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

Advice on footwear - UK

Posted by Paul T. on 10/16/03 at 03:29 (134101)

Hi All,
I've had PF for almost a year now - just left foot at first, now seems to be in both. In the last couple of weeks the pain has spread to my calves, such that I'm barely able to walk at all now. I've seen my GP twice but have received only useless anti-inflammatories, he refuses to believe that footwear may be a possible cause. I must admit I tend to buy fairly cheap shoes, and have never had my feet properly measured. Is there anybody on this board who could recommend a type of shoe/boot (i.e. brand name) that may help? Specifically in the UK, as I imagine some US footwear may be unavailable here. What about Doc Martens with the cushion sole? I'm on a fairly restricted income, so I don't want to spalsh out £60 or so on shoes/boots if they're going to be no better than my usual shoes.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks, Paul

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

john h on 10/16/03 at 09:54 (134118)

Paul: Your post brings to mind a subject that I have brought up often over the years and really I do not think anyone knows the answer to. Why so often does one get PF in one foot and then later in the other foot? The answer I hear frequently is because you start walking differently because of the PF in the initial foot with PF. This does not seem like a good answer to me. This begs the question what is common to both feet that could create this condition. Certainly not TTS or inlflamation in one foot causing PF in the other foot. Could it be connnected with our auto-immune system? Could it be connected to our spinal column? Could there be some viral component to this? To many people end up with bi-laterial PF for it to be a conincidence. I have had a couple of Doctors tell me that they have found if they cure PF in one foot for what ever reason it usually goes away in the other foot.One Doctor who was giving me a shot said that he preferred to give me a shot in just one foot for that reason. They offered no explanation as they said they did not understand this phenomena..

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

Dorothy on 10/16/03 at 12:39 (134133)

Hello Paul ~ Sorry to hear of your troubles. I can only give you one person's opinion (mine) based on limited experience and knowledge - BUT! here goes - I have a pair of Doc Martens shoes, bought about a year ago, that are oxford-type and well cushioned, as you say. However, where I think the Doc Martens that I am familiar with (my style and a few others) fall short is in the interior supportive structure. There is not much arch support at all. Now, I imagine with an insole/insert (NOTE TO FOOT PEOPLE: WHAT IS THE CORRECT TERM??) that problem might be reduced. The other feature of, I think, ALL Doc Martens is that they tend to be fairly heavy. If your feet hurt, that can be a factor to consider. On the good side, if you like Doc Martens, they do last forever - and they have a thick, cushioned sole. Best wishes ~

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

Rick R on 10/16/03 at 13:22 (134135)

John

I have a theory for you to try on for size. If one of the main reasons for a person to be susceptible to developing PF is tight plantar fascia tendons and one side becomes affected, the subsequent reduction in activity allows a further shortening and tightening of the other side. There can be reasons for one side to be more vulnerable such as a longer leg, or flatter arch.

I do believe the inactivity while I recovered from surgery on my left side caused me to be more vulnerable on the right side. Too bad I didn't think of this or have someone warn me, I had to screw up and learn the hard way.

Rick

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

AmyM on 10/16/03 at 15:09 (134147)

I'm in the UK too, sorry you're not having much luck with your GP. A lot of people find Birkenstocks help. They are expensive though, you can expect to pay about £60-£100. There is a whole Birkenstock shop in London, so if you're close enough you could go there (its in Covent Garden) that way you'd be able to get your feet measured. They also have a website (http://www.birkenstock.co.uk ? but last time I checked their online ordering was NOT secure) If you know what Birks you want/fit you can order them from Germany and its cheaper.

You could also try Clarks shoes, although some of the Clarks brand are far too soft to be of any use for PF. Another thing you might want to try is the Orthoheel inserts you can buy in Boots.

I'd also try and asking your GP to refer you to a podiatrist, its a long shot, but you might get lucky. Expect to wait up to a year for an appointment though.

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

Sher A on 10/17/03 at 15:42 (134399)

I'm planning on investing (since they're so expensive it's more than just buying) in a pair of Mephistos (www.mephisto.com). I wouldn't wear them out for a night on the town but I would wear them to work. I hear they are wonderful. Too bad they can't make 'foot-friendly' shoes in better looking styles. These don't look like there is all that much toe room, but people swear by them. Nordstroms here in north Virginia carries them but they're not readily available at many stores. My sister bought a pair of just tennis shoes for $250 (gasp) but said they have been heaven on her feet. It's like one needs a second job just to support their feet.

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

John H on 10/18/03 at 10:10 (134523)

Sher I have a pair of their sandals that are designed somewhat like the Airizona. The heel area is definitely higher than the Airizon and the bed is softer, Indeed they are expensive. I think mine were on the order of $250. They do have a wide range of styles. The only store in Little Rock that sells them is an upscale mens store which also sells them for women.

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

Vicki D on 10/26/03 at 21:30 (135705)

Has anyone here tried Z-Coil shoes? I bought a pair after being diagnosed with a heel spur. They worked wonderfully for about four months before my heel pain worsened and I found out I had bilateral PF and TTS. Still, it is the only shoe I can wear and still be able to walk, even with the pain from PF. As to if they are available in the UK, I don't know. The box they came in shows the size equivalent for three other countries, including the UK.

Vicki

Re: Advice on footwear - UK

Vicki D on 10/27/03 at 06:18 (135721)

Has anyone here tried Z-Coil shoes? I bought a pair after being diagnosed with a heel spur. They worked wonderfully for about four months before my heel pain worsened and I found out I had bilateral PF and TTS. Still, it is the only shoe I can wear and still be able to walk, even with the pain from PF. As to if they are available in the UK, I don't know. The box they came in shows the size equivalent for three other countries, including the UK.

Vicki