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Shoe Help for high arches and plantar fasciitis

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    Shoe Help for high arches and plantar fasciitis

    Hey Everyone. I recently found out that I have plantar fasciitis because I was basically oblivious to having high arches and apparently have a weird pain tolerance. Now I need to address this problem because it is causing trouble. My doctor told me that I am going to have to size down all my shoes a whole size or size and a half with the inserts I need. This makes a little sense to me as I bought a really nice pair of Redwings, with inserts, and I dropped in size from a 9.5 to a 8. Unfortunately, this now removes my ability to wear all of my casual shoes and a couple athletic shoes for a long while.

    My question is does any body else have high arches? What do you do for shoes? A scan of the web shoes some very scary shoe for those with high arches?
    What about ordering shoes? Should I just start buying two pairs one at a whole size down and another at a size and half down and return one after I figure out what I want?
    The bright side I get to buy a whole new athletic shoes and casual summer shoes. Any suggestions on what to buy? I like to spend money on boots and trail sneakers not casual shoes, so a little out of my comfort zone. My first thought was boat shoe or mocs as I am spending time on the water this summer. Was thinking of maybe 2-3 shoes to start with but could be convinced to 4 as I live in California and summer shoe are exactable all year long.

    #2
    Wait, you're sizing down to put inserts in? That sounds backwards to me. Usually one sizes up to fit the inserts since its like more stuff to fit inside the shoe. I'm clearly missing something. Anyway, I would suggest just getting the shoes you normally like, but sized appropriately for the inserts you need to wear for your arches. Go really slow until you get it dialed in. Try stuff on in the store if you can. And if you can't, maybe see if you can score some of your favorite brands for cheap on Poshmark just to make sure the new size fits right.

    I have plantar fasciitis too, so I feel your pain there. The conventional wisdom is to get shoes with a lot of cushioning. Like Hokas and boots with wedge soles. Stuff like that. I've increasingly gone that route for my athletic footwear. I have dabbled with barefoot and minimal shoes. I like the idea of freeing the dogs and building up foot strength and all that good stuff. I still try to go as minimal as I can for light activities, and I love a good moc for walks in the woods and that sort of thing. But it just doesn't work for me when I put a pounding on my feet, like running or rucking. So anyway, YMMV and I'm not suggesting to buck your doctor's advise.

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      #3
      tankerjohn Yeah it didn’t make much sense to me either. This was the first time visit with him so I was skeptical. What I did to verify it was take the insert he gave me, and a 12 dollar Dr Scholls brand for plantar fasciitis. They both pull my foot back and up so now toes are a couple inches away from the front and would be considered to big. The up part is what concerns me with down sizing is it might become too tight.
      what do you do for minimal shoes. I definitely want to strengthen my muscles back up.

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        #4
        The first simple step might be to get your feet, with insert, measured on a Brannock device. Plus it's a chance to visit your local orthopedic shoe store who may have some good options for you.

        That's a fairly extreme case of collapsed arches to get that big a difference.

        The change in length does make sense, since the insert is pushing up the middle of the foot. Naturally when you take a flat object and bend it into a curve, the length decreases.

        What you'll have to watch is width. Shoes decrease in length and width as size decreases, but your new foot shape has less length with the same width. With a 1.5 size smaller shoe, you'll likely need to move up a width category.

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          #5
          Originally posted by jvargas View Post
          tankerjohn Yeah it didn’t make much sense to me either. This was the first time visit with him so I was skeptical. What I did to verify it was take the insert he gave me, and a 12 dollar Dr Scholls brand for plantar fasciitis. They both pull my foot back and up so now toes are a couple inches away from the front and would be considered to big. The up part is what concerns me with down sizing is it might become too tight.
          what do you do for minimal shoes. I definitely want to strengthen my muscles back up.
          I got a pair of Five Fingers back when those were cool, but now I really only wear them as water shoes. These days, most of the time I just wear old school, minimally cushioned and low/no heel drop shoes like PF Flyers (Chucks for guys with fat feet) and CDBs. I wear Softstar mocs quite a lot at home. I also have a pair of minimal Keen sandals that they used make. Definitely not Dappered, but they work for me. I used to wear a pair of New Balance Minimus' alot, but I didn't replace them when they wore out. I noticed New Balance still makes a Minimus model, but they market it as a weightlifting shoe, not a running shoe. Funny how fitness fads come and go.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Galcobar View Post
            The first simple step might be to get your feet, with insert, measured on a Brannock device. Plus it's a chance to visit your local orthopedic shoe store who may have some good options for you.

            That's a fairly extreme case of collapsed arches to get that big a difference.

            The change in length does make sense, since the insert is pushing up the middle of the foot. Naturally when you take a flat object and bend it into a curve, the length decreases.

            What you'll have to watch is width. Shoes decrease in length and width as size decreases, but your new foot shape has less length with the same width. With a 1.5 size smaller shoe, you'll likely need to move up a width category.
            Okay, that makes more sense. Good point about going up a width size.

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              #7
              Allen Edmonds 201 last is good.

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                #8
                I have high arches and plantar fasciitis so I feel your pain, literally. Your podiatrist's advice to size down only makes sense if you're in shoes that are too big at present, which I guess could be the case - if your arches are high your instep may also be high (instep is the top of your foot from the ankle to the toes) and maybe you've been buying shoes that are too big to make room for that high instep. The problem with going smaller with an insert is that the insert will make the shoes tighter through the instep.

                Here's the problem I always face and I suspect you will too: If I get the right sized shoes for my feet and they don't have removable insoles, then when I put my inserts in they get to cramped in the instep and forefoot and I just cant wear them. If I size up I get the problem you mentioned - like two inches of shoe sticking out in front of my toes. The main problem there is then the ball of your foot is too far back from the shoe's natural flex point and that can cause problems.

                I recommend getting your feet measured with a brannock device by someone who knows what they're doing - have them measure both your "arch length" and toe length both sitting and standing. If your feet get a lot longer when you stand up, which means your arch is collapsing and pushing your toes forward as your feet flatten out, then that could be another reason you buy shoes that are too big for your feet. The inserts will limit the arch collapse from happening and make shorter shoes fit better.

                Basically what I do is buy shoes with removable footbeds, in the size that is right for my foot. Then I pull out the insert that comes with the shoe and the podiatrist inserts have the room they need without the shoes being too long for my feet. The sucky thing is most heritage shoes, the ones the folks on here drool over - e.g. Allen Edmonds, don't have removable footbeds so they are unfortunately out. Some Goodyear welted shoes do come with removable footbeds but mostly they're in the more casual workboot style - Chippewa Engineering Boots, maybe Redwings (I have not been willing to spring for those) definitely Thorogood (Union made in America but much cheaper than Redwings) rather than dress or dress casual styles.

                Most of my dress shoes are from the not-drool-worthy Johnston and Murphy. They have a few lines that look fine and have removable footbeds. They're not goodyear welted so cannot be re-soled but honestly the percentage of people that even know the difference between glued together and classic goodyear welted shoes these days is vanishingly small and getting smaller by the day. I'm guessing Florsheim may make some "comfort" lines with removable footbeds, and Ecco definitely does. None of those brands are considered stylish here at Dappered but they look fine and I'd rather look OK to 99% of the population and have my feet feel OK than please the few people who know what they're looking at when they see a real goodyear welted shoe and live with pain.
                “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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