She's hoping to lose what feel like moon boots
July 19, 2006 12:43 AM   Subscribe

My friend has Morton's Neuroma but she'd still like some nice looking shoes.

My friend has recently been diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma—specifically, each time the ball of her foot rolls (as in walking) she feels a painful shock shoot up from between her third and fourth toes.

(There's a surgery that can be done, but it doesn't always take, and when it does it often doesn't last for long and needs to be repeated. A friend of hers has had it done and is now going back under the knife for the second or third time.)

With that in mind, she'd like to see how she can do with just good neuroma-friendly shoes.

Right now she's wearing a pair of size 8.5 New Balance 925s. Comfortable, but not the dead-sexiest shoes you've ever seen and not really compatible with business attire. She's hoping there are nicer looking options out there. Basically, what she'd like is normal nice womens leather shoes (not sneakers) but ones that are compatible with the requirements of Morton's Neuroma.

Here's what the shoes would need to have:
  • a stiff bottom (to avoid her foot having to bend at the ball)
  • no heel
  • a wide "box area" for the toes (so the toes aren't all scrunched together and the shoe isn't held on by them)
  • needs to be able to accomodate an orthotic insert (a high-arched insert that has been custom-molded from her foot)
  • the part of the shoe that "holds" the shoe on has to be more towards the ankle, not the toe area

I figured there must be a place out there, some clothing designer that came down with Morton's and decided to make her own shoes...

Any ideas?
posted by blueberry to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What you're really talking about, save for the appearance issues, are shoes similar to Dr. Martens. She might also look at special needs footwear, or orthopedic shoes. If her needs can't be met by manufactured shoes, she might also consider having custom shoes made. PW Minor is a high quality specialty manufacturer of corrective, orthopedic and diabetic footwear, whose products I can recommend.
posted by paulsc at 3:06 AM on July 19, 2006

Have her check out Birkenstocks and Earth Shoes.

They do everything you ask except possibly accommodating the orthotic, and orthotics are very individualized.

I need orthotics and the Earth Shoe that is shaped like a loafer accommodates them fine.

I find that I don't need to used them with Birkenstocks, which have a built in arch support.

No more Manolo Blahniks (not that I ever wore those).
posted by Ilaine at 3:32 AM on July 19, 2006

From a few people's experience (including my own), the best 'foot friendly' shoes are the Mephistos. They are more expensive, but last forever and work magic on your feet.
posted by rootcause at 5:48 AM on July 19, 2006

Zappo's has entire and huge sections of dress and casual shoes that have removeable insoles. Plus, free shipping both ways so if she doesn't like something, it's easy to send back.
posted by mimi at 6:00 AM on July 19, 2006

In general, dress boots should be a great option. They're the only way I can wear my orthotics other than in sneakers. If she can find a pair that is loose enough in the foot area to fit the orthotic, most of the "holding" action as you described will be done by the ankle.

I'd describe something like the Eldidge by Etienne Aigner


the Ride by Via Spiga

Many more options for flat dress boots can be found here and here at She can buy tons of different styles in different sizes, try them on, and return whatever doesn't work (you have 1 year to decide, and they pay the return shipping costs).

Also, try Taryn Rose. They make stylish comfortable dress shoes.
posted by saffron at 6:03 AM on July 19, 2006

Been there. Had the surgery (once, years ago.) Best thing I ever did. I really regret waiting so long to do it.

I never found any dressy shoes that weren't extremely painful, with or without orthotics. Birkenstocks were ok, but who wants to wear those all the time?
posted by free pie at 9:32 AM on July 19, 2006

The shoe style of Dr Martins do not work with my orthotic devices. Also, avoid any shoe with elastic, as this will stretch and make the shoe loose.
posted by dantodd at 9:42 AM on July 19, 2006

I apologize for the chattiness of this comment and if this gets deleted I won't be sad...but with no idea of what the awful illness was, the short version just seemed like such a... song title? Win Ben Stein's Money category? I guess it was the juxtaposition of some unknown ailment and standard need and the information that said ailment was preventing nice shoes. (and the implication that something about the condition prevented not shoes in general, just nice shoes). Immediately I started thinking of various ways something could prevent such a subset (mental condition that causes one to only enjoy beat up or casual things?)

It just seemed so...specific it was like a small drop of surrealism to see it amongst the other questions that my uninformed mind parsed without a second glance.

Again I apologize, but I think finding ways to make your questions amusing, or interesting and the casual wit that is often displayed in those cases is something that really makes metafilter special and I like to encourage stuff like that. Also, I think other mefites will understand what I'm talking about.

posted by Brainy at 9:57 AM on July 19, 2006

There's a surgery that can be done, but it doesn't always take, and when it does it often doesn't last for long and needs to be repeated.

Did the surgeon say this? I believe it is more accurate to say that the surgery is usually successful and does not need to be repeated.
posted by free pie at 11:45 AM on July 19, 2006

My Doc Marten boots would fit this criteria (so I nth them). The soles aren't completely stiff but having the boot go up my ankle reduces movement somehow so that my foot stays flat. The bouncy soles seem to compensate for it so I'm not walking totally weirdly, but my feet really don't bend. I also have solid orthotics that fit into very few shoes and they go wonderfully in my Docs. Which is a life saver really, otherwise I'd be stuck in slippers.

I have black ten holes, dressy when worn with either long pants or a long skirt (ugly with shorts or skirt above the knees), but there are various other lengths and colours. I'm not sure how the shoe versions would work, they wouldn't have the immobilising aspect of the boot.
posted by shelleycat at 6:56 PM on July 19, 2006

Footsmart has exactly what she needs. Their site even has a "shop by specific foot condition" menu.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:16 PM on July 20, 2006

I'd have her try Dansko Professional clogs (pic), or loafers - the support is excellent, the soles for most styles are rigid and flat (thick, but flat), and I accomodate my orthotic by going up one size. They'd never be mistaken for ballerina flats, but that's part of their charm. As someone who has rebelled against the tyranny of ugly orthopedic shoes my entire life, I feel your friend's dilemma in my soul. Here's hoping she finds something great!
posted by deliriouscool at 4:35 AM on July 23, 2006

« Older Continents for dummies   |   Lonely no more Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.