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PF and sole wear patterns

Posted by Ellen J. on 4/03/02 at 12:13 (078356)

Hi,
I've had P. F. for about 2.5 yrs and have gone to a couple of different doctors who say that I'm a moderate to severe overpronator. I had never had arch pain until I got P.F. Anyway, I found one terrific pair of shoes with soft soles that I wear every day. I just looked at the bottom today and noticed the wear pattern on the sole was on the outside of the heel and outside of the forefoot. That is very confusing to me, since I have fairly flat feet and am an overpronator. (by the way, motion control shoes cause problems for me, and too much arch support also hurts). I can see my ankle turn in a little when I walk but now I'm quite confused about what the wear pattern is telling me. Any thoughts?
Ellen J.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 12:21 (078360)

Ellen, I don't know about the forefoot wear, but I have read that wear on the outside of the heel does not mean that one supinates.

Maybe the foot doctors here can shed some light on this and tell us what, if anything, we can learn from our shoes' wear patterns.

Carole C

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Julie on 4/03/02 at 12:27 (078362)

The wear pattern is telling you that the outside of the heel strikes the ground first. This is true of everyone - just about. The 'pronation' part of the gait cycle - i.e. the foot rolling in - starts after the initial strike. Everyone pronates, it's a normal part of the gait cycle. Abnormal, or excessive pronation, means that the foot rolls in too far. You can be an excessive pronator and still show wear on the outside of the heel.

I (an abnormal pronator) was puzzled about this too. My podiatrist explained it to me.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Ellen J. on 4/03/02 at 15:41 (078377)

Hi Julie and Carol,
That does explain the heel wear pattern, but in an overpronator, wouldn't the medial side of the forefoot wear more than the lateral side? So then you would have a worn outer heel and a worn inner toe area (where the big toe is)? Maybe I got my info all turned around and it's the opposite of what I'm thinking (regarding the forefoot, anyway)
By the way, I just bought an extra pair of my favorite shoes and I'm wondering if anyone knows if it's easy to have someone stretch out the area where the big toe is, to make it higher and more roomy. My old shoes are broken in that way and I thought it would take some stress off my feet to not have to break in the new pair. I would do it myself if I knew how.
Thanks for your notes!
Ellen J.

Re: Shoe stretching

Valerie S on 4/03/02 at 19:39 (078397)

Hi Ellen.

I used to work in a shoe repair shop. If you take your new shoes in there, they can most likely stretch them for you. The apparatus that is used will actually stretch more than just the toe, but the stretchers we used had little detachable metal bumps that could be placed in specific areas of the shoe. We charged $5 a pair and it took 24 hours... that's where I would check first for this kind of service: a shoe repairshop.

Good luck with your new shoes!

Val.

Re: Shoe stretching

Ellen J. on 4/03/02 at 19:46 (078399)

Thanks, Valerie!
I will bring them to a shoe repair shop tomorrow and see what they can do. I didn't know it would take 24 hours-- I wonder if they have to leave the stretching device in the shoe that long or if it takes 24 hours to fit it into the schedule. Anyway, I'll give them a call to see what they can do.
Thanks again for your help.
Ellen J.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 20:54 (078412)

When I was a little girl back in the 1950's, my mother used to buy shoes for the whole family from a large shoe store down in the poorer part of town called Schneiders. Mr. Schneider was a wonderful man and he would stretch out the toe area of a shoe if it wasn't quite right when we were buying it. He had some sort of instrument that he used to stretch the shoe manually. I don't know if such things are done in the 21st century, though. Maybe a cobbler could do it.

Carole C

Re: Shoe stretching

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 20:55 (078413)

I didn't see Valerie's post until after I posted. No, it doesn't take 24 hours. It takes about five minutes (or at least it only took Mr. Schneider about that long, see my post). The 24 hours is probably just to fit it into their busy schedule.

Carole C

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/03/02 at 21:38 (078424)

Julie is correct about the wear on the outside of the heels.

The outside sole wear can come from propulsion (Push off) off the lateral forefoot with the midtarsal joint being relatively oversupinated. Plantar fasciitis is exaccerbated by overpronation of the subtalar joint but oversupination at the midtarsal joint (longitudinal axis). The second half of the equation is often not adequately addressed with many orthotics...often leading to devices that are not as effective as they could be.
Ed

Re: Stretching shoes

Julie on 4/03/02 at 23:59 (078453)

Ellen

It depends what material the uppers are made of. I believe it is possible to stretch only natural materials, like leather. Most trainers, being made of synthetic materials, are not stretchable.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Ellen J. on 4/04/02 at 08:31 (078466)

Thanks for the info on the shoe wear. From what you and Julie are saying, it's normal to have the wear all the way along the outside of the shoe sole rather than the medial side. I had figured that there would be some wear along some portion of the medial side of the sole but there is very little. The original pebbling pattern of the sole is even still there.
Thanks for educating me about this.
Ellen J.

Re: PS. I found a shoe stretching device

Ellen J. on 4/04/02 at 08:50 (078470)

PS.
I was going to take my shoes to a repair shop for stretching but looked on the net first, to see what was there. I found a couple of sites that sell shoe stretching devices (same as those used at repair shops, as far as I can tell). I ordered a couple of stretchers because I would like to stretch the toe area on a number of my shoes that are too tight in the toe box for orthotics. One site has a device called the 'Toe Raiser' and both sites have one that does small targeted areas called the 'Bunion Stretcher'. I don't know anything about the integrity of these sites, so I can't reccommend them until I have experience with them but I can post them here if anyone wants to take a look. I suppose that if the stretching is done incorrectly it can ruin a shoe, so for me this is an experiment. The two sites I found were: http://www.bootrepair.com/stretchers.htm and http://www.emocs.com/stretchers.htm
I don't know if we are allowed to post links here, so please forgive me if I wasn't supposed to post these.
Ellen J.

Re: Shoe stretching

Richard, C.Ped on 4/04/02 at 15:46 (078499)

Here is a quick tip. This is something I do in the field when I forget to take my Toejam spreader (a stretching device we came up with). I have to improvise with the tools avaliable. I will wet the inside of the shoe that I want to stretch with water. I will then take a golf ball or two and basically shove it to the area I want to stretch. I will then borrow a hair dryer and wave it back and forth over the area. Don't leave it pointing at one spot, otherwise, you will damage the leather. I usually get great results.

Richard

Re: Re:Golf Ball Tip

Ellen J. on 4/04/02 at 18:10 (078513)

Very good idea!
Even though I have ordered shoe stretchers over the 'net (have not arrived yet), I think I'll try the golf ball technique. I'm curious about it and it sounds like a good idea. If you decide to try the actual shoe stretching devices, they sell a stretching fluid that you spray on the leather first and then you put the stretcher in the shoe.
Thanks for the golf ball tip.
Ellen J.

Re: Re:Golf Ball Tip

Richard, C.Ped on 4/09/02 at 13:36 (078938)

Most of the time the stretching spray is just a plain old solution of salt water. You really do not need more than water though. Don't spend the money on that.
Richard

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 12:21 (078360)

Ellen, I don't know about the forefoot wear, but I have read that wear on the outside of the heel does not mean that one supinates.

Maybe the foot doctors here can shed some light on this and tell us what, if anything, we can learn from our shoes' wear patterns.

Carole C

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Julie on 4/03/02 at 12:27 (078362)

The wear pattern is telling you that the outside of the heel strikes the ground first. This is true of everyone - just about. The 'pronation' part of the gait cycle - i.e. the foot rolling in - starts after the initial strike. Everyone pronates, it's a normal part of the gait cycle. Abnormal, or excessive pronation, means that the foot rolls in too far. You can be an excessive pronator and still show wear on the outside of the heel.

I (an abnormal pronator) was puzzled about this too. My podiatrist explained it to me.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Ellen J. on 4/03/02 at 15:41 (078377)

Hi Julie and Carol,
That does explain the heel wear pattern, but in an overpronator, wouldn't the medial side of the forefoot wear more than the lateral side? So then you would have a worn outer heel and a worn inner toe area (where the big toe is)? Maybe I got my info all turned around and it's the opposite of what I'm thinking (regarding the forefoot, anyway)
By the way, I just bought an extra pair of my favorite shoes and I'm wondering if anyone knows if it's easy to have someone stretch out the area where the big toe is, to make it higher and more roomy. My old shoes are broken in that way and I thought it would take some stress off my feet to not have to break in the new pair. I would do it myself if I knew how.
Thanks for your notes!
Ellen J.

Re: Shoe stretching

Valerie S on 4/03/02 at 19:39 (078397)

Hi Ellen.

I used to work in a shoe repair shop. If you take your new shoes in there, they can most likely stretch them for you. The apparatus that is used will actually stretch more than just the toe, but the stretchers we used had little detachable metal bumps that could be placed in specific areas of the shoe. We charged $5 a pair and it took 24 hours... that's where I would check first for this kind of service: a shoe repairshop.

Good luck with your new shoes!

Val.

Re: Shoe stretching

Ellen J. on 4/03/02 at 19:46 (078399)

Thanks, Valerie!
I will bring them to a shoe repair shop tomorrow and see what they can do. I didn't know it would take 24 hours-- I wonder if they have to leave the stretching device in the shoe that long or if it takes 24 hours to fit it into the schedule. Anyway, I'll give them a call to see what they can do.
Thanks again for your help.
Ellen J.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 20:54 (078412)

When I was a little girl back in the 1950's, my mother used to buy shoes for the whole family from a large shoe store down in the poorer part of town called Schneiders. Mr. Schneider was a wonderful man and he would stretch out the toe area of a shoe if it wasn't quite right when we were buying it. He had some sort of instrument that he used to stretch the shoe manually. I don't know if such things are done in the 21st century, though. Maybe a cobbler could do it.

Carole C

Re: Shoe stretching

Carole C in NOLA on 4/03/02 at 20:55 (078413)

I didn't see Valerie's post until after I posted. No, it doesn't take 24 hours. It takes about five minutes (or at least it only took Mr. Schneider about that long, see my post). The 24 hours is probably just to fit it into their busy schedule.

Carole C

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/03/02 at 21:38 (078424)

Julie is correct about the wear on the outside of the heels.

The outside sole wear can come from propulsion (Push off) off the lateral forefoot with the midtarsal joint being relatively oversupinated. Plantar fasciitis is exaccerbated by overpronation of the subtalar joint but oversupination at the midtarsal joint (longitudinal axis). The second half of the equation is often not adequately addressed with many orthotics...often leading to devices that are not as effective as they could be.
Ed

Re: Stretching shoes

Julie on 4/03/02 at 23:59 (078453)

Ellen

It depends what material the uppers are made of. I believe it is possible to stretch only natural materials, like leather. Most trainers, being made of synthetic materials, are not stretchable.

Re: PF and sole wear patterns

Ellen J. on 4/04/02 at 08:31 (078466)

Thanks for the info on the shoe wear. From what you and Julie are saying, it's normal to have the wear all the way along the outside of the shoe sole rather than the medial side. I had figured that there would be some wear along some portion of the medial side of the sole but there is very little. The original pebbling pattern of the sole is even still there.
Thanks for educating me about this.
Ellen J.

Re: PS. I found a shoe stretching device

Ellen J. on 4/04/02 at 08:50 (078470)

PS.
I was going to take my shoes to a repair shop for stretching but looked on the net first, to see what was there. I found a couple of sites that sell shoe stretching devices (same as those used at repair shops, as far as I can tell). I ordered a couple of stretchers because I would like to stretch the toe area on a number of my shoes that are too tight in the toe box for orthotics. One site has a device called the 'Toe Raiser' and both sites have one that does small targeted areas called the 'Bunion Stretcher'. I don't know anything about the integrity of these sites, so I can't reccommend them until I have experience with them but I can post them here if anyone wants to take a look. I suppose that if the stretching is done incorrectly it can ruin a shoe, so for me this is an experiment. The two sites I found were: http://www.bootrepair.com/stretchers.htm and http://www.emocs.com/stretchers.htm
I don't know if we are allowed to post links here, so please forgive me if I wasn't supposed to post these.
Ellen J.

Re: Shoe stretching

Richard, C.Ped on 4/04/02 at 15:46 (078499)

Here is a quick tip. This is something I do in the field when I forget to take my Toejam spreader (a stretching device we came up with). I have to improvise with the tools avaliable. I will wet the inside of the shoe that I want to stretch with water. I will then take a golf ball or two and basically shove it to the area I want to stretch. I will then borrow a hair dryer and wave it back and forth over the area. Don't leave it pointing at one spot, otherwise, you will damage the leather. I usually get great results.

Richard

Re: Re:Golf Ball Tip

Ellen J. on 4/04/02 at 18:10 (078513)

Very good idea!
Even though I have ordered shoe stretchers over the 'net (have not arrived yet), I think I'll try the golf ball technique. I'm curious about it and it sounds like a good idea. If you decide to try the actual shoe stretching devices, they sell a stretching fluid that you spray on the leather first and then you put the stretcher in the shoe.
Thanks for the golf ball tip.
Ellen J.

Re: Re:Golf Ball Tip

Richard, C.Ped on 4/09/02 at 13:36 (078938)

Most of the time the stretching spray is just a plain old solution of salt water. You really do not need more than water though. Don't spend the money on that.
Richard