Practice English Speaking&Listening with: General Rules for Purchasing a Shoe When You Have Plantar Fasciitis

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Bob and Brad

The two most famous

Physical therapists

On the internet

- Hi, folks. I'm Bob Schrupp, Physical Therapist.

- Brad Heineck, Physical Therapist.

- And we are the most famous physical therapists

on the internet.

- In our own opinion, of course, Bob.

- If you wandered upon this video, it's a video

that's part of a series of videos on plantar fasciitis.

Go to for the entire series.

This one is called general rules for purchasing a shoe

when you have plantar fasciitis.

So number one.

You're going to want to determine your arch

when you want to buy a shoe,

and we actually did a video on how to do that,

and it's called types of shoes you should wear

with plantar fasciitis.

Watch that video.

It'll show you what type of arch you have,

cause you want to match your arch to the shoe

that you're buying.

- Right.

- Okay, number two.

Shoes should be immediately comfortable.

You were just talking about this, Brad.

That the salesperson was trying to kind of convince you--

- Right, I put a shoe on.

Everything was good about it, but I've got a wide foot,

and he did his little squeeze test,

and he said, "Eh, that feels okay."

I said, "It feels a little tight."

And he says, "Well, I think that'll break in."

And I said, "I'm not buying it. I need another pair."

He didn't argue. (laughing) He knew I was confident.

Get what you want.

It should feel good.

- It should feel immediately comfortable.

There should be no breaking in.

If you need arch supports inserts,

you should put those in right away into the shoe.

- Right.

- If the shoe doesn't have it,

but we're hoping that you buy one that does have it,

so you don't have to deal with that even.

- Exactly.

- Number three.

When you go shopping shopping for shoes,

you should wear the socks that

you would normally be wearing.

If you're going to be walking or running in the shoes,

you want to have athletic socks on

that you're normally going to be using.

If it's a dress shoe, you going to want to wear the sock

that you're wearing. - Sure.

- Seems like a minor thing, but it's not

because socks have different thicknesses.

- Right, it's notable.

- You may also want to try the shoes on at the end of day.

A lot of people get some swelling in their feet

even if it's minor,

so you don't want to be dealing

with a shoe that doesn't fit right

because you bought it in the morning

and your foot wasn't swollen at that point.

- Yeah, it's one of those things

that I know with my feet it's a definite notable difference,

especially on one of my feet, it's different.

So it could be different from one foot to the other.

- This next one is different on mine.

I have one foot that's a little bit longer than the other,

so it's a little bit of a problem

because generally you like the length

to be at least 1/4 inch longer than the longest toe,

at least.

You can put it in there and put your finger width in there.

On one of them, my toe is kind of up against

the edge of the shoe.

And the other one, it's got a gap.

I need to chop of my toe, I guess.

- Well, you could just buy two size,

a pair of nines and a pair of tens on the other foot.

- There we go (laughing).

Alright, number six.

The width is gonna obviously

you wanna go by comfort.

Now, Brad, you do with a wider shoe.

- Yeah, I always get usually the widest I can.

Like, in New Balance, I get a 4E.

That's the widest one they typically make.

Different manufacturers have some different ways they do it,

but I always get the widest shoe they make.

Otherwise, it's not comfortable.

- Yeah, cause if the shoe is too narrow for you,

your foot can actually kind of go numb.

- Oh, it's not comfortable.

Cause I've done it.

- You've done it.

- I've went home, and I thought,

"Well, they're a little snug."

And I get home, and they always get snugger.

It's like, "Wow!"

And then I try running on it or walking

and within a few hundred yards, I don't even go any further.

I mean that happened to me twice.

I'm also slow.


- It takes you a while to catch on.

And if it's too wide, your foot's gonna slip,

so that's just as bad.

- Right, that slipping causing issues.

- Now, ideally too, you want the widest part of the shoe,

which is right here, to kind of match up

with the widest part of your foot.

So, if you put your foot here,

and here's the widest part of my foot,

and it matches up with the widest part of the shoe.

If it doesn't, you may need to look

for a different style of shoe.

It's as simple as that.

This is another important thing,

which I was really surprised at what a big role this was.

They did a study that showed that incidents

of plantar fasciitis decreased by 72%

if people rotated their footwear.

So, in other words, if you have a running shoe,

you should have two pair,

and on one day, you wear the one pair,

and the next day, you wear the other pair.

The reason is, it takes at least a day or 24 hours or more

for the cushioning to rebound

and get back to its normal shape.

I kind of poo pooed this for years,

but I'm gonna go to this

because, hey, I don't want to get plantar fasciitis.

I've had minor bouts of it so--

- Yeah, it's no fun.

It puts a real dent in your life.

- If you have plantar fasciitis,

you might want a bit of a heel too

cause that will take some of the stress off of it.

A lot of these running shoes have a natural heel on it.

1/3 inch or 1/2 inch, depending on comfort.

- If you're looking for shoes,

and you hear someone talking about minimalist shoes,

we're not even gonna get into it,

but a minimalist shoe is not going to work

for plantar fasciitis.

- It won't because it has no heel, right?

It's just completely flat along.

The numbering is off in my head.

If you have a leather shoe like I have here,

these are not comfortable shoes, generally.

- I know. I've had a couple of those,

and it bothers my forefoot.

- Yeah, so there are more comfortable dress shoes for men,

and you may want to wear something like that

if you're going through plantar fasciitis

cause you're gonna want all the help you can get.

- These are pretty nice ones.

- Yeah, those are.

Those are cushioned.

- They've got some support and a little arch,

and they're soft in there.

They feel like a glove.

Fits like a glove.

But it's a shoe.

- There we go.

And the thing about this one,

it actually doesn't have much arch support either,

so it's really kind of bad on two ends.

And the same is true with work shoes.

Now, work shoes are designed for safety.

They've got the steel toe and all that,

but they are not designed for comfort,

so you're gonna want to probably

remove and replace the sock liner,

and you might want to put one with arch support,

or you may want to put one that's more cushioned

depending on your comfort.

- I had a pair of steel toes when I worked in the shop.

Nice pair of Red Wings too.

And I did, I took them out,

and I actually got some custom arch supports

and put them in there.

- You did. - Yep.

- So you can speak.

You know what of what you speak.

So next one: women's high heels.

I usually don't wear these,

and I don't think you do either, Brad.

But if you're going to, you want to limit

to about 10% of the time overall in your life.

If you're having a big event,

you can go ahead and wear them,

or if you're going to be sitting a lot at a desk

and you're not really standing on them, it's not as bad.

- Yeah, but if you've got plantar fasciitis,

if you can just eliminate it--

- I'm talking more about--

- In general?

- If you don't have plantar fasciitis right now,

it cleared up and you want to get it.

But, generally, you're right.

You shouldn't be wearing them if you have plantar fasciitis.

Hiking boots have great support.

They have great arch support,

but they're generally not very cushioned.

- Sure.

- They probably would be good for you.

You could wear your hiking boots to work there

if you have plantar fasciitis.

Also, the point again,

we're making all these general statements about shoes.

You want to start replacing your shoe

if the wear pattern goes down.

And this is how I used to be able to tell

when I'd start getting plantar fasciitis

is when my shoe would start to wear down.

You want to show these, Brad?

You're pretty good at these.

- So, this is Bob's old shoe, and this is his new shoe,

and they've got a similar--

- [Bob] Similar pattern - [Brad] Tread on the bottom,

you can see the new one here,

you can see clearly where the grooves are and whatnot.

And this has a similar pattern,

but look at this groove right here.

All this and it splays out,

and it's getting like it's falling apart,

and it's because it is.

The actual rubber that's supposed to take the wear

is completely wore out.

And the actual cushion is taking up the brunt of the load--

- [Bob] The pressure. - [Brad] It's just wore out.

This shoe is, it's junk.

- [Bob] There we go.

- [Brad] It's time to throw it out.

- [Bob] It's like a tire on a car

when the tread gets wore down.

And the thing is, if it's wore on the outside,

it may even be wore more on the inside in the insoles.

So it's time.

I hate, they're expensive,

but that's a cost.

Plantar fasciitis is probably more expensive

to you in your life.

- It puts a dent in your life.

I said that before, dent.

- Yep, there we go.

If you do work on hard floors,

you want to make sure you change positions often,

and try to get off your feet to some extent

whenever you can.

- And that's when you can just put--

- Yeah, why don't you show us some of these?

- You can just put cushion inserts.

They don't do anything with the arch necessarily

if you don't have a arch problem or modification.

Like this is a cushion.

This is pretty thick cushion on this one you can see.

Now, this is a different type of material.

It's more rubbery.

This is more like foam.

Not near as thick.

I don't know what the difference would be,

but when I used to run, I always bought my running shoes,

well, I still run, but when I ran heel toe,

I'd just buy these right away.

Take the factory ones out and put these in.

Now that I changed to forefoot running,

it's a different story, which is another video.

- Sure.

- But anyways, that's two examples.

Here's an example of an insert

that has intentionally a higher arch put in.

And I've had people put these in their shoes,

and life has gotten better.

The support there is where it's needed,

but you have to figure out how big of an arch you need,

and there isn't a real easy formula

to go to the store and say, "I want this and this."

- Yeah, we're not gonna make a recommendation even.

You're just gonna have to work your way through it,

and find out one that works for you.

- Right, you can do the tests on our other videos,

so you can see what level of arch you have.

If you go to a good shoe store,

they have a knowledgeable person.

They'll be able to look and help direct you

to the arch support that's gonna fit more likely.

- We do have a video on arch supports that may help you.

It gives you a few guidelines.

- Sure.

- Alright, thanks for watching.

- Oh, we're out of time.

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