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Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Posted by Dee on 6/25/02 at 16:50 (088428)

Carole (or anyone who wants to respond):

I have read several of your posts here regarding New Balance shoes and was wondering if you could help me determine which would be the best for my feet. I had an open PF release w/bone spur removal 3 weeks ago on my left foot. I am currently wearing Rockports and they are o.k. but I really would like to get a good pair of New Balance shoes since those are the ones everyone seems to like on these boards. I have very high arches and have found that my feet feel better when wearing shoes with a lot of arch support in them. I went to the mall the other day but almost ran out of the store screaming like a mad woman when I saw all the different types available!! Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

Re: Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Carole C in NOLA on 6/25/02 at 17:15 (088430)

I don't think I know enough to be able to help, but I'll try.

One thing that would help, is to know whether or not you over-pronate, and if so, whether your overpronation is severe, moderate, or mild. If you don't overpronate, do you supinate, or is your gait is fairly neutral (neither over-pronating nor supinating). Did your podiatrist happen to tell you anything like this about your gait?

Also, do you plan to wear custom orthotics in these New Balance shoes?

You know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Rockports and if they feel good, I'd recommend sticking with them! Which Rockports are they? The Rockport 'World Tour' is supposed to be a very good one and there are others that are good too.

Don't yield to temptation and just buy any cute looking New Balance without learning about them beforehand. They can really affect your gait and so you need to get the right ones for your feet.

Carole C

P.S., DonnaSL, if you are reading and have any thoughts on this thread as it develops, please post! I don't really have your level of experience in this. The same goes for the rest of the regulars and other knowledgeable people here. Let's not have the blind leading the blind, which is what it would be if I'm the only one giving advice here, since my experience is pretty limited in this. Discussion would help.

.

Re: Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Dee on 6/26/02 at 06:09 (088469)

Carole,

Thanks for responding. I don't know what kind of gait I have. Nothing has ever been said to me about that. I do know that I tend to wear down the outer back edge of a shoe more than any other part of it. I don't know if that is the information you are wanting or not. I have never had a gait analysis done.

The Rockports I am now wearing are actually called Rocksports. Kind of a sports walking shoe. They are pretty comfortable but I feel like I could maybe do better with something else. I am currently wearing orthotics in them and will continue to do so in any shoe I end up buying.

Re: Question for everyone!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/26/02 at 07:47 (088477)

Dee,

It's hard for me to know which New Balance shoe to recommend without knowing more about your gait. Wearing down the outer back edge of a shoe doesn't seem to be indicative of supination so you could still be an over-pronator (and many though not all of us with PF are over-pronators).

You might want to look into New Balance running shoes, even if you don't plan to run, because they are well made and most of them provide some cushioning which you may need with your high arches. If you go to the NB site at http://www.newbalance.com and go to the running shoes you can see all of them and read about them. At the bottom there's a drop down menu where you can look at cushioning and supportive cushioning shoes. The supportive cushioning shoes like my NB 991's tend to have a little correction for over-pronation, though not much since they are intended for mild to moderate over-pronators.

Maybe since you have high arches and don't know if you over-pronate or supinate or what, you could start with a neutral cushioning shoe like my NB 879's. Your orthotics should provide some correction if you need it.

Try to get your New Balance at one of those small stores that caters to runners, because you might run into a salesperson who can tell you if your gait is correct. When you try on the shoes at your shoestore, put the orthotics in them and walk around in them for 15 minutes or more. Get the salesperson's opinion, and also form your own opinion. Make sure your feet are pointed straight and not moving in some peculiar way as you walk due to the shoes.

Also, you could call your podiatrist or C.Ped. and see if there is a particular New Balance shoe he or she would like to see you wear.

You could go to http://www.roadrunner.com and use the 'shoe dog' to get a shoe recommended for you.

I hope this helps. I really don't know what shoe to suggest for you. There is no one New Balance that everyone likes or wears. New Balance motion control shoes like the 1121 are recommended on the New Balance site for moderate to severe over-pronators as I recall, but you may not fit in that category. If they are available at your shoestore, try them on and see what you think of the effect on your gait. I've never been able to try them, because none of my local stores carry them except in the men's version. I would suggest that you do NOT buy a New Balance shoe online if you have not had the opportunity to try it on in a store, unless you can return it and get your money back and don't mind doing that.

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

Dee on 6/26/02 at 20:20 (088537)

Wow! Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I'll definitely put your ideas to use. I'm going to check out those web sites you mentioned and just go from there I think. Thanks again for your time!!

Re: Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Donna SL on 6/26/02 at 22:26 (088548)

Hi Dee,

Since Carole mentioned my name I'll stick in my two cents.

If the Rockports feel good right now then stick with them. Most Rockports are excellent shoes, and have very good support better than most sneakers from other manufacturers. Switching to a soft running NB shoe may cause too much strain on your feet, unless you have s semi-rigid orthotic. But even then if may sink too much in those shoes.

If you find out you over supinate (roll your feet to the outside too much), and have high arches like me you are better off sticking with most of the shoes in the Rockport line, because they are more stable laterally. Not all, but most of them are good. Most of the New Balance shoes are for over pronators. It's highly unlikely you over-pronate with high arches. If you are tired of Rockports look for shoes with similar features of the Rockport shoe, like the stable heel area, good midfoot support, etc.

Maybe with an orthotic you may be able to get away with some of the neutral NB shoes, but most of them don't have a stable enough base for orthotics. I personally don't think NB are that great esp for high arched feet. They only became popular because of having widths, and they made a couple of good models. but there are other manufactures that offer just as good, if not better shoes, and they also offer widths now.
I like Ascis much better than NB.

If you really want another athletic shoe you are probably better going into a specialty store that can help you, and offer many different brands to try. Also there are many European type walking shoes than are superior to any athletic shoe, but you would probably have to go into a good store that specialized in these. The Walking company, or a similar type of stores would offer these shoes.

Donna

Re: Dee, check out Donna's answer! :)

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 06:47 (088569)

DonnaSL really knows what she's talking about, so check out her answer to your question!

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

Andrue on 6/27/02 at 11:11 (088589)

I'm curious about shoe choice as well. I used to wear proper shoes (rounded heels) but since Christmas I have found that sneakers are more comfortable as they are less likely to press in front of my heel. One oddity I have is that my right foot lands on the outer edge of the heel then rapidly rotates to a horizontal position as it comes down. It's never bothered me and that foot is currently the least uncomfortable.

My left foot strikes at the back and appears to just come straight down.

I tried motion control NBs and didn't seem to get on at all well them. I'm happier with the Nike cross trainers I'm now wearing since they seem allow my right foot to do it's 'thing'.

Do you think some kind of correct to the right foot would be a good idea or should I just ignore it. My gardening shoes predate my PF and suggest that I've always walked that way.

Re: Question for everyone!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 12:08 (088593)

What does your podiatrist think? Maybe custom orthotics would be the way to go.

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

Donna SL on 6/27/02 at 12:32 (088597)

Hi Andrue,

Your right foot seems to do what mine does. It rolls out, and then abducts, or is it adducts (not sure) in quickly . This happens because the foot for some reason is over-supinating (rolling out too much) and then it has to roll in fast after (called mid to forefoot pronation) to gain ground. This is your body's way of keeping you from totally going over on your ankle.

Motion controls didn't work for you, because they only exaggerate the condition by forcing your foot out more laterally. They are the worse for this condition. The reason the nike cross trainer work is because most cross trainers have more lateral support (not all esp nike), and are probably softer on the medial side. This allows your heel to come in, and sit straighter, thus preventing the excessive rolling out, and in motion.

You might ask a podiatrist for a 1/16 inch thick lateral wedge around one inch wide running from the heel to behind the fifth metatarsal for your shoe. Just put it under an insole. It should be made of firm rubber, birko cork, etc. If they don't have these materials one made out felt temporarily will help. It that does't work than laterally posted orthotics might work. If your feet are not bothering you that much than don't do anything, because there's always a chance that once you start with it, something else could get affected. Only if you start getting problems like peroneal tendonitits, more discomfort in the foot, etc. then start with the wedging, and orthotics.

What also would be helpful is to try to identify why that foot is doing that, and maybe help it through strengthening exercises, and stretches. Pilates would help a lot. A lot of times this is do to with an imbalance further up in the back, and working on that area too will help the foot.

Donna

Re: Carole, how are your NB 991's ?

BrianG on 6/27/02 at 19:42 (088626)

I'm thinking about getting a new pair of NB shoes. Since you've had the 991's for a few weeks, I'm wondering how you like them? Any drawbacks?

Thanks
BrianG

Re: Carole and Donna SL

Dee on 6/27/02 at 20:58 (088634)

Thanks ladies for the excellent advice!! I think that for now I will stick with my Rockports since they seem to help my foot. I have been wearing them for a while now and so far, so good. The other day I decided to wear another pair of 'regular' shoes to work and even though I wore my orthotics with them, they almost killed me!! By the time I got home, my left foot was swollen to about twice it's normal size and I could hardly walk. So I guess it's back to the Rockports for now. Thanks again for the wonderful advice. I really appreciate it!!

Re: Carole, how are your NB 991's ?

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 21:13 (088636)

They seem to be working out pretty well for me. I wear them at least 12 hours a day, which is longer than I've worn any shoe since I got PF. I haven't figured out many drawbacks that they may have, but here they are:

1. Sometimes the insole comes out with my foot when I take them off, but I just put it back if that happens. That probably could happen with any shoe, I guess?

2. At first, I thought they really helped my arthritic knees a lot; but perhaps they only help my knees a little.

3. Another possible slight drawback is that the heel counter is a little short and tight at the top, so it's not as comfortable on my Achilles tendons as the 879, which had a slightly taller heel counter that was looser at the top.

They are supposed to be best for people whose overpronation is only mild to moderate. Also, they are supposed to be well suited to 'heavy runners'. If that means runners who are heavy, then that's me! But if they mean runners who run a lot, well, I don't really RUN in them at all.

They are well cushioned and have a nice firm heel counter. I like that. They also have a much less 'slippy-slidey' heel than the 879's did, which is helpful for me. I like the lacing system which is pretty simple and makes it easy to tie the shoe snugly. Maybe that's because they fit my foot so well.

Carole C

Re: Oh, I forgot one last disadvantage!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 21:28 (088638)

Brian, I forgot the most important disadvantage. They cost an arm and a leg! LOL They are one of the more expensive New Balance shoes.

I've seen the women's 991 for $130 at many sites, but they are $105 at http://www.roadrunnersports.com .

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

paula on 6/28/02 at 11:50 (088681)

donna i am finding it to be so true that working on tightness further up from the calf help the tightness of my calf.

Re: Question for everyone!

Donna SL on 6/28/02 at 13:27 (088689)

Paula,

What's the old song? 'The leg bone's connected to the hip bone.

Seriously stretching, and strengthening the upper legs esp the hamstrings will help the calves, etc. As far as someone having trouble with foot, or ankle instability working on the hips, pelvis, back, etc helps the legs, and below, because if the main torso is not stable, then everything below will be shakey. Pilates is great for this.

Donna

Re: Sounds good to me

BrianG on 6/28/02 at 16:59 (088703)

Thanks Carole, I'll wait unil one of local shoe stores has a sale, and then check them out. If you can wear them 12 hours a day, I'd say that is a pretty good testament in itself.

Thanks
BrianG

Re: Question for everyone!

Andrue on 6/29/02 at 05:48 (088742)

Thank you for your very informative reply. I'll query it again with my pod. but at present we're trying to work out why my arch is tender. The osteo. I see demonstrated that the pain starts at the base of the arch (what he calls the muscle insertion point) then continues intermittantly along the rest of the arch to the toes.

He thinks I need arch supports but I'm not convinced. I never needed them for the first thirty five years of my life so do I really need them now? I'm convinced this is just an injury and I don't want to end up becoming reliant on arch supports - I want my feet back the way they were.

Re: Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Carole C in NOLA on 6/25/02 at 17:15 (088430)

I don't think I know enough to be able to help, but I'll try.

One thing that would help, is to know whether or not you over-pronate, and if so, whether your overpronation is severe, moderate, or mild. If you don't overpronate, do you supinate, or is your gait is fairly neutral (neither over-pronating nor supinating). Did your podiatrist happen to tell you anything like this about your gait?

Also, do you plan to wear custom orthotics in these New Balance shoes?

You know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Rockports and if they feel good, I'd recommend sticking with them! Which Rockports are they? The Rockport 'World Tour' is supposed to be a very good one and there are others that are good too.

Don't yield to temptation and just buy any cute looking New Balance without learning about them beforehand. They can really affect your gait and so you need to get the right ones for your feet.

Carole C

P.S., DonnaSL, if you are reading and have any thoughts on this thread as it develops, please post! I don't really have your level of experience in this. The same goes for the rest of the regulars and other knowledgeable people here. Let's not have the blind leading the blind, which is what it would be if I'm the only one giving advice here, since my experience is pretty limited in this. Discussion would help.

.

Re: Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Dee on 6/26/02 at 06:09 (088469)

Carole,

Thanks for responding. I don't know what kind of gait I have. Nothing has ever been said to me about that. I do know that I tend to wear down the outer back edge of a shoe more than any other part of it. I don't know if that is the information you are wanting or not. I have never had a gait analysis done.

The Rockports I am now wearing are actually called Rocksports. Kind of a sports walking shoe. They are pretty comfortable but I feel like I could maybe do better with something else. I am currently wearing orthotics in them and will continue to do so in any shoe I end up buying.

Re: Question for everyone!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/26/02 at 07:47 (088477)

Dee,

It's hard for me to know which New Balance shoe to recommend without knowing more about your gait. Wearing down the outer back edge of a shoe doesn't seem to be indicative of supination so you could still be an over-pronator (and many though not all of us with PF are over-pronators).

You might want to look into New Balance running shoes, even if you don't plan to run, because they are well made and most of them provide some cushioning which you may need with your high arches. If you go to the NB site at http://www.newbalance.com and go to the running shoes you can see all of them and read about them. At the bottom there's a drop down menu where you can look at cushioning and supportive cushioning shoes. The supportive cushioning shoes like my NB 991's tend to have a little correction for over-pronation, though not much since they are intended for mild to moderate over-pronators.

Maybe since you have high arches and don't know if you over-pronate or supinate or what, you could start with a neutral cushioning shoe like my NB 879's. Your orthotics should provide some correction if you need it.

Try to get your New Balance at one of those small stores that caters to runners, because you might run into a salesperson who can tell you if your gait is correct. When you try on the shoes at your shoestore, put the orthotics in them and walk around in them for 15 minutes or more. Get the salesperson's opinion, and also form your own opinion. Make sure your feet are pointed straight and not moving in some peculiar way as you walk due to the shoes.

Also, you could call your podiatrist or C.Ped. and see if there is a particular New Balance shoe he or she would like to see you wear.

You could go to http://www.roadrunner.com and use the 'shoe dog' to get a shoe recommended for you.

I hope this helps. I really don't know what shoe to suggest for you. There is no one New Balance that everyone likes or wears. New Balance motion control shoes like the 1121 are recommended on the New Balance site for moderate to severe over-pronators as I recall, but you may not fit in that category. If they are available at your shoestore, try them on and see what you think of the effect on your gait. I've never been able to try them, because none of my local stores carry them except in the men's version. I would suggest that you do NOT buy a New Balance shoe online if you have not had the opportunity to try it on in a store, unless you can return it and get your money back and don't mind doing that.

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

Dee on 6/26/02 at 20:20 (088537)

Wow! Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I'll definitely put your ideas to use. I'm going to check out those web sites you mentioned and just go from there I think. Thanks again for your time!!

Re: Question for Carole (a.k.a. "The Shoe Queen") :-)

Donna SL on 6/26/02 at 22:26 (088548)

Hi Dee,

Since Carole mentioned my name I'll stick in my two cents.

If the Rockports feel good right now then stick with them. Most Rockports are excellent shoes, and have very good support better than most sneakers from other manufacturers. Switching to a soft running NB shoe may cause too much strain on your feet, unless you have s semi-rigid orthotic. But even then if may sink too much in those shoes.

If you find out you over supinate (roll your feet to the outside too much), and have high arches like me you are better off sticking with most of the shoes in the Rockport line, because they are more stable laterally. Not all, but most of them are good. Most of the New Balance shoes are for over pronators. It's highly unlikely you over-pronate with high arches. If you are tired of Rockports look for shoes with similar features of the Rockport shoe, like the stable heel area, good midfoot support, etc.

Maybe with an orthotic you may be able to get away with some of the neutral NB shoes, but most of them don't have a stable enough base for orthotics. I personally don't think NB are that great esp for high arched feet. They only became popular because of having widths, and they made a couple of good models. but there are other manufactures that offer just as good, if not better shoes, and they also offer widths now.
I like Ascis much better than NB.

If you really want another athletic shoe you are probably better going into a specialty store that can help you, and offer many different brands to try. Also there are many European type walking shoes than are superior to any athletic shoe, but you would probably have to go into a good store that specialized in these. The Walking company, or a similar type of stores would offer these shoes.

Donna

Re: Dee, check out Donna's answer! :)

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 06:47 (088569)

DonnaSL really knows what she's talking about, so check out her answer to your question!

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

Andrue on 6/27/02 at 11:11 (088589)

I'm curious about shoe choice as well. I used to wear proper shoes (rounded heels) but since Christmas I have found that sneakers are more comfortable as they are less likely to press in front of my heel. One oddity I have is that my right foot lands on the outer edge of the heel then rapidly rotates to a horizontal position as it comes down. It's never bothered me and that foot is currently the least uncomfortable.

My left foot strikes at the back and appears to just come straight down.

I tried motion control NBs and didn't seem to get on at all well them. I'm happier with the Nike cross trainers I'm now wearing since they seem allow my right foot to do it's 'thing'.

Do you think some kind of correct to the right foot would be a good idea or should I just ignore it. My gardening shoes predate my PF and suggest that I've always walked that way.

Re: Question for everyone!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 12:08 (088593)

What does your podiatrist think? Maybe custom orthotics would be the way to go.

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

Donna SL on 6/27/02 at 12:32 (088597)

Hi Andrue,

Your right foot seems to do what mine does. It rolls out, and then abducts, or is it adducts (not sure) in quickly . This happens because the foot for some reason is over-supinating (rolling out too much) and then it has to roll in fast after (called mid to forefoot pronation) to gain ground. This is your body's way of keeping you from totally going over on your ankle.

Motion controls didn't work for you, because they only exaggerate the condition by forcing your foot out more laterally. They are the worse for this condition. The reason the nike cross trainer work is because most cross trainers have more lateral support (not all esp nike), and are probably softer on the medial side. This allows your heel to come in, and sit straighter, thus preventing the excessive rolling out, and in motion.

You might ask a podiatrist for a 1/16 inch thick lateral wedge around one inch wide running from the heel to behind the fifth metatarsal for your shoe. Just put it under an insole. It should be made of firm rubber, birko cork, etc. If they don't have these materials one made out felt temporarily will help. It that does't work than laterally posted orthotics might work. If your feet are not bothering you that much than don't do anything, because there's always a chance that once you start with it, something else could get affected. Only if you start getting problems like peroneal tendonitits, more discomfort in the foot, etc. then start with the wedging, and orthotics.

What also would be helpful is to try to identify why that foot is doing that, and maybe help it through strengthening exercises, and stretches. Pilates would help a lot. A lot of times this is do to with an imbalance further up in the back, and working on that area too will help the foot.

Donna

Re: Carole, how are your NB 991's ?

BrianG on 6/27/02 at 19:42 (088626)

I'm thinking about getting a new pair of NB shoes. Since you've had the 991's for a few weeks, I'm wondering how you like them? Any drawbacks?

Thanks
BrianG

Re: Carole and Donna SL

Dee on 6/27/02 at 20:58 (088634)

Thanks ladies for the excellent advice!! I think that for now I will stick with my Rockports since they seem to help my foot. I have been wearing them for a while now and so far, so good. The other day I decided to wear another pair of 'regular' shoes to work and even though I wore my orthotics with them, they almost killed me!! By the time I got home, my left foot was swollen to about twice it's normal size and I could hardly walk. So I guess it's back to the Rockports for now. Thanks again for the wonderful advice. I really appreciate it!!

Re: Carole, how are your NB 991's ?

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 21:13 (088636)

They seem to be working out pretty well for me. I wear them at least 12 hours a day, which is longer than I've worn any shoe since I got PF. I haven't figured out many drawbacks that they may have, but here they are:

1. Sometimes the insole comes out with my foot when I take them off, but I just put it back if that happens. That probably could happen with any shoe, I guess?

2. At first, I thought they really helped my arthritic knees a lot; but perhaps they only help my knees a little.

3. Another possible slight drawback is that the heel counter is a little short and tight at the top, so it's not as comfortable on my Achilles tendons as the 879, which had a slightly taller heel counter that was looser at the top.

They are supposed to be best for people whose overpronation is only mild to moderate. Also, they are supposed to be well suited to 'heavy runners'. If that means runners who are heavy, then that's me! But if they mean runners who run a lot, well, I don't really RUN in them at all.

They are well cushioned and have a nice firm heel counter. I like that. They also have a much less 'slippy-slidey' heel than the 879's did, which is helpful for me. I like the lacing system which is pretty simple and makes it easy to tie the shoe snugly. Maybe that's because they fit my foot so well.

Carole C

Re: Oh, I forgot one last disadvantage!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/02 at 21:28 (088638)

Brian, I forgot the most important disadvantage. They cost an arm and a leg! LOL They are one of the more expensive New Balance shoes.

I've seen the women's 991 for $130 at many sites, but they are $105 at http://www.roadrunnersports.com .

Carole C

Re: Question for everyone!

paula on 6/28/02 at 11:50 (088681)

donna i am finding it to be so true that working on tightness further up from the calf help the tightness of my calf.

Re: Question for everyone!

Donna SL on 6/28/02 at 13:27 (088689)

Paula,

What's the old song? 'The leg bone's connected to the hip bone.

Seriously stretching, and strengthening the upper legs esp the hamstrings will help the calves, etc. As far as someone having trouble with foot, or ankle instability working on the hips, pelvis, back, etc helps the legs, and below, because if the main torso is not stable, then everything below will be shakey. Pilates is great for this.

Donna

Re: Sounds good to me

BrianG on 6/28/02 at 16:59 (088703)

Thanks Carole, I'll wait unil one of local shoe stores has a sale, and then check them out. If you can wear them 12 hours a day, I'd say that is a pretty good testament in itself.

Thanks
BrianG

Re: Question for everyone!

Andrue on 6/29/02 at 05:48 (088742)

Thank you for your very informative reply. I'll query it again with my pod. but at present we're trying to work out why my arch is tender. The osteo. I see demonstrated that the pain starts at the base of the arch (what he calls the muscle insertion point) then continues intermittantly along the rest of the arch to the toes.

He thinks I need arch supports but I'm not convinced. I never needed them for the first thirty five years of my life so do I really need them now? I'm convinced this is just an injury and I don't want to end up becoming reliant on arch supports - I want my feet back the way they were.