Thursday, November 18, 2010

Superfeet VS Plantar Fasciitis VS EVO Barefoot Shoes

A few months ago (maybe it was 6), I developed Plantar Fasciitis. I went through the usual motions of trying to heal it; less running more biking, swimming, and trying every machine at the gym that i never tried before. I would throw a run in every few days but the Plantar Fasciitis never healed and just became worse. I researched PF online and off and found quite a bit of valuable information out there which included the suggestion by multiple people, online and off, to "get a pair of SUPERFEET!" So, tired of hearing about how I needed a pair of Superfeet, I went and spent the $35(ish) and got me a pair. Superfeet are pretty good if you want to just manage the pain/irritation and be able to run. Superfeet are NOT good at healing your Plantar Fasciitis but they do not claim to be. They claim to alleviate PF.

I followed "the rules" about wearing Superfeet and was able to run again but my Plantar Fasciitis would still yell out to me every once in a while to let me know that it was still there. My foot also just felt weak. I started doing exercises to strengthen the PLANTAR FASCIA and the muscles surrounding it and massages to rehab the tissue (grabbing socks with my toes, toe-raises, using golf balls and tennis balls to massage my foot, etc). Notice in the pic to the right how the Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia are closely related. I went back and revisited the Superfeet website and started to think about what Superfeet were doing and what the exercises were doing... Superfeet provide the support that your busted up Plantar Fascia is not providing. This is good if you plan on having a busted up Plantar Fascia forever but, I do not. I want my Plantar Fascia to feel good and be able to support all 190-ish lbs of me.

After religiously exercising and strengthening my Plantar Fascia and surrounding muscles I decided it was time to give my VIVO BAREFOOT EVO's a try again. Since a major benefit of barefoot running and walking is strengthening your feet and legs, it seemed like a natural progression to curing my PF. I had a pair of the Evo's that I used for training before Plantar Fasciitis showed up to the party but after everyone told me "NEVER GO BAREFOOT" if you have Plantar Fasciitis I decided to give them a rest for a while. I started out (again) conservatively with the Evo's by simply wearing them to work and around town. Within 1 day I noticed a major difference in the Plantar Fasciitis, I could barely feel it! I have tossed my Superfeet aside and haven't used them since. I am back on a training schedule in which I run at least 2x/week in my Evo Barefoot shoes (I am training for the AMERICAN RIVER 50 MILER in April 2011). I also have a separate pair of Evo's that I use almost every day for work and hanging out on the weekends. Watch out though, the Evo's are expensive, $160, OUCH!!! But if you want a great barefoot running/walking/working/hanging out shoe I highly recommend these. Most importantly, I've found that (like training for anything ) you cannot slack on the foot exercises. If I scrap doing the "footwork" for a week+ the PF starts to flair up a little but if I am consistent it is smooth sailing. If you have PF I highly recommend trying this barefoot+exercise+massage route. Remember, YOU DO NOT NEED BAREFOOT SHOES TO RUN (or walk) BAREFOOT! Just make sure you look where you're going. If you would like more details on the exercises please send me an email: undefeatedrunning@gmail.com

Along with the above exercises, I use this ball to massage my foot a couple times a day. It's small and easy to bring with you anywhere. I leave one under my desk at home and have one in my office. They are cheap and you can get 'em here... Support the blog and use one of these links


10 comments:

  1. From shin splints to knee pain treatment, the treatment from podiatrist’s Brunswick Foot Clinic will provides the best foot care for you.
    http://www.melbournepodiatrist.com.au

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  2. hey i am happy to hear the PF is getting better, and I hope to see you at the AR50 2011!. I have been following your blog and I def enjoy reading it. its going to be my first 50 miler. so we'll see how that goes

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  3. Thanks Alex! Good luck with your training... See you in April!

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  4. I've had sort of the same experience, but with achilles tendinopathy (or -itis if you like). I avoided my flat EVO IIs because i thought they would do damage, but then I read up on it, and it seemed rest is not always the best cure. Giving the achilles tendons some massage, warming up, combined with some short runs in minimal shoes did the trick.

    Hope your feet are well.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. you can also try Sole insoles. They really helped support my arch so the my PF could heal fully.

    http://www.yoursole.com/

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  7. Thanks for the information. I also suffer from PF, though I don't run. My PF comes along with normal activities. The Superfeet have helped me a lot. I put them in my hiking boots and the safety shoes I wear for work. However I just bought some Merrell barefoot shoes and I'm glad to hear your experience has been positive. I want to wear these shoes on vacation and was concerned my PF would flare up with them. It sounds like I might be okay.

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  8. Hi, would you mind posting the exercises that helped you strengthening your PF? -Thanks!

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  9. This post provide a great way to get rid off the Plantar Fasciitis without spending lots of money of their treatment. Your post would be the great idea for every sufferer who is looking for affordable and effective Plantar Fasciitis treatment.

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  10. I want to know are Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia both hurt at the same time?? Because in most of the articles almost everyone says these both relates to each other.

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