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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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