The Good Feet stores
Plantar Fasciitis Solutions is not about recommending products, but word of mouth and personal experience requires that I mention the Good Feet Stores. People have asserted that their formula works. I know that some people have tried other orthotics approaches and found them satisfactory, and there even may be some who disagree with my positive assessment of Good Feet.
But here’s that assessment. Good Feet shoe inserts — and actually, some of the shoes I bought there — have helped a great deal, and are my main footwear. Makes my feet feel so much better. Along with plantar-fasciitis-specific stretching exercises, in fact, I think it’s helped my self-cure along greatly. Last week [this is June 2013], I did a lot of hiking and didn’t wind up at the end of the day with a limp, like I was doing last summer. Of course, last summer, I was hiking all day every day, but still. Good Feet is the best thing I’ve found for footwear/orthotics. My plantar fasciitis isn’t cured, but it’s a lot better, and maybe it will keep getting that way. Ultimately a cure? Who knows? But…here’s my Good Feet story.
Plantar fasciitis came at me close to a year ago. However, as I spent the summer walking on my bad heel from daylight to dusk during a May-October mineral exploration field season on rough footing in mountainous terrain, I really place the beginning of my self-cure effort in November.
Good Feet Stores offer one of those more-expensive-than-over-the-counter approaches, but after hundreds of dollars spent on podiatrist visits, I was ready to try something new when my wife read about them in the paper and said, why don’t you try this?
Add to that the recommendation of a friend, Dan D., who said he had gone to Good Feet. “The inserts from Good Feet, I’ve been super happy with those. It was a two-week process of discomfort, but now I live to put those shoes on. I bought regular inserts for every day and inserts for the exercise shoes as well. I minimize my walking time on concrete, strictly trails, limited to under 25 miles a week. That really has done the trick. My plantar fasciitis went away. After three weeks…I’ve not thought about going back to Good Feet or going to a doctor.”
Over a year earlier, he said, he had gone to a specialized walking shoe store and what they gave him was “worthless.”
But…after three weeks? He can’t have had the kind of serious plantar fasciitis I have, I thought as I listened. And he does say that by the sixth day he may notice a cumulative effect of discomfort and take ibuprofen, but not on a regular basis.
Dan says he doesn’t stretch, and stretching is the main recommendation for cure. So I figured, if I stretch as well as trying this program, what can I lose?
The Exercisers are “designed to put the foot into the Ideal Foot position, in which all of the body’s weight is evenly distributed throughout the entire foot, so that no single part of the foot takes on more pressure than it is supposed to,” according to company literature. They’re designed to “exercise the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the feet into a more ideal alignment.” OK.
The Maintainers “are designed to preserve any of the changes your arches go through when you are wearing your ‘Exerciser’ supports,” according to the company. OK again.
But good heavens, each of these pairs of supports cost $299.95. I added 6 pairs of Good Feet cushion insoles to go over the arch supports, total $65.85. And a package of Velcro pads to put in a variety of shoes and on the bottoms of the arch supports to hold support stable in shoe, $24.95. With a “package discount,” it came to $575.70.
Walking out of the store, I had the momentary buyer’s remorse of wondering did I just pay that much for two pairs of arch support insoles, four pieces of what looked to me like plastic? Am I one of those fools stampeded by desperation into going for anything?
Maybe not. First, they take impressions of your feet and fit you with the arch supports that are most appropriate. They give you directions about changing your arch supports, the Exerciser for day to day use and the Maintainer for more athletic activities and longer walking. And they tell you that there will be some discomfort at first, and if it persists, come back for an adjustment. And they tell you that the program should be changing your arches toward what they should be to get out of the plantar fasciitis cycle.
On September 12, after I noticed more discomfort than seemed right, I went back, got new feet impressions to see how the foot was doing. “Your feet have changed, all right, that’s what we’re trying to accomplish,” the lady said, and she gave me new arch supports – supposedly another stage in an adjustment process of some seven stages – that felt more comfortable. No charge!
After going back to the exploration field and running up and down some more mountains into October, I came back to the Good Feet store on November 14 and said I was having discomfort. I got new impressions. The guy gave me a different shape of the Exerciser to accommodate the fact that, he said, my metatarsal arch had moved forward by 2 millimeters from the last measurement. And he gave me a new Maintainer arch support, not a different shape but of different material, stronger and a little less flexible.
Again, it felt better. And again, no charge! I began to see that this year-long program I had bought was buying more than just two sets of arch supports.
But will it work? Is this real science? Will it “cure” my plantar fasciitis? I know I can go in and bother the store for help as much as I want, getting the “adjustment” of new, more comfortable supports free of charge, until next September. I do wear the Good Feet inserts most of the time.
But I intend to keep up the stretching program recommended for plantar fasciitis, using the night splints as much as I can, and wearing shoes with tighter heels and more flexible soles, in the meantime.
This is not a recommendation. Just observations. I’ll continue to report on the process.