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Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Posted by Cindy J. on 3/05/05 at 13:22 (170522)

I have been lurking here for about a month and am impressed with this site and the helpful advice I have seen. I am an ER nurse and devoloped PF about 1 1/2 years ago. I believe the contributing factors were 1.) Waiting too long to replace a pair of worn work shoes and 2.) Doing the jumping aerobics at home barefoot. Regardless, I have been wearing inserts (Spenco, HTP heel seats) and the PF is slowly improving. I now have no pain in my left heel but still problems with the right. I don't consider my PF nearly as severe as some of you, but would like to address it before it worsens.

I love to wear sandals all summer, but I realize my heels were worse during the summer from the type of sandals I was wearing. Since inserts won't work well in sandals, I have dedided to bite the bullet and purchase Birkenstocks, if necessary. However, I wanted to know if there is a quality sandal out there that is not quite as expensive.

Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Linda V. on 3/05/05 at 13:53 (170523)

Hi. Nurse here also. And I think my PF started with a lot of the same reasons as yours. I have a pair of sandal by Rockport, named Genoa II, that I can wear for up to 4 hours without problems. We are all different, but I just couldn't tolerate Birks. Good luck!

Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Cindy J. on 3/05/05 at 16:31 (170534)

Linda V. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm curious why you couldn't tolerate the Birkenstocks. And how bad is your PF?

Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Linda V. on 3/06/05 at 09:41 (170562)

For me, the Birks were too hard and unforgiving. Yet, I can tolerate a pretty rigid cork over leather orthotic. Go figure.
I got PF last March in my right foot. Just as the 3rd cortisone shot was kicking in, I got it in my left foot. It was extreme. Could barely do the ends of aisles in grocery stores leaning on the cart..hubby would fetch down the aisles. Work was out of the question. I did icing, massage, stretching, rest, meds, orthotics..finally better enough by December to start a part time job. Now can walk up to 2 miles..but still must stretch each morning and wear my superfeet in the New Balance, and orthotics in my slippers. I would say I am about 90% better. This web site has been wonderful.

Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Cindy J. on 3/06/05 at 17:32 (170586)

Thanks, Linda. Wow, I can't imagine the PF being that bad that it would make the everyday activities such torture. Now I'm worried about trying the Birks. Hopefully there is a good return policy. What are these 'superfeet' you mention? Also, have you tried the HTP Heel Seats?

Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Linda V. on 3/06/05 at 19:41 (170591)

I never tried those heel seats you mentioned, although I have a drawer full of different heel cups and gel supports. Superfeet (you can google them) are an over the counter arch support insert you can buy for about 20 bucks. My podiatrist suggested them, and he actually customized them for me by adding little lifts to areas he thought I needed. I wear the 'green' superfeet. I think the docs on this site like another type of OTC..I also tried Spencos, and they didn't work for me.
PF was bad for me, but others have it worse..sometimes making people wheelchair bound. Bad as it was, I have to count my blessings. But, boy, have I learned a lesson. I will NEVER exercise without stretching before and after, and NEVER keep shoes after I know they have broken down. I don't ever want to go through this again.

Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Martin on 3/08/05 at 11:09 (170688)

Hi Cindy,

I actually find Birkenstocks to rigid and they seem to cause me more problems. I've had a lot of success though with a brand called Okabashi which a relative brough back for me from the US (I live in the UK). I'm told they're considered a 'cheap brand' in the US, but I personally find them very comfortable.

I think with PF every person is different and what works wonders for one person, does nothing for someone else. So I hope you find your own solution!


Re: Alternative to Birkenstocks??

Cindy J. on 3/09/05 at 16:33 (170816)

Thanks, Martin. I will have to check these out.