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Need shoe advice...Plantar Fasciitis anyone?

PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 threads Senior Member
edited December 2009 in Parent Cafe
OK, so my feet have been killing me for about three months now. I didn't know what it was for awhile so was doing all the wrong things..wearing flip-flops and slides, kicking off shoes and going barefoot around home, walking too much in the wrong shoes.

After reading lots of stuff online about PF, I decided I needed to take action. I started regularly doing the stretching exercises. I tossed all the "evil" shoes to the back of the closet.
I went to a running shoe store where they evaluated my gait and helped my pick out the right shoes. I bought Saucony Pro Grid shoes and Superfeet orthotic inserts.
They are very comfy and the inserts provide great support.

The problem is...I can't wear running shoes every day/everywhere I go.
I have been shopping for days for a different pr.of shoes to change up in.
Tried on lots of Clarks yesterday but my Superfeet inserts wouldn't fit in most of them and the arch support didn't seem enough without the Superfeet.

So PF sufferers arise...tell me what shoes worked best for you while dealing with this wretched ailment.

note: I'm a preschool teacher so am on my feet a lot but don't have to "dress up" for work, generally wear capris or jeans with casual tops.
edited December 2009
67 replies
Post edited by PackMom on
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Replies to: Need shoe advice...Plantar Fasciitis anyone?

  • patsmompatsmom 4333 replies526 threads Senior Member

    I have plantar fasciitis, too, and your story sounds almost exactly like mine. I'm fortunate in that I have to wear a uniform to work and I can wear a black athletic-type shoe with a lot of support. I don't know what kind of shoes I'd be wearing if I had a job where I had to wear regular street shoes.

    FootSmart Women's Shoes, Men's Shoes, Walking Shoes, Sandals, Slippers, Socks, Support Hose, Foot Care, Orthopedic & Comfort Products :: FootSmart has a pretty good selection of shoes that work with orthotics but they aren't the most attractive. Also, I've found some specialty shoe stores locally that deal with people with foot ailments - they have some nice styles that would be appropriate for work. Merrell makes some very supportive shoes and you can probably find a style that you could wear with your jeans.

    The best thing I've done for my PF is to wear a special boot at night when I sleep that holds my foot in a flexed position. It stretches the plantar fascia and it really helps a lot when I'm having a flareup. If it's a really bad one, it might take a month or so of wearing it nightly. But if I catch it early (after a day of wearing flip-flops or going barefoot in the house), a couple of nights in the boot will generally ease the pain. It's kind of uncomfortable at first but you get used to it.
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  • msteemstee 3082 replies55 threads Senior Member

    I had a problem with that a couple of years ago, and the only shoes I could wear comfortably for a while were sandals. Bare Traps work well for me. I have a few pairs of those now. Of course, you can't really use inserts in sandals . . . I stopped going on long walks for a while too, and still tend not to walk as much as I used to (don't want it to come back!). As I recall, the problem lasted for about 6 mos.
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  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch 2662 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Naot shoes and Birkenstocks have worked well for me during flare-ups. Both brands have some non-sandal, non-athletic styles. (Try Zappos if your local places only have the obvious/standard selection.) The way the cork soles cup your heel to begin with, and conform to your own foot further the more you wear them, can mean that you're absolutely fine without any inserts.
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  • wbowwbow 949 replies23 threads Member
    i have been fighting this for about 6 months now. finally saw a local chiropractor and he uses a "grasston" tool and it has brought me a lot of relief. I have tried almost everything--and nothing has helped this time around. i had this same thing about 10 years ago and had a lot of relief from stretching, but not this time! good luck to you!

    chaco makes a nice flip flop that has a lot of arch support. merrell also makes some nice shoes that might be more acceptable for work attire.
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  • PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I tried Chaco sandals at REI (my friend also has PF and bought Chacos). They did feel good but I hesitated to make a big investment in sandals when the weather will soon turn too cool for them.

    I was checking out the Birks on Zappo's tonight. They aren't pretty but I'm to the point of not caring about pretty anymore.

    I'm thinking of trying the sleeping boots. My sister said she was never able to sleep in them.

    Does PF just eventually go away on it's own? When it does, can you go back to wearing all the shoes in your closet? Once you have it, are you always prone to it?

    Thanks for sharing experience/advice. Keep it coming.
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  • MidwestParentMidwestParent 807 replies45 threads Member
    I struggled with PF for nearly a year until I had a young man who was a clerk in a shoe store give me the best advice – NEVER go without shoes. Good shoes with excellent arch support. He said to get a pair of sandals that have excellent support that you can slip on and wear all the time at home. Keep them by your bed so they are there when you get up in the morning. Put them on immediately after you get out of the shower. After trying Aleve, ice, stretching exercises, etc., this is what finally helped me get rid of the pain.

    I was just talking to an elderly neighbor this morning. She had redeveloped PF after having it only once many, many years ago. She said at that time she had a steroid injection in her heel - !?!!?
    I have found that mine comes and goes. If I walk too far in the wrong shoes, exercise too vigorously, etc., it flares up. It probably varies by individual.

    I have purchased shoes from a store called Foot Solutions that are great. You can find them on-line. They are not Manolos, but I have found decently cute shoes there. I’ll take pain free over style these days!
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  • AiHyAiHy 161 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Packmom, I'm only 22 but I developed plantar fasciitis about three years ago, which I attribute to my job as a waitress. Store bought inserts and more supportive shoes did little to provide relief.

    Eventually, I visited a podiatrist who custom-made an athletic insert for my shoes. They are firm and plastic, but I don't feel them when I wear them (only at work, actually, since outside of work I typically wear flip-flops). I've been wearing them for years and once the initial pain subsided after a couple weeks, I've never experienced that same kind of excruciating pain again.

    The inserts were very expensive--perhaps $500--but were covered at 90% by my BC/BS insurance at the time. If your pain continues and nothing else helps, you might consider orthotics.
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  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom 15911 replies347 threads Senior Member
    PackMom - Birks actually caused me to develop foot pain. I found them very hard and uncomfortable. I stuck with them for a while, much too long in fact, because I had heard such rave reviews about them. And they used to make my feet burn. I remember I was driving to Texas once to visit a friend and had to stop at an outlet mall and literaly run in and get some socks because wearing the Birks without socks was just excruciating for me. (then just picture Birks and white ankle socks and send me off to the commune). I gave up on them pretty soon after that but it took a while for my feet to recover. I had another friend who hated them and then one who loved them. So just be aware they are not for everyone.
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  • pageturnerpageturner 751 replies25 threads Member
    I can't say enough about MBTs. They will save your feet. You'll find them online, and in those "walking shoes" stores in the malls. They are expensive, but worth it, and they last for years. They aren't pretty, though. MBT - MBT Shoes - Home of the Anti shoe

    Skechers has come out with a similar type of shoe (Shape-ups). I don't know if they are as good or not.They're less expensive. SKECHERS Official Shoe Store | Women Shoes | Sneakers | Work Boots | Sandals | Casual Shoes | Work Shoes | Dress Shoes
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  • juba2jivejuba2jive 983 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I would look for a brand approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Chacos and Danskos come to mind. I am on my feet all day and find my Dansko clogs pretty comfortable, although they are a little clunky and did take a little breaking in...but now they feel great!

    You may be able to find Chacos for half-price this time of year (especially if you buy online), but that doesn't leave much time to wear them this year.
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  • bookiemombookiemom 1882 replies32 threads Senior Member
    I don't have PF, but I have a bunion on one foot and some ankle issues and have to be careful of what shoes I wear or everything gets worse. I like Merrell shoes the best. Many styles have removable insoles, so your orthotics may fit. You can look on Zappo's and read the comments, and some people do mention putting their own insoles in.

    Merrell has a clog like Dansko's but with a thinner sole, and they also have wonderful fur-lined clogs. I wear those instead of slippers at home. I agree with the advice to always wear shoes.
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  • condor30condor30 1054 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Packmom.....so sorry you have this. i do too.

    the foot doctor advised me to NEVER walk barefoot.....keep sandals with arch support near your bed and slip those on when you get up..........first thing. i wear an easy spirit sandle.

    also suggested icing the foot and taking anti-inflammatory (advil, etc.)

    doc also fitted me for a shoe insert...........soft and flexible type....with arch support built in it........and then added an extra padded area to the bottom of the insert (under the injured heal)

    the biggest difference came when i took a co-workers advice and bought Brooks athletic shoes (i bought mine at Dick's). they are wonderful ! better than anything else I bought to try to help. i do use the soft insert inside the shoe.

    for work shoes, i bought mules and had a shoe repair shop (that specializes in foot care) add arch cookies. they were great !

    i am doing MUCH better now but i know how debilitating this injury can be. it really cramps your style ! hang in there !

    you'll need to know if you are an overpronator or underpronator before you select your new shoes.

    i tried saucony........they hurt my feet ! i tried the sleeping boot. didn't work !

    something that helped was to understand that i should not stretch that muscle out when it is cold..........like when you get up in the morning and your muscles are not warmed up. in fact, i don't really stretch it at all. i just get up and put on my sandals.
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  • twinmomtwinmom 2703 replies123 threads Senior Member
    ^ I was told the opposite - to stretch it before even taking one step out of bed. I was also told to freeze a bottle of water or better yet a can of veggies (metal holds cold better) and roll it back and forth under the affected foot to stretch it and ice it.

    I have found Naot sandals to be amazing and also find Merrill shoes to be great for PF.

    I believe you can also search for PF in the reviews on the Zappos site. That's how I chose my sneakers.
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  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 34785 replies1076 threads Senior Member
    my husband has PF- he has work boots though his Dr told him to get this
    Surefoot Foot Rubz at REI.com
    It seems to help him
    I have arthritis and like Born shoes- Ariat boots- hate Birkenstocks, they make me trip.
    ( & I don't mean in a fun way)
    The Walking company has the main brands of comfort shoes
    but my favorites are my Ariat cowboy boots.
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  • mimk6mimk6 4108 replies54 threads Senior Member
    Inserts in all shoes worked. My doctor suggested using a tennis ball to kind of massage the bottom of the feet -- putting it on the floor and working the foot over it. Someone suggested -- and it helped a lot -- never going barefoot while working in the kitchen but wearing my best athletic shoes while doing housework and cooking. That helped a lot.
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  • zoeydoggiezoeydoggie 629 replies29 threads Member
    I've also suffered from this but have not had a flare up in a couple of years. I used the boot at night. I found pajama bottoms big enough to fit over it. The roughness of it kept me awake but covering it up helped. I also used inserts in my shoes. I went to a certified fitter (they have a name..ped something) at a New Balance store and got supportive and cushiony running shoes. When I have to wear something else I wear Aravon brand, made by New Balance. They are the only shoe that has ever kept the problem away. Most of them are not very cute but it's great not to have my foot hurt.

    I tried the Dansko shoes and had them in several colors. After two trips to the ER for X rays I was back to my fitter guy. He calls them "ankle breakers". What happened to me is very common--when you step off a curb, sometimes the shoe drops off your foot and you don't come down squarely on the sole. Your foot rolls off and down you go.
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  • Maximus001Maximus001 504 replies28 threads Member
    The three cardinal rules: 1. Never go barefoot (get something to slip on at the foot or side of your bed and wear them around the house). 2. Do your stretching exercises as often as you can, 500 times a day isn't too much. 3. Always wear good shoes. Item three is dependant on many factors. Great brands to consider are: Mephisto, Naot, Birkenstock, Haflinger and Finn Comfort. All those brands have cork and latex midsoles. Dansko shoes are great for standing and walking not so good for rushing around on. I also think you should consider MBT (Massai Barefoot Technology). They're expensive but take a lot of stress off the heal and can really help if you have lower back problems also.
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  • claremarieclaremarie 1076 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Try wearing Crocs (the real ones, not the faux ones) around the house, starting first thing in the morning. Even the real ones are much cheaper than inserts or pricey sandals. They are practical for cooking and other household chores, and you can run out and get the newspaper before anyone sees you.

    Don't wear any shoe that allows your heel to slip up and down. That rules out most backless shoes, though I've had good luck with backless Munro sandals that hug the foot snugly.

    I found an inexpensive boot at the drugstore, and only need to wear it for a few nights when there is a flare-up. Since my husband started wearing Crocs instead of Docksiders around the house, he hasn't had to steal the boot at all.
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  • -Allmusic--Allmusic- 6246 replies104 threads Senior Member
    I had a case that lasted for many many months several years ago. My podiatrist recommended an anti-pronating New Balance sneaker, which I wore from the moment I stepped out of bed until I went back, as my feet were healing (except for meetings, and even then I bought several very expensive dress shoes with excellent footbeds).

    No bare feet is a huge rule, and I wear Halfinger clogs in the house always. Ice and exercise with flare-ups, or for maintenance, once you are healed, as it is so easy to reinjure. Merrills have a good footbed, and I can wear them for casual now. But my brief foray from $140 anti-pronating sneakers contributed to a knee injury this summer, so now I am back in those too. Once you have had foot or knee problems, buying good expensive shoes is part of the rehabilitation and maintenance program.

    Good luck! PF is nasty and painful, but you can heal from it!
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  • fireandrainfireandrain 4705 replies54 threads Senior Member
    Keen and Naot. Two of the best brands ever for people with PF. Very expensive but worth it (I never spent more than $35 on a pair of shoes until I got PF, and had to change my buying habits).

    However, the BEST purchase I made was a $5 item at Walmart called an Arch Bandage, by PediFix. It is also sold online from Footsmart. It wraps around your arch, is flesh colored so not very obvious. I wear it when I don't want to wear shoes, or wear shoes with minimal support, or when I walk a lot. It is wonderful.

    I also saw a physical therapist for help when I first got PF, and that helped a lot. As well as lots of stretching.
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