Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

womens' dress shoes for PF

Posted by Amanda on 11/07/02 at 01:11 (099547)

I'm looking for some recommendations on good dress shoes for women with PF. These will be worn while working mostly on my feet (I'm a librarian) and in the lovely Northwest wet winter climate. I'm looking for closed toe, low or flat heels, and I have trouble with clogs - I seem to need at least a strap around the heel to keep shoes on my feet! Based on some recommendations on this site about a year ago I tried some Birkenstocks, but they really hurt my feet. Perhaps it was because I ordered them online, however, and did not get something really good for PF. I'm not sure most Birk styles I've seen would work anyway. If it also helps, I'm a US size 10 and will most likely get black shoes (especially as I imagine these will be costly). Recommendations on comfortable brands and styles for PF would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Re: womens' dress shoes for PF

Suzanne D on 11/07/02 at 12:30 (099573)

Hi, Amanda! I understand your predicament. Would you mind telling us what Birks you tried?

I am close to your size; I wear a US size 11. I bought a pair of Anapolis Birkenstocks last fall. They are black, closed-toe, low-heeled, with a strap across the top that fastens with velcro. They look like a 'Mary Jane' style shoe.

Now they have a 'flatter' footbed than the Arizona Birk sandals which I have. (The Arizonas actually feel better since I have rather high arches.) However, the footbed of the Anapolis is removable, and inside the shoe you can place another footbed or insole or orthotic or combination of such. They are the best I have found for me. I teach first grade and sometimes wear them to school with dresses or skirts. I also wear them to church. The shoes don't look right with everything, but I have learned to 'make do' with them, if you know what I mean!

I have read on this site that Munroe (I think I spelled that right.) has a line of dress shoes which can accomodate orthotics, but I have never seen them personally.

Good luck to you! If you want me to, when I have more time I can find a link for the Anapolis shoes I described to you so that you can see a picture of them.

Suzanne :-)

Re: womens' dress shoes for PF

Amanda on 11/07/02 at 21:09 (099603)

Thank you for your response, Suzanne! Since originally posting I've been doing a little more online research and I saw the Annapolis Birk, which is basically the kind of shoe I had in mind. The Lisbon looks like it might work too if it is black enough.

The sandal I tried that hurt my feet was either the Rio Grande or the Rio Bravo, I can't remember which. Either way, both have the Birk 'classic' footbed which perhaps is too hard for me (I did wear the shoes, as long as I could each day, for about a month). I do have a custom orthotic (a hard one that only runs about half the length of my foot) and it sounds like it would work with the Annapolis. I did not wear it with the Rio Grande/Bravo as I never wear my orthotic with sandals. Yes, I am bad, especially since I wear sandals almost exclusively for about six months of the year. Amazingly, I've found rather cheap sandals with thick soles seem to do fine. My PF has gotten better over the years and I am not exactly sure why. It's at its worst when I first wake up, I practically hobble out of bed. Perhaps if I'd go back to my night splints I could avoid that! The only thing I've really had trouble with is finding a comfortable dressy shoe (closed toe, not sandal) that I could wear in the cold months with dresses (as I don't like to wear my sneakers at work). I am on my feet a lot and that is the only other time they ache; after a long day in 'bad' shoes. My orthotic does not 'work' with most of the dress shoes that I have right now and they all crimp my toes. I do like the big toe box in Birk shoes; I hate shoes that crimp my toes.

So, thanks so much for the suggestion on the Annapolis. This time I will make the effort to go to a Birk shop (as I'm in the Seattle area) rather than order online so I can try before I buy.

I would appreciate input from anybody else who's had success with any other brands and/or styles; I'm rather curious about those Dansko shoes, for instance, and the Birk Lisbon style.

Re: another possibility

Carole C in NOLA on 11/08/02 at 08:55 (099626)

The Annapolis is a terrific suggestion and may be your best bet.

Another shoe that both Suzanne and I have found helpful is the SAS shoe, model 'Free Time'. It's a tie-up leather shoe that is handmade, and should accomodate your orthotic. They are not especially dressy, but they are comfortable and they do look fairly 'normal' for a tie-up leather shoe. They come in black leather, black nubuck, and some other colors which I've forgotten. I have them in black nubuck.

SAS shoes are not advertised online because the manufacturer won't allow it. You pretty much have to go to a SAS shoestore or another shoestore that carries them, to see what they look like. Despite the company's weird idea of marketing, the shoe itself is very high quality and seems to be helpful for some of us with PF.

According to the Yahoo yellow pages, there is a SAS shoe store at 9590 1st Ave NE, Seattle, Washington. You could go there with your orthotics and try on the Free Time if that interests you.

Carole C

Re: womens' dress shoes for PF

Suzanne D on 11/07/02 at 12:30 (099573)

Hi, Amanda! I understand your predicament. Would you mind telling us what Birks you tried?

I am close to your size; I wear a US size 11. I bought a pair of Anapolis Birkenstocks last fall. They are black, closed-toe, low-heeled, with a strap across the top that fastens with velcro. They look like a 'Mary Jane' style shoe.

Now they have a 'flatter' footbed than the Arizona Birk sandals which I have. (The Arizonas actually feel better since I have rather high arches.) However, the footbed of the Anapolis is removable, and inside the shoe you can place another footbed or insole or orthotic or combination of such. They are the best I have found for me. I teach first grade and sometimes wear them to school with dresses or skirts. I also wear them to church. The shoes don't look right with everything, but I have learned to 'make do' with them, if you know what I mean!

I have read on this site that Munroe (I think I spelled that right.) has a line of dress shoes which can accomodate orthotics, but I have never seen them personally.

Good luck to you! If you want me to, when I have more time I can find a link for the Anapolis shoes I described to you so that you can see a picture of them.

Suzanne :-)

Re: womens' dress shoes for PF

Amanda on 11/07/02 at 21:09 (099603)

Thank you for your response, Suzanne! Since originally posting I've been doing a little more online research and I saw the Annapolis Birk, which is basically the kind of shoe I had in mind. The Lisbon looks like it might work too if it is black enough.

The sandal I tried that hurt my feet was either the Rio Grande or the Rio Bravo, I can't remember which. Either way, both have the Birk 'classic' footbed which perhaps is too hard for me (I did wear the shoes, as long as I could each day, for about a month). I do have a custom orthotic (a hard one that only runs about half the length of my foot) and it sounds like it would work with the Annapolis. I did not wear it with the Rio Grande/Bravo as I never wear my orthotic with sandals. Yes, I am bad, especially since I wear sandals almost exclusively for about six months of the year. Amazingly, I've found rather cheap sandals with thick soles seem to do fine. My PF has gotten better over the years and I am not exactly sure why. It's at its worst when I first wake up, I practically hobble out of bed. Perhaps if I'd go back to my night splints I could avoid that! The only thing I've really had trouble with is finding a comfortable dressy shoe (closed toe, not sandal) that I could wear in the cold months with dresses (as I don't like to wear my sneakers at work). I am on my feet a lot and that is the only other time they ache; after a long day in 'bad' shoes. My orthotic does not 'work' with most of the dress shoes that I have right now and they all crimp my toes. I do like the big toe box in Birk shoes; I hate shoes that crimp my toes.

So, thanks so much for the suggestion on the Annapolis. This time I will make the effort to go to a Birk shop (as I'm in the Seattle area) rather than order online so I can try before I buy.

I would appreciate input from anybody else who's had success with any other brands and/or styles; I'm rather curious about those Dansko shoes, for instance, and the Birk Lisbon style.

Re: another possibility

Carole C in NOLA on 11/08/02 at 08:55 (099626)

The Annapolis is a terrific suggestion and may be your best bet.

Another shoe that both Suzanne and I have found helpful is the SAS shoe, model 'Free Time'. It's a tie-up leather shoe that is handmade, and should accomodate your orthotic. They are not especially dressy, but they are comfortable and they do look fairly 'normal' for a tie-up leather shoe. They come in black leather, black nubuck, and some other colors which I've forgotten. I have them in black nubuck.

SAS shoes are not advertised online because the manufacturer won't allow it. You pretty much have to go to a SAS shoestore or another shoestore that carries them, to see what they look like. Despite the company's weird idea of marketing, the shoe itself is very high quality and seems to be helpful for some of us with PF.

According to the Yahoo yellow pages, there is a SAS shoe store at 9590 1st Ave NE, Seattle, Washington. You could go there with your orthotics and try on the Free Time if that interests you.

Carole C

Re: Dressy "Mock" by SAS

Cyndi T. on 3/21/03 at 13:43 (113753)

SAS also has a more dressy mock, which would work better with a suit than tie ups!