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

Birkenstock arch supports for plantar fasciitis

Posted by Judy S. on 2/18/05 at 21:21 (169382)

I have had pain from a heel spur (plantar fasciitis) since last summer. The doctor gave me a prescription for custom orthotics. However, when I went to the shoe store that specializes in foot problems, they sold me a pair of Birkenstock Blue Footbed arch supports. They did not even look at my foot, only measured for my shoe size. They told me if I didn't have some improvement in six months to come back. I have tried these for about 3 months. The extra support feels better, but the arch supports are so hard that they make my heel hurt worse. It seems to me that some cushioning under the heel would be better. Any comments?

Re: Birkenstock arch supports for plantar fasciitis

Suzanne D. on 2/18/05 at 22:24 (169383)

Judy, I wore the blue Birk 3/4 length inserts for several months. I found them effective and improved quite a bit while wearing them. I wore them in SAS lace-up shoes which have removable foam inserts, but I had room for the Birk inserts on top of the ones that came in the shoes. I think that combination gave me the cushion you are speaking of needing.

Later, I tried Superfeet inserts (www.superfeet.com), and the salesman commented that I was getting practically the same support from the Superfeet as I had with the Birk inserts/SAS inserts combination.

I am now much improved and wear a couple of different styles of Birk shoes every day. I hope you can find the right shoes/inserts to help you heal. Did you try the custom orthotics prescribed by your doctor?

I would also suggest you read the Heel Pain Book (just click on the words) if you haven't already.

Best wishes,
Suzanne :)

Re: Birkenstock arch supports for plantar fasciitis

francesc on 2/19/05 at 15:55 (169450)

Hi Judy,

I understand what you are saying. I have a heel spur and PF and also prefer to use orthotics with more cushioning. The hard, rigid ones never worked for me. Superfeet and PowerStep weren't comfortable for me either. I like the Lynco brand which has both the full length orthotic for athletic shoes and also a 3/4 length in leather for dress shoes. They are pricey but i think i saw them on the internet for about $40. They are usually about $60/pr.

I have also been under the care of Dr. Kiper and his Silicone Dynamic Orthotics and they have really helped me a lot! They are the ultimate in comfort. I think I must have really bony feet! But these are expensive and a last resort. However, if you don't improve, please keep these in mind.

Best of luck,
Frances

Re: Birkenstock arch supports for plantar fasciitis

Judy S. on 2/21/05 at 20:12 (169595)

Suzanne, Thanks for your suggestions. I will definitely keep them in mind. I'll check out the SAS shoes. Hope they have some other styles than the ones my 95-year-old mother wears! I have read quite a bit of the heel pain book. I haven't gone the custom orthotics route yet, but am trying different combinations of heel cushions and arch supports. Sometimes I wear heel gel cushions on top of the Birk inserts. I have just purchased a pair of Ryka tennis shoes which seem to give more arch support than some New Balance that I tried on.

I am going to go back on some anti-inflammatory medicine again and try to be more disciplined about stretching.

From everything I read, this tends to be a long-term problem that is very frustrating.

Re: Birkenstock arch supports for plantar fasciitis

Judy S. on 2/21/05 at 20:32 (169596)

Hi Frances, Thank you for your response. It sounds like you have tried numerous options. I'm not quite ready to do custom orthotics yet although the silicon sounds like a good possibility. I will check out the Lynco orthotics.

So far I've tried gel heel cushions, Dr. Scholl's and Birk arch supports and I just purchased a pair of Ryka tennis shoes.

This all started because I was trying to get in better shape! The doctor told me to walk more because I was starting to develop osteoporosis. At he has some sympathy--his wife suffers from PF too. Will let you know if I have some success.

Re: Birkenstock arch supports for plantar fasciitis

francesc on 2/23/05 at 11:23 (169702)

Hi Judy,

Just a suggestion: for walking, you might actually want to purchase a pair of running shoes as opposed to the Ryka tennis shoes. I used to be a Ryka devotee for their aerobics and cross-training shoes but, running shoes actually have a lot better support for PF sufferers. You will find a lot of people at this site recommend New Balances but, I personally prefer ASICS (I have a small, narrow heel but, wider at the ball of foot).

I have also been through the heel cushion route. It is of very little help. It helps the heel spur but, not the PF which is the actual cause of your pain (not the heel spur).

Best of luck,
Frances