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

Types of Shoes

Posted by Lana on 10/25/04 at 08:05 (162088)

I wear a lot of open type shoes like clogs and mules, and in a summer I wear sandals. My physical therapist told me that these types of shoes are very bad for PF because they do not support the heel. Is she right? Do you wear open type shoes?

Re: Types of Shoes

LARA on 10/25/04 at 11:54 (162102)

I don't. I swear by Dansko's but I don't think they have any open-toed shoes. I tried Birkenstocks and they made my feet worse - but others love them. Sometimes it's an expensive experiment to see which shoes work best. Birkenstocks do have some open-toes sandles.

Re: Types of Shoes

Linda V on 10/25/04 at 12:43 (162105)

I went shoe-lust shopping today. Tried on some Clarks in several different styles..both closed and open back that were very comfy. They have a heel cup built in. I especially liked a sandal called Elite...good for my Florida vacations when I want a change from my NB's. I think you are right, Lara, its an expensive experiment. Sometimes they feel great at the beginning, but after a day or 2 you realize they just ain't gonna work.

Re: Types of Shoes

Lana on 10/25/04 at 13:23 (162108)

Linda and Lara,

Thank you so much for your replies. I bought Naturilizer mules which have good soles and they feel very comfortable but when my physical therapist saw them, she told me that they are not appropriate for PF because they are open in a back. I also wanted to buy Clarks clogs but now I am not sure...

I wonder how much is my physical therapist knows about PF and if she is right about shoes with open back

Re: Types of Shoes

Linda V on 10/25/04 at 14:47 (162116)

Lara,
When I worked in the hospital..TONS of docs and OR people wore open backed clogs (might have been Birks) long before they were even popular for the rest of us to wear. I am not a doc or know a lot about PF, but my understanding of PF is that the actual problem is NOT in the heel itelf---so I think I would get different opinions about your shoe question from docs, GOOD trained shoe people, etc..and see what the majority think. And I would certainly value Julies opinion a lot, but haven't seen her posting recently. Wonder if she is still in Crete?
But no matter what, they are YOUR feet and you know what hurts and what doesn't. Just break em in gradually...and if they start to hurt, either return them if you can...or add them to your collection of shoe shopping boo-boo's. Imagine if we all got together and had a yard sale of just SHOES. Guiness book of world records, here we come!

Re: Types of Shoes

Cindy W-A on 10/25/04 at 15:05 (162119)

I would be interested in what Richard, C.Ped has to say about open vs. close-backed shoes. I also had a shoe guy tell me that I should wear close-backed shoes because they held the heel in place and kept it from moving around. But for me, the slip-on Birkenstocks are the most comfortable.

Re: Types of Shoes

Suzanne D. on 10/25/04 at 15:09 (162120)

Lana, I am not a dr. or pedorthist, just another person who has battled PF. But I have worn Birk sandals as well as a mule-type shoe from Birkenstock which have helped me greatly.

Perhaps it is not so much whether a shoe is open-backed or not, but whether the heel is supported by the footbed that is important. Both the shoes I wear that are open-backed have a little dip in the heel with some padding as well. They certainly feel better and more supportive than many closed-back shoes.

Just my experience...
Suzanne :)

Re: Types of Shoes

Dorothy on 10/25/04 at 15:20 (162123)

I have worn Danskos for YEARS and YEARS and I can assure you that they make MANY open-toed shoes.

Re: Types of Shoes

Dorothy on 10/25/04 at 15:25 (162124)

Lana - I'm not sure who you are asking, but on the chance this is an open question, I will offer this: the Birkenstocks that people here wear most and like the most are open-toed and open-backed. This the longstanding model the 'Arizona'. I have worn Birkenstocks and Danskos for years; I wear Danskos of all styles, open and closed/toe and back. PF and Achilles tendon problems, as well as some other structural problems.

Re: Types of Shoes

Janice C on 10/25/04 at 22:37 (162151)

I am in AGREEMENT with Angela(see her posts). I bought the HTP heel seats on her recommendation because I have steadily deteriorated over the years, much faster this year than ever (age 52). I was actually eyeing the electric shopping carts at Wal-Mart. Getting depressed. My custom orthotics uncomfortable. Had endoscopic plantar fasciotomy last July in right foot, planned on doing left foot soon. I had my doubts about the heel seats, also ordered the bio-gels at the same time. Got the gels first, no luck. Got the heel seats, they form their own arch, so my best experience was to put them in my lace-up Ropers, low heel, very firm soles, lots of toe room, cushioned flat insole. Put them in the boots, they are marked right & left. I was in shock. I had written a diary of my burning soles a couple days before, and how 3 toes on each foot are numb all the time. I had tried to do my shopping, could not stand in 1 place when in line to check out, had to constantly shift from 1 foot to other. Came home in tears, took me most of the day to try & shop, could not finish due to the pain. So got home that evening the HTP's came in the mail. It was unbelievable. No burning! The next day my feet felt a little better. Every day is a small improvement. I expect it to take some time, will let you all know how it is going. I am praying to the Lord Jesus this is the answer. I am off my pain meds also- I am not 100%, but ANY improvement was better than what I was going through. I cancelled my left foot surg. Also have a morton's neuroma in both feet, but I got out of the shower & felt what I thought was the cat's tail under my right toes & jumped! I was feeling the fuzzy rug for the first time in months! One person had said these heel seats just elevate your foot. I disagree. I would not have used them if that was the case, he is right, that would not help. The actual part that goes under the heel is thin. The seats have a bar that from the diagram on their website looks like it supports the bone that forms the arch. It is uncomfortable at first, but I also have a high pain threshold, and after the other pain, this is minor discomfort in trade for the relief of burning & numbness. I actually went shopping and though my feet were aching & tired, I was happy, & the next day, my feet were good to go- before, if I continued on my feet, I suffered 2 weeks & had to take extra NSAID's which I am afraid have given me an ulcer. I have hope again. They are worth a try & have a money-back guarantee. I tried to wear them in my Reebocks,but I am unable to tolerate them well right now. Maybe it will get better & I will be able to go to the Reebocks. I used to grieve over not being able to wear pretty dress shoes, now, who cares as long as I can walk without that terrible pain. I have drawers of insoles, orthotics. I have spent $$$$ on Drs & this surgery not to mention Mephisto shoes, which are 100 times better than Birks to me (Birks are too flat for me). So I was willing to try this $25 insert. I hope it helps other people too-I am still in shock myself after all these years of pain to be rid of 75% of it. Thank the good Lord!!!!!!! I hope it helps someone else. THANK YOU ANGELA for telling me about your experience with them. You are a God-send.This is a repeat on some other posts, I can't help but respond with my experience. I know how exasperating PF is. Please forgive if you have read this somewhere else. Janice C

Re: Types of Shoes

Dorothy on 10/25/04 at 23:26 (162153)

Janice C. - It is wonderful to read about your improvement and how obviously happy it is making you feel. I know we will all be hoping along with you that this continues; it is truly good news.
If you would give some clarification on something I am unclear on: did you say that the heel inserts work for you in one pair of shoes but not in others (Reeboks, for example)? If that is true, can you explain why you think that is so? Do you mean that they would NOT work in 'sneakers'?
Thank you for any further information you can give - and again, congratulations on your happy news!

Re: Types of Shoes

Janice C on 10/26/04 at 00:09 (162159)

Dorothy, the HTP heel seats have been wonderful in my Justin Roper boots, but in the Reebocks I have don't have that firm sole, they look like compressed foam, you know what I am talking about? So I am going to look for some shoes tomorrow that will feel as good as these Ropers with the insert. I have had Reebocks in the past that have a hard plastic sole, and I am wondering if that is the problem, those softer foam heels.I am still overweight also, 5'5' at 179#.BUT going down slowly, praise God. I have lost 20# but sorry to say it has taken me a year just to take off that. Not a lot of self-control in that area. I got myself into this situation not walking, not watching my weight. Until forced to do something. The whole ball of my heel burns after a day in the Reebocks, but today wearing my Ropers, as the day wore on, I got better instead of the usual 'worse'. Plan to have an extra rubber sole put on them anyway, my husband & I have done that on our boots for years, so you won't feel rocks when walking across a gravel parking lot. Wearing these inserts is all new to me, so I am in the process of experimenting. On the HTP website, it says they work with any kind of shoe. But wearing them with insoles with arches was not good. I have learned to listen to my body. If it burns or hurts, probably doing some damage. Either the package or the website (may be testimonials, not sure) says the longer you wear them, the better they feel, and that your foot will actually heal itself over time. I will keep everyone posted from time to time as to my progress with the inserts. It also talks some about the guy that invented them, it sounds like he may see patients, and I noticed too that one testimonial praised the staff (there's a toll-free number) for their help. Since I had the major flare-up after carrying cases of food, I was very interested in his explanation of 'load' helping me understand why I could not, absolutely could NOT stand in place for more than 10-30 seconds without intense burning on the soles of my foot. As for other shoes, I noticed on Footsmart they have some shoes with 2 removable insoles and hard rubber soles. I want to see if removing the top one that has the arch support will give me the room for the heel seat yet still have the flat one underneath for support. I am thinking I will try that in a couple of paychecks. I am having work done on the other end this week (root canal!). Expensive. So will have to wait on the really expensive shoes. But if I have just one more pair to switch to, it will be better. I just need something to wear with a dress. However I am NOT complaining, if I have to bog into church Sun morn with these cowboy boots on I'll just pull on the old blue jean skirt!! I hope I NEVER complain about style of shoe again! I am just so relieved to be able to do most of the things I need to do without that terrible pain. I am still not 100% but so much better. I really hesitated to say anything so soon, because I don't want to give anyone false hope. I know how devastating that is. My heart goes out to everyone on this website with footpain. I am so glad I found it, it has been wonderful. Thanks for your comments. Janice C

Re: Types of Shoes

Cathy G. on 10/26/04 at 08:47 (162168)

Janice, Could you please elaborate on the htp? I havent heard of that. Thanks

Re: Types of Shoes

LARA on 10/26/04 at 08:58 (162169)

I wonder how much is my physical therapist knows about PF and if she is right about shoes with open back

Good question. I'd go to a shoe store with a perdothist (look for ones that cater to people with diabetes, hammer toe and other feet problems) and ask them.

Re: Types of Shoes

Janice N on 10/26/04 at 10:26 (162174)

For the past two yrs I couldn't hardly put a shoe on that was closed in the back. I had horrible pain to the back of the heel. Mostly due to other foot problems besides the PF. My diabetic shoes don't cause pain in this area but they are just about the only shoe I can wear besides the sandals. It sure gets chilly in the winter months even with socks on. Even in Texas. Janice

Re: Types of Shoes

Dorothy on 10/26/04 at 10:36 (162175)

Thank you Janice C. and good luck with that root canal, too!

Re: Types of Shoes

Cyndi on 10/26/04 at 11:11 (162182)

Janice,

What were the other problems besides PF , if you do not mind telling? I cannot wear and enclosed shoe either so am wearing a sandel clog. This is the only thing I can wear! When I first started havig foot pain MY General Dr told me to wear a show with a small heel( I was in Sneakers)
as that would stretch the PF tendon. I am POD DR poor and wish I has just listened to her and gone on with life. I cannot even wear the custom orthodics made for me with the New Balance 925 shoes. I felt for so long I needed the enclosed shoe for balance, but, heck I want to walk again so it is clogs for me now.

Re: Types of Shoes

Janice C on 10/27/04 at 00:28 (162236)

Cathy, you can go to heelthatpain.com and read what they say on their website & look at the diagrams. I shopped for 2 hours today, yes my feet hurt, but it is not the terrible pain that I had a couple of weeks ago shopping 30 min. I went to a regular shoe store to find a couple of pair on sale just regular shoes that the inserts felt good in. I bought a pair of Michael's (never heard of them) and a pair of Rockports. Just needed plain shoes with a very firm sole, very low heel. So far so good this evening wearing them. Still having prob with my Reebocks I think the heels are just too soft. You guys keep me in your prayers, and I will do the same for you all. Janice C. hey I'm in Texas too!

Re: Types of Shoes

Suzanne D. on 10/27/04 at 15:15 (162273)

Janice, I wish you luck with your new shoes and inserts!

I thought I'd mention that three years ago when I went to the dr. and was dianosed with plantar fasciitis - and before I found this website - I bought a pair of Reebok DMX Walkers. I thought they would be good shoes as the dr. had just said to wear lace-up shoes.

I could never wear them without a great deal of pain and ended up selling them at a consignment shop. I later read on this site from one of the professionals that those shoes were not good for someone with heel pain. As you commented, the heels are too soft and unsupportive. So your assessment of them is correct, I believe.

Good luck!
Suzanne :)

Re: Types of Shoes

Janice C on 10/27/04 at 23:35 (162302)

Suzanne, It makes sense to me. So far so good today. Janice C

Re: Types of Shoes

Cyndi on 10/30/04 at 09:22 (162489)

I saw a new shoe yesterday with a nice arch - Has anyone tried NAOT?

http://www.naot.com

Re: Types of Shoes

Linda V on 10/30/04 at 10:35 (162500)

Those shoes look nice on the website..did you happen to be in a store that carried them? I think i would always need to try before i buy..what chains carry them?

Re: Types of Shoes

Cyndi on 10/30/04 at 19:08 (162574)

I saw the NAOT shoes at a shoe repair store. They had a tent sale outside is why I stopped. but when I went inside I saw these and the salesman recommended them, since I was looking for a clog.

Re: Types of Shoes

Rose on 10/31/04 at 22:50 (162660)

I think that for the best support if you are going to do any walking at all, that shoes with closed toes and back are important. Lace shoes are probably the best. I wear Birtks around the house as slippers or when I want my feet to breathe or it is hot, but I have tried them out of the house and it has always been a disaster. I wouldn't even think of trying to drive in Birks. Ouch.There is just not enough support. Since then I have been told the same thing by the experts. Closed toe and heels and lace up are bestfor most people with plantar fasciitis.

Re: Types of Shoes

Rose on 10/31/04 at 22:54 (162661)

Posted by Rose on 10/31/04 at 22:50 View Thread
I think that for the best support if you are going to do any walking at all, that shoes with closed toes and back are important. Lace shoes are probably the best. I wear Birtks around the house as slippers or when I want my feet to breathe or it is hot, but I have tried them out of the house and it has always been a disaster. I wouldn't even think of trying to drive in Birks. Ouch.There is just not enough support. Since then I have been told the same thing by the experts. Closed toe and heels and lace up are bestfor most people with plantar fasciitis.

Re: Types of Shoes

Misty T on 11/04/04 at 08:30 (162923)

Has anyone tried z-coils, alot of nurses wear them. They are great.

Re: Types of Shoes

Tim M on 11/11/04 at 17:35 (163603)

I have worn Z-Coils for over a year. I have had PF for almost 25 years.

I walk without any pain and do not have to use any of the other PF strategies (ice, taping, etc.). They're great as far as I am concerned.