I am looking for some advice. Quick background, I ran quite a bit a few years back until sidelined with 3 herniated discs. So after a few years off I tried running again last year but kept having troubles. I decided I needed to relearn how to run (I was a heal striker and a leaner and an over-strider). I came across Eric's you tube videos and am now reading the book. I am doing my transition runs in zero drop shoes now and strength training. I am at 20 minutes. And my back is doing great! I was so excited.

However, I don't know what to do with my left foot. I had problems with it years ago and a doctor got me into orthotics. But now I don't know what to do, because once my feet starting getting stronger with the training it hurt to wear the orthotics, so I ditched them. That was working fine except at work. I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse and by 7 hours into a shift my foot is killing me. My foot is fine on my runs (maybe a little sore the first 3-4 minutes if I worked the night before) and feels great when I have a few days off in a row. I can walk barefoot all day at home with no problems. Usually feels best on the days I do run, but don't work. I trouble shot my form again when this first started happening a couple weeks ago and found I wasn't letting my left heel come completely down (I had been on a treadmill during a cold spell) and was landing on my outside of the foot a little, so focused on correcting these and that helped.

So, what do I use for everyday shoes and work shoes? My work shoes are pretty shot, but I don't know what to do. Don't want to waste money on a pair that won't help. As far as my foot, I am giving it a week off of running and just doing the stretching and strength training, icing after work etc.

Any ideas? Obviously I could simply quit working and stick to running, but I am not too keen to the homelessness part that would come with that option. Bummer. I am so excited to be running without back troubles. I don't want to be sidelined with my foot.

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Hi Pam - Kudos to you for ditching the orthotics and glad to hear the strength training is treating your back and feet well.

The unfortunately thing about developing foot strength and natural movement in your running and daily life is that unnatural shoes do begin to become uncomfortable and in your case, can cause issues when on your feet for that long at work.

I do know that are a lot of natural shoe options (zero drop) now on the market for casual and work environments that you might look for.  And I open suggests from other on here to what they use in work environments.  

I just do not have too much experience in a professional environment anymore to know what shoes might be good to try.

Dont give up on what you are doing however, you are on the right path.

OK folks, lets help Pam with some good shoe options….

Quick thought, are you able to wear your zero drop run shoes at work?  If so, pick up a pair just for work usage.


Thanks for the thoughts. I was thinking of trying my zero drop shoes at work. My next shift is Tuesday night. It can't be any worse than what I'm wearing now, right? I hope anyways. I think I am at an awkward between stage of not needing the support I used to but not having the strength for a full 12 hours of on my feet yet. I need to be patient and diligent here. (Patience is not my strong point.) I did some foot stretches on my lunch break last night and that helped too. I'll see what happens Tuesday. I would love to hear what others are wearing for work etc.

Thanks for putting the tools out there so I can actually be running down this road again. Pun intended. Running is my happy. Thanks.

Hi Pam- I am just now getting over a bad bout of PF myself. I have a pair of B2R for running, but I didn't want to wear them at work. I'm a teacher, so I'm on my feet but not quite as long as you are. When my foot was at its worst, ALL of my work shoes were uncomfortable. I tried every shoe in my closet and ended up wearing my old pair of Merrill Pace Gloves. They caused the least discomfort. They certainly aren't much to look at, but I didn't care!

And I'm with you on the patience thing! Best of luck to you!!

If the zero drop shoes help at work but you want something more subtle looking, then maybe take a look at some of VivoBarefoot's options; looks like some of the other major brands for minimal shoes (e.g. Merrell) have similar offerings too.  I think the black or tan B2R Gavilan Casual Moccasin would be subtle enough for a business casual environment as well.

Ooh me me! Pam...I am a nurse too and work 10 hr shifts. I will unabashedly promote the B2R mocs!! I get some weird looks and lots of questions, but they are the most wonderful shoe giving my feet the ability to flex and move naturally. I also am dealing with the plantar fasciitis and have found using a golf ball to roll and knead my foot help...I do this when I'm standing at the nurse station charting. Remembering to let that heel come down is what requires my focus as well. Massaging the calf and achilles will help too.

thanks for the tips guys. I will look into some of these options.

I finished my shift this morning with my feet feeling better than they have in a long time during work. I tried my zero drop shoes for the shift. Definitely going to make the switch. I was nervous to try these shoes for running just a couple months ago. Didn't know if my feet would be strong enough etc. Who knew I'd end up switching more than my running shoes? I'm excited because I think that means my feet are getting stronger. Bummed 'cause now I have to increase my shoe budget for a short time to switch over.

Thanks for the suggestions. Oh, and I added a couple of foot exercises that I think helped with the pf. I do a towel pull with my toes by sitting my foot on a towel and using my toes to pull it in. And I also added toe taps, alternating tapping just the big toe with the others still elevated and then switch to tapping the four and leaving the big toe elevated. (Still working on mastering this one.) Focuses on some more intrinsic muscle use to support the foot.

Now, I need to sleep so I can get up and go for a run again. :)


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