What a shame!! How painful too. I am pleased you have a good doctor.

Can you wear sneakers or something really easy for a couple of weeks til you know what you are facing? At least while your foot is swollen. I had to do this once in a professional job and everyone understood.

Sal - my good friend and colleague has a long lasting foot issue, without diagnosis. Her foot is constantly swollen for about 4 years now, but she does not have any pain. She is always dressed very professionally, suits or blazers with separates but with sneakers. That look works for her - she is tall and slim with very long legs. I am not crazy for that look on me, but probably have not much choice now.

You've gotten some good advice on here. I'm so sorry to hear that you, as well as your daughter, have had back problems. I sure hope you don't need to re-replace your shoes. You mentioned Vionic--the orthotics part of their website includes 3/4 inserts, so maybe those would work for you.
But for now, I hope the immediate pain and swelling have gone down. It sounds frightening to have them come up so suddenly.


The orthotics I posted are 3/4 length so about like the ones that Laura showed. I also have a pair that are slightly thicker so they stay in my silly crazy roomy rain boots below.

I have a pair of custom orthotics that I never really used because they cut into the sides of my feet by my heels and all around hurt when I walked. What a waste of money.

I assume you know about barkingdogshoes.com? You can look up footwear may work for your particular condition. I can't promise that they will all be attractive, but her reviews can give you a start.

Don’t despair Anchie,the body is a miraculous thing and it’s early days yet.You May have to buy some shoes to accommodate your painful foot for a while but it may settle with time and you might find that you can wear your old shoes with or without an orthotic to suit.My husband wears an orthotic in his usual shoes when he needs to.

I suspect that a consultation with an orthotist (the person who moulds your orthotic to suit your feet and your needs) will be more worthwhile than a second opinion from a physician. The orthotist should look at your feet and your gait, the sites of pain and the activities that bring it on, and figure out what kind of support you need. This should include recommendations for footwear in general: width, heel height, cushioning etc. (I hope I am not being too optimistic! But this is what I expect an orthotist to do when I make a referral.)

If your foot problem is of recent onset and possibly secondary to another muscle imbalance issue, you won't necessarily need to wear orthotics all the time in all your shoes for all time. You might not need to get rid of your current shoes, just not use them for long walking. (On the other hand, you may learn that the high heels and the tight fitting footwear were part of the problem.)

My sister had severe plantar fasciitis and wore nothing but sneakers with custom orthotics for a full year. Then it settled down. I have flat, pronated feet, and get heel pain if I overdo it in the wrong shoes. My solution is to change around between a variety of shoes with different footbeds and ways of supporting the arch. When it is really bugging me, I change shoes mid-day. And it works for me.

Agree with L’Abeille’s wisdom. And wearing a variety of shoes, never the same ones two days in a row. Makes it hard to pack lightly on trips though!

Anchie, I'm so sorry to hear this. Foot pain is so complicated and troubling to those who love to walk! My DH is going through this now also with a mysteriously swollen and painful foot and no apparent reason. It's such a nuisance and worry to us both.

Your hypothesis that your foot pain results from your back pain sounds reasonable to me. It's all connected. I damaged the nail beds of two toes while hiking about 6 years ago and they have never fully recovered. A few years later I also developed plantar fasciitis on that foot. A few years after that -- unexpected knee pain on that side. I'm sure it's all related.

My nails are not perfect (and never will be) but are much better. My plantar fasciitis is cured, but the right foot still feels vaguely "different" than the left and less flexible/ comfortable in the arch most of the time. As if it could use a really deep massage! My knee problems only act up now if I run too much on hard ground. But this is after considerable physio, lots of exercise, and many adjustments with footwear.

One thing I will say -- even if the name of your foot problem is the same as someone else's that doesn't mean the cause (or cure) will be the same. Most people with plantar fasciitis, for example, are flat footed pronators. Not me. I tend to supinate and I have rather high arches. So my footwear needs are quite different from those of someone with flat feet.

During the worst of the plantar fasciitis woes, I found great relief from (adjustable) Fitflops as my everyday house and casual walking sandals during the summer. (I specify adjustable because they tend to fit rather wide and I needed to adjust the strap to a tighter setting -- if it's not adjustable it doesn't work for me.) I did NOT stop walking. I walked my usual, although if it really flared up I tried not to run.

I also invested in over the counter inserts for my shoes -- and did not have trouble fitting them. I can't wear sneakers without some sort of supportive insole -- otherwise they are too flat and cause excruciating pain after a day (even when I don't have PF). So I wear different types of Superfeet insoles with sneakers.

I'm best in shoes with a 1" to 2.5" heel or platform or flatform, and some "sponginess" in the heel area -- rubbery soles are good, and there are also special PF inserts that offer this, if that is your problem. Booties tend to work well with the inserts and I haven't had to change my shoe size. Except for the Superfeet in sneakers, my insoles are the 1/3 to 3/4 length ones.

Sandals are good if there are straps over the instep area to keep it secure -- I don't need the insert. Maybe you won't, either -- IF you do as I do, and as L'Abeille advises, and switch out your footwear often. As Donna says, it makes for complicated travel but I never regret it.

I can't wear most pumps without straps because they don't stay on and cause my toes to cramp. But I can wear pointy toes if the last is the right shape for me overall -- in fact, they tend to be more comfortable for me than rounded toes. Your mileage may vary. (Ha ha).

I would get another opinion for sure, and I'd also ice like crazy right now, and take some ibuprofen to bring down the swelling. Hang in there and don't throw any of your shoes away until you know for sure what is causing or contributing to the problem.

Forgot to add that unfortunately I have experience with foot pain. 8 years ago almost to a day, I slipped on ice, twisted this same foot, and broke 2 of the small bones in it. I took me more than a year to fully recover and at the time I thought that I will not be able to wear heels again. I vividly remember crying in a shoe store after trying on pair after pair after pair that I could not even put on because of the pain. Only pair that I was able to walk in was cross of the shoes in finds - material of the second in the shape of the first. They were the most ugliest shoes in the store but I had no choice - I needed to be able to walk. I spent the full year in this shoes - wore them to work, wore them in summer. During that time I gave up on dressing- nothing looked good with this shoes. After a ‘year of ugly shoes’ I was able to add few more pairs of comfort brand shoes at first and eventually I was pain free and back to my regular shoes and heels. My husband is convinced that my current issue is related to this old injury but I am not sure if that is possible- I was pain free for at least 6 years. And I really don’t want to be in this situation again. I have long days - I am out of home 10-12h per day on average and in that time I walk 15 000-20 000 steps. I don’t drive and need to be able to commute on foot. I really do hope that it is early days and that this issue will not be long lasting. Orthotics don’t sound that bad, and if it would help me, I am willing to go that route.

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I had plantar fasciitis 20 years ago. My feet felt like I had broken them. The podiatrist gave me hard plastic orthotics (also 3/4 size). I would wear them with shoes that laced up. My feet are healed, but I still use the orthotics in lace up shoes. They were not custom, and cost about $20.

Once, at a party, PF came up, and about three fourths of the women had had it. We ranged in age from 30 to 80. We all took out our orthotics. It was strange because they were all different.

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Another help for me when my ankles are sore (especially my left, related I am sure to a hairline fracture when I was 10 which I think is then related to an ACL /MCL injury in my knee) is to soak my feet in a bowl with Himalayan salt or even table salt. I like to think it draws out the toxins - but it probably does no such thing but it does make a massive difference. I would typically use 1 lb of salt - so a lot! Neither hot nor cold water. But for a good 10 mins. Also I use arnica to assist.

I walk slightly less than you per day (12,000 to 15,000 steps) but it is very important to me that my feet are comfortable. I’ve had lots of mistake purchases.

On Brexit, yes, such a mess.

Suz - yes, I am also more comfortable in pointy toes, go figure. I don’t have a pain in heel, or arch, my issue is in area just below the toes on top of the foot, and in the ball in the bottom. Sorry to hear about all your related issues, but it is comforting knowing that I am in the good company.

You guys are the best, I cannot catch up with all your supportive answers. Means a lot! Will try to return to each of you individually after I recharge my phone LOL.

JAileen, how curious about all the different shapes!

Anchie, those dowdy, frumpy shoes are so incongruous with your style that I'm laughing! Are you around today?

Fashintern - I will not buy inserts on my own, will see what my doctor suggests, but I think he meant custom made. I am resting on sofa with ice pack today, but have to go back to work tomorrow - have to attend conference in a hotel downtown - and just tried few of my most promising shoes without success, so slightly panicking now.
DonnaF - that is worrisome about custom


- could you complain and get a new pair?
Cardiff Girl- that is my hope too, that it is false alarm and that in a few days everything will be back to normal. And weekend is coming, so I only worry about tomorrow at the moment.
LÁbeille - I really do hope that orthotist would be that good and give me all this advises that you mentioned. I am little worried about my gait at the moment, I walk putting pressure on outside bridge of the foot, and I already feel that my knee does not like it.
JAileen - it seems that foot problems are as common as back problems - and I am in good company.
Jane - I'll try the salt bath - good idea, can't hurt. Re Brexit - my son is in London with EU passport so I worry, no idea how it will affect him.

Anchie -- fellow foot pain sufferer here. If you find any great shoes to fit your orthotics, please do post a link.

FWIT, I have always found the shoes reviewed at Barking Dog to be not quite me but maybe things have changed since I last looked.

So sorry to hear about your foot . There is nothing worse than a foot that hurts it affects everything. Sending a hug your way.

Anchie, lots of great advice and support here. One pair of shoes at a time. I suspect you need to get custom orthotics first?

Angie - I really appreciate all the support here Yes, custom orthotics, but only when this acute phase is over. My pressing need is to be able to leave the apartment and put my swollen, painfull foot into some shoes, any shoes:)

OOOH. You poor thing. Are you working from home?

I am home today, but have to go back to work tomorrow - we have a big event that I have to attend.

Yesterday you mentioned a shot if it hadn't gotten better by today (cortisone, I guess). Is it helping?

Have not got it yet, waiting for my DH to drive me there.

Ohh, the dependency! Arg.
I hope the shot helps, that you sleep well, and are able to participate fully in your work event tomorrow, without pain or other foot-related distraction.

Anchie, is it worth getting that medical boot?

Yes, I was wondering about the boot, too.

And your pain sounds a lot like what my DH is currently experiencing -- top of foot near toes and some on the ball of foot at times.

Wishing you a speedy recovery at minimum to the point where you can move!!

Angie - what is a medical boot? Have to check..
Suz - what is your DH doing about it?

My sympathies and empathy Anchie.
My feet are becoming fussier by the day and for recent suspected tendonitis (aggravated by long daily walks) my acupuncturist suggested (along the lines of what Jane wrote) to soak my feet in Epsom salts, or to put on vinegar soaked socks for at least 15 minutes per day. Do it whilst sitting down and place your feet in a bucket or container.
Strangely, it (vinegar socks), has given me relief. Worth a try even if it’s a bit on the nose!

Anchie, looking forward to your report of how it all went.

DH was seeing a physio but things have got worse so he is going to the doctor on Tuesday. We really don't know what is going on. It seems to wax and wane for no apparent reason!