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

Jenn - Brooks q/a

Posted by Rachael T. on 12/12/03 at 21:50 (139890)

Jenn - I wear my Brooks Ariel w/ the regular insole sometimes with a lift purchased from the runner's store....but sometimes, & mostly all the time of late - I wear my Sole orthotics w/ the lift in my Brooks & they fit & feel great in them. Hope that helps - then, in the evenings & 'at rest' around the house - I prefer to wear my Boston Birks. I checked out the Brooks website & read all the info on the different pairs that I asked about....It seemed like the Brooks Ariel offered the most 'different' aspects of stability - for which the runners' store rep (who sold these to me) thought I would do best in.

Re: Jenn - Brooks q/a

Carole C in NOLA on 12/13/03 at 06:17 (139902)

I'm not sure what you mean by different aspects of stability, but I tried on the Brooks Ariel once in a runners store and they did seem quite different from other shoes to me too. The runner's store rep who has a city wide reputation of being good at this thought they were just EXACTLY what I needed too.

But in my case, they definitely were not what my feet needed. In fact they were so wrong for my particular feet that they frightened me! but I'm so glad they are working for you and that you've found such a good shoe for your feet. :)

Carole C (with the 'NB 991' type feet)

Re: Shoes for feet

Julie on 12/13/03 at 09:11 (139908)

Carole, this is so true! Feet are individuals, and have to be treated as such. I was told New Balance (I forget the number) were the shoes for me, but when I tried them they didn't feel right. I bought them anyway, tried them again and again, and they were all wrong for 'my particular feet'. And so were Brooks Ariels, which I tried in the same store. I rejected the Ariels, but the NBs are still sitting in the back of my shoe cupboard.

But when I found North Face Targas, I knew my feet had found the shoes for them. They've never been mentioned here by anybody but me, but I've been wearing them for three years now; and every time I put them on my feet feel as if they've come home. They have everything my feet need in a shoe: wide last, high toebox, plenty of support and cushioning, and deep tread. I wear them everywhere, from London streets to Cretan mountains and they sail through it all. I live in dread that North Face may withdraw them - wwhich reminds me it's about time to stock up again, as I only have two pairs left!

So I guess it's horses for courses - or rather shoes for feet.

.

Re: Shoes for feet

Carole C in NOLA on 12/13/03 at 09:44 (139912)

Yes, you are so right!

I love discussing shoes, and have found the discussions to be very helpful. I have considered and tried a number of shoes that I might not have tried otherwise, because of discussions on the board.

I can certainly empathize with your dread that North Face might withdraw the Targas some day. Maybe North Face has other shoes that your feet might like (?). If New Balance withdrew their 991's, I would probably spend some money trying various other models of New Balance that sound similar in their cushioning and supportive qualities.

I have no idea WHAT it was with the Ariels that 'freaked me out' so when I tried them. I remember that they seemed much different from other athletic shoes that I tried, and were forcing my feet to do exactly the opposite of what my particular feet need.

One of the things I love about my NB 991's is that they seem to have a little minor posting or bump raising the medial side of the front of the heel slightly in comparison with the ball of the foot, which seems lower. I can't detect it with my hand, but it feels that way when I walk in them. This slight twist is something my foot seems to crave. My custom orthotics give me that sense too (even more so, but since I don't wear them I do like this quality in an athletic shoe). And then both my orthotics and my 991's have superb cushioning as well.

Carole C

Re: Shoes for feet

Jen L on 12/13/03 at 10:36 (139919)

Rachael,
Thanks for your comments. I know finding the best shoes are so individual, it's part of the trial by error we have to go through in helping the heelpain.
Heelcups, and for the same reasons heellifts I think do not work for me. It seems like they make my arch stretched unnaturally.
I tried NB 991 for days and I found it bother my feet all around. I don't like heavy shoes and that was why my eyes landed on NB 991 at that time. But too much rigid control make my feet scream.
From what Carole posted I am more encouraged to try the Brooks. IF our feet are so neat in their likes and dislikes I may find my luck in wearing Brooks.
Jen

Re: Shoes for feet

Carole C in NOLA on 12/13/03 at 11:11 (139929)

Try going to the type of small shoe store that sells shoes to runners who compete in races locally, if there is such a store in your area. They usually carry the very best quality running shoes, and you can try on different ones and compare right there in the store.

That's where I tried on the Brooks Ariels. The proprietor of our local runner's shoestore is supposed to be very good at looking at one's stride and recommending shoes based on biomechanics. However, he goofed in my case. But sometimes an expert proprietor like that can be very helpful, and at the very least you'll get to try different shoes.

Carole C

Re: Another thought

Carole C in NOLA on 12/13/03 at 11:16 (139930)

Jen, here's another thought.

It seems to me that there are TWO aspects of shoes (at least) that are important to look for.

The shoe that cradles your foot in the best possible position for comfort, is desirable. But it may not be the same shoe that has a beneficial effect on your gait, and you need that too.

In a shoe store (as opposed to buying online) one can immediately compare a wide variety of shoes for both of these desirable traits.

Carole C

Re: Another thought

Jen L on 12/13/03 at 11:40 (139932)

You are right, Carole. I couldn't help but think that once we joined the P.F. patient camp, we also, like the doctors in medical profession have a science and art to heal with. Need to find the right combination of comfort and support with control in our shoe selection.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Jen

Re: Shoes for feet

Dorothy on 12/13/03 at 13:52 (139944)

I think I might be very leery of someone just eyeballing my gait and making shoe recommendations for adjustment of that based on that assessment. I have asked in the past here about these gait assessments, from a pro, and how they're done and what a pro looks for, etc. but got no answer (it was during 'the troubles' I think). Comfort is something that each of us can assess for ourselves, but gait - how is that assessed? And, you know, isn't it possible that there is no 'normal' or 'optimal' gait - that our gait is very idiosyncratic and related to how all of our various parts work together, since first walking? When running or walking for exercise, I used to read the recommendations for how the foot should strike the surface and move through the stride and all...and then try it...and it always felt completely foreign to my body. Yet, that was supposedly a 'good' gait. Please don't tell him I said so because he is really wonderful, but my husband walks kinda funny (all those trips up to the roof, probably) but only had one brief episode of foot pain after an accident (involving a squirrel and a buckeye...long story). I, on the other hand, walk pretty 'normally' and have and have had episodes of feet/back/knee/hip probls. - plus, I stay away from roofs, except for fretful chattering on the ground. Long post - sorry - just ruminatin' on the gait/shoe issue..

Re: Shoes for feet

Julie on 12/13/03 at 15:01 (139947)

Dorothy

Gait is assessed by video, as you walk on a treadmill. There may be other techniques: this is the one I know about because it is how my gait was assessed by my podiatrist. After it was done, we watched the video together and it showed clearly that both my feet pronate too much, the right one more than the left. My PF was in my right foot. With this information he was able to recommend orthotics, which he then casted and had made, and taping, which I did regularly for several months.

A skilled, experienced podiatrist with proper equipment should be able to identify any biomechanical problems you may have with your gait, or any other contributing causes of your PF and tendonitis, and that could be the start of your road to recovery.

But I have recommended you find a podiatrist before, and you don't seem to want to do that. :)

.

Re: Shoes for feet

Dorothy on 12/13/03 at 15:52 (139949)

Thank you, Julie.

Re: Shoes for feet

Julie on 12/13/03 at 15:59 (139951)

You're welcome, Dorothy.

Re: Gait Assessment

Jen L on 12/14/03 at 10:49 (139971)

Julie,
The gait assessment by walking on treadmill and video taping you described is very common in U.K?
I wonder if any Pod. in the states do it that way, and even wonder if they access a heelpain patient's gait before they make the custom othotics. None of the four doctors I saw did it for me. One doc. let me stand up in barefoot to check if I have flat feet or high arches upon my question about my foot's biomechanical structure. I have been visited a number of Pod's website, and I did not remember anything about gait assessment mentioned by them.
I do hope it's available.
Thank you for your insight.

Re: Gait Assessment

Carole C in NOLA on 12/14/03 at 10:53 (139972)

I wasn't video taped, but my C.Ped watched me walk before she made my orthotics and several times wearing them, during the process of making and adjusting them properly. She watched me walk in a straight line clear across the store and out into the parking lot and back, and she didn't quit until my gait was corrected in her opinion.

Carole C

Re: Gait Assessment

Julie on 12/14/03 at 11:07 (139973)

Jen

I don't know whether it's 'common' in the UK: my experience is limited to the fact that the two podiatrists I have consulted (20 years apart) assessed my gait by observing me walk on a treadmill; the second used video equipment and computer technology. You can have a look at my podiatrist's website if you like: here is the link to the gait assessment section (but the whole website is worth a look):

http://www.londonpodiatry.com/?page=gaitanalysis

I'm surprised by what you say about your four doctors, and wonder if this is typical. I find it difficult to imagine how they can arrive at a diagnosis without gait analysis, but perhaps one of the doctors can comment on this.
.

Re: Gait Assessment

nancy s. on 12/14/03 at 11:17 (139974)

for what my own experience is worth:

none of my docs, nor my orthotist, assessed my gait on a treadmill. the doc i stuck with and the orthotist both assessed my gait by watching me walk across a room, and both assessed my arch type by examining my feet in sitting position, in subtalor position, and in standing position.

toward the end of six months of p.t., the therapist had me walking on a treadmill while teaching me to walk properly again. my last day of p.t., during which i walked for 10 minutes on the treadmill and walked up and down stairs, was one of the most exciting days of my life!

nancy
.

Re: Gait Assessment

Julie on 12/14/03 at 12:20 (139977)

I'm sure it's possible for a podiatrist/orthotist to assess a person's gait by watching him or her walk, as yours did, Nancy and Carole, without the video equipment. The video makes it possible for the person to see and understand what's going on too (and of course it can be repeatedly watched if necessary). This certainly made a difference to me - I could see what was going on with my feet which was informative and useful. But the important thing is for the gait to be assessed, however it's assessed. I would have thought.

What surprised me about Jen's four doctors was that they didn't watch her walk at all.

Re: Gait Assessment

Carole C in NOLA on 12/14/03 at 12:29 (139979)

That's pretty amazing to me.

I wonder how they could feel confident that the custom orthotics were adjusted properly, without checking her gait? My C.Ped tweaked and adjusted until she felt my custom orthotics were perfect. And in fact, they were quite excellent.

If she hadn't taken all the time and effort to do the custom work of adjusting and readjusting them and checking and rechecking my gait, I would feel that I had paid custom orthotic prices for orthotics that were almost OTC orthotics.

Carole C

Re: Gait Assessment

nancy s. on 12/14/03 at 13:07 (139983)

julie, i wish jen's four doctors' not watching her walk were surprising to me, but unfortunately it isn't. i suspect that too many u.s. foot specialists don't bother with this crucial element of diagnosis and treatment. the first two i saw weren't the least bit interested in assessing my gait -- nor even the shoes i was wearing, which turned out to be terrible! (i learned how terrible they were only after finding . . . you guessed it . . . heelspurs.com, many months later.)

if i had it to do over, i would find out exactly how complete the examination would be before even making an appointment with any given foot doctor.

nancy
.