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plantar fasciitis

Peterk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
Rest is good, gentle stretches are very good. Icing it along the way is wonderful - bring a ziplock bag and ask nicely for some ice in bars you pass (also buying a drink, of course) and put your foot up and ice it. Or just get a can of really cold drink and roll your foot on it under the table ... Do a google search for plantar fasciitis stretches and start now - stairs and kerbs are good for a stretch en route. Ibuprofen cream is king, self pity has sadly not been proven to alleviate the symptoms :D Also - get the most supportive and cushioned soles you can find, I find Hoka One Ones help, especially on tarmac. Buen pain free camino!
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
Rolling the sole of your foot gently on a soft tennis ball is great therapy . Any soft light ball will do , easy to keep in your pack and simple enough to use on short breaks and lunch times .
 

verno

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the English Way in May, 2017
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.
purchase heel in soles if you can.
 

Derek Sullivan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Rest is good, gentle stretches are very good. Icing it along the way is wonderful - bring a ziplock bag and ask nicely for some ice in bars you pass (also buying a drink, of course) and put your foot up and ice it. Or just get a can of really cold drink and roll your foot on it under the table ... Do a google search for plantar fasciitis stretches and start now - stairs and kerbs are good for a stretch en route. Ibuprofen cream is king, self pity has sadly not been proven to alleviate the symptoms :D Also - get the most supportive and cushioned soles you can find, I find Hoka One Ones help, especially on tarmac. Buen pain free camino!
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.
Hi Peter

You have my greatest sympathy and I emapathise completely because I really suffer with the same condition in my right foot. So much so I've decided to cycle the camino.

I have found shoe insoles which support the arch do help. Also wearing a tight fitting ankle support also helps. Avoid at all costs and all times wearing flat soles or bare feet. Even in the house I wear trainers with insoles to raise at arch of foot.

A strategically placed cortezone injection just before you depart may help to reduce any resulting inflammation from your condition.

Good luck on your camino.

Derek S
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Hi Peter -
Don't take any chances with your feet - see a Podiatrist asap. You'll have an accurate diagnosis and the Podiatrist will give you a treatment regime that's going to be manageable for you and will enable you to be on those magical and sacred paths just as you have planned.
The suggestions here are all excellent ones and they are all what I'd do too but, if it was me, I'd get that Podiatrist's appointment booked as well. The Podiatrist will also give your feet an overall check to make sure your feet are "Camino ready".
Buen Camino!
Cheers - Jenny
 

Dobs

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,2016
Camino Portuguese 2012, 2016
Nothing new, just a variation of what's been said already.
I had plantar fasciitis 2 years ago on the Camino. I used a metal water bottle and at the end of each day's walk I used to get ice from a bar and fill the bottle with the ice. I would then roll my foot over the bottle as others have described. The bottle would remain cold for ages and was much stronger than a drinks can which wouldn't stay cold for long.
That and Ibuprofen cream let me walk about 12kms before it got uncomfortable, after that I just had to slow down a bit.
Anyway, it might define your Camino but hopefully not stop it.
 

Peterk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
Many thanks for all your replies and support. One of my daughters is a podiatrist and is great with advice and treatment. However, I have done the Camino and know it can be difficult with two good feet. You are giving me the confidence to know that I'm not alone and others have tiptoed along with major ailments quite successfully. Whining over. Flights booked. Buen Camino. Pax
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
I started with plantar fasciitis and had orthotics made for my hiking boots but I hadn't worn the orthotics before I left. As soon as I was wearing the orthotics daily my foot healed and I have worn orthotics ever day since. (for fear of it returning! - OUCH :eek::confused::mad:)
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17, 09/18 SJPdP - Fisterra
Portuguese ~05/19
@Peterk your daughter will probably have the best advice for you. It can take months to heal.

1) +1 insoles. I wear these https://secure.yoursole.com/us/mens/footbeds/performance-thick/. They also have some thin arch wraps.
2) +1 stretch, tennis ball under arch, ice
3) No bare feet, good shoes with arch support for the end of the day.
4) Have you thought about a cortisol steroid shot? I know they are not the best for tendons, but it may alleviate some of your pain. I had one, and I felt the difference within a couple of days.
5) May sound funky, but what about sleeping in your boots. They may stop your toes from pointing and tendons contracting overnight, and then ripping them with that first step in the morning. I wore a boot for a month, but it is not practical on a hike.

Buena Suerte!
 

AbbyDee

Court Jester
Camino(s) past & future
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of my 25th year, I will begin my Camino in September 2017
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.

Stretch! kerbs or stairs work well - Toes on the stairs and drop your heels down, then lift. do 10 reps.
Put a towel on the floor, or a Tshirt, then use your toes to gather the towel. Ice is good too. None of these are immediate fixes, unfortunately.
 

joybells63

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April/May (2017)
I start my Camino on April 1st and am being treated for plantar fasciitis as we speak. Physio has massaged my foot, Achilles and calf muscle, strapped my foot and given me 3 stretches to do along with the ball rolling. I'm having an ultrasound next week to check it is the fascia that swollen and if so will have a cortisone injection just before I fly out. If you are going with inner soles make sure you walk in them before you go. Good luck Peter and maybe I'll see you somewhere in Spain
 

quixote

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay
Also a sufferer in the past but cured by a combination of lower back/hip/knee/achilles/heel and fascia stretching exercises (think of all the tendons linked starting in the foot and ending in the lumbar) arch supports and rolling cold bottles.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
@Peterk It's very kind of you to give me the opportunity to bore everyone yet again. ;-) I started my camino in 2015 with plantar fasciitis. I'd already gone down the usual rabbit hole of doctor, podiatrist, arch supports, various stretching exercises, deep massage and much expense without success. A lot of research on google led me to a shoe with zero drop and a wide toe box. Also recommended was walking barefoot on gravel! The early pair of topo trail runners that I bought had zero drop, wide toe box and not much in the way of treads. Pebbles and stones on the camino became my 'walking on gravel'. I just kept telling myself it was foot massage. Plantar fasciitis was completely gone in the first two weeks and has never returned. Need to add that this worked for me but I have no medical qualifications and certainly can't recommend it to others. But sooo interested to see the video in earlier post suggests it's a toe problem which does add weight to the zero drop, big toe box shoe solution. PS I now walk in Altra shoes with deeper treads.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
Oh yes, that reminds me: on the stony-pebbly parts of the trail - Atapuerca and the walk up to Rabanal spring readily to mind - try to put your foot on good size pebbles so they hit the arch and roll over them! You can massage the sole and take your mind off the pain at the same time, looking for the perfect pebble. Just remember to look up now and again to enjoy the view. Fallen branches are also good for a little arch rolling en route, if there is no ball or bottle to hand.
I got PF on the Camino Francés in 2012 and could hardly walk when I came home, but I have walked sections of it again many times since, plus Hadrian's Wall, a bit of the Welsh Coast Path and a trail in Norway, so it is perfectly possible to get the miles and views in even with the PF. It's not so much a case of mind over matter but proper preparation and knowing when to stop, rest, ice, roll, add ibuprofen or find a bed - or even get a taxi. I never walk barefoot even at home, I use Birkenstock EVA Madrid sandals as slippers and wear Hokas when out and about, and I have a favourite pair of insoles that go in whatever shoe I wear for long walks. And I have started using Pacerpoles to take some pressure off the joints, not sure if that makes any difference thought it might have made me walk differently.
I am going back again in March and look forward to cans of Aquarius - I roll them under the foot while I drink my coffee, and then open the can and drink it before moving on. Perfect!
 
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Peterk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
Again, thanks for all the replies. I was thinking that nobody in their right mind would attempt the Camino with PF! And I'm right! Hope to meet some of you guys along The Way in early April.. Plantar or not!!
 

Shauna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
I have suffered PF for last three years whilst walking CF and Portuguese. Suffering a lot at the moment due to wearing flat sandals on recent holiday, so now I make sure I have a heel on at all times and it is helping. This weekend I am going to try KT tape which is supposed to help.

Will let you know. Stretches are also best to do.
 

joanneking

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
Like others who have already replied, I walked the camino with PF in 2015 (having acquired it on the camino in 2012.) I had custom-made orthotics for my shoes, which made a world of difference AND I brought my Birkenstocks to wear at the end of walking each day (which were very much appreciated by my feet). I learned foot and calf massage techniques, did leg stretches before setting out in the mornings, took arnica orally and cream to apply nightly. One big help was to press my feet up against the end of the bunkbed while sleeping, thus preventing the feet from pointing. All of these things helped so that my feet didn't bother me much at all. Good luck to you, Peter and buen camino!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
A terribly painful problem and I am amazed by so many of the posts as they show great courage and fortitude.

Hiking boots and trail shoes all have the same problem, they squeeze the front of the foot into an unnatural position - no matter how 'wide' they may be said to be they just aren't. Now, many pilgrims will be wearing this badly designed footwear continuously on Camino for the first time and, unless they are very lucky indeed, problems will ensue and one of them is that terrible under the heel pain. It is caused mainly by the toes, specifically the big toe, being crushed into an unnatural position for hours and then days and then weeks (and for those who wear fashion shoes at home, for years).

The answer is to wear footwear that are the same natural shape as the feet - look at your feet ... unless you have narrow feet you will find that they are wide at the front - and that is the shape footwear should be. Also, the footbed should properly contour to the natural shape of a foot, and most hiking footwear don't!

The company, Keen, produce a trekking sandal named the Newport H2 - now, this may be the ugliest footwear in the world but they are absolutely marvellous. The toe box is super-wide and the footbed contour is excellent, they are foot shape!! - photo below.

All you need to do is to put your foot flat on a piece of paper and mark both sides at the widest point and then compare that measurement to, say, your first finger .. then go into the shop and turn footwear over and use that measurement to see if you can find anything with that width - it will be almost impossible!

Another cause of problems in the feet, as unlikely as it seems (and also shinsplints) is the way one stands and walks with a pack. Try this - stand straight and relaxed, arms hanging down. Now, turn the elbows out a little bit and lean forward slightly from the waist - you will feel all of the tendons, muscles, and ligaments at the front of your legs, all the way down to your feet, go into tension - and this is what happens when you wear a pack that isn't super-light as you lean forward to counter-balance the weight - and this is before you have taken a single step!! So you are already set for painful problems before you start walking. And - and this is especially true for shinsplints - stop taking those long strides, it causes too much stress and flex - take shorter steps, even up to half that long step length .. walk in a relaxed way, casually upright and relaxed, wearing super-wide toe box footwear.

Here the Keen Newports - http://www.keenfootwear.com/en-lu/product/shoes/men/newport-h2


110230_midnight_navyfeather_gray_3q.jpg
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
A terribly painful problem and I am amazed by so many of the posts as they show great courage and fortitude.

Hiking boots and trail shoes all have the same problem, they squeeze the front of the foot into an unnatural position - no matter how 'wide' they may be said to be they just aren't. Now, many pilgrims will be wearing this badly designed footwear continuously on Camino for the first time and, unless they are very lucky indeed, problems will ensue and one of them is that terrible under the heel pain. It is caused mainly by the toes, specifically the big toe, being crushed into an unnatural position for hours and then days and then weeks (and for those who wear fashion shoes at home, for years).

The answer is to wear footwear that are the same natural shape as the feet - look at your feet ... unless you have narrow feet you will find that they are wide at the front - and that is the shape footwear should be. Also, the footbed should properly contour to the natural shape of a foot, and most hiking footwear don't!

The company, Keen, produce a trekking sandal named the Newport H2 - now, this may be the ugliest footwear in the world but they are absolutely marvellous. The toe box is super-wide and the footbed contour is excellent, they are foot shape!! - photo below.

All you need to do is to put your foot flat on a piece of paper and mark both sides at the widest point and then compare that measurement to, say, your first finger .. then go into the shop and turn footwear over and use that measurement to see if you can find anything with that width - it will be almost impossible!

Another cause of problems in the feet, as unlikely as it seems (and also shinsplints) is the way one stands and walks with a pack. Try this - stand straight and relaxed, arms hanging down. Now, turn the elbows out a little bit and lean forward slightly from the waist - you will feel all of the tendons, muscles, and ligaments at the front of your legs, all the way down to your feet, go into tension - and this is what happens when you wear a pack that isn't super-light as you lean forward to counter-balance the weight - and this is before you have taken a single step!! So you are already set for painful problems before you start walking. And - and this is especially true for shinsplints - stop taking those long strides, it causes too much stress and flex - take shorter steps, even up to half that long step length .. walk in a relaxed way, casually upright and relaxed, wearing super-wide toe box footwear.

Here the Keen Newports - http://www.keenfootwear.com/en-lu/product/shoes/men/newport-h2


View attachment 32225
Exactly!
Plantar fasciitis combined with Morton's neuroma was actually good for me because it led me to trail runners with ultra wide toe box, narrow heel and low or zero drop long before trail runners became popular.
My theory, firmly based on observations made while walking the camino in 2015 when virtually every pilgrim at that time (except me) got blisters as well as other foot problems, is that sandals and/or trail runners with ultra wide toe box and snug fitting heel suit the majority of foot types. I emphasise this is my personal theory.
The Keen sandals @David recommends, Altra trail runners https://www.altrarunning.com/why-altra, and some Topo Athletic https://topoathletic.com/topo-fit are the only three of which I am aware. There may of course be other brands but since I have discovered the new generation Altra with thicker treads I haven't bothered looking any further because for me they are ideal.
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.
See a foot doc for evaluation. Take the shoes you plan to use for the Camino with you to see doc. I'd also see a physical therapist to get specific exercises/stretches for YOUR issue. A bunch of internet strangers can't diagnose you. You could have PF, Tarsal Tunnel, a nerve impingement (I've had all 3, am now post-surgery...see signature). Best wishes to you!
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
See a foot doc for evaluation. Take the shoes you plan to use for the Camino with you to see doc. I'd also see a physical therapist to get specific exercises/stretches for YOUR issue. A bunch of internet strangers can't diagnose you. You could have PF, Tarsal Tunnel, a nerve impingement (I've had all 3, am now post-surgery...see signature). Best wishes to you!
I don't believe anyone offered a diagnosis. What was provided were responses to the OP based on personal experience. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
 

BonitaHolland

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting 3rd Sep 2016
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.
I got this condition last year during my first Camino..... I carried on for a further 3 weeks and since halting in Leon finally and returning home it's taken 6 months to recover. Don't do severe damage to your feet it's not worth it. I'm back this summer to pick up where I left off but I'm making some changes- bigger softer boots with inserts I'll be sending my backpack forward and I'll be taking it very slowly 10-15km per day, with an hour of stretching calves and feet each day plus Pilates for feet exercises thatI've learnt.
 

smoore

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Los Arcos 2012 and starting in SJPdP May 2016
Hi Pilgrims,
has anyone started walking the CF with plantar fasciitis? I'm starting from SJPP in a few weeks but my foot is having an argument with me. It is sore after about 5 miles but I can continue for another 5.
I'd like to know if it will become awfully sore after a week on the Camino or could it ease with persistence?Rest is not an option. I do stretches, rub Ibroufan, curse and feel sorry for myself but to no avail!
Any ideas or suggestions from any pilgrim with a similar condition would be appreciated.
Peter.
I suffered plantar facsciitis after my first camino and was very worried about it prior to walking my second camino. I started a strict habit of stretching out my feet using yoga tune up balls. I brought them with me and they were the best thing that I packed! I would stop to rest my feet a few times each day. I would remove shoes and socks, elevate my feet when possible and stretch using the massage balls. They are amazing and I would not do the camino without them! Watch a YouTube video on how to use them.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I have heard that rubbing the soles of the feet with Vick VapourRub helps - warmth and massage. Also lack of essential salts can make muscle tension/cramp worse. Worth checking that out too maybe if you sweat much when walking.
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
I sympathise having suffered from PF in the past myself. The heel inserts were the best thing to ease it when walking. But for a permanent solution try googling tmswiki and do the structured educational programme (free). I did and it has changed my life - 22 years of fibromyalgia, PF etc - all now gone! Good luck with your Camino
 

Shauna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
I suffered plantar facsciitis after my first camino and was very worried about it prior to walking my second camino. I started a strict habit of stretching out my feet using yoga tune up balls. I brought them with me and they were the best thing that I packed! I would stop to rest my feet a few times each day. I would remove shoes and socks, elevate my feet when possible and stretch using the massage balls. They are amazing and I would not do the camino without them! Watch a YouTube video on how to use them.
I have just ordered some yoga balls as I really need to get on top of my PF before CP in June.

I hope they help plus my stretches too. I want to be able to train but pain has been too bad recently. Whilst at work during the week I am ok as wear heeled boots but once put walking boots on pain is bad. Boots have orthotics in made by podiatrist plus boots given the ok as to suiting my gait.

Will let you know how the yoga balls help.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17, 09/18 SJPdP - Fisterra
Portuguese ~05/19
I started a strict habit of stretching out my feet using yoga tune up balls.
@smoore Thanks for sharing. I told my wife about the yoga tune up balls after I read this post. She ordered some for me and I got them yesterday. They do seem to work better than a tennis ball or lacrosse ball which I have been using. They seem to strike the right balance between hard and soft. I found a spot on the inside of my arch in line with the big toe that really needs to be worked out (sorry TMI). The ball allow the stretch to penetrate deeper than a tennis ball. Anyhow, I may add 1 to my kit.
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
I have suffered PF for last three years whilst walking CF and Portuguese. Suffering a lot at the moment due to wearing flat sandals on recent holiday, so now I make sure I have a heel on at all times and it is helping. This weekend I am going to try KT tape which is supposed to help.

Will let you know. Stretches are also best to do.
Hi how did you go with the KTape Shauna?. We walk in 5 weeks and PF is getting worse.
 
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fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
I developed PF for the first time early on in my northern camino 2 years ago. Took me by surprise, and was downright crippling. I completed my camino, but was often in a lot of pain, and had to utilize bag transport a lot (which irked me). It was still crippling for a few months after I got home as well.

In my experience, the following supporting practices can help temporarily:
icing (carry a 6" cold/hot bag - very little weight, and more reliable than reusing ziplocks)
PF stretches
deep massages (I use the green spiky Rubz ball)
oral & topical anti-inflammatories (I wish the US allowed Calmatel gel to be sold OTC!)
taping or arch compression bands (Zensah makes a good pair of these)

However, the only thing that can clear it up for good (again, in my experience) is consistent use of proper foot wear with quality insoles.

I regretfully abandoned my Teva hiking sandals and started wearing Brooks trail runners and Ahnu Montara hiking shoes. These were just fine, but I think it was the Orthaheel insoles that made the real difference.

Then, a couple of months ago, I read some very convincing posts here about the Altra Lone Peak (thank you, HedaP!), and decided to give them a try (REI, no risk, right?). Wow, I'm sold. Just a couple weeks ago, I gave them a real test - a solid week of daily, hardcore desert & mountain hiking in the Guadalupe Range. Zero pain, not even soreness. I didn't think it was possible to be so pain-free anymore. I mean, I had even less post-hike pain/soreness than before I developed PF 2 years ago!

It is - as stated by David & HedaP above - about the zero drop, the wide toe box, and the natural foot shape. These features put your foot in the position that nature intended. But, they aren't minimalist. The Altras also have great tread, a high stack, and ample cushion.

I turn to Vionic for my insoles and recovery/evening shoes. Their Orthaheel insoles (I prefer the medium density Relief) are PF specific.

The Vionic Braeden slide will be my post-walking/evening shoe. Your after walking shoes need to be properly supportive as well, for recovery. No flip-flops or flat sandals or plain old sneakers!

I am so much more confident my summer camino will be successful. (Thanks again HedaP!)
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
I developed PF for the first time early on in my northern camino 2 years ago. Took me by surprise, and was downright crippling. I completed my camino, but was often in a lot of pain, and had to utilize bag transport a lot (which irked me). It was still crippling for a few months after I got home as well.

In my experience, the following supporting practices can help temporarily:
icing (carry a 6" cold/hot bag - very little weight, and more reliable than reusing ziplocks)
PF stretches
deep massages (I use the green spiky Rubz ball)
oral & topical anti-inflammatories (I wish the US allowed Calmatel gel to be sold OTC!)
taping or arch compression bands (Zensah makes a good pair of these)

However, the only thing that can clear it up for good (again, in my experience) is consistent use of proper foot wear with quality insoles.

I regretfully abandoned my Teva hiking sandals and started wearing Brooks trail runners and Ahnu Montara hiking shoes. These were just fine, but I think it was the Orthaheel insoles that made the real difference.

Then, a couple of months ago, I read some very convincing posts here about the Altra Lone Peak (thank you, HedaP!), and decided to give them a try (REI, no risk, right?). Wow, I'm sold. Just a couple weeks ago, I gave them a real test - a solid week of daily, hardcore desert & mountain hiking in the Guadalupe Range. Zero pain, not even soreness. I didn't think it was possible to be so pain-free anymore. I mean, I had even less post-hike pain/soreness than before I developed PF 2 years ago!

It is - as stated by David & HedaP above - about the zero drop, the wide toe box, and the natural foot shape. These features put your foot in the position that nature intended. But, they aren't minimalist. The Altras also have great tread, a high stack, and ample cushion.

I turn to Vionic for my insoles and recovery/evening shoes. Their Orthaheel insoles (I prefer the medium density Relief) are PF specific.

The Vionic Braeden slide will be my post-walking/evening shoe. Your after walking shoes need to be properly supportive as well, for recovery. No flip-flops or flat sandals or plain old sneakers!

I am so much more confident my summer camino will be successful. (Thanks again HedaP!)
Great information thanks, postage is more than the price of the arch support sleeves Will look for something in Aust. :)
 
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alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
I tried the Altra Lone Peak but didn't feel they had enough cushioning for me so I bought the Altra Olympus - now that is a cushioned shoe!! Fantastic.
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
I tried the Altra Lone Peak but didn't feel they had enough cushioning for me so I bought the Altra Olympus - now that is a cushioned shoe!! Fantastic.
Good to know, I went from Merril to Hoka for this reason, will keep Olympus in mind if everything else fails
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
@Karen2017 my plantar fasciitis was cured with custom made orthotics but later I found that a simple pair of blue Orthoheel orthotic inserts, bought from Athletes Foot - the fairly rigid ones - worked just as well. My podiatrist tells me that mostly plantar fasciitis is a repetitive strain injury, and the reason that orthotics work is because they hold the arch and heel in a fixed position and hence stop the repetitive movement that causes the problem. I don't have any scientific knowledge about this, but it certainly worked, in surprisingly little time - amazing considering I was nearly crippled at the time.

I mention my experience with the blue Orthoheels because it might be worth a try - not much to lose!
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
@Karen2017 my plantar fasciitis was cured with custom made orthotics but later I found that a simple pair of blue Orthoheel orthotic inserts, bought from Athletes Foot - the fairly rigid ones - worked just as well. My podiatrist tells me that mostly plantar fasciitis is a repetitive strain injury, and the reason that orthotics work is because they hold the arch and heel in a fixed position and hence stop the repetitive movement that causes the problem. I don't have any scientific knowledge about this, but it certainly worked, in surprisingly little time - amazing considering I was nearly crippled at the time.

I mention my experience with the blue Orthoheels because it might be worth a try - not much to lose!
Hi Kanga, thanks for that. I saw a Podiatrist today and told I had totally killed
my 8 week old Inserts (rigid ones from another Podiatrist) and they we effectively doing nothing for my pronation/PF. Scans tomorrow for customs and push to get them made quickly. I know you like your sandals how do you deal with pronation/PF then when you can't we're orthotics. ?? My Hoka's (love them) will be my everyday wear but I would like to air the feet out in the afternoon/evening
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
I know you like your sandals how do you deal with pronation/PF then when you can't we're orthotics. ??
Many sandal lines do have great arch support and can stand in for orthotics in the short haul: Birkenstocks for sure, and my Crocs also have good support.
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
Many sandal lines do have great arch support and can stand in for orthotics in the short haul: Birkenstocks for sure, and my Crocs also have good support.
Vionic (the makers of the Orthaheel inserts) also make orthotic sandals. Scroll down to check out the Braeden sport slide (I wear this in the evenings) or the Dorrin sport sandal.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Yes, as @Kitsambler says, it is a matter of getting the sandals that have the right shape for your foot. In my case my Eccos do substitute for orthotics. That is why I keep wearing them - and why my podiatrist forbids me from changing (and she was a skeptic when I first started wearing them).

However your feet and gait are unique - I don't have a pronation problem, but I do have quite weird shaped feet and bone alignment. Completely rigid orthotics or shoes cause me terrible problems. So the behaviour and shape of your feet, your knees, your hips, your gait, all are yours alone, and may or may not be helped by the particular sandals you choose.

@fenix makes a good point - @Karen2017 - definitely worth trying those. If they suit you they would be a great choice to wear in the evenings and maybe even occasionally to walk in - although take the professional advice on that one.

You could also try my Ecco Off-Roads (I wear the mens because my feet are broad - ugly as sin, I lust after the womens models). They are quite structured, with velcro fittings that hold the foot in the right place. They are not lightweight and not designed to wear in water. Although I do when it is raining or muddy.

Keep that creative mind going - you will find solutions eventually.
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
Thanks everyone, nothing dainty or feminine about my size 10.5s. Kanga I am in men's 12 Hoka 's. I will definitely look at everyones suggestions.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
My wife has PF. We tried everything. Orthotics, insoles, meds. Cortisone injections. Nothing much helped. I would merely advise professional medical advice from 2 or 3 sources to see what works. Some things work for some people and not for others. We saw doctors, physio and podiatrist.

In the end we resorted to painkillers and anti inflamatories every 4 hours. I take the same for my Achilles tendonitis :oops:

We were advised Not to roll a ball under the foot....
 
Last edited:

Peterk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
I'm glad I asked the question and very happy with the answers. I used a combination of massage and stretching which seems to have done it. At present my PF is not giving me major concern but when I strap the rucksack on, who knows. Well, I suppose I'll know after Tuesday when I start the CF again! Here's hoping... and trusting. Buen Camino and many thanks. Peter.
 

Karen2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 2017
My wife has PF. We tried everything. Orthotics, insoles, meds. Cortisone injections. Nothing much helped. I would merely advise professional medical advice from 2 or 3 sources to see what works. Some things work for some people and not for others. We saw doctors, physio and podiatrist.

In the end we resorted to painkillers and anti inflamatories ever 4 hours. I take the same for my Achilles tendonitis :oops:

We were advised Not to roll a ball under the foot....
Hhhmmm, thanks for that Robo. I am having the cortisone jab next Thursday, new custom orthotics will be here then also. I pronate so hopefully that will help with that issue. I am limping my way through 15km training days currently and icing at the end. Dr has given me scripts for anti flams and pain killers. Definitely trial and error.



orthotics
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Hhhmmm, thanks for that Robo. I am having the cortisone jab next Thursday, new custom orthotics will be here then also. I pronate so hopefully that will help with that issue. I am limping my way through 15km training days currently and icing at the end. Dr has given me scripts for anti flams and pain killers. Definitely trial and error.



orthotics
Don't overdo the training! And try to stay off hard surfaces. ;)
 

Peterk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
Good luck. Let us know how you get on with any pain.
I had a bit of pain at the start of my walk but with stretching exercises i.e. toes pointed towards my knees, the discomfort lessened. I wore Sketchers hiking boots but had to change to Keens sandals for a few days. Taking footwear off and massaging feet for a few minutes was probably the most successful treatment. Nonetheless, I finished the Frances Route in 28 days without a great deal of pain and a whole lot of wonderful memories! Of course there were times... but you all know that!
 

Shauna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
Got a dilemma. My old Merrell boots which I used for the Portuguese camino last year have stopped giving enough support. As I suffer with pf did some research as to best boots to buy and due to width have settled on Merrell Moab. Undecided about size as I am usually a 6, I have sent for 6.5 and 7 to try.

My dilemma is that both are really comfy but my feet move around a lot more in the larger size. Doing the Primitivo in early June so temperature will not be red hot, so think the 6.5 should be ok. I have put them on in the house to see how they are.

Does anyone else have boot problems?
 

Paddington Bear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
My wife has PF. We tried everything. Orthotics, insoles, meds. Cortisone injections. Nothing much helped. I would merely advise professional medical advice from 2 or 3 sources to see what works. Some things work for some people and not for others. We saw doctors, physio and podiatrist.

In the end we resorted to painkillers and anti inflamatories every 4 hours. I take the same for my Achilles tendonitis :oops:

We were advised Not to roll a ball under the foot....
Robo, how is your wife's PF?
I found I had to wear an enclosed shoe with arch support inner soles in every shoe for 3 months before it cured. No flats and no thongs (even ones with arch support) during this time because I was told I had to stop the twisting motion. It's gone for me now and I can wear arch support thongs but if I walk on floorboards in bare feet even for a short distance I can feel the start of a niggle.
 
Last edited:

Paddington Bear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
Got a dilemma. My old Merrell boots which I used for the Portuguese camino last year have stopped giving enough support. As I suffer with pf did some research as to best boots to buy and due to width have settled on Merrell Moab. Undecided about size as I am usually a 6, I have sent for 6.5 and 7 to try.

My dilemma is that both are really comfy but my feet move around a lot more in the larger size. Doing the Primitivo in early June so temperature will not be red hot, so think the 6.5 should be ok. I have put them on in the house to see how they are.

Does anyone else have boot problems?
Your foot will swell. You need to be able to wriggle your toes freely but you also need the shoe to hold your heel in place. On a slope (make one with a piece of wood or books) you don't want your foot to slide forward in your shoe/boot.

Are you trying these shoes on with the socks you will wear on the walk?
 

Shauna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
Yes. Difficult because I think the larger size are too big but then if my feet swell they may be ok. Will walk around house I think
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Robo, how is your wife's PF?
I found I had to wear an enclosed shoe with arch support inner soles in every shoe for 3 months before it cured. No flats and no thongs (even ones with arch support) during this time because I was told I had to stop the twisting motion. It's gone for me now and I can wear arch support thongs but if I walk on floorboards in bare feet even for a short distance I can feel the start of a niggle.
It hasn't improved. After reading 'Born to Run' we kind of tried the opposite. Bare feet in the house.
Maybe we should try your approach.
 

Paddington Bear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
It hasn't improved. After reading 'Born to Run' we kind of tried the opposite. Bare feet in the house.
Maybe we should try your approach.
Everyone is different I guess but arch supports in everything, only enclosed shoes (no flats or heels) and no bare feet worked for me.

Try it for a few weeks. The pain went away by then but I was too scared to stop the regime!

I tried the exercises but other than standing with toes on a step and dropping my heel then raising my heel I was pretty inconsistent with them.

Very best of luck.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
My second Camino this year presented a touch of the old PF in my left heel area right after crossing the Pyrenees.
A problem that I used to have 30 kilos ago and which I thought had effectively been treated, but no. Of course my heavy pack had aggravated an old problem and when I have been training, it has been one day trips, hence my new predicament after the first day in the field.....What I did in the situation was a proper tape-up of my heel and carried on, with lessened pain and good result. I am in grat debt to my trusty poles and also had to develope a new procedure of landing my left foot, the front part touching first and also adopting the "Chi Walking" going downhill , sagging downward my dreary bottom and bending my knees, everything of which had good effect, and I happily trotted on.
Just to say that there is hope...
Landing back home, of course, I went to physio, had laser treatment and excercises. He showed me how thick my affected area was as to the unaffected one.
 

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