-->

Why the U.S. Navy uses our Ultimate Heel & Arch Support!

-->

The U.S. navy now uses our Ultimate Heel & Arch Support for our troops suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendinitis and metatarsalgia!

Try to imagine working on the steel deck of a U.S. Aircraft Carrier! Long hours, extreme weather conditions and severe foot pain.  This is not an ideal situation for our men and women who step into harms way to defend our freedom.  We at Footworks.net are very proud that the U.S. Navy has chosen us to help these soldiers with our foot care products.  It is truly an honor to provide our soldiers with foot pain relief.  This will allow them to improve on the already outstanding job that they perform everyday.  When our soldiers do have heel or arch pain the Navy Doctors turn to Footworks.net for solutions.  We have so much faith in our Ultimate Heel and Arch Support that we guarantee it for 30 days for your total satisfaction!  What this guarantee means is, if you do not have any pain relief after 30 days of use, or if you are not totally satisfied in every way, simple return the product for a total refund of the product price (shipping cost is not refundable).

Footworks.net is dedicated to our brave men and women who defend us daily!  We will donate a portion of each sale to the Wounded Warrior Project.  Please consider your own private donation by visiting their official site here.  They have helped us, now it is our turn to help them!

Posted in Heel Pain Articles

How to use your new orthotics

-->

More is not better!

It is important to slowly allow your foot, ankle knees to get adjusted to your new supports.  Just like an exercise program, you must slowly begin use of your new orthotics. Please follow the few simple steps below and your results will come quick.

Wear your new orthotics for one (1) hour on the first day and increase wear time by approximately two (2) hour increments each successive day.  After approximately seven to ten (7-10) days, you should be wearing the arch supports the entire day.  If you have a low or “flat” arch it may take a little extra time to adjust to the new support.  Some people may experience minor discomfort when they first begin to use their new supports, this is normal and typically means that your break in time will be greater. Please take the time to allow your foot function and biomechanics to adjust to the new control and support.

Posted in How to use your new orthotics

Plantar Fasciitis and the 5 most common causes

-->

Plantar Fasciitis and the 5 most common causes

The term Plantar Fasciitis is derived from the words plantar referring to the bottom of the foot and fascia, which is a fibrous tissue that attaches to the bottom of the heel bone and extends forward to the toes. Plantar Fasciitis is simply referring to inflammation of the fascia. This is a very common condition that will affect approximately 1 out of every 8 people in their lifetime. The typical symptoms are a burning pain and irritation just forward of the calcaneus (heel bone) and sometimes leading to the arches of your feet. Pain is usually intensified after a period of rest such as sleep or extended periods of sitting (driving home from work, after sitting down for lunch or dinner).

How did I get plantar fasciitis?
When you walk or run, your long arch acts as a spring rising and lowering with each step. What is actually happening is that upon weight bearing, your foot will elongate or lengthen, stretching the Fascia. When this “spring” action occurs, the fascia can stretch to the point that irritation or tearing of the fascia occur. This condition is often referred to as Plantar Fasciitis also many people improperly use the term “heel spur” or “stone bruise”.

Why me?
Over the past 20 years I have been custom fabricating braces and foot orthotics for just about every type of foot, ankle and knee problem, about 70% of the custom orthotics that I have designed were for Plantar Fasciitis. I have heard many crazy theories on how people have acquired this condition. The fact is that anyone can develop this condition. Whether you are overweight, underweight, a tri-athlete or a couch potato. Plantar Fasciitis does not discriminate. If you need to know the most common causes, then read on, hopefully it will help you identify what you are doing right and wrong.

The # 1 cause of heel pain!

The most frequent cause of Plantar Fasciitis is an abnormal motion of the foot called excessive pronation. Normally, while walking or running, your foot will strike the ground on the outside edge of the heel, then begin to roll in and forward toward your toes Your arch should flatten slightly during this motion. If it flattens too much, you have what is commonly referred to as excessive pronation.

Other contributing factors for heel pain and plantar fasciitis

1) Sudden gain in weight.
Sometimes quick, excessive weight gain does not allow the body time to adjust to the extra weight load that it is now bearing. The connective tissues (tendons, ligaments and fascia) do not have adequate strength and flexibility to support the extra load and now connective tissues are over stretched and begin to fail.

2) Trauma and heel pain

It is a very common occurrence for someone to land improperly while jumping, running, climbing a ladder or even stepping off the curb. When your feet do not strike the ground properly you can over extend their mechanical limitations and damage the plantar fascia.

3) Flexible shoes and heel pain
A very large majority of the people think that if you are having problems with your feet then you must wear soft shoes. Nothing could be further from the truth and I will explain why. If you are having a problem with your heels, ankle or knees it is safe to say that you are having a “biomechanical problem”. What this means is that your body mechanics are not functioning properly and feet are not aligned properly. For example, some people reason that, if you wear soft, flexible shoes for walking then you are absorbing shock and reducing the shock forces on your feet. To a certain extent this is true but what they do not realize is that a soft shoe, even when it is brand new, will collapse under the impact forces of the average walker or runner. The soft sole of the shoe will compress to the point that the foot and ankle will roll in or out so much that the arch can flatten and all of the connective tissue, or in this case the plantar fascia, will be over stretched causing irritation or tears in the fascia. When you wear a firm, stable shoe the sole of the shoe will not collapse keeping your feet and your ankles aligned properly, this will result in reducing the stretching of the fascia. Yes, it is that simple. Just remember that a firm shoe will control your foot and ankle motion and in return reduce over stretching on the connective tissues.

4) Running or walking uphill.
Another common cause and irritation of Plantar Fasciitis is walking or running uphill. The position that the foot and ankle are forced into while walking uphill causes an excessive range of motion on the joints of the foot therefore causing the fascia and other connective tissues to be overstretched.

5) Improper Stretching or warming up

Proper stretching is the one of the most important things you can do to protect your body from injury. Regular stretching will also lead to reduced muscle soreness after running and better performance.  When stretching before running or other physical activities it is important to start out slowly.  Do not bounce or stretch your muscles beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness.  Start slowly and maintain stretches for 10 to 15 seconds, rest between stretches and always listen to your body.  If you are feeling any burning sensation then you are probably over stretching the tissue, which may result in injury.

Posted in Heel Pain Articles

How to buy the correct shoes for plantar fasciitis, heel pain and heel spurs

-->

How to buy the correct shoes for plantar fasciitis, heel pain and heel spurs

After 20 years in the orthopedic shoe business I don’t know how many times I have been asked the question, “what are the best shoe for heel spurs, heel pain or plantar fasciitis”.  I usually begin my explanation to the customer by saying that there is not one shoe that is right for everyone.  What I mean by this is that everyone has a different foot structure and finding the correct shoe should be done on an individual basis.  The rest of this article will explain how to find the perfect shoe for your foot problems, including plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.

When shopping for a shoe to treat your heel pain the first thing you must look for is a firm heel counter.  The heel counter is the back portion of the shoe that wraps around your heel bone and controls pronation and supination. (excessive pronation and supination are contributing factors of plantar fasciitis)  When selecting new shoes squeeze the heel counter to make sure it is firm.  If the heel counter collapses it is not correct shoe and will most likely not support your foot and ankle properly.

The next thing to check is the flexibility of the shoe.  Using both hands hold the shoe by the heel and toe.  Try to bend the sole of the shoe in the middle.  If the sole offers little resistance and collapses in the middle then stay away from the shoe.  The proper soles should bend very gradual and offer some resistant.  This is needed to withstand the thousands of steps you will take while wearing the shoes.  The next thing to look for is an elevated heel with a rocker sole.  The heel of the shoe should be about 1 inch high; this will help shift some of the weight off of your painful heels.  As for the rocker sole, the best way to test this is to put the shoe on a flat surface and push down on the toe.  The shoe should rock forward in a rolling motion.  As a rule of thumb, the more the shoe rocks the better it is to help heal your plantar fasciitis.  Never buy a shoe that has “neutral” or flat heel, this type of shoe will reload the weight bearing of your foot onto your heels, thus creating more pressure and exacerbating the condition.  Make sure the shoes have adequate cushioning to absorb the impact when your heels strike the ground.

These are just some of qualities to look for when shopping for shoes to help your heel pain.  I also recommend that you buy a shoe with removable insoles.  This will allow you to add your own orthotics to and totally customize a shoe to your specific foot condition.

Posted in Heel Pain Articles

Worn out shoes and foot pain

-->

Running or exercising in worn out shoes will lead to an increase in the rate of occurrence for foot, knee and hip injuries. Over a short period of time athletic shoes can lose their functionality and their ability to protect your feet. When a shoes begins to break down it creates an opportunity for injuries such as, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles’ Tendonitis and knee pain.

Anatomy of a shoe

To be able to identify a worn out shoe you must understand the parts of a shoe.  Below is a picture of a typical running shoe with all the specific parts labeled.  The parts of a shoe that you should be concerned with the most are:

1.   Outsole – designed to provide traction.

2.   Midsole – designed to provide shock abortion.

3.   Heel counter – designed to control the position of the heel.

4.   Insole – designed to support the arch, absorb shock and disperse the impact or weight load.

Different parts of a shoe

Most shoes will start to show some wear and tear at around the 200-mile mark if you are a runner.  Check the outsoles on the shoes to make sure the heel and forefoot are not wearing thin.  If they are worn down this will cause your foot to pronate or supinate a few degrees more putting your feet, ankles and knees at risk for injury.

Next check the midsoles of the shoes.  Is the midsole wrinkled or compressed?  If so this is a sign the shoes are not performing by absorbing the high shock forces that you are exerting on them.  This will lead to excessive shock forces being returned to foot, ankle and knees.

Next, check the heel counter of the shoe.  You can do this by placing the on a flat surface at eye level and looking at the back of the shoe.  Notice the way this shoe is tilting in the picture.  It is leaning about 2 degrees to the inside, which will increase pronation and possibly cause foot or knee pain.

worn out shoe

The last thing to check for is the wear and tear on the insole of the shoe.  To do this you can simply use your fingers to feel in side the shoe.  If you feel indentation around the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot), in the toe box or at the heel of the shoe it may be time to replace the insoles.

Athletic Shoe Replacement Tips

  • Mileage – If you run on a regular basis try to keep track of the mileage on the shoe.  Most people of normal weight and gait should get about 400 miles out a pair of shoes.  If you are heavier you may only get as little as 250 miles out of a pair of shoes.
  • Rotating shoes – When you find a model of a shoe that you like, buy a second pair.  Wait until you have about 100 miles on the original pair, now you can rotate the shoes on every other run.  This will keep your feet happier and you will notice when the older pair is at the end of its lifespan.
  • Do not buy shoes just by their size!  Just like clothing, no two shoe manufacturers have the same specs for a size 10.  If you think you are a size 10 try on a 9 ½, 10 and a 10 ½.  It will only take you a couple of minutes and you will always end up with the correct size shoe!
Posted in Heel Pain Articles

Four proven therapies for plantar fasciitis relief

-->

Disclaimer: The advice on this page is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider.  Consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.

Four proven therapies for plantar fasciitis relief

Any one who has even experienced the pain associated with plantar fasciitis (heel or arch pain) can tell you how this common foot condition can negatively impact your work and everyday lifestyle.

The term Plantar Fasciitis is derived from the words plantar referring to the bottom of the foot and fascia which is a fibrous tissue that attaches to the bottom of the heel bone and extends forward to the toes. Plantar Fasciitis is simply referring to inflammation of the fascia. This is a very common condition that will affect approximately 1 out of every 8 people in their lifetime. The typical symptoms are a burning pain and irritation just forward of the calcaneus (heel bone) and sometimes leading to the arches of your feet. Pain is usually intensified after a period of rest, such as sleep or extended periods of sitting (driving home from work, after sitting down for lunch or dinner). When you stand up after periods of rest the pain can be intense and sometimes last throughout the day.

Luckily for most of us (about 95%) we can get relief from 4 simple proven therapies.  All of these treatments must be done at the same time with consistency and any meager attempts will usually yield meager results.

Therapy # 1 – Wearing the proper shoes

When selecting shoes for heel pain always buy a lace up shoe and start by examining the outsole of the shoe.  The outsole should be moderately firm to hold your bodies weight during ambulation (walking or running).  The best test for this is to grab the forefoot of the shoe with one hand and the heel of the shoe.  Now try to bend the shoe in half, the shoe should not collapse in the middle and there should be resistance while trying to bend or flex the shoe.  If the shoe just bends in half with little or no effort then it will not hold up under forces of your body weight.  Next, test the heel counter of the shoe.  You can do this by grabbing the back portion of the shoe and squeezing the heel counter.  If the material around the heel collapses then it is a poor design.  The heel counter should be firm to your grip, this will aid in keeping your heel aligned properly which will control pronation and supination.  Beware of marketing gimmicks such as air, springs or any other crazy ideas that the shoe companies dream up.  These types of shoes have created many problems and will not help with most foot conditions.  Just remember that what is best is a good solid foundation for you to walk on, not flimsy sole that will collapse under weight of your body.

Therapy # 2 – Proper stretching

In most cases people who suffered from plantar fasciitis could significantly cut their healing time by stretching for as little as ten minutes a day. The proper stretches should only include non-weight bearing stretching.  What is a non weight bearing stretch?  It is simply any stretching exercise that is not performed in a standing or weight bearing position. To watch a video of non-weight bearing stretches goto

Therapy # 3 – Icing

The word fasciitis simply refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia.  Like many soft tissue injuries, the injured tissue will become more inflamed as the day progresses.  This is due to our daily activities and the repetitive stress that your feet are subjected to throughout the day.  At the end of each day take a frozen bottle of water and place it on the floor in front of you.  While sitting in a chair, roll the bottle back and forth on the bottom of your foot. Continue the icing for 4-5 minutes for each foot.  To watch a video of this therapy goto

Therapy # 4 – Orthotics and Plantar Fasciitis

Foot orthotics are a common and very effective treatment for many types of foot disorders including plantar fasciitis.  The function of a foot orthotic is to brace or support the bones and connective tissue of the foot.  Supporting the foot with orthotics can realign the structure of the foot, ankle and leg to prevent bone misalignment as well as muscle, ligament and tendon fatigue.  Orthotics designed for plantar fasciitis should properly support all three arches in the foot (medial, lateral and transverse arch).  With proper support of the foot, stress and tension on the plantar fascia will be greatly reduced, thereby allowing an injured or torn plantar fascia to heal. In addition, orthotics allow for more even weight distribution, taking pressure off sore spots (e.g. the heels, arches and the ball of the foot).  The main purpose of a foot orthotic is to improve foot function, and in most cases reducing pain and preventing re-injury.

Disclaimer: The advice on this page is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider.  Consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.

Posted in Heel Pain Articles

Thera-Band – Will they help strengthen my foot?

-->

heel pain exercisesYes, Thera-bands will help strengthen and rehabilitate foot, ankle and knees. They work by strengthening targeted muscle groups and improving range of motion for joints.  By targeting specific muscle groups you are less likely to re-injury the damaged tissue.  They are an ideal fitness gear, being inexpensive, versatile, lightweight.  Thera-bands are small enough to store in your purse or suitcase and take with you anywhere.  This will allow you to continue with your heel pain treatment anywhere that you may travel.

Posted in Heel Pain and Heel Spurs

How does biofreeze help treat my foot pain?

-->

Biofreeze Gel works fast to relieve many types of foot pain including heel pain, arch pain, ankle pain or just general foot pain.  Biofreeze is mostly used in cold therapy pain management. Biofreeze has the same results on the body as an ice pack except it has the ability to penatrate deeper into the muscle and soft tissue. Cold therapy is the process in which the area of an injury is cooled below the average body temperature. Since heating soft tissue will increase blood flow to the area in which it is applied, cold does the opposite and reduces the blood flow to the affected area. This process is known as cryotherapy and reduces the ability of your nerves to receive and send pain stimuli. The cold also works as a way to decrease the swelling in the affected area.

Posted in FAQ about plantar fasciitis

The internet is cluttered with information about plantar fasciitis, who should I listen to?

-->

Listen to your Doctor and then call us. We have 50 years of experience treating foot problems.

Posted in FAQ about plantar fasciitis

What is a C.ped (Certified Pedorthist)?

-->

C. Ped. stands for Certified Pedorthist. The field of Pedorthics is the study of footwear and supplemental devices for footwear; including orthoses, prostheses, shoe modifications, shoe fitting and shoe fabrication.

Posted in FAQ about plantar fasciitis

-->

What people are saying

Dear Footworks,