Darned Fussy Feet (ETA update on boots @ bottom)

So I no sooner posted a question regarding the Pikolinos boots from NAS http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....ots-for-me and now I have to retract it. In addition to bunions, I have developed what I believed to be plantar fasciitis. I had made an appointment to go on my lunch break today to a podiatrist to determine if that in indeed the case. And it is.

He was pleased that I have my Birkenstocks with the 4 degree hard footbed and wants me to wear them in the house at all times during the next couple of weeks - no more bare feet on my hard floor until the heel pain starts to subside.

He also recommends as footwear brands that will provide the strong arch support I need, as well as good heel "cupping" and room for the bunions:

  • New Balance (for running) - I currently wear Asics and/or Saucony. 
  • Naot
  • Aravon
  • Earthies
  • Taos
He also said absolutely no heels over 1 - 1.5 inches and limited wearing of pointy toes. Unfortunately it looks like years (decades really) of wearing ill fitting too high heeled shoes have taken their toll on my poor peds. I may get custom orthotics made but we didn't have time to get into that discussion today.

Luckily the booties/boots I have for fall/winter are all quite comfortable although I will need to try them again to double check on the arch support. And I guess I'll be wearing my Naot Mary-Jane style pumps more often.

In terms of finding a boot to replace my Doc Marcies and perhaps even my Ara patent booties (they have pointy toes), these are now my local options from Canadian Footwear and fit the criteria I've been given. What do you think of any of these with skirts and dresses?

Pic 1 and 2 are Aravon
Pic 3 is Naot

P.S. On the bright side, my wonky knee is getting better and better and he felt there should be no problem with me continuing to work on my running training provided I have the right shoes and I follow his instructions re: footwear so that it doesn't get any worse.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Diana replied 6 years ago

    I'm so sorry, Shannon.  I've had a couple of bouts of PF in the past and I know what a pain (literally!) it can be. 

    I am a big fan of Naots as you know, and I also wear NB sneakers for working out.  I will also suggest you try out some OTC arch support orthotics, like Superfeet.  I use them in all of my non-Naot boots, and they provide the rigid arch support my feet need.  Interestingly, I also have flat feet so there can be such a thing as too much arch support.  Specifically, if the arch on the orthotic or the shoe is too high, it can cause pain in the arch, which is also not good.  (For example, Earthies have a super high arch.)  I use superfeet black, which are the lowest arched of the superfeet range.  I also use powerstep 3/4 slimtech insoles, which are a bit higher arched, so I prefer them in my flatter shoes. 

    Also, chin up, lady!  It DOES go away.  It takes a while, and you have to be cognizant of your footwear choices, but the pain does go away if you are careful.  And I will add, I still go barefoot in the house a lot of the time.  I just hate wearing shoes indoors too much.  I will wear my Naot slides if I'm going to be standing for a long time (like if I'm doing something elaborate in the kitchen) but just for normal walking around the house I go barefoot.  I do have Haflinger slippers for winter with some arch support.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    I had to log back into say "thanks" Diana :)

    I will definitely have to check out the OTC orthotics. It's interesting how both high arches (like me) and flatter feet can both end up with PF. Feet are strange little creatures aren't they?

    I do know it goes away and he felt quite positive about that happening for me as I haven't had the condition for too long. I will hopefully be going back to barefeet in house before long (I love to go barefoot) - wearing the Birks inside is just until things start to settle down.

    Thanks again for your advice - much appreciated.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Oh Shannon. Sorry to hear this.  Not what you need to be dealing with now, that's for sure. But I have to say - been there, done that.  My issues started with knee trouble from running which were really caused by my feet and blah blah blah off to the podiatrist, who recommended the different shoes and boots and orthotics and oh yes, ended my running career right then and there. I, of course, overreacted and figured I was doomed to a life of white reeboks and would never again feel comfortable and fashion forward.  As Diana says above, it will go away, your feet will respond to a change in footwear, and with some conscious effort in changing your house habits ( bonus - you get to buy a fresh new pair of Birks to wear inside) , things will improve.  

    I like the look of #2 and #3 - one is dressy and the other funky.  Naots are great quality , from what I hear from my best friend who is the Naot rep here in MB and SK.  

  • Diana replied 6 years ago

    For the orthotics, if you have a running store nearby they are often quite helpful with them.  Hopefully they'll have a few types in stock so you can test them out. 

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    YLF wisdom ROCKS!

    Lisa - I think you and I need to meet 'cause I swear we have soooooo much in common! I also have had knee trouble from running which started out being an issue with the wrong shoes and then I ended up dislocating my left knee in a running accident. I finally after two years of physio and strength building am back to running and now this. Good grief! However, nip it in the bud now right? I actually already have a pair of Birks I bought this year (cute b/w polka dot ones) so am set there.

    As for Naot quality, it is fantastic. I have a pair of Naot warm boots for trudging through the snow and a pair of shoes that are probably the most comfortable and best made footwear I own. Clearly I should have just stuck with the brand - lol!

    Diana - Running Room in on my way home and since I will be needing a new pair of running shoes, will definitely check there.

    Thanks gals - you're the best :)

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    So I've gone ahead and ordered pair #3 - the taller Naot boots. There is only one pair left in my size from Canadian Footwear and I do really like the kinda funky style. Sure, they don't have the urban flair of the Doc Marcies, but that's how it goes, you know? 

    Plus they are marked down significantly and have free delivery/returns - good for the budget :)

    Will keep you posted.

  • Sal replied 6 years ago

    I liked no 3 the best anyway!

    It sounds like you have had good advice, we do ask a lot of our feet and it is a challenge when they complain. There are lots of shoes/ sandals/boots that combine style and comfort now, including the boots you have picked.

  • JAileen replied 6 years ago

    I had plantar fasciitis. It's not the end of the world. I have inserts I've used for 15 years. They're not custom and not expensive. At first I had special instructions from the podiatrist until my feet got better. Now, I just use the inserts whenever I'm wearing lace up shoes. I love them. They feel so good under my feet. Here is one of my ugly hiking shoes and an insert. I even wear them with Cons.

  • Nebraskim replied 6 years ago

    I have had PF off and on for 20 plus years. I use custom orthotics in my running shoes and blue Birkenstock insoles in other shoes; I do a prescribed daily stretching regimen. I wear "sensible" shoes (for me, they must be hard-soled, like Dansko or other "comfort" brands, and not at all flexible (so nothing like Clarks Bendables) and no flip-flops ever). I've done physical therapy. But the BEST relief I've had is acupuncture. Truly worked for me. If it ever comes back, I'm going to do the acupuncture again. My PF has ranged the spectrum from mild (nagging pain) to moderate to severe enough that I could barely walk and when I did, I visibly limped. I have a high pain tolerance and will run through anything, though. While it's not deadly, it can be a nuisance. I highly recommend the acupuncture though. I also tried cupping along with the acupuncture and it was also worthwhile.

  • ClaraT replied 6 years ago

    A caution: if you are going to get custom orthotics, do this *before* you buy anything--orthotics can change the way shoes fit on the top of your foot (and render previously comfy shoes unwearable). If you get the OTC orthotics, there may be enough styles that you can bring in your shoes and get different orthotics that work for different shoes.

    ps oh, I see you got #3 boots (really nice!). If you have a store that will sell you/help you fit OTC orthotics, maybe that's the best bet (based on the experience of others who have posted).

  • KikiG replied 6 years ago

    I had PF, and from that, I simply never, ever go barefoot.   Ever.  Even to go to the bathroom at night.  Croc flip flops like my feet, and I wear them as slippers.  (With socks in the winter, they are so beautiful.)  I have an orthotic in my gym shoes. 

    But, with all of this, if a heel conforms to the curve of my foot, I can and do wear heels, daily.  What I cannot manage is a flat sandal or a ballet flat, oddly enough.  Even a small wedge is sometimes too flat for me--I have some boots that aren't high but I can only wear them for a sitting day, and not two days in a row.  Born's Sofft line likes my feet; Clark's like my feet. Aerosoles like my feet.   So: do heal your feet, but once healed, you may be able to manage heels again.  Don't give them away just yet, some may be able to be salvaged. 

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Wow - thanks for the insights JAileen, Nebraskim and Clara. I so appreciate the information.

    Clara - I did go ahead and order #3 and totally hear you about taking the orthotics with me for shoe and boot purchases. I'm actually hoping just having the correct footwear may be enough (i.e. the Naot boots/footbed on their own not needing orthotics).

    Kiki - cross posted! I actually gave away most of my heels in the last 4 months because of my knee. It cannot tolerate the angle (or pitch for lack of a better word) that a heel puts it into. I don't have much left anyway but definitely will not give them away. Thank you for the advice :)

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, so sorry to hear this, but glad you have found a boot option. And if this one doesn't work, hang on a month or two when the new stock will be hitting the stores -- you might find a style you like better. 

    I've not had PF but I do have a friend who suffered from it. She's all better now, but wow, it was a nuisance while she had it. She wore running shoes for months (and nothing else). I guess if you can find a way to make sneaker style work for you, this would be a good time to rock it!! :)

    I find the foot discussion so interesting. Which brands work -- and how that differs person to person. I was thinking maybe your Aras would be okay because I think they are quite similar to Aravons -- but I guess the toe shape might create problems. Definitely don't chuck them just yet, though -- I have a feeling you'll be able to go back to them. And how about the great shoes you wore most of this season --  your bone and silver ones, your black Clarks, and a few of the others? Are they still okay? Or temporarily off limits? 

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, just another vote here for not getting rid of too many shoes just yet. I had plantar fasciitis a few months ago, and I stopped running for several weeks because of it. I wondered if I'd ever run again. But I'm now back running again and my heel feels normal (I had it mostly in one heel, but slightly in the other, too).
    I wear Superfeet (blue) inserts in my running shoes and superfeet heel inserts in the shoes that feel too flat for me otherwise. I really, really doubted whether my feet would ever return to their pre-PF state, and yet they did. I had a shoe salesman at a comfort-shoe store tell me that inserts like Superfeet give better support than most shoes, regardless of brand. (And I was there, practically begging him to sell me a pair of comfort shoes, regardless of the clunk factor!) Birkenstock was one of the few that do have a molded footbed, he said.

    In addition to the Superfeet inserts, I do not go barefoot in the house (per doctor's instructions) and no longer wear flat, cushy, non-supportive house slippers. Instead I wear a super supportive old pair of Mephisto sandals in the house. (One day I looked down at my feet when I was out doing an errand, surprised to see my pink Mephistos! Oops!)

    To heal the plantar fasciitis, I wore a splint at night (the doctor provided it). It was so comfortable, and my heel immediately felt better when I put it on. Highly recommend it! It did not impede my sleep--in fact, just the opposite. I also iced my heel every evening that I could, for 10 to 15 minutes. I froze a plastic bottle of water, put a wet sock over it, and rolled my foot back and forth across it on the floor. And I took NSAIDs (I like Alleve). It did take at least a couple of months to heal. But during that time I went to Europe, traipsed all over the place in my leather sneakers (with heel inserts) and recovered each night well enough to go back out again the next day!

    Good luck with the healing!

  • Kim replied 6 years ago

    I've had PF twice, and I don't wish it on anyone. 

    Custom orthotics can help immensely, *if* it's really PF.  It turns out my second time around I had PF AND my heel fat pads were injured or thinning.  Who knew that you could lose the fat on the bottom of your feet??? Why not my muffin top? LOL  We found out I had more going on than just PF after I got my custom orthotics ($500!) and they didn't work...

    Have them check for that, it looks just like PF, but with "squeeze the heel and poke it test" they can tell right away if it's a thinning foot pad.  The solution for that is heel cups until the foot is heeled (and not the gel kind you can buy over the counter, they make things worse in this injury.). They can be built into your orthotics and you should know this before you get orthotics because the treatment for PF and thinning foot pad is different inside the orthotics as well.  (The person who makes your orthotics should be able to test you right there in the office.  You want a pedorthist or a podiatrist, not just a salesman to make your orthotics.  Look for a place that makes them onsite if you decide to go this route.) 

    You can also buy plain heel cups and use them in any shoes, the best kind are these. Found a place in your city the sells them.  They are worth every penny (all 15 bucks!).  Buy the sport kind, it's more heavy duty and really cups the heel.  They won't work with sandals, but neither do orthotics. 


    FINALLY after 14 months, lots of false starts, and many dollars I got both problems treated (Graston by the chiropractor for the PF and heel cups in my orthotics for the fat pad) and I recovered quickly after that (about 6 weeks or so.)  I can run again, but I choose to keep my distance down now.  It's just not worth the pain if I make it flare up again.

    It's an aggravating injury that's hard to pin down, so I hope you find the cause right away. 

  • jenanded replied 6 years ago

    Oh Shannon...what a pain :-) I too have had good results with shoes etc as per other comments. But with all the usual caveats, I got long term relief from stretching exercises... one is to lean arm and head on wall and do alternate lunge stretches with legs. Also forward bends even with bended knees. I always wear fussy feet shoes since I first got it but if it ever starts creeping back I know I have not been doing my stretches... xx

  • Faith replied 6 years ago

    My sympathy as well. After a couple bouts with it myself (I'm on the high arch end of the spectrum), I wear inserts in most shoes, I like the German brand pedag b/c they're low profile, leaving more room for my higher volume feet. My p.t. also recommended the "melt" method (branded products and book) for stretching the fascia, but you can also get non-brand-name balls for the same effect. They're softer than a tennis ball, and you sink your weight onto them on different areas of your sole, to release tension in the fascia. It provided relief for me at the time but I confess I haven't kept it up. She also recommended some exercises that I can't adequately described, to strengthen the arch and forefoot. Good luck and feel better!

  • Meow replied 6 years ago

    I'm right with you on foot problems. I have high arches and pain in the ball of my foot. I just discovered Hoka One One running shoes. I wear with my custom orthotics for working out. So cushiony and saved my feet. All the ultra marathoners I know wear them. I wish all my shoes were as comfortable. Good luck.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago


    No worries. You ooze with style no matter what, Shannon. Glad this thread is giving you hope and solutions. 

    Actually, you'e lucky. Some of my friends had PF and were in sneakers for 10 months. And after that - Clarks only for a good long while. You have more options. 

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Talk about a wealth of information! Thank you all so much. I will need to read through your responses again to make sure I absorb it all.

    Not to worry about any shoe purging ladies :). I had already purged my highest heels because they cause issues with my knee. The shoes and boots I have now are all staying - at least at this point anyway.

    But from this point forward I will be sure that comfort for my knee, previously sprained ankle, bunions and PF is priority #1 in my choice of footwear.

    I'm kind of laughing as I read that back...I sound like some little old lady "your knee, my hip" kind of thing - lol!

    I picked up some Dr. Scholls shoe inserts with both arch support and heel cups to start with. And am stretching my foot with my foam roller (what I use in my IT band for my knee) as I type this.

    Love y'all for your advice and support :)

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, I had a problem with my knees a few years ago and went to pan am clinic.  They did a mold of my feet and made an orthotic that replaced the foot bed in the shoes.  As long as you use the same type of runner, you can move them.  They were quite reasonably priced and they retain the pattern so you can get more made for different shoes.  I think it was only about $60 for replacements.  It was worth it and the doctors there are fabulous.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Fantastic Dianthus! Thank you. Do you use the orthotic in all your shoes or just your running shoes?

  • Aquamarine replied 6 years ago

    I am coming off my first bout with PF and I do all Firecracker suggested, along with PT. But what really helped me turn the corner was the Strassburg Sock, recommended by my son, a college athlete. I got it on Amazon, and highly recommend sleeping with it on every night.

  • Debra replied 6 years ago

    Ohhh Shannon, I get exactly how you feel. I have had PF for about 18 months now. It started off really bad. I had my feet strapped for quite a while and then had orthotics made by my podiatrist which I moved from shoe to shoe.
    It has improved.
    I now only use my orthotics in my joggers and only wear Ziera shoes.
    Their styles are getting better but comfort is top priority.
    Occasionally I can wear some of my other shoes for a short time.
    It will get better :)

  • Neel replied 6 years ago

    So sorry Shannon :( But on the bright side, it will get better with the right footwear and exercise. Take care!

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 6 years ago

    I only had them made for my running shoes.  I was having hip/knee issues and it related to the flatness of my feet and angle of the hip (I think).  The doctor I saw also works out of U of M and was excellent.  
    Good luck.  Having sore feet is no fun.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Well the Naot boots (pic 3 above) arrived and technically fit and are beautiful. But the arch was too narrow in the boot and didn't support my foot arch properly. Back they go. Onward!

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