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are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

Posted by elliott on 7/10/02 at 10:13 (089407)

The highly regarded Arizona has a footbed with weird bumps which come up too high medially; in addition, a flatfooter's toes end up getting shoved all the way to the lateral side in front. The Nebraska/Kentucky footbed certainly is more flat, but is far too soft to offer any real support to those who need it (and most flatfooters do). Even the sole piece under it is way too flexy. Not sure what market they're after with these. And just about all Birks fall in one or the other of these two footbeds.

A lot of companies stress the superior cushioning properties of their shoes or sandals, which often is the wrong thing for a flatfooter. What better alternatives are there, ones with a straighter flatter footbed having firmer medial support? Thanks.

Re: are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

Paula S on 7/10/02 at 14:16 (089421)

Elliott, have you tried on any of the Tatami (also made by Birkenstock) sandals? (not the high-arch Tatami, just the regular ones) I tried some of them on last weekend and they don't have as high of a ridge down the middle of the foot (medial?), and still have good support on the inside of the arch. The cork on the bottom is a little thicker than the regular birks, making them a little less flexible. Hope that's helpful for you. Paula

Re: are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

elliott on 7/10/02 at 14:53 (089422)

The Nebraska/Kentucky *is* from the Tatami line. I have the Kentucky. Way too soft for me.

Re: Mephisto

Carole C in NOLA on 7/10/02 at 18:25 (089434)

Elliott, John really likes his Mephistos. Although he's a Birkenstock fan, he describes his feet as being more flat than high arched. From his description they sound softer and easier for his feet to handle, like they might be just what you want. They also do not have the lowered heel like Birkenstocks, and a non-lowered heel can be helpful for some people. Did you read John's posts about them last week? They have different footbeds, but he got the one that looks like the Arizona.

John mentioned that he hasn't found any place that discounts them, and they aren't cheap; however, they may be in more or less the same price range as Birkenstocks. I'll try to find a website that carries that style, and post it here.

Carole C

Re: a website with Mephistos

Carole C in NOLA on 7/10/02 at 18:28 (089436)

http://www.mephistogreatlakes.com/ is the website that John posted. From his description of his Mephistos as looking just like Arizonas, I'd guess he wears the 'Zonder'.

Carole C

Re: thanks; still uncertain

elliott on 7/10/02 at 19:14 (089440)

Let's ignore that one has to mortgage the house for a pair. The site keeps on stressing that they all have a 'soft-air latex foam midsole'. You say John mentions 'soft' as well. This sounds all wrong to me. 'Firm' would be a better word to come to mind (of course, I still want them to be comfortable). I'd prefer something closer to the firmness of an Arizona coupled with the flatness of a Nebraska. You'd think one of these companies would have thought of that. Just a whole market of flatfooters they're ignoring; no big deal.

Re: thanks; still uncertain

Ed Davis on 7/12/02 at 15:22 (089568)

Few shoe manufacturers can concieve of marketing a shoe to individuals with a specific foot type-- they want to mass market. Birks have a lot of 'hills and valleys' -- if they match up with the hills and valleys in your feet, they feel good, if not, they feel lousy.

One option may be a good motion control running shoe such as the New Balance 1121 with the addition of an over the counter soft orthotic.
Ed

Re: I already have a motion control shoe

elliott on 7/12/02 at 15:58 (089573)

The Asics Gel MC Plus V works fine, with my custom orthotics. (Note: New Balance has never fitted me right, no matter what the type of shoe or last; all NBs have a tremendous medial arch, or at least upward sloping material on the inner side, which you either love or hate. If you hate it, you find it juts uncomfortably into the foot. I hate it; I just can't wear any of them. Never understood the SL1/SL2 last thing either; one is for those with a high instep/arch and wider forefoot, the other for a low instep/arch and narrower forefoot. Well, duh, what if you have a lower arch and wider forefoot, as I do, or the other flip case? Then nothing works. I recall asking that on a runner's shoe forum. The NB rep came on to say that's why they offered so many width choices so something will fit you. I replied, all a wider width will do is make the shoe fall off at the heel to get enough room in the toebox. He couldn't counter that argument.) I also have a black MC shoe (with same orthotics) I can wear at work, the Brooks Addiction Walker--the new version looks more dressy too!

What I'm seeking is a sandal for around the house (barefoot's a no-no!). So you're saying there's no market at all for a firmer flatter sandal with more support? It's tiring seeing all these companies boasting how so very cushioned their overpriced sandals are. I thought they might be different, offering something over and above the mall clone stores, the shoes of which typically never work for people on this site. Even fabulously successful Birk may be doing things backwards. High-arched people usually need more cushioning, low-arched people more firmness. So they go and make the rock-hard Arizona for the high-arched, and the mushy-flexy Nebraska for the low-arched. Go figure. If I tried to go into business to do it right, no doubt I'd end up in bankruptcy.

Re: I already have a motion control shoe

jonna p on 7/12/02 at 17:59 (089582)

I too have flat feet and find the arch on the regular Birki too high. I have worn Finn Comfort around the house with some comfort- it has the cork footbed and nice support plus has a 1-1.5' heel. Did not like that 'neutral' heel of the Birki- i need a bit of a lift in the heel.

Re: are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

Suzanne D on 7/13/02 at 08:06 (089597)

Hi, Elliott! If you are the same Elliott who used to post here, then your knowledge of shoes far outdistances mine. But I will tell my personal experience in case it helps someone.

I have the opposite of flat feet and need high arch, softness, etc. The high arch Tatami women's sandal I tried was good in the arch but ran too short and hurt my toes. (In their defense, the catalog plainly stated that those shoes needed to be sized up, but I thought I would give them a try.) 43 is as long as they come, and that was about a half-inch too short for me.

The softbed Arizona worked best for me for quite a while, but eventually I think it was the heel that made them uncomfortable. I need a little heel lift as well as good arch support and softness. That's why John's Mephistos sound so tempting, but I haven't had a chance to get to see them yet and try them on. And the price scares me, in case these don't work in the long run, either.

When I read your post, I thought of my Anapolis Birks which are the others I wore. They are the Footprints footbed - as far as I can remember - and were much too flat for me, so much so that I had to place arch supports inside to wear them. They were not overly soft in my opinion, either.

I tried in vain just now to look for Footprints footbed Birks on the Birkenstock Express site but couldn't find the catagory. I don't know if they have changed that line, or if I dreamed it all up! (I don't still have the shoebox they came in.) My thought was perhaps there might be a sandal that had the Footprints footbed which might be good for you and others with flat feet.

Then there are the made-for-you Birks which I understand would be custom made, ideally having the bumps and ridges fit your particular foot. But I don't have any experience with those.

If you ARE the same Elliott, how is your TTS these days? I hope you have found some improvement since you last wrote.

Re: I already have a motion control shoe

Ed Davis on 7/13/02 at 09:57 (089602)

The SL2 last is relatively wider in the forefoot and narrower in the heel than the SL1 last.

Depending on how creative you want to be..... a number of the newer Birk models such as the Nebraska have a foot bed that slips out from the sandal itself. The foot bed is made out of a material which is ground cork plus latex rubber. The material grinds and forms very easily. I have often taken my grinder to the underside of the too high medial longitudinal arch area and lowered it. ( I often modify Birks with wedges, heel lifts, cushions etc.... this is why I like being a pod... we will do whatever it takes, from surgery to messing with shoes to get our patients feeling good). I would, if trying this for the first time, grind down a little bit at a time until it is comfortable. Birks are fairly wide so they may not be a great fit for you.

I also offer my patients custom Birks which are made from their orthotic casts and thus the finished product feels a lot like their orthotics. The producer is Benefoot orthotic lab. Consider working backwards from the lab to find a provider in your area.
Ed

Re: Custom Birks

Ed Davis on 7/13/02 at 10:03 (089603)

Custom Birks are more expensive than off the shelf Birks but they last a long time and patients who I provide them to often have a whole bunch of expensive shoes that don't work so they really appreciate something that does.

PS Benefoot currently offers 4 styles in the custom format. I recommend the Nebraska usually due to the removable foot bed that I can modify. Also, the Nebraska is the only custom model with a strap across the back of the heel --- really needed for people who do not have wide feet.
Ed

Re: so basically...

elliott on 7/14/02 at 09:53 (089621)

since Birk designs its sandals wrong, we have to pay extra to get a custom. It's mindboggling when you think of all those sandals and lines they make, and it never occurred to them to make a firmer footbed in their flatter models. I don't need the footbed ground to alter its shape; the footbed of the Nebraska (or actually Kentucky--I didn't want an ankle strap due to TTS irritation and also wanted a sandal for around the house that you can just slide into when you wake up with your eyes closed and no hands for going to the bathroom and the like) is perfect for me, no problem with the bumps, just way too soft and flexy (as is the sole that holds it).

As proof that others have at least thought of the right idea, check out this link:

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/cgi-bin/rrs/rrs/ProductPg.jsp?baseProdKey=RRTVA-003&catOID=-9200&BV_SessionID=@@@@0204455073.1026658479@@@@&BV_EngineID=gadcehldihegbekgcgecfeedgf.0#

If it doesn't work (it almost never does :-), go to

http://www.roadrunnersports.com

and type in TVA-003 in the search box, or at left click on 'women's running', then 'shoes', then 'sandals' and then click on the Teva Kenetic. The sandal has a medial post (dual density midsole for extra stability). Only comes in women's, only with ankle strap. Can't vouch for it, but at least it's the right idea. And only $75 or whatever. I'm just getting the feeling that most of these big name sandal companies are overrated; they're just using more quality materials for the same cushioned design, but still miss the big picture.

Re: the link worked! (nm)

elliott on 7/14/02 at 09:54 (089622)

.

Re: of course it's me :-)

elliott on 7/14/02 at 10:09 (089623)

Still have a multitude of problems (maybe I'll list them one day), but none of them is as bad as when I took a break from here a while back. Regrettably, none of them is completely better either. Someone kept trying to email me back then, but I just wasn't in the mood to respond. Sorry. I'd be in a far better mood if only I could run, but then I supposed I wouldn't be here.

I did a hotbot and google search on birkenstock footprint. Seems Birkenstock Footprint is simply the original name of Birkenstock USA. Can't find a sandal by that name.

Re: of course it's me :-)

Suzanne D on 7/14/02 at 10:39 (089627)

Glad you have seen some improvement since you last posted, Elliott. I wish each of us could completely heal from all our problems, but improvement is at least something to be thankful for - or at least that is how I look at it!

Sorry to have lead you on a 'wild goose chase' with the Footprint footbed. I spent a little time on the Birkenstock Express site again and read about the footbeds. I believe that this information has been revised/updated since I last checked. If my memory serves me correctly (and it may not!), they used to list the Tatami, the Classic, and the Footprints collections with the arch support going from high in the Tatami to lowest in the Footprints, which is what my Annapolis shoes are. That got confusing as they began making Tatami footbeds which were low arch while they continued making the high arch ones as well.

Now it appears that they simply list high arch, classic, and low arch, which is easier to understand. I didn't know as much about all this when I ordered my Annapolis pair last fall. All I knew was that then the Arizonas helped me, and I really needed a closed shoe to wear which was at least a little dressy. By adding an insert I could tolerate them. Later I bought Birk 3/4 length inserts, took out the footbed that came in the Annapolis shoes, replacing that with my SAS footbed and then adding the Birk inserts on top. Now if anyone can read that and understand what I just wrote, I'll give you an A+ in comprehension! :-)

I share your frustration in not being able to find just the right shoe for my feet. I guess I'll just keep learning and trying and modifying and making do.

I wish us all luck in this quest! And it is nice for us to all share what we learn and experience in hopes that we can help one another.

Have a nice day!

Suzanne :-)

Re: you got it... I think?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/15/02 at 07:09 (089652)

Finding the right shoe can be so tough. Maybe Teva makes some other men's model that does not have the strap. If so, they might be worth trying on to see what they feel like.

I like Suzanne's idea of the Footprints line for you and I am sorry it doesn't seem to be working out. I was told at my Birkenstock store last fall to avoid the entire Birkenstock Footprints line, because of my high arches. I don't remember if any of the Footprints shoes were sandals or not, though. Maybe they were just shoes. I was also told to avoid Birkenstock Papillio's. I have no idea what their footbed is like, though.

Thanks for the link! That looks like a very attractive sandal. Right now, I have 4 pairs of Birkenstock sandals and a pair of Nike sandals which are my shower shoes. Since my PF is almost gone, it will be a looooong time before I can justify buying any more sandals. When that time comes, I'll remember the Teva.

The Nike sandals that I use for my shower shoes don't have any arch support that I can perceive, but they are very thick and so they provide a lot of cushioning for my feet in the shower. They also have a heelstrap (which I ignore). They wouldn't be the right shoe for you either.

Have you tried the cheap Birkenstock imitation at Wal-Mart? The footbed seemed pretty shallow to me, compared with Birkenstock. I didn't even try them on. I hesitate to mention anything so obviously shoddy. They don't cost much.

Carole C

Re: I got it... you think?

elliott on 7/15/02 at 07:47 (089657)

If the Teva would be my kind of shoe, I doubt it would be your kind, since, if I recall, you have very high arches.

I don't know about all that Birk stuff; maybe they have something appropriate somewhere, but I don't think they're doing things exactly right, even though their shoes work for some (sometimes even the wrong shoe can work!). I just think there should be more flatter (preferably) strapless sandals out there with firm support.

Re: Well, maybe some day...

Carole C in NOLA on 7/15/02 at 10:58 (089677)

You're right, that I have high arches, although now I'm inclined to think they are more medium to high rather than extremely high (as I had previously been told).

My PF is mostly healed by now. I am wearing NB 991's most of the day, and they seem to be working very well for me. I don't think I could have worn a shoe with so little arch support as the NB 991 when my PF was acute. So, my thoughts are that as the last remnants of PF leave me, I may be able to wear a wider variety of good quality shoe, and maybe even Tevas. Maybe I'm being too optimistic. :)

Have you tried going to your Birkenstock store and getting fitted? Maybe the bumps would feel good if they were better placed relative to your foot. I found that the bumps in a 39 were better for me than the bumps in a 40, but my foot was too wide for a 39. So, at first I was wearing a 40. When I finally visited the Birkenstock store in Baton Rouge, a saleslady who knew her stuff put me in a 39 Birkenstock Grenada, which has more leather on the sides than some and keeps my foot from slopping over the edges. The bumps feel better than those on my 40 Floridas.

Carole C

Re: are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

Paula S on 7/10/02 at 14:16 (089421)

Elliott, have you tried on any of the Tatami (also made by Birkenstock) sandals? (not the high-arch Tatami, just the regular ones) I tried some of them on last weekend and they don't have as high of a ridge down the middle of the foot (medial?), and still have good support on the inside of the arch. The cork on the bottom is a little thicker than the regular birks, making them a little less flexible. Hope that's helpful for you. Paula

Re: are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

elliott on 7/10/02 at 14:53 (089422)

The Nebraska/Kentucky *is* from the Tatami line. I have the Kentucky. Way too soft for me.

Re: Mephisto

Carole C in NOLA on 7/10/02 at 18:25 (089434)

Elliott, John really likes his Mephistos. Although he's a Birkenstock fan, he describes his feet as being more flat than high arched. From his description they sound softer and easier for his feet to handle, like they might be just what you want. They also do not have the lowered heel like Birkenstocks, and a non-lowered heel can be helpful for some people. Did you read John's posts about them last week? They have different footbeds, but he got the one that looks like the Arizona.

John mentioned that he hasn't found any place that discounts them, and they aren't cheap; however, they may be in more or less the same price range as Birkenstocks. I'll try to find a website that carries that style, and post it here.

Carole C

Re: a website with Mephistos

Carole C in NOLA on 7/10/02 at 18:28 (089436)

http://www.mephistogreatlakes.com/ is the website that John posted. From his description of his Mephistos as looking just like Arizonas, I'd guess he wears the 'Zonder'.

Carole C

Re: thanks; still uncertain

elliott on 7/10/02 at 19:14 (089440)

Let's ignore that one has to mortgage the house for a pair. The site keeps on stressing that they all have a 'soft-air latex foam midsole'. You say John mentions 'soft' as well. This sounds all wrong to me. 'Firm' would be a better word to come to mind (of course, I still want them to be comfortable). I'd prefer something closer to the firmness of an Arizona coupled with the flatness of a Nebraska. You'd think one of these companies would have thought of that. Just a whole market of flatfooters they're ignoring; no big deal.

Re: thanks; still uncertain

Ed Davis on 7/12/02 at 15:22 (089568)

Few shoe manufacturers can concieve of marketing a shoe to individuals with a specific foot type-- they want to mass market. Birks have a lot of 'hills and valleys' -- if they match up with the hills and valleys in your feet, they feel good, if not, they feel lousy.

One option may be a good motion control running shoe such as the New Balance 1121 with the addition of an over the counter soft orthotic.
Ed

Re: I already have a motion control shoe

elliott on 7/12/02 at 15:58 (089573)

The Asics Gel MC Plus V works fine, with my custom orthotics. (Note: New Balance has never fitted me right, no matter what the type of shoe or last; all NBs have a tremendous medial arch, or at least upward sloping material on the inner side, which you either love or hate. If you hate it, you find it juts uncomfortably into the foot. I hate it; I just can't wear any of them. Never understood the SL1/SL2 last thing either; one is for those with a high instep/arch and wider forefoot, the other for a low instep/arch and narrower forefoot. Well, duh, what if you have a lower arch and wider forefoot, as I do, or the other flip case? Then nothing works. I recall asking that on a runner's shoe forum. The NB rep came on to say that's why they offered so many width choices so something will fit you. I replied, all a wider width will do is make the shoe fall off at the heel to get enough room in the toebox. He couldn't counter that argument.) I also have a black MC shoe (with same orthotics) I can wear at work, the Brooks Addiction Walker--the new version looks more dressy too!

What I'm seeking is a sandal for around the house (barefoot's a no-no!). So you're saying there's no market at all for a firmer flatter sandal with more support? It's tiring seeing all these companies boasting how so very cushioned their overpriced sandals are. I thought they might be different, offering something over and above the mall clone stores, the shoes of which typically never work for people on this site. Even fabulously successful Birk may be doing things backwards. High-arched people usually need more cushioning, low-arched people more firmness. So they go and make the rock-hard Arizona for the high-arched, and the mushy-flexy Nebraska for the low-arched. Go figure. If I tried to go into business to do it right, no doubt I'd end up in bankruptcy.

Re: I already have a motion control shoe

jonna p on 7/12/02 at 17:59 (089582)

I too have flat feet and find the arch on the regular Birki too high. I have worn Finn Comfort around the house with some comfort- it has the cork footbed and nice support plus has a 1-1.5' heel. Did not like that 'neutral' heel of the Birki- i need a bit of a lift in the heel.

Re: are Birk sandals inappropriate for most flat-footed?

Suzanne D on 7/13/02 at 08:06 (089597)

Hi, Elliott! If you are the same Elliott who used to post here, then your knowledge of shoes far outdistances mine. But I will tell my personal experience in case it helps someone.

I have the opposite of flat feet and need high arch, softness, etc. The high arch Tatami women's sandal I tried was good in the arch but ran too short and hurt my toes. (In their defense, the catalog plainly stated that those shoes needed to be sized up, but I thought I would give them a try.) 43 is as long as they come, and that was about a half-inch too short for me.

The softbed Arizona worked best for me for quite a while, but eventually I think it was the heel that made them uncomfortable. I need a little heel lift as well as good arch support and softness. That's why John's Mephistos sound so tempting, but I haven't had a chance to get to see them yet and try them on. And the price scares me, in case these don't work in the long run, either.

When I read your post, I thought of my Anapolis Birks which are the others I wore. They are the Footprints footbed - as far as I can remember - and were much too flat for me, so much so that I had to place arch supports inside to wear them. They were not overly soft in my opinion, either.

I tried in vain just now to look for Footprints footbed Birks on the Birkenstock Express site but couldn't find the catagory. I don't know if they have changed that line, or if I dreamed it all up! (I don't still have the shoebox they came in.) My thought was perhaps there might be a sandal that had the Footprints footbed which might be good for you and others with flat feet.

Then there are the made-for-you Birks which I understand would be custom made, ideally having the bumps and ridges fit your particular foot. But I don't have any experience with those.

If you ARE the same Elliott, how is your TTS these days? I hope you have found some improvement since you last wrote.

Re: I already have a motion control shoe

Ed Davis on 7/13/02 at 09:57 (089602)

The SL2 last is relatively wider in the forefoot and narrower in the heel than the SL1 last.

Depending on how creative you want to be..... a number of the newer Birk models such as the Nebraska have a foot bed that slips out from the sandal itself. The foot bed is made out of a material which is ground cork plus latex rubber. The material grinds and forms very easily. I have often taken my grinder to the underside of the too high medial longitudinal arch area and lowered it. ( I often modify Birks with wedges, heel lifts, cushions etc.... this is why I like being a pod... we will do whatever it takes, from surgery to messing with shoes to get our patients feeling good). I would, if trying this for the first time, grind down a little bit at a time until it is comfortable. Birks are fairly wide so they may not be a great fit for you.

I also offer my patients custom Birks which are made from their orthotic casts and thus the finished product feels a lot like their orthotics. The producer is Benefoot orthotic lab. Consider working backwards from the lab to find a provider in your area.
Ed

Re: Custom Birks

Ed Davis on 7/13/02 at 10:03 (089603)

Custom Birks are more expensive than off the shelf Birks but they last a long time and patients who I provide them to often have a whole bunch of expensive shoes that don't work so they really appreciate something that does.

PS Benefoot currently offers 4 styles in the custom format. I recommend the Nebraska usually due to the removable foot bed that I can modify. Also, the Nebraska is the only custom model with a strap across the back of the heel --- really needed for people who do not have wide feet.
Ed

Re: so basically...

elliott on 7/14/02 at 09:53 (089621)

since Birk designs its sandals wrong, we have to pay extra to get a custom. It's mindboggling when you think of all those sandals and lines they make, and it never occurred to them to make a firmer footbed in their flatter models. I don't need the footbed ground to alter its shape; the footbed of the Nebraska (or actually Kentucky--I didn't want an ankle strap due to TTS irritation and also wanted a sandal for around the house that you can just slide into when you wake up with your eyes closed and no hands for going to the bathroom and the like) is perfect for me, no problem with the bumps, just way too soft and flexy (as is the sole that holds it).

As proof that others have at least thought of the right idea, check out this link:

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/cgi-bin/rrs/rrs/ProductPg.jsp?baseProdKey=RRTVA-003&catOID=-9200&BV_SessionID=@@@@0204455073.1026658479@@@@&BV_EngineID=gadcehldihegbekgcgecfeedgf.0#

If it doesn't work (it almost never does :-), go to

http://www.roadrunnersports.com

and type in TVA-003 in the search box, or at left click on 'women's running', then 'shoes', then 'sandals' and then click on the Teva Kenetic. The sandal has a medial post (dual density midsole for extra stability). Only comes in women's, only with ankle strap. Can't vouch for it, but at least it's the right idea. And only $75 or whatever. I'm just getting the feeling that most of these big name sandal companies are overrated; they're just using more quality materials for the same cushioned design, but still miss the big picture.

Re: the link worked! (nm)

elliott on 7/14/02 at 09:54 (089622)

.

Re: of course it's me :-)

elliott on 7/14/02 at 10:09 (089623)

Still have a multitude of problems (maybe I'll list them one day), but none of them is as bad as when I took a break from here a while back. Regrettably, none of them is completely better either. Someone kept trying to email me back then, but I just wasn't in the mood to respond. Sorry. I'd be in a far better mood if only I could run, but then I supposed I wouldn't be here.

I did a hotbot and google search on birkenstock footprint. Seems Birkenstock Footprint is simply the original name of Birkenstock USA. Can't find a sandal by that name.

Re: of course it's me :-)

Suzanne D on 7/14/02 at 10:39 (089627)

Glad you have seen some improvement since you last posted, Elliott. I wish each of us could completely heal from all our problems, but improvement is at least something to be thankful for - or at least that is how I look at it!

Sorry to have lead you on a 'wild goose chase' with the Footprint footbed. I spent a little time on the Birkenstock Express site again and read about the footbeds. I believe that this information has been revised/updated since I last checked. If my memory serves me correctly (and it may not!), they used to list the Tatami, the Classic, and the Footprints collections with the arch support going from high in the Tatami to lowest in the Footprints, which is what my Annapolis shoes are. That got confusing as they began making Tatami footbeds which were low arch while they continued making the high arch ones as well.

Now it appears that they simply list high arch, classic, and low arch, which is easier to understand. I didn't know as much about all this when I ordered my Annapolis pair last fall. All I knew was that then the Arizonas helped me, and I really needed a closed shoe to wear which was at least a little dressy. By adding an insert I could tolerate them. Later I bought Birk 3/4 length inserts, took out the footbed that came in the Annapolis shoes, replacing that with my SAS footbed and then adding the Birk inserts on top. Now if anyone can read that and understand what I just wrote, I'll give you an A+ in comprehension! :-)

I share your frustration in not being able to find just the right shoe for my feet. I guess I'll just keep learning and trying and modifying and making do.

I wish us all luck in this quest! And it is nice for us to all share what we learn and experience in hopes that we can help one another.

Have a nice day!

Suzanne :-)

Re: you got it... I think?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/15/02 at 07:09 (089652)

Finding the right shoe can be so tough. Maybe Teva makes some other men's model that does not have the strap. If so, they might be worth trying on to see what they feel like.

I like Suzanne's idea of the Footprints line for you and I am sorry it doesn't seem to be working out. I was told at my Birkenstock store last fall to avoid the entire Birkenstock Footprints line, because of my high arches. I don't remember if any of the Footprints shoes were sandals or not, though. Maybe they were just shoes. I was also told to avoid Birkenstock Papillio's. I have no idea what their footbed is like, though.

Thanks for the link! That looks like a very attractive sandal. Right now, I have 4 pairs of Birkenstock sandals and a pair of Nike sandals which are my shower shoes. Since my PF is almost gone, it will be a looooong time before I can justify buying any more sandals. When that time comes, I'll remember the Teva.

The Nike sandals that I use for my shower shoes don't have any arch support that I can perceive, but they are very thick and so they provide a lot of cushioning for my feet in the shower. They also have a heelstrap (which I ignore). They wouldn't be the right shoe for you either.

Have you tried the cheap Birkenstock imitation at Wal-Mart? The footbed seemed pretty shallow to me, compared with Birkenstock. I didn't even try them on. I hesitate to mention anything so obviously shoddy. They don't cost much.

Carole C

Re: I got it... you think?

elliott on 7/15/02 at 07:47 (089657)

If the Teva would be my kind of shoe, I doubt it would be your kind, since, if I recall, you have very high arches.

I don't know about all that Birk stuff; maybe they have something appropriate somewhere, but I don't think they're doing things exactly right, even though their shoes work for some (sometimes even the wrong shoe can work!). I just think there should be more flatter (preferably) strapless sandals out there with firm support.

Re: Well, maybe some day...

Carole C in NOLA on 7/15/02 at 10:58 (089677)

You're right, that I have high arches, although now I'm inclined to think they are more medium to high rather than extremely high (as I had previously been told).

My PF is mostly healed by now. I am wearing NB 991's most of the day, and they seem to be working very well for me. I don't think I could have worn a shoe with so little arch support as the NB 991 when my PF was acute. So, my thoughts are that as the last remnants of PF leave me, I may be able to wear a wider variety of good quality shoe, and maybe even Tevas. Maybe I'm being too optimistic. :)

Have you tried going to your Birkenstock store and getting fitted? Maybe the bumps would feel good if they were better placed relative to your foot. I found that the bumps in a 39 were better for me than the bumps in a 40, but my foot was too wide for a 39. So, at first I was wearing a 40. When I finally visited the Birkenstock store in Baton Rouge, a saleslady who knew her stuff put me in a 39 Birkenstock Grenada, which has more leather on the sides than some and keeps my foot from slopping over the edges. The bumps feel better than those on my 40 Floridas.

Carole C