If you’ve ever suffered with plantar fasciitis I don’t need to tell you that when your feet hurt, life is pretty miserable. Several years ago I developed this painful condition. For close to a year I was in excruciating pain. I am allergic to anti-inflammatories but I tried all the other recommendations:
- rolling my foot on a tennis ball
- stretching my foot before getting out of bed
- expensive tennis shoes with special inserts
To no avail.
We usually walk all over the place when we visit New Orleans but we ended up taking a lot of cabs during the couple of visits we made while I was dealing with this.
Then I discovered the cure – Birkenstocks.
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I had been a lifelong lover of going barefoot. My grandfather called me Barefoot Sally. As an adult I adopted shoes in public but still went barefoot at home most of the time. I generally wore Keds-type tennis shoes for casual wear which have no arch support, a terrible idea for someone with flat feet.
I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks while in California taking care of my uncle who had had surgery. I noticed a sale at a shoe store next door to the Trader Joe’s I always visit out there. I popped in on a whim, saw Birkenstocks on sale and bought a pair.
I was in California for about a week, wore the Birkenstocks the whole time, and at the end of that visit my foot was about 90% better. I couldn’t believe it! I continued to wear them and soon all traces of plantar fasciitis had disappeared.
Occasionally I would revert to my barefoot-in-the-house habit and start to feel twinges of pain again. Or I would wear other shoes in public several days in a row. Again…pain.
I’m a pretty fast learner, though. It was obvious that if I wanted to have pain-free feet I needed to stick with my Birkenstocks. And that’s what I’ve done now for several years. I have a nice pair of Clarks boots which are very comfortable that I wear in the winter and a pair of Clarks heels (mine are black) for church and dressy occasions. But as soon as I get home I put on my Birkenstocks.
I know many people think they are ugly. I used to think so, too, to be perfectly honest. But you know the saying, “pretty is as pretty does”? In my world that applies to my shoes. And the funny thing is, they are actually in vogue right now.
You know what? I honestly don’t care. Sure, it’s nice to be on trend, or even ahead of the curve. However, I would wear them even if they NEVER were in style. Pain-free feet are worth whatever it takes to achieve. But I must admit a teeny bit of satisfaction when I see models and other celebrities embracing the Birkenstock.
These are the two styles I currently own: