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Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

Unhappy Feet

Hmm. Just back from a podiatrist. It turns out that the reason my verruca didn't go away when I put verruca-ridding stuff on it was because it's a corn. That also explains why I couldn't figure out where I picked it up: it's a pressure-related problem, not a virus-related one.

But then came the bigger whammy. The man looked at my unusually-high arches (oft-commented upon by friends but never before mentioned by the medical profession), checked out the uneven wear on the soles of my shoes, and diagnosed a case of super-pronation.

He asked me whether I have achy feet in the mornings (check) and maybe back problems (check) and said I might want to look into getting myself a set of orthotic insoles.

It didn't click at the time, but I'm wondering if this might also go some way to explaining the foot problems I had at the beginning of the year -- the ones pushed out of my and the physiotherapist's mind after my snowboarding injury did more pressing things to my knee. At the time, my GP said my foot X-ray showed rather unusual wear, and that would be consistent with what this podiatrist just said.

So. I now have a sore toe that's been carved about a bit, a desire to get some new walking shoes soon, and the idea to go back after Christmas (when the orthotics lab he uses will be open again) and get myself fitted up, as it were.

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Having had many orthotics for over pronation in my time, I recommend Superfeet as the best high-street version. They are far far superior to any custom ones I ever had made at the hospital either, but I must confess I haven't had any proper ones since about 199something so they may have improved. They used to be made of a lightweight resin with a stuck on leather (or fake leather) cover which had glue that melted and caused the cover to slip and ruckle and become intensely uncomfortable after a while.

They all have the problem that they make your feet stick out of shoes more, which is why I usually wear boots - although even there you end up with problems of your feet pressing against the top of the shoe too much.

If you have Caterpillar/DM boots then taking the original sole out and putting a set of green Superfeet in them is absolutely by far the most comfortable setup I've ever found. DMs and suits don't work so well for girls, so I have no such comfort in the working day but look forward greatly to weekends *&)

'stability' or 'motion control' are the labels to look for on trainers too btw!

Oooh, excellent -- I thought I was going to have to wait to ask my friend Hal about this stuff... Thanks for all the info!

So, like, how do you know which ones to buy? Do you have to get a "prescription" first? Did it take you long to get used to the feeling of having them in?

I usually wear actual walking shoes for most of my walking (although I'm guessing the elderlyness of the current pair, which I've been thinking about replacing every time I put them on for about the last three months, might have something to do with this corn.) I'm sure I'll be able to find something with enough headroom for orthotics. (I find Cat boots too heavy and DMs too narrow.)

At work I'm normally found in Hush Puppies, which might have enough room...

Prescription ones are likely to be custom made I suspect still, I doubt it has changed that much, so full on take-a-cast-of-your-feet territory. The superfeet etc are not medical really and the different flavours (green, blue and erm another one) only indicate how industrial strength they are (and thus how fat). I have some blue ones for work shoes that are too shallow to cope with the green ones. They're about 30 quid a pair but they outlast shoes by a long way (I've never had a pair wear out yet).

Ta. I shall see how I get on. I think I'll leave it until after I've had another session with t'foot bloke before I decide what to buy/whether to go for custom ones, but it's good to know that I may have some options that won't break the bank. I'm guessing that the blue things that Hal usually has in her work shoes are the blue superfeet...

In the meantime, I went and bought a new pair of walking shoes today, on the grounds that the old ones had reached the stage of "knackered" about two months ago, so that might have had something to do with me developing a corn for the first time. Oh, and on the grounds that the Millets over the road were having a half-price sale and had some waterproof Peter Storms in that look like they'll be good for the winter. I keep on having to fall back on less-good-but-at-least-not-still-soaking-wet-from-yesterday shoes recently. Ugh.

And come to think of it, although I was thinking "those Salomans didn't last long", when I stop to work it out I must have done somewhere around one and a half thousand miles in them, so I don't suppose I can complain too much. Bloody hell.

Green Superfeet are fab. They added half as much again to the cost of my hiking boots but it was so worth it.

For work shoes, I tend to wear Mephisto. They do some surprisingly smart shoes so long as you go somewhere with the full range (e.g. try the Denman Street shop next time you're in London). The price can cause a sharp intake of breath but they last ages and are so comfortable.

Maybe we can arrange to cancel each other out - I have the opposite issue...

I got an excellent custom fitting of New Balance trainers when I was in Vancouver (not sure if they do the same thing here), the shoes had 'roll cages' to stabilise the foot and stop it going the way it goes. According to this you want a cushioned sole, but probably best to get some advice.

I also got some good advice and my current insoles at the local Ecco-stocking shoe shop. I wear them with lace-up walking shoes and have no problems with them for fit.

Agreed with Perdita that 199x was not a good time - nor indeed were the 80s, when the ones I had sported metal plates that destroyed the inside of the shoes.

Hey but did you get to walk on a treadmill with crosses on your knees in permanent marker while your legs were filmed for training purposes for medical students?

I am strangely inspired by the thought that somewhere in the world someone might be watching my knees right now. *&)

He did threaten me briefly with a treadmill, but I didn't warrant filmstar status, apparently ;)

Excellent. I'm feeling some nice community spirit now all the other people with wonky feet are 'fessing up :)

I shall be seeing what podiatrist bloke has to say first, as I can probably get work to pay for the consultation, at least.

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