I'm 47 years old and about 1-1/2years ago I began feeling some pain in my heel when I stood up after sitting for a period of time. I'd have to stand still or hobble a few steps. Then I began experiencing the same pain in the morning. During my annual physical I asked my Dr about it. He quickly said it was PF and told me to do some stretches and wear low heels. It didn't help and my pain in the mornings became excruciating.
I found this message board this past Spring and began reading everything. Based on recommendations I found here I decided to buy a pair of Birkenstock Arizonas. Living in the Seattle area these are very popular, but frankly I think they're pretty ugly. Anyway, with a big sigh I bought a pair. I wore them religiously for several weeks and was amazed at how my feet improved (I had to sort of break my feet into them because they hurt if I wore them all day at the beginning). The first noticable improvement was during the day I could stand up and begin walking immediately without any pain--the morning pain was still excruiating. The next phase of my recovery was to buy Birkenstock inserts so I could wear other shoes--particularly dress shoes. The next thing I did was buy a pair of Munro brand shoes. I expected to have to wear the inserts in these but found I don't have to. They have a 3/4 inch heel. Because they were so comfortable I went back and bought another pair in a different color. I wear these two pairs of shoes exclusively for work and casual. I wear the Birks at home. I now have no pain during the day (unless it is a 10+ hour day on my feet) and the morning pain is so minimal that I hardly notice it.
We had a couple of snow days before Christmas and by putting my Birk inserts in my snow boots they felt wonderful and I was able to play with my dogs and be outside like a normal person.
1) I believe I got PF because I wore cheap shoes for so many years. It is very frustrating to pay out $80 for a single pair of shoes but I have learned my lesson. It is worth it not to cry over aching feet.
2) The Birks, the inserts, and the Munros gave me back my life.
3) My morning pain is directly related to what I do to my feet the day before. If I take care of them by wearing my Munros or Birks the morning pain is minimal or non-existent. If I abuse feet hurt the day before they hurt worse in the morning.
I wish you the best in your endeavor to find healing. It is amazing how sore feet impact our lives. --Pamela