimes.

Donna

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 18:37 (075667)

I sure appreciate your suggestions, as always, Donna.

For right now (the next couple of days or more), I probably will not wear my 879's all day because I want to ease into this cautiously, and to be sure I can before I do. I wore the 879's over lunch hour, sitting at the computer, but that is all so far. I did a couple of stupid things with my feet in the last day or so and now they hurt a little and I'm feeling a little stressed, so I'm wearing my orthotics right now and I'm not going to push this until the time is right. The 879's feel mushy and they don't position my heel very firmly, nor do they seem to have the rear arch support or as much heel lift as the other shoes had, but they are reasonably good shoes. They do better if I tie them tightly, and they will probably do better when I am de-stressed and taking the time to get the laces adjusted just so; they don't have a very good lacing system so the adjusting is a little harder. If I can wear them for part of the day, that will be a big morale boost. When I'm able to wear them all day (whether that is next week or next year), at least they will be a little safer for my knees.

Thanks for the information about the heel lift and 3/4 cardboard shoe last. My CPed place is the place that told me I have to wear my orthotics until my doctor says to stop, and until then they won't even hear of the idea of my doing anything else. My doctor says to wear my orthotics until I'm six feet under, since they work. I am bound and determined to wear 'real shoes', though. I don't think there is anything so drastically wrong with my feet or gait that I couldn't, when I am healed. I do think that I need a good, high quality shoe to do that. I've accepted that I'll be paying more and being more particular about shoes from here on out.

I will think about asking them to reduce the size of my orthotic. There might even be room in the 879 for it; the SL-2 last seems to have a huge toe box and plenty of 'slop' compared with the SL-1. As I mentioned I have been tying them tightly so far, and that helps, but if I tied them loosely there would be a lot of room. The saleslady double-checked and said my regular size was correct.

If only I pronated more I would have better choices in high quality shoes. It hardly seems fair! LOL People who don't pronate need good quality shoes that provide a firm, snug, and otherwise excellent place for our heels too. I wonder if any neutral New Balance shoes have the 3/4 cardboard shoe last like the 854's. Probably not.

Other shoes:

804,805: The little shoestore didn't have the 804's or 805's, but I will try some on if I come across them. Sports Authority has them but not in my size this week.

715: I think the medial posting in the 715's is done with eva, rather than the rigid material in the 854. Maybe it would not be so very bad.

Carole C

Re: P.S. Carole Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 18:48 (075673)

If I see them, I'll try them on, for sure! Hopefully you are right about the 879's. I tend to be a bit pessimistic about them tonight, but next weekend when I've got lots of time and I'm in a sunnier mood, I'll work with them, mess with the laces, try different socks, and so on. They might work out.

I am a little disappointed that the 856's didn't turn out to be the PERFECT shoe that I thought they were, but I'm not as disappointed as I would have been if they ended up crippling me.

Carole C

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Fonna SL on 3/04/02 at 21:33 (075685)

Carole,

I've also thought that many times that if I over pronated I'd have a great selection of sneakers. It seems like with most of athletic shoes you have to make a decision to walk sideways, or mushy. My pod says most of the athletic shoes on the market right now are ridiculous. He doesn't think the manufacturers know what they are doing. One of the pods in his group is on advisory boards for several of the big athletic shoe companies, but he said they don't really listen anyway. He said maybe only 25% of the population needs all these heavily posted shoes, and yet the market is flooded with them. The rest of the sneakers are the crappy unstable bunch, which they usually recommend for high arches which is wrong. We still need a decent shoe minus the lop-sidedness causing medial lump. Welcome to the reality of the crummy athletic shoe market. On the rare chance I find something that works I buy 3-4 pairs. The shoes l really liked got discontinued. They were cross trainers (which I prefer) called the Newporter by Asics. The uppers on most running shoes are not very supportive either except some of the trail running shoes. The 1021 upper doesn't look bad though.

The 804/805 doesn't have a board last, but it is still pretty supportive. It has a stability web built into the sole. Not all NB shoes with the stability web are good, and a lot of them bend in the wrong part of the sole. You may like the 804/805 a lot. I haven't had a chance to see the new 805 yet. Did you try the 608 x-trainer? Good midfoot support, but a little soft in the lateral heel, but try it. It's ok if your gait is very neutral. None of the NB shoes last very long though. Even when I was wearing the 850 series they started to break-down pretty fast. It's even worse when the un-posted side goes, that's when you really tip over. This happened pretty quickly.

I honestly don't know what the big hoo-ha is about NB. They are good because they offer widths, and have some good shoes in their line, but they also make a lot of junk, just like any other manufacturers.

My pod jokingly said all these bad shoes are keeping him in business. Seriously all these bad athletic shoes may be a big contributor to foot problems. He said it is almost epidemic, and never saw so many young people with pf, etc. He is constantly re-educating them on shoes.

If your Cped is so concerned about not having a prescription from an MD who knows nothing about biomechanics, for every little thing she does, then tell your doctor to give her permission to listen to you, and give you what you need. You only need a stinky heel lift. Ask her to give you the material, and you'll cut it yourself.

Also, with PF the heel can't be too soft, because it pulls on the fascia. I need to put the heel lift in almost all the athletic shoes just to make the heel stiffer, and more level. Even when I was wearing an orthotic, the shoe sinks more than a normal shoe in the rear, because there is always some gel, absorb, or some other extra goop in the heel. You would need this if you tranferred your orthotics to sneakers anyway. My pod was always giving me things if I needed them depending on the shoe regardless if I wore orthotics, or not.

This is your life, and your feet, and nobody should be dictating to you what you should be doing with them. You may have to go shopping too for a pod who is allowed to have some independent thought, or another Cped with a brain. Sorry, but I get so annoyed by petty stuff like this.

I don't know if these will work, and you really shouldn't have to be doing this, but have you tried superfeet otc orthotics? The green ones may not be to bad. Also I tried the insoles by sorbothane with the graphite arch the other day, and the reg ultra sole ones. They don't have as much as a molded heel cup as the superfeet, but give some decent extra cushioning, and may take up slack in the shoe. I didn't buy them, and only tried them real quick in the store. The graphite arch is flexible, and may just give a little stiffness to the shoe. If it's too much try the plain ultra-sole one. The superfeet one is a little more controlling, and has a good heel-cup, but it may, or may not hit you in the right spot. I also don't remember if the was neutral or had some medial posting. Spenco cross-training insoles don't work for me, but you may like them. They all average between 20-3o-dollars. You can get an idea what some of them look like on the RRS catalog except the ultra sole one, but sports stores should sell all of them. Sorbothane has a web site somewhere. The insole that comes with the NB shoes are one of the the worse I've ever seen.

Donna

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/02 at 22:46 (075693)

Donna, what do you think about the 991? At Roadrunner sports normally I get the answer that there is no shoe for me, but if I say that I don't know my arch height, the 991 and a couple of others come up. It is listed as supportive cushioning and doesn't say anything about any posting. I haven't tried it on (or seen it) but in the photo the shape looks like something that might work for my foot.

I'm pretty sure I can find the 805 to try on, since they even had it at Sports Authority (just not in my size). I'll look at it more closely.

I think the 608 might have been the white crosstrainer that I tried on. Whatever white crosstrainer it was, was light years away from being anything that would work for me (if that was the shoe). It just did not put my foot in a good shape for me; I don't know how to be more specific because I yanked it off without ever standing up.

The only reason I have been focusing on NB is because I want a well made high quality supportive tie-up shoe of any kind (athletic shoe or not) that is of reasonably conservative appearance and that would be good for a newly recovered PF sufferer. I am open for suggestions! I noticed a the little shoe store that the Brooks and the Asics that he tried on my left foot, while I wore the NB on my right, had a much lower heel and less support.

Before PF I used to wear Nike Airs which worked well for my arthritic knees (especially years ago when my MS was bad and I was hitting the pavement overly hard with my feet). I bought a new pair of them in October which has been banished to the 'Bad Nasty Shoes' corner of my closet because they hurt my PF. Everyone here said that Nike Airs were not a good choice, and I read a lot of posts praising NB here. That's all I know about athletic shoes.

I am annoyed too by the attitude of the people at my CPed's store. She wasn't there herself at the time, but there were other CPeds there who could have helped. I felt rebuffed. One of these days I may have to actually find a good DPM somehow, and have him look at my gait and my feet and tell me that they are as normal as I suspect.

I agree that it's my life and my feet, and that is why I have chosen to try to gradually re-introduce them something normal looking and mass produced that I can get in a half hour without waiting two weeks for a four hour appointment. Shoes come to mind. :) My hypothesis is that my feet are not grossly abnormal, but good, serviceable feet that simply got injured due to a series of stupid things I did out of ignorance last September.

I haven't tried any of the orthotics that you mention. Maybe one of them would improve my 879's a little. I'm always tempted to stuff a crumpled sock in a shoe like this, to make a 'nest' for my heel so it doesn't wobble around so much and to provide something of substance at the insertion point. I'm sure that wouldn't work! It's just a fantasy I have. LOL

Carole C

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 02:03 (075705)

Carole

Opps? just call me Fonna SL. I must of hit the wrong key in the name field in the last post.

I thought the 991 was terrible. Maybe only if you were going to do a short run in it. It has a very narrow base of support, and you will tip right over in it, because the rest of the sole is filled with so much absorb which makes it very soft.The dual density wrap around heel part doesn't seem to be balanced to the rest of the shoe. There are other factors that can make a shoe unstable besides a medial post. You could try it. RRS used to classify it for severe pronators. I can't really recommend these, because if you thought the 879 was too soft like I did you won't like these either. They are still mushy, and sinky in the heel too. People are going to use these to run in, and you're not running. If you want to get a better look at these shoes some sites like NB web express, and Browns NB have pictures of the shoes that you can enlarge. In the Browns web site you can even rotate them.

You're right there are not many neutral running shoes in the RRS catalog, unless you weigh under 130 pounds. That's why they say for small to medium builds. There are plenty of shoes they don't show either. I've never felt so good since I've stopped wearing running shoes. Unless I find some as supportive as the x-trainers I have I refuse to buy running shoes anymore. I've found other casual shoes here, and there with just EVA soles, and I actually feel better. All those pockets of gel,air, absorb, etc, in the heel, and forefoot, are not always a good thing.

Again remember running shoes are really just made for running. They were never built with the intention of long term stability. and support. I don't care what any one says. The uppers are usually flimsy, and there is too much cushioning for all day wear, and not enough support in general. You'd be better off in some of the entry level basketball shoes, or tennis shoe if you could find some with enough lift instead of the running shoes. Even if you don't have PF they are fatiquing to stand in too long. RRS will tell you this if you call them. If you want them to work you need an orthotic for them more than anything, but it would have to be made of at least a flexible plastic to work, or a very firm total contact EVA orthotic, because the shoes are so soft.

Ecco has come out with some nice athletic shoes with some really decent support called the Receptor. They have several models, with various levels of support. They are geared for walking, and day hiking. I only tried it when they first came out, but there was not that much selection in color last year. They have several kinds now. I haven't tried the newer additional styles yet. The only one I tried was the rugged terrain one mid top style which was extremely supportive, but a little stiff , but they seem to have added so many models. The receptor cross terrain looks a little lighter but still supportive, Then they have a lighter style yet.

It would be best to try all of them if you can. I have an Ecco flagship store here, that carries all of them, but haven't been in there lately. The Zappos on line store discounts on some of them. At least you can see just about the entire line on their site. The Zappos web headquarters is right down the street from me.

http://shop.zappos.com/n/b?d=536156250 will take you to the receptors

http://shop.zappos.com/welcome2.zhtml?0304 for main site or just
http://www.zappos.com and click on Ecco, then the receptor.

Once you click on the shoe then you click on the pull down menu it will show you the different colors available. Also, Ecco has a web site, but it's not as clear as this. I think it's http://www.ecco.com , but they may have changed it. There was a problem with the site tonight.

I think these shoes are superior to most athletic shoes on the market right now. My pod loved them, but at the time they only had this one scratchy black mesh upper in my size, so I returned it. Most of the regular athletic shoes are just cheap crap. They only last around a month too. I've really given up on most of them, because there's not even any decent x-trainers around right now. I wrote Asics, and asked why they discontinued the one I liked and they nerve returned my email. That shoe sold well, and was approved my the APMA.

It's much harder to find these shoes. There's plenty of the junk around, but you have to work harder to find good ones. It's not always price either. I found a great shoe by Reebok, called the Tundra, and I don't like most Reeboks. It was a nice looking shoe, in black nubuck with a great supportive upper, and fabulous support. It didn't have any of the bad DMX it it either. It was one of their adventure shoes. It retailed around $50.00 to $60.00. Of course Reebok dropped that. I bought two of them.

Try to look at other brands besides the major sneaker manufactures. There are better quality shoes around for everyday walking, but it may take a little more work to find, because you need a cushioned supportive shoe. Even a couple of the Skecher smodels aren't that bad. Not the popular Energy model, but some of their cross training ones. The Energy doesn't have much mid foot support, but it is still better than most of the regular sneakers on the market.

If you want a really plain neutral shoe look at the SAS in a smaller size. They come in different colors. Also even Easy spirit came out with one that didn't look bad called the Mesa. They have a web site too now. It comes in around 5 colors I haven't tried it yet, but tested it in my hands, and it seemed supportive. Every manufacture has good and bad shoes in their line, so you can't rule out anything. Also, there may be a few in the Softspots line. Some have a steel shank in the sole. I would just stay away from most of the major sneaker manufactures right now, except for a select few that you might get lucky with.

I haven't bought too many shoes lately because I found a couple that work for now, and I got so burned out for a while shoe shopping. SF is a small city, and just about every major shoe manufacturer has a flagship store here within a couple of blocks of each other, including Birkenstock, but I just cannot drag myself into them right now, because I went through what you did. I'm going to have to start soon, so I have something when the pairs I have wear out. If you ever come to SF I could take you to all of them.

I've been bad, and been sitting on the computer too much today, (not good for my back), but I can't resist in sharing the frustrations in finding decent shoes. Keep on shopping.

Donna

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Julie on 3/05/02 at 02:21 (075707)

Hi Fonna

I couldn't agree with you more about running shoes. They aren't built for longterm stability, and I don't understand why they're ever recommended for PF (and other foot pain) sufferers, who need stability above all. And with NB, and possibly other manufacturers, I wonder how many people get caught into buying a shoe that's going to 'correct' biomechanical faults they don't have. A good hiking shoe is a much better bet.

It's interesting what you say about the new Eccos. I'll have a look for the Receptor: an occasional change from Targas would be pleasant. I used to wear the original Ecco all the time, and still have an almost-new pair. But I now realize how thin-soled, soft and mushy it is (it bends everywhere) and it feels extremely unstable. Too bad: I loved them.

Re: New Balance

wendyn on 3/05/02 at 07:32 (075712)

Okay shoe experts...a question for you.

My Nike runners have had it - and I hate shoe shopping SO much.

I dragged my New Balance 712's out of the closet, and I swear they make my feet worse. Any thoughts on the 712's? I wear them with orthotics.

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 10:46 (075728)

Julie,

I couldn't believe how many styles Ecco added to the Receptor line since I looked at them last. Hope you had a chance to go through all the pages on the zappos.com site. The Phaeton Eclipse is a new style. The one on page 4 sort of reminds me of the Targas. I remember the rugged terrain style was built like a tank, so I'm sure the rest of the styles are just as supportive. Most of casual Eccos were too soft for me too, but this is a nice line.

Let me know if you find a good selection of them. I think there are several Ecco flagship stores in London.

Donna

Re: exchanged for 879's :)

JudyS on 3/05/02 at 11:08 (075735)

Donna, I think I may have mentioned this to you before but, for me, it bears repeating - I REALLY appreciate the great information you bring to this board. Like you, I have high, rigid arches and found that orthotics only caused more troubles. But unlike you, I've done virtually no research regarding shoes. So yours is invaluable to me. I also found the 854's to be too 'cushiony' and too overcorrecting so I'm off to try the other style's you've mentioned.
Thanks again - you're a gem!

Re: New Balance

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 11:32 (075738)

Wendy,

Were you wearing your orthotics successfully in the nike shoes? I'm not familiar with your foot type, or what type of correction you have in your orthotics, so I can only guess. If the nike shoes you have are neurtral, and then you put them into a medial posted shoe like the 712, it's going to add more correction to your orthotics. Especially if they already have a correction in the orthotic for over pronation. It would be over kill.

If I'm correct the 712's came out several years ago, so I can't look at any on the web, but it shouldn't have changed that much from the current 715. As far as I know the 750 series always had a medial post in it.

Where are they bothering you? Have they been worn much? Did you try them without the orthotics?

Donna

Re: Judy

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 11:59 (075743)

Hi Judy,

You're a sweetie. Thanks. I forgot you had high arches like me. It's interesting that you've been doing well without orthotics too. It seems my feet are improving more everday without any correction. When my current pod first told me I'd be better off without them I thought he was nuts. Most of his practice is orthotics. When I get around to it I may see him to make some sort of an accomadative only type of orthotic, if I can't find a decent otc. I'm doing ok without them, but could use a little extra cushion, and support in certain shoes.

Donna

Re: Judy

JudyS on 3/05/02 at 12:43 (075747)

well Donna, I can't say I'm doing well without them - but I can say that I think they created more problems so I never could get consistently involved in using them. To be sure, my PF soreness, over time and a couple of ESWT treatments, has abated trememdously. But, because of arch pain and what seems to be PTT pain that continue, I honestly think that, having been braced, casted, nite-splinted and orthotized, I only encountered these additional problems as a result of all those treatments trying to force my feet to do something they didn't want to do. Thus, different tendonitis's. So now I'm sort of in a catch-22.

Re: Judy

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 13:53 (075751)

Judy,

Here I go again with the ART, but have you tried it yet? Please consider it if you haven't tried it already. I think it would help you tremendously. Especially with the tendonitis, and remaining arch pain. I actually had pain in the PTT area, at one time too, but I don't have PTT. It's a rare condition for high arches. The ART took care of that also. That area can get so strained from all you've been through. Also, the acupuncture helped a lot, but the ART was responsible for a great majority of the improvement. I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm a thousand times better than I was last spring.

My most recent ncv test shows all of my nerves to be in the normal range now, so ART must be a powerful therapy. My physiatrist jokingly said this therapy is making me younger, but he's right. If it helped me with TTS, and PF, I'm sure it could help you with any remaining problems. Last April my ncv test was bad.

I put some info on this in a Thread called Nerve Conduction Studies starting 3-1-02 in the TTS section. I also put some links to some good chronic pain articles, in one of the responses in that post on 3-03-02 at 13:45, msg # 75553, and a few after that. I also mention how so many areas get affected from foot pain in that response. This area may help you too.

bbt.cgi?n=75369 This should link you to the entire thread

bbv.cgi?n=75553 This one contains the chronic pain info, and links, and explains why so many areas of the lower extremities get affected.

I hope these direct links work, if not then you can go directly to the TTS section.

They are long post, but maybe some info in there will be of help. The info doen't just pertain to TTS, nerve pain, and ART.

Donna

Re: Forgot about the Ecco Receptor

Carole C in NOLA on 3/05/02 at 17:59 (075764)

If the 991's are mushier than the 879's, forget it! Thanks, Donna. I will just scratch those off my list. Cushioned is fine, especially with firm positioning, but I don't want overly mushy or slip-slidy around.

I don't have a burning desire to wear running shoes. I just need a well made high quality tie shoe that works for me. A plain black or brown leather tie up shoe would be fine, if it provided firm, secure support where I need it.

I never heard of Skecher, but I'll look at it online. Thanks for the comments on Ecco; I didn't realize that Ecco's aren't all the same and I'll see if I can try on some of those Receptors. I have Easy Spirit Amigos, but they bend too much in the arch, so I'm surprised that their Mesa seemed good.

Carmen is right; if I can't get to The Walking Co., at least I can get to a few shoestores and try some of these shoes on! :)

I don't know if it is due to wearing the 854's to Wal-Mart last Saturday, or if I slept funny, or if I'm coming down with something, but today I felt like a Zulu had impaled me with a spear, through my back. Also my knee joints felt extremely bad, like I had sprained them. Aches and pains are not uncommon for me when I'm getting sick, but I never have had back problems. I am glad I didn't keep those motion control shoes, because I would be too worried about it to wear them again if I had (whether or not they actually are to blame).

I haven't worn the 879's except while seated for an hour, because my feet have been telling me to wear my orthotics for a few days. The reason is that I overslept yesterday, and forgot to do my stretches when I jumped out of bed and into my clothes and zoomed to work. So, now my feet hurt a little bit. They will be fine by the weekend.

Carole C

Re: Carole

Donna SL on 3/05/02 at 23:14 (075793)

Hi Carole,

I just looked in the new RRS catalog, and it says the 991 is a 'soft' stable trainer, so I guess I wasn't crazy. I don't know if it says it
on their web site.

NB came out with a new system called the energy cartridge in the heel. They make a neutral shoe with it called the 1040. They claim the cartridge gives more stability in the heel area. I don't know if it's any better, and haven't tried the shoe, but I know the regular Absorb gets sinky very fast. Not sure about the forefoot either. It's just a thought if you happen to see them. They may be too mushy all over too. Otherwise it's probably better to stay away from running shoes for now. From what I remember the Ecco Receptor had a nice sturdy feel.

If I come across anything else interesting I'll let you know. Be careful with the Skechers. There are only a few models I think might be good. I don't think they show these on their web-site. I've only seen them in the Skechers store.

Did your Cped teach you how to test shoes for torsional stability? You can usually reject certain models just by testing them with your hands. The SAS is a good example of how a shoe should react to pressure. If you hold the shoe in the heel with one hand, and push against your other hand while grasping the shoe at the toes, it should bend where your toes bend near the ball, not at the arch. Also the material in the heel shouldn't be to soft, and sinky.

If you're 879 still feel a little loose in the heel, go into one of the running stores, and ask them to show you how to do a runner's loop. Sometimes called rabbit ears. This will pull the heel in, and make it more snug in the heel area without putting more pressure on the top of your feet. If I find an illustration on the web I'll give you the link.

Hope your aches, and pains go away soon.

Donna

Re: Carole

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 06:49 (075798)

Thanks, Donna. The 1040 sounds interesting. Many of the Ecco Receptor styles that I saw online are not terribly appealing to me, for some reason (though the regular Eccos are, but I remember you mentioning that the regular ones were not as good).

I still have the pain in my back, and although it's slightly better after a good night's sleep, I'm trying to decide whether to call in sick or not. The other aches and pains are settling down.

Another 'shoe test' that I read about online is to hold the shoe by the heel counter in one hand, grab the toe of it in the other hand, and twist. A good shoe shouldn't twist much at all, from what I read, because it might put too much strain on the plantar fascia if it does that while on the foot. My Easy Spirit Amigos flunked this test, but my SAS and NB pass it.

According to the Yahoo yellow pages, there's a SAS store in my area. That might be another option. I think SAS is crazy to not allow their shoes to be sold online. Someone should clue them in to the fact that a business either grows or else it shrinks! They could have a lot more customers than they do, if they were more easily available.

Carole C

Re: An interesting shoe

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 08:44 (075811)

I noticed this Rockport shoe while browsing the Zappo site:

http://shop.zappos.com/n/p?dp=69910&c=110

The shoe and description look wonderful! I would love to be able to wear something like this. I wonder if their claims (like 'rearfoot stability') hold water. Of course, one can't expect a shoe manufacturer to ever claim 'overly mushy heels' or 'disastrous footbed shape' or the like! :)

If the insole didn't work for me, maybe a Superfeet one would improve the shoe. If I see this shoe in a store, I might look at it more closely.

Carole C

Re: Rockport world tour - interesting shoe

Donna SL on 3/06/02 at 11:21 (075826)

Carole,

The world tour is a pretty stable shoe. I actually have a pair sitting in my closet somewhere that I forgot all about. I had bought the men's a while back on sale, because I liked the upper in black nubuck. It was a different upper. I think the heel area may be a little to wide, but my pod suggested doing the runners loop. I'll see what happens. It's harder in the forefoot then what I was used to, so I wasn't sure I'd like it. Now that my feet are feeling better all over I'll give a try again

It does have great rearfoot stability. The women's fits much more snugly in the heel. It has a nice strong heel counter, and the contoured sole makes you feel like you are wearing an orthotic. It's very supportive, and you may like it better then the SAS. It also comes in widths. Do you have a Rockport store near you? I would only wear the Ecco Receptors, or sneakers with jeans, or very casual pants. This is a more conservative look. The World tour is not as cushioned as the Eccos, but it stll has an eva sole. You could always throw a more cushioned insole in if you need it. You'll either love it, or hate it, but definitly try it. It may feel strange at first, because it's not really cushy, but give it a chance. You won't get that sinky feeling like you do in the NB after 5 minutes. It has good rocker type sole too.

There's another one from Rockport that's not bad called the Liard. It's a little more cushioned, and trimmer looking. It's made well, but I don't think as supportive as the World Tour in the heel counter area.

Here's the Rockport website
http://www.rockport.com

direct link to Liard shoe
http://www.rockport.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=rkptlatin1/36_subcategory.html?shoe=216&page1=34_womens_footwear.html

I think the Rockport on-line store takes them back under any condition, but things may have changed. I remember even when I was in the Rockport store they said if the shoes hurt after I had worn them they would return them.

Donna

Re: Rockport world tour - this is exciting!

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 11:46 (075828)

There's a Rockport shoe store in Baton Rouge, only about an hour's drive from here, and 13 retailers that sell Rockports in my immediate area. I will definitely try it! I have always like Rockport in my pre-PF days. I like the conservative look of this shoe, which fits in more with my daily life than some. I also love the fact that you say it has a nice strong heel counter (which it looks like it has in the photo) and good support, and this is very encouraging. :)

Carole C

Re: P.S. world tour : An interesting shoe

Donna SL on 3/06/02 at 11:51 (075829)

Carole,

I just noticed Rockport changed to a phylon midsole on the women's WT version. This may make the shoe much more comfortable, and have more of a cushioned feel in the forefoot than the men's. Phylon isn't as hard as regular sheet eva.

I'm definitly going to try the women's myself when I get a chance.

Donna

Re: Judy

JudyS on 3/06/02 at 12:55 (075834)

Hi Donna - yes - I did have ART a year and a half ago and I attribute my initial healing spurt to it. Maybe I'll go back for more now except I'm not sure my insurance will cover it again.

Re: Carole

Julie on 3/06/02 at 15:37 (075845)

Carole, beware the original Eccos. Soft, comfy, fit like gloves, bend everywhere, no support. I'm going to have a look at the Receptors. Donna, do you happen to know where these 'flagship' Ecco stores are in London?

Re: Carole

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 16:54 (075856)

Julie, thanks for tip. Here's an Ecco flagship store's location, that I got from the Ecco site:

ECCO Flagship Store
445 Oxford Street
W1R 1DA London
020-7629-8960

There were a couple of other stores there, but this one is listed as a Flagship Store.

Carole

Re: Carole

Monte on 3/06/02 at 17:33 (075858)

Excuse me for butting...just wanted to let you know that Ecco Receptors for men are really comfortable a have room for an othotic. The women's version should be similar. I like Eccos.

Re: Monte

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 17:43 (075860)

Donna said the Ecco Receptors are a line worth checking into, also. I think it's the original Ecco's that are getting the bad reviews here, not the Ecco Receptors. That's disappointing to me, because I like the style of most Ecco's but not the Ecco Receptors, for some reason.

And you are not butting in, Monte! This is a message board, not a private conversation. (grin) Those of us who are posting here are interested in this kind of thing and would love to hear what people think of various shoes.

Carole C

Re: Monte

Monte on 3/06/02 at 18:01 (075861)

Thanks Carole. Have you tried Zappos.com to look at the Eccos and read some reviews by wearers? One person wearing the Receptors said his heel spur problem felt better with them. I bought 2 pair of Eccos shoes for work so that my foot won't slip out with the orthotics. Plus..they have a heel strike cushion built in and forefoot padding. Nice shoes...expensive..but nice. Did you know that Ecoo provides re-soleing if they wear out? They charge you, but they make them like brand new shoes and even replace the insoles.

Re: Monte

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 18:24 (075864)

That really does sound nice that they repair them like that, Monte. Yes, I have looked at Zappos.com but few to none of the women's Receptors had been reviewed yet. Some of the Receptors aren't that bad looking. Do they have an orthotic type insole in them when you get them, or is it more of a flat insole? I guess the bright pink ones wouldn't be too great for work, but there are some that are a little more conservative. The expense is not bad for a good shoe like that, which you can expect to last for quite a while.

Actually my feet are feeling soooooo good, that I am thinking of getting a shoe that I might actually choose even if I didn't have PF; the Rockport World Tour http://shop.zappos.com/n/p?product_id=106647 . I haven't seen it yet except at Zappos, but I plan to take a look at it soon. Donna says it is a good shoe; she has the men's version and there is a women's version also. It would work with an orthotic but I am hoping to wear it without one.

Carole C

Re: Monte

Monte on 3/06/02 at 19:57 (075873)

The Eccos come with a basic insole...nothing special. Maybe a little cushy in the shoes. I will be using my orthotics for now. You can order from Zappos with free shipping and try the rockports. If they don't fit or you don't like them, they send you a return label for free shipping. No shipping to or from. Not a bad deal.

Re: Monte

Carole C in NOLA on 3/06/02 at 20:22 (075877)

Zappos sure has a lot of shoes! I'm glad to hear they are so nice about the shipping.

I found out that there is a Rockport store about an hour from me. I am thinking that maybe I'll drive there on Saturday. That way I can look at all their styles, and try different ones on and compare. It might be fun!:)

Too bad there is no Ecco store near me.

Carole C

Re: Julie

Donna SL on 3/07/02 at 01:41 (075883)

Hi Julie,

I'm been having trouble getting on the Ecco site lately, or I would look for you. It may have something to do with some controls on my computer, but you may have better luck.

The address is http://www.ecco.com

Then choose your country, and then I think shoe finder. I remember there was several shops in London when I looked on the site a while ago. I'm glad Carole found the one on Oxford street. They may have a toll free number to call under 'contact'.

Donna

Re: Monte

JudyS on 3/07/02 at 11:24 (075899)

I was looking at some Eccos just the other day at the Walking Co....but they seemed really soft and flexible. I didn't catch the style name as we were on our way to a movie in the mall. I'm assuming that, because they seemed so flexible, these were not the Receptors talked about here?
They were a black, oxford style.

Re: Carole

Julie on 3/07/02 at 15:58 (075916)

Carole, thanks for this! (Delayed thanks because I've just caught up with the board after being away all day yesterday - then I crashed when I logged on this morning and lost all the 'since your last visit' posts.)

Why I should need someone in NOLA to give me the address of a store I walk within a few hundred yards of three times a week I don't know, but thanks. I'll have a look.

Re: Judy

Julie on 3/07/02 at 15:59 (075917)

Judy, this sounds like the original Ecco. It is indeed very soft and flexible. It may be what gave me PF, come to think of it. Stay away from it!