When your feet hurt, you hurt all over...
February 16, 2013 4:55 AM   Subscribe

I have fibromyalgia and it makes the bottoms of my feet ache, especially my arches. I'm a teacher, so sitting down is not an option. My feet are bothering me so much that I've almost reached the point where I'd buy these.

If I still lived in Canada I'd know exactly where to go and what brands to look for. However, I'm in the UK and American brands are hard to find. I'd like to go to a shop and try the shoes. I'm not bothered by style at this point as I'm absolutely desperate for comfort and 'investment' type shoes are fine. I have several pairs of Rockports, Clarks, and Hush Puppies that are great when I'm feeling fine, but they don't cut when my fibromyalgia flares up (the last two weeks I've worn slightly more dressier sport sandals which has raised a few eyebrows). Trainers/runners are the best, but I can't wear them to work. Suggestions?
posted by CdnMathTeacher to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'll take a bit of a different tack here. You say that "trainers/runners are best.." but you can't wear them to work. I'm assuming that you "can't wear them" because, for some reason, they aren't allowed?

Could you get a RX from a physician stating that you NEED to wear certain shoes for medical reasons? Here in the States that would pretty much be a done deal under the ADA.
posted by HuronBob at 5:00 AM on February 16, 2013 [5 favorites]

I'm a teacher and I swear by my Danskos.
posted by bquarters at 5:37 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Never had a pair, but Scholl shoes are the archetypal comfort shoes in the UK. Not always the best looking, but might be worth a look. I'm sure they used to have high street stores but can't see any sign of that on the website. More info here.
posted by penguin pie at 6:15 AM on February 16, 2013

Heh you just used my go-to brand as your bad example! Seriously though, those shoes are hideous but softspots has a lot of much cuter styles and they are soooo comfy. If they're an option in the UK I would urge you to reconsider!
posted by brilliantine at 6:53 AM on February 16, 2013

Would looser shoes & good inserts help? I hurt my ankle & foot a while back & was having a devil of a time with my feet until I put in both a padded sole & a support specifically designed for planar fasciitis which I had NO idea I migh have until I helped a friend with similar pain through a doc appt.

&, if you know those LOVELY shoes you linked will work, can you have a friend send you some?
posted by tilde at 6:57 AM on February 16, 2013

In addition to getting better shoes, could you sit on a stool or on the edge of your desk sometimes, to give your feet a break?
Or buy a couple of squishy anti-fatigue mats and place them in whichever spots you stand the longest?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:29 AM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

Orthotics inserts are also a good way to go. If you can afford to get your feet looked at by a specialist and have your foot fitted for them, you can put them in almost any style of shoe - even the ones you already own. I also have fibromyalgia, among other things, and having inserts has helped me greatly! It was worth the money (and it was a lot of money) we paid for them.
posted by patheral at 9:09 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've had great success with gelsole inserts. Have you tried those?
posted by raisingsand at 9:25 AM on February 16, 2013

If it is the garish colors of running shoes that cause raised eyebrows, try getting the blackest pair you can find, then use a Sharpies to cover the remaining colors.
posted by Cranberry at 10:10 AM on February 16, 2013

I run around in a hospital/ stand in an operating room for upwards of 12 hours per day and I wear Danskos. They are better than my running shoes in terms of comfort, though they do take some breaking in. I got mary-jane style Danskos . . . still kind of ugly compared to normal dress shoes, but they pass for dressy/professional well enough- more so than the more familiar clog style.

I guess you might not be allowed to wear them, but lots of surgeons/ nurses I know wear Calzuros and I'm thinking of getting a pair of those next. Danskos are pretty good but are on the heavy (and expensive) side.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 10:40 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was having some serious pain in my arches when I walked more than a few blocks (and then the whole day after).

I got these and the problem cleared right up. My next set of shoes is the brand Clarks (specifically the "Wave" line) and they've been awesome without the inserts. I'm certain you can find a few styles that will work for you.
posted by VTX at 12:59 PM on February 16, 2013

As a fellow Fibromyalgia suffer (diagnosed 1990) I have experienced the arch pain of which you speak. I consulted my go to book The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook for Fibro pain and aches. I highly recommend this book to people suffering from Fibromyalgia. I am able to treat most of my aches and pains myself by using the guides and graphics in this book.

The pain in the arch of your foot may be referred pain from the gastrocnemius muscle (calf muscle) has two heads that attach to the lower end of the femur just above the back of the knee. Halfway down the back of the lower leg, the muscle joins the Achilles tendon, which then attaches to the heel bone. Ironically, signs of gastrocnemius trouble may only be felt in the feet. The logic of referred pain is evidently to make you hurt where you're most likely to pay attention and stop whatever activity is causing the muscle abuse.

The book has a graphic depicting the area recommended for massage of the calf muscle. It is hard for me to explain the correct area. If you do a google search on the title of the book, some torrent sites are showing a pdf version. Proper massage of the gastrocnemius muscle stopped my pain.
posted by JujuB at 1:21 PM on February 16, 2013

Nthing orthotic inserts. I recently had an appointment with an orthopedist who recommended Powersteps for arch support. It's too early for me to tell if they're doing anything, but they're comfortable enough. I've also heard good things about Superfeet.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:00 PM on February 16, 2013

Danskos might work for some people, but not for me. It was an expensive gamble that didn't pay off. I also tried a pair of Crocs, but they weren't much better. I wish I could tell you that I found something that works for me (I stand all day at work too), but I'm right there in your uncomfortable shoes with you.
posted by MsVader at 10:51 PM on February 16, 2013

I had been having sore feet for months so a few months ago I bought a pair of Merrell Chameleons. They are just as comfy as my (ugly-ass) Crocs, but the leather is two colors of dark brown so I can wear them to the office everyday. Good luck: sore feet are a drag.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:05 AM on February 17, 2013

Thanks for all the great responses. Any suggestions for shoes available in the UK at a high street shop? I'd love to get some of the nicer softspots, but they're not available at any brick and mortar shops.
posted by CdnMathTeacher at 9:54 AM on February 17, 2013

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