It’s gotta be the shoes (plantar fasciitis?)

It bothers me when there’s nothing on the internet that matches my search. As best I can tell, nobody has documented a case of “plantar fasciitis” exactly like mine. So, I will. Maybe it’ll help someone else. (Feel free to contact me.)

My case has always been odd in at least three ways:

  1. I don’t feel discomfort getting out of bed in the morning. Apart from mild stiffness (which is true of my entire body after sleeping 8 hours, and always has been, and is normal), my feet feel rested. This is, apparently, not how plantar fasciitis is supposed to feel. Literally everything I’ve read says the first morning steps will hurt. In my case, my feet exhibit classic plantar fasciitis pain symptoms only after use (walking, standing). With rest, they get better, often within an hour or so.
  2. My symptoms are bilaterally symmetric (both feet, same spots hurt the same, at the same time). This is not completely unheard of, but is rare.
  3. I vastly prefer to be barefoot, even for walking and standing. I cannot overstate this. Yesterday I walked/stood for 20 minutes barefoot in one stretch with no problem. Today, 45. So far so good. The key seems to be to maintain a healthy arch with my own foot muscles (avoid my natural pronation). My feet absolutely do not crave support of any kind to accomplish this. They hate it. I can walk or stand longer, with no discomfort, barefoot than in shoes. Shoes are not a relief. They make things worse. This, again, is unusual for plantar fasciitis. Many, many cases are documented in which people find the right supportive shoes or orthotics and feel immediate relief. I have tried lots of shoes and a variety of orthotics — custom and OTC — including highly recommended types for plantar fasciitis. None beat barefoot.
Some of the shoes and orthotics I have tried. Others already in the trash or I was too lazy to make another trip up the stairs to get them.

I’ve told all this to five health care practitioners. Nobody’s suggested it’s anything other than plantar fasciitis. It’s true that when I have symptoms they absolutely match this condition, I just don’t get them in the way almost everyone else gets them.

I’m starting to doubt the diagnosis. But, my symptoms don’t exactly match anything, as far as I know.

One thing this all means is that I should stop trying to treat my condition with more foot support. My feet don’t want it. I’d go barefoot all the time, everywhere if I could. That’s just not practical. On order are Merrell Vapor Glove “barefoot” shoes.


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