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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>let me start by saying i'm not an ultra runner,  the longest i've run is a half marathon, several of them.  i have been sidelined for 12 weeks with plantar fasciitis and thru it, have been reading some ultra running blogs that deal with foot issues like mine...it stands to reason that ultra runners would not only experience this horrid problem, but would not settle for being sidelined forever with it and would therefore, find a solution! </p>
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<p>i have been in hard custom orthotics for years.  wondering how many of you use hard orthotics?  i have an insanely high arch so i need arch support but have stripped away most everything i knew to be 'well and good' in my shoe since i got this crap and it seems to be helping. (gone is the built up running shoe and thick socks).  I have a more minimalist shoe now and still experience arch pain and now i'm wondering if it isn't the stupid hard orthotic i've worn for years...my foot is just rebeling against it now.  the thing is made of hard plastic in the heel cup and arch and then a more flexible material from the forefoot on.  every footstrike is hitting against that rigid, hard plastic stuff...how can this be good?  why do podiatrists prescribe these things and then, when PF hits, stress that you can not think of removing them.  i feel like i need a 12-step program for orthotic withdrawl.</p>
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<p>can anyone suggest a soft orthotic with arch support?  how do you all make it thru the training and racing that ultra running demands?  i have ultra-respect for you peeps!</p>
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<p>thank you  for any words of wisdom on hard vs. soft  orthotics.</p>
 

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<p>I too had PF for years, until it finally stopped my running.  Hard custom orthotics, big shoes, all the stuff you're supposed to do (my wife is a PT).  Nothing helped.</p>
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<p>I finally threw it all out, bought some Vibram FiveFingers and started walking, then running, barefoot.  Now I run 5-10 miles a week in VFFs, run most of my runs in more minimal shoes (Crosslites, NB MT100s, various Inov-8 models, etc).</p>
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<p>PF hasn't been back in 3+ years, mileage has tripled.  YMMV, but it cured me.</p>
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<p>  - Chris</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>i suppose every PF case has a different cause but i really can't figure out why doctors continue to tell PF sufferers to pad it up...more insole, more orthotic. ....never take your shoes off...i have found that the more i 'strip away, the better the foot has felt.  my daughters crocs have been a Godsend for daily walking.  i tried the vibrams but a previously broken crooked baby toe stops me from fitting properly in them.</p>
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<p>bought my first pair of injinii 'toe socks' but hope to be out of socks before long which would greatly help  my transition times.</p>
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<p>i am doing alot of ankle and foot strengthening stuff now.  my feet are an atrophied mess after 10 years of running in super cushioned "neutral' shoes with orthotics. </p>
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<p>YMMV? </p>
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<p>thanks for your input Chris, glad to hear a success story.</p>
 

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<p>Hard plastic orthotics cured a chronic achilles problem that I had had for years - maybe I got lucky with my podiatrist, but I wear them all the time in all running shoes.</p>
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<p>That being said, I have switched to the more minimalist NB MT100, which work well for me, I trimmed my orthotics to fit, and have found that the more minimalist shoe has virtually eliminated ankle rolls, and I feel more confident on technical trails - especially going down hill. I have run up to 50 with this combination of shoe and orthotic. I suspect I would need to switch to a more cushioned shoe at some point if I were running a 100 though</p>
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<p>To back up Chris' view, I have taken to running once or twice a week barefoot - my theory is that is like a strength workout for my feet. Probably no more than a mile total/week - I do a lap or two of the parking lot after my normal trail run.</p>
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<p>YMMV=Your Mileage May Vary</p>
 

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<p>I use SOLE heat moldable ones and it seems to help some. Getting regular myofascial release or cross friction massage on my feet helps the most. good luck!</p>
 

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<p>the theory behind wearing no or less shoes is that, just like the rest of our bodies are made up of tendons, ligaments and muscles that can be strengthened, our feet are as well. putting a hard plastic orthotic on is akin to going to the doctor and saying, "doc, my leg muscles are in pain and it's difficult of me to walk up the stairs." and having him respond, "well, we'll just put a cast on it for support until you feel better."</p>
<p>he wouldn't do that. he'd tell you to get your fanny to the gym and strengthen those legs. essentially an orthotic is a cast, in that it immobilizes your foot. since i have never had PF, i am sorry i cannot recommend a new product to you, but i can encourage you to add some barefoot walking, then some barefoot running into your program. also, slowly ditch any high heeled or supportive every day shoes that you may be wearing in favor of flat, flexible and wide enough to allow your toes freedom.</p>
<p>the "biggest" shoe i wear while running ultras is cross country flats, after a couple of painful years of running in stability shoes i have run pain free for 15 months after learning to run barefoot. despite what docs and running shoe companies tell us, i have a personal belief that flat feet, high arches, over/underpronating is not bad... just different.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.runblogger.com/2010/07/pronation-control-paradgim-is-starting.html" target="_blank">here is a quick read</a> about a recent study done by british researchers and Nike, debunking what they had always preached about shoe categories and fit. it is revolutionary stuff for nike to admit they were wrong... someday soon running shoes as we know them will probably be a thing of the past.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>thanks Merigayle, i will look at those.  i just bought an inexpensive softsole insert with arch support, they fit well in these shoes.</p>
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<p>and shellerz -- thank you for that excellent link.  i love runblogger and his shoe obsession.  he is speaking to me!! </p>
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<p>my foot is injured to the point where i am stuck between needing some sort of cushion to prevent further damage and needing minimal cushioning to begin strengthening the whole structure.  it seems i'm stuck in neutral but believe i'm at least on the right path to recovering from the marshmallow running shoe syndrome.</p>
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<p>as far as that article goes -- nike is the forerunner of the bigger companies in getting this word out and being accountable.  i am betting Reebok is out of business before this is all over, they are so behind and continue to come out with terrible puffy gimmicks that are downright dangerous! </p>
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<p>As a former PF sufferer, I would just add one caveat.... don't start doing anything barefoot / minimalist while the pain is there.  It will (at least in my case) only prolong it or make it worse.  What worked for me was to stop running completely for a few weeks (last summer was spent mostly on the bike), then pick up slowly with barefoot / VFF running and walking.  Now, I'm beyond last spring's mileage with no pain at all.</p>
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<p>Hope this helps.  Good luck.  I know it's painful!</p>
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<p>Steve</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>swallen1</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69053/orthotic-advice#post_1926526"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>As a former PF sufferer, I would just add one caveat.... don't start doing anything barefoot / minimalist while the pain is there.  It will (at least in my case) only prolong it or make it worse.  What worked for me was to stop running completely for a few weeks (last summer was spent mostly on the bike), then pick up slowly with barefoot / VFF running and walking.  Now, I'm beyond last spring's mileage with no pain at all.</p>
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<p>Hope this helps.  Good luck.  I know it's painful!</p>
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<p>Steve</p>
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<p>Yes, this is totally true!  I should add that I *never* did barefoot stuff when there was pain, and if pain started, I stopped immediately.  Also, ramp up mileage really really slowly.  I took me nearly a year to get to one mile... progressing from walking to walk/run, then to running.<br>
 </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cgerber</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69053/orthotic-advice#post_1926612"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><p> </p>
<p>Yes, this is totally true!  I should add that I *never* did barefoot stuff when there was pain, and if pain started, I stopped immediately.  Also, ramp up mileage really really slowly.  I took me nearly a year to get to one mile... progressing from walking to walk/run, then to running.<br>
 </p>
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<p>I agree, too.  Starting doing anything barefoot or minimalist-related while injured will only result in further injury.  Patience is absolutely mandatory.  Also, be aware of your body.  If you feel any pain, stop.  That's a tricky one... we're used to running through pain.  The trick is to differentiate between maladaptive "injury" pain and the normal pain we suffer running really, really far.<br>
 </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>thanks for your input everyone....i am not a 'barefoot' runner by any means.  will wear the VFF for walking around, strengthening only.  i am very conscious of pain..good advice though because i have a strong feeling that PF will just never ever leave you alone unless you abstain from running for the required healing time....it just drags on.</p>
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<p>maybe this should have been in med tent,  but thank you to all you extreme runners. </p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>How about a different evaluation from a different orthopedic for orthotics.  Im not very keen on wearing orthotics either but having a LLD issue puts me in orthos.  One leg a bit shorter than the other.  Although I would like to someday believe I can get away from having to wear them.  After reading Born to Run some time ago I've had this thought of giving up on the orthos, but being an inch different from one leg to the other...not sure.  I have also had success wearing Montrail Insoles, they are much more comfortable than wearing hard plastic. </p>
<p>There is way to much science in sneakers. </p>
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<p>Good luck with you feet</p>
 
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