I have had foot surgery and wore heinous orthotics before it. I will probably wear them again:-( once I am outof this boot.
Try Beautifeel ( not sure of the spelling) , Kumfs and Merrill. Your best bet is a store that specializes in " problem" feet. I live in Greensboro NC and we have a good store here so I imagine if you live in a town of any size you should have one.
falconea, good luck finding something elegant. The closest I have found to good supportive sports shoes in wide that are somewhat dressy is in the Easy Spirit line. They usually have 2 or 3 styles in each season.
Personally I use Reeboks for my daily shoes. They fit my foot better than Easy Spirits. But when I need to get dressed up, I use the Easy Spirit shoe. They don't look like an athletic shoe, but do have the cushioning of a thick rubber composite sole.
Good luck with elegant, I would ask your podiatrist or whomever you go to for orthotics to make you a pair of dress orthotics.
I just went to get mine recovered -- 800 miles of walking in five months is hard on the little dears and my guy suggested I bring in a pair of average dressier shoes for him to see before they make my dress orthotics.
I am okay for short periods of time in my regular shoes. Its not a bad idea to search through shoe reviews on places like zappos to see if anyone has luck with certain brands that can have the footbed/insole removed and your orthotic added.
Privos by clarks purport to allow this, but I have had not very good luck.
My friend, very narrow foot, uses her dress orthotics in her munros and they look okay.
Me, I'm about to buy a pair of Keen oxfords (shudder) for the fall.
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I've suffered from this for about 2 and a half years and eventually paid a visit to a chiropodist. He told me that I had excessive pronation which leads to plantar fasciitis. In my case I don't have heel spurs, it's just my arches that get sooo sore, hobbling around first thing in the morning!
He suggested that I purchase some otc orthotics to see if they would make a difference - and they did! The ones I purchased are Vasyli - they're the 3/4 length premoulded ones. They cost approx €40 - which translates to approx $55. I purchased another 2 pairs and rotate wearing them - they wash out fairly well as it's only the covering that's fabric.
Once the problem had cleared up I stopped wearing them and didn't use them for 6 months or so which in retrospect was too long. I'm back to wearing them again as I don't want my feet to end up as sore as they did the last time.
I wear mine in runners, work shoes (1.5 to 2 inch heels) with no difficulty - I'm a normal-width US size 10.5 and they fit fine.
I've gone through a couple of self-diagnosed bouts of PF over the years, the most recent after a vacation involving too much walking in sandals with insufficient arch support. After months of toughing it out I found these Naots, and I couldn't believe how quickly the pain went away. They have terrific support and cushioning and feel fabulous. These boots have the same removable innersole, which is replaceable when it eventually loses its cushioning (though not all Naots have this construction).
There's a cute-funky-comfortable shoe store near me, and the owner says that his customers like Naot and Dansko for PF.
Recently on the road I bought some of Merrills that were just ok--the last doesn't work as well for me--but a small gel arch support wedge slipped under the removable innersole did the trick.
I first had plantar fasciitis in college, and have been using OTC orthotics ever since. My favorites at the moment (and I've tried many) are WalkFit. Available many places, including Target, and they come with an adjustable arch. Made of very sturdy plastic, with the arch being slightly more malleable.
Far and away my favorite dress shoes are boots: low heel, mid heel, high heel, all will accomodate orthotics. Their other qualities (fully covered foot so they can't come off, ankle support) also make them appealing. Since they're generally fairly expensive, it's worth the time and trouble to take them to a cobbler periodically to prevent excessive wear of the soles and heel, and do some preventative maintenance.
I also have Plantar Fasciitis. When I was last in the US I visited a Good Feet Store (www.goodfeetstore.com) where they fitted me with a suitable set of inserts that I can use in any of my shoes (not cheap, though).
What seems to have worked very well for me is some visits to my physiotherapist/chiropractor guy. I went to him twice a week for a couple of months. He massaged my foot and taped it up. Now I have to say that after about 3 months I have almost no pain.
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I have to shop around for shoes that work with my orthotic issues. What I've found actually works best for me is - as opposed to seeking out a certain brand - is working with a shoe professional at a store with a wide selection. For me, its Nordstrom... I had a guy there I worked with for years and now work with a nice lady - they know my foot and so they know which shoes to bring out. Its funny because I can wear certain styles in about 20 different brands - but nothing works for me across the board - so I have to pay attention to what works and what doesn't. But they save me a ton of time.
I also wear orthotics and have found Munro shoes to be the best bet in terms of balancing comfort and style. They have them at Nordstrom, but you can find a wider selection online. They have removeable insoles, so you can slide the orthotic in.
I suffered through 2 years of ugly shooz with custom orthotics - the pledge was: "Wear these every day for 2 years and you will be pain free"
I did, and I have been pain free for about 8 years now --- I still do my ankle rolls and flexes every morning before getting out of bed. I just do NOT want to go through that again --- mostly because of the FUGLY shoes I had to wear.
I found all leather Naturalizers at Sears that held the orthotics nicely, and bought a black pair and an identical pair in navy... but they would have never made a 'cute' or 'pretty' list.
...because my young self finally admitted that I need a pair of orthotic inserts.
I already have the Brooks walking shoes with Superfeet, which helps some. But I have horrible bone spurs and I need knew shoes.
My feet is narrow.
I'm looking for some flats between casual and dressy, preferable something I can wear a regular sock with because I also struggle with regulating my foot temp (yay me!).
I've known I need orthotics since my early twenties and just chose to ignore it. Now I'm in my early thirties and I feel like an old lady.
Look at the company website and see if there is an SAS Shoe store near you. They make a variety of widths and styles, and my poor feet with multiple orthopedic challenges find them the most comfortable supportive shoes. Yes, some styles are ugly "grandma" shoes, but in recent years they've come out with some more contemporary styles.