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A Great Shoe that Reduced my Foot Pain Substantially!

Posted by elliott on 8/20/02 at 15:26 (093005)

For us here, it is difficult enough finding a walking shoe that works. And you could probably count on the fingers of one hand the motion-control walking shoes that come in black and are almost dressy enough (if they're not looking too closely) to wear to work, religious functions, weddings, etc. Last week, I received through mail order a black walking shoe, the Brooks Synergy. It is A Great Shoe that Reduced my Foot Pain Substantially! (I hope that makes your day, Carole C, but note: this is not the mystery 'shoe'--actually a clog--of the previous thread, which I have yet to receive in the mail.)

Here is a picture of the Synergy:

http://shop.zappos.com/n/p?dp=332305&c=3

I would describe it as a beefed up Brooks Addiction Walker, which is also a decent shoe in its own right. I used to wear the original black Addiction Walker, still available and pictured below

http://brooksshoes.net/store/shopexd.asp?id=453054022

which gave me the best support to date (although not perfect) for my weak right foot and fit great with or without orthotics, but due to the high lip wrapping around the ankle, it irritated my sensitive tarsal tunnel to no end, so I could never keep them on that long. It also looks too much like a nurse's shoe or old people's orthopedic shoe.

Then I tried (I'll skip the few in between that didn't work) the New Brooks Addiction Walker, which has just come out.

http://shop.zappos.com/n/p?product_id=110335&color_id=14

Far better-looking, softer more comfortable leather--a plus--but far too shiny, that you could use it as a mirror to put your makeup on, a minus. Again, not too bad a shoe: far less nerve irritation due to a dip in the lip, but the shoe is maybe a bit too light everywhere and slightly less supportive than the original, and my very problematic right foot still had some pain in heel and all around the instep. Also, it felt a little itchy on the sole in the forefoot using only 3/4 orthotics without the original insert in the shoe.

But then I got the Synergy. What can I say? It is everything I could've dreamed of. It is a beefed up Addiction but with those stubborn problems above either gone or minimized more than ever before! The heel counter seems to be extended externally. The midsole is denser and tougher than either Addiction shoe. You can feel the shoe controlling your foot in a good way during that crucial transition phase after strikedown but before liftoff. And yet this shoe is very comfortable. It's only marginally heavier than the Addictions (unlike some of those mall shoes where the heel weighs a ton and the shoe is still not supportive enough), and, I might add, a far better choice if you're on the heavier side. And it really does not feel hard, even with the insert replaced with my orthotics; it's very smooth and nicely cushioned. (Note: the shoe comes with a thicker, more expensive gel-like insert. Removing it and replacing it with orthotics might lower your position in the shoe, probably a good thing anyway. You might have to size up 1/2 size over your other shoes.) There is more meat in the forefoot than on the latest Addiction. It's easy to get on and off. It has a dressier look much preferred by me, but alas (life can't be completely perfect) they killed it by putting in some of those conspicuous white reflective tabs, two running vertically kinda high up on the back of the heel, and one small one on the top of the shoe at the forefoot end of the laces. Sure, the reflectives are great for nighttime use outdoors, but, I mean, what do they think we're gonna do with these shoes, walk in them? :-) If anyone has a good idea as to how to cover the tabs up, I'm listening (without trying it, I suspect polish would slide right off them, as they feel hard and slippery).

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if many of you are not wearing the right kind of walking shoe with your orthotic, as there really aren't many around that work properly. My feet are flat, so this may be worth a try if yours are too, maybe even if they're medium. I'm not sure this shoe will be able to save my right foot, but so far, everything really seems right, and in less than a week I'm close to walking normally with less pain than ever before. It's given me some hope that maybe that foot has a chance to get better.

Dr. Ed, if you're reading this, I know in the past you've recommended the Brooks Addiction to your patients. Check out the Synergy. Maybe you could recommend that too. I'd rather the shoe remain wildly popular and higher-priced than be lower-priced and discontinued. My shoe search is over. The Brooks Synergy!!

----

Re: This made my day!!!!!

Carole C in NOLA on 8/20/02 at 17:01 (093008)

What great news, Elliott!!! I'm so glad that the Brooks Synergy is working this well for you and that your shoe search is over, for now at least. A really great shoe can make so much difference.

So what are you going to do with the mystery leather clogs when they show up? I guess that if they feel good, you could wear them around the house, right? If they don't feel good, back they go!

Carole C

Re: Wow, and also, ...

Carole C in NOLA on 8/20/02 at 17:07 (093009)

I might just try those Brooks Synergy shoes myself. These sound really cool! They come in womens' sizes too. It says on the zappo site that they not only have lots of cushioning but that they also have a heel stabilizer to cradle the heal and provide medial and lateral stability. That might keep my heel from doing its strange inwards twist/rotation thingie late in the stride.

Nice shoe!

Carole C

Re: mystery clogs

elliott on 8/20/02 at 19:37 (093020)

While my *shoe* problems are solved, I still need a slipper-type thing to wear around the house; I have nothing right now that works and can't go barefoot for long. So the mystery deepens...

Re: mystery clogs

Carole C in NOLA on 8/20/02 at 20:43 (093028)

I hope you reveal what they are if they help, but also I hope you reveal what they are if they don't help. You might save somebody some money and/or aggravation.

Carole C (maybe the C stands for Curious?)

Re: mystery clogs

Barbara S. on 8/20/02 at 20:55 (093031)

Elliott, See if you can find a shoe store that's Sells SAS Shoes. I found a sandal (strapless) at one here in Milwaukee,WI. They don't sell on line, so you'll have to check if you have one in your area. I wouldn't be walking around right now if it weren't for these Sandals. But as we all know what works for one might not work for others. Price around $100.00.
Good Luck in your search. Barbara S.

Re: mystery clogs

elliott on 8/20/02 at 23:15 (093043)

I'm glad they're working for you, but, sorry to say, I have a real low opinion of SAS shoes based on what I've seen. A sandal not irritating the tarsal tunnel area and being the only thing you can get on a swollen foot(which I believe is what you posted elsewhere) is not the same as one giving good stability and support (the lack of which may have contributed to some of our TTS conditions in the first place). Regardless, as per a previous thread, I also want something which I can slide my foot into slipper-like while half-asleep, i.e., no ankle strap. It should be a men's model. Can you make it black? And no nubuck. :-)

---

Re: A Great Shoe that Reduced my Foot Pain Substantially!

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/21/02 at 15:33 (093111)

The Addiction Walker is sort of an 'ol tried and true' for many of my heel pain patients. Surprised that Brooks has not gotten me info about the Synergy. (They had a booth at the APMA convention last week). It looks, at a superficial glance, that it may have less midfoot stability -- I'll need to get more info. on it.
Thanks,
Ed

Re: less midfoot stability?

elliott on 8/21/02 at 15:52 (093114)

Are you basing that on the pictured arch bridge? That bridge (a weight-saving device?) appears only on the lateral side. The medial side is closed, with a very dense midsole. This shoe offers me more stability than the new Addiction.

If you can get info from Brooks, maybe they can tell you the diff between the new and old Addiction too.

---

Re: less midfoot stability?

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/21/02 at 16:43 (093126)

Usually when shoe manufacturers carve out material from the arch or midfoot area (known as a cut-out in the shoe biz) it detracts from stability. It saves some weight but also gives the shoe a more curvy, stylish appearance. Manufacturers realized that they went too far with cut-outs so they started putting rigid materials to compensate for the stability decrease. A solidly filled arch/midfoot on shoes still seems to outlast the stiffeners used on the cut-outs.

I will try to get more info. on the Synergy. Chances are that if it feels more stable, it probably is though.
Ed

Re: This made my day!!!!!

Carole C in NOLA on 8/20/02 at 17:01 (093008)

What great news, Elliott!!! I'm so glad that the Brooks Synergy is working this well for you and that your shoe search is over, for now at least. A really great shoe can make so much difference.

So what are you going to do with the mystery leather clogs when they show up? I guess that if they feel good, you could wear them around the house, right? If they don't feel good, back they go!

Carole C

Re: Wow, and also, ...

Carole C in NOLA on 8/20/02 at 17:07 (093009)

I might just try those Brooks Synergy shoes myself. These sound really cool! They come in womens' sizes too. It says on the zappo site that they not only have lots of cushioning but that they also have a heel stabilizer to cradle the heal and provide medial and lateral stability. That might keep my heel from doing its strange inwards twist/rotation thingie late in the stride.

Nice shoe!

Carole C

Re: mystery clogs

elliott on 8/20/02 at 19:37 (093020)

While my *shoe* problems are solved, I still need a slipper-type thing to wear around the house; I have nothing right now that works and can't go barefoot for long. So the mystery deepens...

Re: mystery clogs

Carole C in NOLA on 8/20/02 at 20:43 (093028)

I hope you reveal what they are if they help, but also I hope you reveal what they are if they don't help. You might save somebody some money and/or aggravation.

Carole C (maybe the C stands for Curious?)

Re: mystery clogs

Barbara S. on 8/20/02 at 20:55 (093031)

Elliott, See if you can find a shoe store that's Sells SAS Shoes. I found a sandal (strapless) at one here in Milwaukee,WI. They don't sell on line, so you'll have to check if you have one in your area. I wouldn't be walking around right now if it weren't for these Sandals. But as we all know what works for one might not work for others. Price around $100.00.
Good Luck in your search. Barbara S.

Re: mystery clogs

elliott on 8/20/02 at 23:15 (093043)

I'm glad they're working for you, but, sorry to say, I have a real low opinion of SAS shoes based on what I've seen. A sandal not irritating the tarsal tunnel area and being the only thing you can get on a swollen foot(which I believe is what you posted elsewhere) is not the same as one giving good stability and support (the lack of which may have contributed to some of our TTS conditions in the first place). Regardless, as per a previous thread, I also want something which I can slide my foot into slipper-like while half-asleep, i.e., no ankle strap. It should be a men's model. Can you make it black? And no nubuck. :-)

---

Re: A Great Shoe that Reduced my Foot Pain Substantially!

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/21/02 at 15:33 (093111)

The Addiction Walker is sort of an 'ol tried and true' for many of my heel pain patients. Surprised that Brooks has not gotten me info about the Synergy. (They had a booth at the APMA convention last week). It looks, at a superficial glance, that it may have less midfoot stability -- I'll need to get more info. on it.
Thanks,
Ed

Re: less midfoot stability?

elliott on 8/21/02 at 15:52 (093114)

Are you basing that on the pictured arch bridge? That bridge (a weight-saving device?) appears only on the lateral side. The medial side is closed, with a very dense midsole. This shoe offers me more stability than the new Addiction.

If you can get info from Brooks, maybe they can tell you the diff between the new and old Addiction too.

---

Re: less midfoot stability?

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/21/02 at 16:43 (093126)

Usually when shoe manufacturers carve out material from the arch or midfoot area (known as a cut-out in the shoe biz) it detracts from stability. It saves some weight but also gives the shoe a more curvy, stylish appearance. Manufacturers realized that they went too far with cut-outs so they started putting rigid materials to compensate for the stability decrease. A solidly filled arch/midfoot on shoes still seems to outlast the stiffeners used on the cut-outs.

I will try to get more info. on the Synergy. Chances are that if it feels more stable, it probably is though.
Ed