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Thread: Best outdoor foot wear for plantar fasciitis?

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    Default Best outdoor foot wear for plantar fasciitis?

    Dear Bushcrafters:

    I did some research on the net and did not come up with anything really definitive on this topic. One of the unfortunate issues I have to contend with is plantar fasciitis. That is the inflammation of the tendon at the bottom of your foot. It is painful and has limited my time out in the woods. What I would like to know is the best footwear built for outdoor use that is recommended for someone with this affliction.

    I do notice that shoes or boots with a heel tend to irritate it more than something with a flat sole. I have even contemplated making some heavy mocassins with inserts and a liquid rubber sole. Again, it seems that a flat sole is the least irritating.

    I appreciate any replies. Thanks

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    Try moccasins or something similar to this http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Mobi...vc.aspx/28980M
    "The coward believes he will live forever If he holds back in the battle, But in old age he shall have no peace Though spears have spared his limbs ." - Havamal


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    Something with a flat sole and flexible is the best that you can do from footwear for plantar fasciitis in my experience. You can help alleviate most of the discomfort by spending a few minutes doing some simple exercises to help stretch your plantar facia over time. I do these twice daily, once in the morning and once at night as I'm watching the news. PM me if you would like a few suggestions.

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    I will admit that there is one thing I can do to aleviate the pain.

    LOSE SOME WEIGHT.

    I ballooned out over the past couple of years and gained a good forty pounds. Mid September I did get a cortisone shot in the heel. WOW. DID THAT WAKE ME UP. Not the most pleasant thing in the world. The doctor gave me instructions for stretching my feet before getting up in the morning, of which I do, but it isn't enough now. I hate the thought of going for another shot.

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    I suffered with plantar fasciitis for over 20 years. Every morning my heels felt like I was walking on cracked marbles for hours, and I would just pray for the end of the day so I could take my shoes off and get off my feet. 3 years ago, my wife suggested Keen sandals, as I like to wear sandals almost year round. Well, the pain got worse for about 2 weeks, then one day I woke up and I had less than half my normal pain. I know that sounds weird, but it is true. After that, I realized that my feet were being squeezed in my regular footwear. Now, all I can wear is Keen and Vibram five fingers. I stand all day at work, and I am 265 pounds, so not light. I am 40, and my feet feel better now than when I was 15. If you feel like your shoes are compressing your feet, they probably are. After 3 years, my feet and ankles are stronger, more muscular and 90% pain free. I can walk and hike further than ever before. So, give Keens a try. They will feel weird at first, but they may work. I wish you the best of luck.

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    I suffered from PF for 4 years. Thought I was going to go crazy. Oddly enough the thing that helped me was Crocks. My wife bought a pair of Crocks for Christmas one year. I noticed that when I wore them the PF didn't hurt as bad. Consequently when I was not at work I would always wear my Crocks even though they were ugly Within a few months I noticed that my feet didnt hurt. When I mentioned this to my doctor he said he had heard that from other patients. I don't wear Crocks all the time now but If I notice my feet starting to hurt I will wear them for a week or so and it goes away.

    For Christmas this year my wife gave me a pair of canvas top Crocks that actually look really nice and will make excellent camp shoes. They have the same croslite sole so the effect should be the same. I like them enough that I will probrably wear them most days after work.

    I wore them all day yesterday with no pain at all.

    "We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking."
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    Default Don't rush your recovery.

    I feel your pain bigbore422001.
    A little over 2 years ago I got PF in both feet; first in one, then the other as a compensation injury because I didn't seek treatment early enough.

    In my case, a very aggressive set of arch-supporting orthotics (store-bought New Balance orthotics for PF, not custom orthotics) has helped tremendously. My case was so severe at one point I could not walk (only crawl) and I could not even drive, as moving my foot from the accelerator to the break pedal was painful.

    My recovery has taken so long because I did not want to take it slow. I repeatedly pushed the limits of what I could do in order to speed my recovery and get back to my outdoor passions, but it had the opposite effect. I have suffered at least two major setbacks because of my impatience.

    PF is a slow-healing injury. Many people never fully recover and require orthotics for the rest of their lives. I am likely in that group. I can now, with orthotics in my footwear (even in my slippers at home), go all day without pain, even on pavement. Walking in the bush is actually easier on my feet than walking on hard floors and pavement or concrete, but arch-supporting orthotics are a must for me and whenever I have ventured out without wearing them, I have suffered a minor setback in my recovery - with the pain returning.

    My advice to you is to the following:

    -First, do the various foot flexibility exercises that they recommend. They help.

    -Second get lightweight hiking boots or hiking shoes that have lots of support and line the bottoms with some orthotics that offer aggressive arch support, avoid hard walking surfaces (concrete floors and sidewalks, pavement, etc).
    These are the orthotics I use in all my footwear. I own 3 pairs: http://www.amazon.com/New-Balance-St...459888-8952929 You can find these in stores that specialize in footwear for joggers and runners.
    These are the hiking boots I wear. They are blessedly light, comfortable and give me plenty of support for hiking through dense bush: http://www.garmont.com/outdoor/eng/p...7&prodotto=327

    -Lastly, take it slow. Soft tissue injuries are very slow-healing and they are easily re-injured, causing discouraging setbacks in recovery. Cut your outings short when you start to feel foot pain. This is the hardest thing to do, especially when you're having a good time out there.

    My recovery began in earnest when I finally started doing these things, and I am now, finally, back at the gym, doing cardio on an elliptical trainer, recumbent bike, rowing machine, and I can even do leg squats; all of these were unthinkable only a few months ago. I still can't jog, run on a treadmill, or jump up and down, and I might never be able to do so, but I can now hike for hours at a stretch in the bush and almost as long on paved roads and sidewalks.

    All the best to you in your recovery and hope this helps,
    -Martin
    Last edited by PineMartyn; 12-26-2012 at 10:52 AM. Reason: added links

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    I went through it a third time last year through late summer this year. Don't know why it stopped but Dang that puts the hurt on a guy right quick. People look at you funny when you stand up and you're walking all crazy. I personally did not find relief with different types of shoes. It was only in my left heel this time but suffer is a mild word at times. Hope it gets better.

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    This worked for me:

    1. taping during the day.

    2. splint at night.

    Good luck.

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    There has been a lot of good advice already.


    - Inserts

    This may take a lot of experimentation. If you find an insert that does not work, don't hesitate to take a pair of scissors to it (or thin it in places) to see if you can make it better.

    For hiking boots, I like the Sole inserts and mold them until they feel good (http://www.rei.com/product/721632/so...ds-high-volume).


    - Exercises

    The exercises are the most important things you can do! The inserts address the immediate problem. But to "get better" takes work. I followed a lot of the exercises recommended in this article aimed at people with flat feet and found they helped (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/flat-...#axzz1i5aE5ysO).


    - Go Slow

    Wait for the injury to recover before you start to push. It is a great time to work on your tracking and observation skills when out. Trekking poles may help in the short term. But go slow and keep distances short!


    - Boots

    I now spend a few extra dollars for lightweight boots that are rigid/supportive (Lowa). It seems to work for me. Also, *make sure all of your footwear fits properly*. Make sure you are not wearing shoes that are too large a size.


    This injury is very frustrating and can take a long time to improve. But with work you can make it better to the point where you can pursue the activities you love.

    My $.02

    - Woodsorrel
    Last edited by Woodsorrel; 12-26-2012 at 11:46 AM.

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