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Help I really need new running shoes!

Posted by Leslie D on 3/11/03 at 12:01 (112543)

I have had PF for about 2 years and had every form of treatment including ESWT but still experiencing pain. I just had a new pair of orthotics made and have tried about 20 pair or new shoes and they all are killing me. I know I pronate (more in one foot than the other) and have a forefoot varus. I don't know if I need a neutral shoe with cushioning or a stability shoe. I just tried a stability shoe that I really like but the problen was that while I was running my one calf started hurting and is now killing me. The sports medicine doc I am going to put a plastic lift on the inside part of the forefoot of my shoes to prevent the pronation but my right foot was in so much pain that he removed it and now my left is hurting so I don't know if I should have him remove that one as well. Would having a slight lift on one and not the other cause calf and foot pain? I am desperate because I am training to run the Boston Marathon and I can't even find a pair of shoes. I went to 2 local running shoes but they are so frustrated with trying to help me they don't know what to say. Any suggestions would be great.

Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

Suzanne D on 3/11/03 at 12:19 (112547)

Leslie, I am really sorry to read about your pain. I hate to bring this up, but I am wondering if it is wise to run with the pain you are having. From my experience and that of many, many people's whom I have read about on these boards, trying to walk - or especially run - through the pain, pushing on when you don't feel like it, can really slow down your recovery.

You will receive a great deal of good information and help by reading The Heel Pain Book (just click on the words here). It's free.

I'm sorry not to be able to suggest a shoe that would be good; I just think if you are still in pain with all you have tried, that perhaps resting your feet could be a missing element of treatment. Of course I don't know your whole story.

Best wishes,
Suzanne :-)

Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/11/03 at 20:00 (112597)


How is your ankle dorsiflexion (bending foot up to your leg) range of motion? Your description implies that a tight gastrosoleus could be an underlying culprit.

We generally favor more stable shoes for individuals with excessive pronation, particularly motion control shoes. If excessive pronation is a response to limited ankle dorsiflexion, motion control shoes often will cause calf pain.

Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

Leslie D on 3/11/03 at 21:57 (112613)

I am not sure I follow what you are saying. My range of motion seems to be fine and I have never been told I lack ankle dorsiflexion. I would say my pronation is average but my feet are very flat so every doc wants to put me in orthotics. I have never had any pain in my gastrosoleus until after I wore these stability shoes for two runs. I stopped wearing those shoes and couldn't even run today due to the pain. I was just trying to figure out why I was having the pain if it was from the shoes or the orthotics. Would elevating my left toe cause my right gastrosoleus to be in pain? I don't feel like I will ever be able to find a solution to these feet. It's almost hopeless.

Thanks for your response and again any insight would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/11/03 at 22:48 (112624)

You mentioned that your calf started hurting when running with a stability shoe. What part of your calf was hurting?

Do you know approximately what your ankle dorsiflexion range of motion is?
You may not have been told, as you mention, but I would need to know if it had actually been measured.

Don't give up. It is not hopeless -- you just need someone who is going to help you solve the puzzle.

You mentioned the Boston Marathon. Do you live in Massachusetts or nearby?

Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

Leslie D on 3/12/03 at 18:22 (112690)

I did have it measured when I was doing PT for about 8 months and they said I had a good range of motion in both feet. They did measure it but I don't know what it was and that was about 1 1/2 years ago. If that was the problem why would it just start to bother me now after I got new orthotics and new shoes? I think it is either something with the orthotics or with the shoes since those are the only two variables that changed.

No, I don't live in Boston I live in Columbus, OH. I am just going there to run. This is really frustrating because before all this began I was considered a pretty good runner and now every run hurts. I really want to get back to where I was but it is all so frustrating and I have been to 3 potiatrists and 2 sports medicine clincis.

So the mystery still stands as to why my right calf is in pain. I think it is my tendon based on the info. I have looked at but again what would cause me to pull a tendon?

Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/12/03 at 20:41 (112701)


Overpronation is one compensatory mechanism for a tight gastrosoleus. When a shoe or orthotic is used to limit overpronation, the compensatory mechanism is removed causing pain or spasm.

There are a number of tendons that could be involved other than the achilles/gastrosoleus so it is necessary to get a more precise diagnosis.
Unfortunatley, I don't personally know doctors in your area but perhaps one of the other docs posting here may.

Re: Help I really need new running shoes!

BGCPed on 3/14/03 at 07:26 (112918)

Well if you would be willing to drive about 4 hours. I am north of Detroit. I would be happy to give you an eval regarding your shoe choice, biomechanics and orthotics. I wont dx what your pain is but if it is related to an improper shoe, orthotic or both I may help.

I do many fo for the guys from Hanson's Running Shop. They are probably the best non shoe company sponsored team in the country. Their guys are usually the top few Americans in the big ones like Chicago, NY and Boston.

I would be happy to look at you for no fee. If you need a shoe they have a location 100 feet from me. If worse case you need another fo (I try to fix current ones if possible) I can do one in office in one hour. It is a bit of a drive but in the big picture if we find something that helps it is worth it at your level.

I know a great foot and ankle guy that is doing a fellowship right now. He will be at the big new ortho sports med facility in Columbus. I dont think he will be there till late summer early fall though. I dont know what the names of the Dr there are but it sounds like a very neat place.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Shoes and inserts dont fix every problem but at your level something a few degree too much in the wrong place can create or contribute to it.