Plantar Fasciitis and Cute Shoes- Is it possible?

#1
Hi All-

I'm new to the boards, but have been lurking F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Because of all of the knowledgeable members/discussions here, I have diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis, which has been confirmed by a podiatrist. Had it not been for everyone here, I would never have thought that what I was experiencing was a "real" condition that is treatable. So thank you!

My podiatrist has given me inserts for my shoes (along with recommended stretches and ice/massage) as my treatment. I have to say, the inserts have helped tremendously, but the problem is they only really work in athletic shoes. It's summer- I want to wear flip-flops (I know, I know, really, REALLY bad) and sandals. Shoes with socks are incredibly hot, plus there are only so many things that athletic shoes look good with....like workout clothes and not much else (at least not much else in my closet). What have all of you with plantar fasciitis done for "cute" shoes? I'm looking for any and all suggestions- sandals for summer, loafer type shoes for when the weather turns colder, and maybe even stylish boots. Is it possible to have plantar fasciitis and cute shoes? Please tell me yes.
 
#2
Hi FitWit:

I am a fellow lurker as well. I too have gained much knowledge from the people here. I have also been suffering from the same thing. I self-diagnosed as well, and have had success with shoe inserts. I do put them in my flats, etc. But I also recently found some sandals that are Chaco brand that have good arch support. I think the web site even says they are designed for this foot problem? They are expensive, but I was able to find them at a discount store called Gabriel Brothers at a REALLY discounted price. I don't know what part of the country you are in (I'm in Ohio), so I don't know if that store is available to you? I have the flip flop type of these and they have good arch support. I had to stretch the top out on them a bit before they were comfortable, but I am not that used to wearing in-between the toe sandals. But the arch support is nice. You can check out their web site if you google chaco shoes.

I also put my arch supports in my boots. I found it also helps if you put the inserts under the foam insert that is already in the shoe (if your shoes have them). I never realized that in a lot of my shoes the inserts in them could be pulled up and put back down over the supports.

HTH
 
#3
Absolutely! My podiatrist told me I would never wear sandals and I just looked at him like "yea, right" HOWEVER, while you are in the midst of treatment, you may just have to wait. Once the pain is gone, experiment.

Merrell has wonderfully comfortable and fairly cute sandals, even when my PF flares up.

Skechers, believe it or not, but moreso when things are going pretty well.

Born has some good ones, but not all of them are.

Something that I do with my shoes/sandals that don't have the support...instead of an insert, I cut a small square of moleskin and place on the shoe that is where the back part of my arch hits...works wonders...my dad told me that idea and I didn't believe it, but it works like a charm.

Again, though, use the ice, the towel exercises, I use/d a splint at night, whatever else to get rid of your PF initially.
 
#4
Cute sandals that are good for your feet and easy on PF can be found!

Brands to look for: Born, Merrell, Clarks, Naot, Donald Pliner, Nuture, Sofft.... just to name a few.

All of these have great arch support and cushioned insoles. Good luck with getting rid of the PF. I've had it in the past, but managed to kick it.
 
#5
Yep, what JeanneMarie said--you just have to be willing to shell out the money.

I'm actually getting cortisone shots in a few weeks, mine has gotten so bad. :( I don't think the shots are fun, but they're supposed to make a world of difference.
 
#6
Yes definitely! The best thing is to make sure the heel height is in the neighborhood of 1 to 1 1/2 inches, if you plan to wear something all day. Kitten heels work great for me. I can't remember where I first read that, but it has worked well in my case. The heel being higher than the toe takes pressure off the fascia. Never, ever wear a shoe that is totally FLAT. I can't wear flats, they kill me and cause a flareup. I do have some flip flops that work well for me - they are Crocs and didn't cost that much - the heel is definitely higher than the toe though. But, sorry to say it, but I never wear them all day, only for a short period. Flip flops force you to "grab and pull" with your toes in an un-natural way, and that is just not good for your feet. I have been stretching and strengthening my feet for years now and am mainly pain-free. Also be sure to stretch your calf muscles. I am not in the medical field so disclaimer here. HTH!
 
#7
For me personally, I gave up on the cuter shoes until the problem had subsided somewhat, then tried different shoes to see what worked. The shoes that work for me are sketchers (I can put my inserts in them), Clark privos, and Keen sandals (great arch support, not really "cute" though, more rugged looking.)

I thought my PF was flaring up a few weeks ago, and since I want my feet in tip top condition for the Road Trip in a couple of weeks, I have been wearing my sneakers and orthotics constantly. I don't look too fashionable, but my feet are very happy. I suffered through last year's RT with PF, and I am determined not to do it again.

Good luck!
 
#8
Yep, what JeanneMarie said--you just have to be willing to shell out the money.

I'm actually getting cortisone shots in a few weeks, mine has gotten so bad. :( I don't think the shots are fun, but they're supposed to make a world of difference.
Laura, are you getting the shots before or after the RT? Last year my doc offered them, but only AFTER the RT. He was concerned that they would mask the pain too much and that I might injure myself even worse because of it. I ended up waiting a while and luckily the pain eventually subsided without the shots.

Hope everyone's feet are feeling better soon!!!
 
#9
I recently received a catalogue in the mail from a company called Footsmart. They have a website too. They have some sandals and sneakers, inserts, arch supports, night braces and stuff for plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions. Check it out and request a catalogue too.
 
#10
Thanks for all of the great suggestions everyone. It sort of sounds like I have to tough it out with ugly shoes for now to the situation resolves, and then I need to treat my feet better. No more $5 flip flops for me. At least this gives me a reason to shop. ;)
 
#11
I Feel your pain! I had PF right before my BIG Europe trip and this is how I got rid of it in about 4 months, but I was diligent with every single step. Support the arch!! I can't stress that enough. I tried to use Vibrams. They are pretty good, but they take time to break into. You cant go right into workouts involving a lot of impact on them. Your feet will need time to get used to them. I just tried a pair of hokas at the Asics https://bestoutdooritems.com/best-asics-shoes-for-plantar-fasciitis/ They do feel cushy, and a bit clunky. I believe the guys said it's a 4mm drop, so similar to the Kinvaras. I think they might help but are certainly not a solution. Also, they are quite pricey so it is a bit of an investment. Yesterday on YouTube I came across an interesting video. Check out, I hope it helps. Good luck.
 
#12
My chiropractor taught me to massage the bottom of my foot with a tennis ball. Which reminds me. I need to go do that. So, by massaging my foot, I can wear most tennis shoes without pain. I also foam roll my legs, but I don't know if that has anything to do with my recovery.

Boy, am I glad I was reminded!
 
#13
I don't have plantar fasciitis but I have 2 plates and 12 screws in each of my heels, so I have had to make a lot of changes to my footwear similar to what someone with PF would have to do. For me, I live primarily in tennis shoes. I have tried a lot of different tennis shoes but have found Hoka One Ones the most comfortable. I can wear sandals (no heel) in the summer but I had to go to a special store for people with foot problems that fitted me for them and made alterations. And they were very expensive. I also cannot walk in them for long periods of time or I suffer. But I wear them when my husband and I grocery shop and have no problems. I also have low heel dress shoes I found in Footsmart catalogue. I reserve those for when I have to dress up in the fall or winter and cannot wear them for very long or they cripple me.

**I'm adding that for being on my feet long periods or lots of walking--yes, cute shoes are a thing of the past. I have to wear tennis shoes. But I can wear special (and expensive) pretty sandals as long as I am not on my feet for hours on end w/ no or few breaks to sit.
 
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#14
PLEASE: stop wearing flip flops. They are perfectly dreadful for feet: no support whatsoever and since you have PF --a condition that can flare up again in the future-- and you want to look after your feet to ensure they will work for you on your desired athletic endeavours for the forseeable future, you need to start looking after your feet now.

Throw the flip flops and anything completely flat --like Gladiator sandals-- in the trash now.

There is no reason to believe that wearing a shoe that is comfortable means you will never be stylish again. That is hogwash. Jeannemarie quoted you a bunch of brands that make fab shoes, boots and sandals that are both good to your feet and cute. Unless you want to torture your feet in stilettos?

Add to Jeannemarie's list the brands Dansko, Taos and Naot. My feet are trashed, I wear an orthotic in my athletic shoes all the time. But, Danskos are like wearing pillows. I wear Dansko sandals all year round about the house in lieu of slippers because, yep! slippers have no support for feet. My feet have little to no natural cushioning left, but I still want to do high intensity, impact workouts so I baby my feet with Danskos and wear my orthotic the rest of the time in my Asics sneakers.

I just bought these for my daughter's wedding and I will wear them all summer. The footbeds are unbelivable. And no, I don't think they lack in the cuteness stakes.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HHD2XAW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Clare
 
#15
I should preface this by saying I don't care about cute shoes but I do care about foot health. I've had a few runs of plantar fasciitis and find that and over the counter inserts work really well and in fact my shoes fit better, especially my hiking boots. Of course in the summer I like to wear a sandal and the Keens offer plenty of support and they have many styles. One that I haven't tried but would like to is the brand Vionic. For those who need cute shoes I think they may have some of those with full support.
 
#16
I wasn't sure why I was getting notifications on this thread until I saw that I had commented...9 years ago! Since writing the comment above, my PF has been gone for years. My feet still aren't great, and neither are my ankles, but I can't wear any of the brands that I listed back then.

Now my go-to brand is Birkenstock. They work great for my high arches, and I do well with a stiffer sole. They have some cute styles, and I wear some of the uglier ones around the house instead of slippers. It has really made a huge difference for me. In some ways they are more comfortable than my custom orthotics.
 
#17
Hi All-

I'm new to the boards, but have been lurking F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Because of all of the knowledgeable members/discussions here, I have diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis, which has been confirmed by a podiatrist. Had it not been for everyone here, I would never have thought that what I was experiencing was a "real" condition that is treatable. So thank you!

My podiatrist has given me inserts for my shoes (along with recommended stretches and ice/massage) as my treatment. I have to say, the inserts have helped tremendously, but the problem is they only really work in athletic shoes. It's summer- I want to wear flip-flops (I know, I know, really, REALLY bad) and sandals. Shoes with socks are incredibly hot, plus there are only so many things that athletic shoes look good with....like workout clothes and not much else (at least not much else in my closet). What have all of you with plantar fasciitis done for "cute" shoes? I'm looking for any and all suggestions- sandals for summer, loafer type shoes for when the weather turns colder, and maybe even stylish boots. Is it possible to have plantar fasciitis and cute shoes? Please tell me yes.
Um, well, for me after my foot healed, and it was a long time, i can wear flip flops that have lots of cushioning. I only wear cute shoes to church on sunday, so that is a very short time. I can't go barefoot. Have to have something on my feet. I had custom orthotics made probably 25 yrs ago and that helped mine tremendously. I still wear orthotics in my shoes, or my feet will start hurting again. So, not sure I answered your question, but I do know how you feel.
 
#18
PLEASE: stop wearing flip flops. They are perfectly dreadful for feet: no support whatsoever and since you have PF --a condition that can flare up again in the future-- and you want to look after your feet to ensure they will work for you on your desired athletic endeavours for the forseeable future, you need to start looking after your feet now.

Throw the flip flops and anything completely flat --like Gladiator sandals-- in the trash now.

There is no reason to believe that wearing a shoe that is comfortable means you will never be stylish again. That is hogwash. Jeannemarie quoted you a bunch of brands that make fab shoes, boots and sandals that are both good to your feet and cute. Unless you want to torture your feet in stilettos?

Add to Jeannemarie's list the brands Dansko, Taos and Naot. My feet are trashed, I wear an orthotic in my athletic shoes all the time. But, Danskos are like wearing pillows. I wear Dansko sandals all year round about the house in lieu of slippers because, yep! slippers have no support for feet. My feet have little to no natural cushioning left, but I still want to do high intensity, impact workouts so I baby my feet with Danskos and wear my orthotic the rest of the time in my Asics sneakers.

I just bought these for my daughter's wedding and I will wear them all summer. The footbeds are unbelivable. And no, I don't think they lack in the cuteness stakes.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HHD2XAW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Clare
Those are cute shoes!
 
#19
Wow, I didn't know this thread was so old, until Jodi mentioned it! I first got PF about 4 years ago, and got orthotics ($350!!!), that worked, and night leg braces that were too hot to wear(so they came off at night). Barefoot in the house was awful, and I don't wear shoes in the house, so, I got Chaco flip flops, and they are so comfortable. I even wear them in the winter with socks. My sandals of choice are chacos(I thimk they are Z/1 style). or Abeos sandals (they have a lot of styles). I've found that Keen, and Privos don't have enough support and my feet hurt after just a few minutes of wearing them. Also, I have a pair of Abeo clogs, and a pair of Abeo ankle boots. A few months ago, one of my sisters asked me how my PF was doing, and I stopped and had to think a moment whether I even had it anymore! It's those Chacos and Abeos that have helped me, along with inserts in my atheletic shoes! Just 2 weeks ago, and cleaned out my shoe closet, and basically got rid of everything else! The Danskos that are even wore for so long, were no longer comfortable...
 

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