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Last year, I began to experience some pain in my foot. More precisely, in my heel area. Over many months, it got worse, until I was hobbling and limping. A pain in another part of the body might be less of hindrance. A pain that limits impedes mobility can affect your whole body and limit your lifestyle.

Eventually, it got so bad, I went to the doctor. Diagnosed the problem as Plantar Fasciitis. Not a bone spur, I asked? His remedy, take anti-inflammatory drugs and get orthotics. He recommended a place across town that is expensive. An alternative, he said, would be to go to the Dr. Scholl’s kiosk where you step on a machine and it will tell you which type of their inner sole you need. So, 40 bucks later, I discovered the problem with these inner soles is that they are not full length, so you can’t replace your current inner sole with one of these and adding it on top can make your heel too hight in the shoe so that the shoe no long fits correctly.

My wife said that my daughter had gone to North Shore Athletics where athletic shoes are sold. As soon as I told the sales person my problem, he exclaimed that he also has had Plantar Fasciitis and said I needed Superfeet. Grabbing a box and tearing it open, he pointed out that I had the right shoes with harder stabilization rubber in the sole area under my arch. I took off my shoes and he replaced the original inner sole with the Superfeet ones. Then he told me I would feel it under the front of my arch. Suddenly, I could walk. For 45 bucks, this was a deal over the hundreds it would cost for orthotics.

I was told that I would have to wear my runners with the Superfeet constantly for 10 days. even putting them on to get up in the night to go to the washroom. I got away with this for about two and a half days. Then, my wife looked down at my feet and asked “Are you wearing your shoes in the house?” “yes,” I said, “I was told I have to.” “Oh, no you don’t.”

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So, I put the Dr. Scholl’s inner soles in the slippers my wife had bought many months prior. That didn’t work well, because the slippers have an open heel, so they work their way out.

My next stop was a place called Kintec. North Shore Athletics is now owned by this chain. I found that these folks also know what they are talking about. They showed me slippers, shoes, explained the orthotics they make and then, after also showing me exercises to do, sold my a little green ball with short spikes that I had to roll under my foot. Now, my feet are very sensitive. If my sock has a wrinkle, I feel it. I was quite worried that this little ball was going to be very uncomfortable. Nope, I actually like it.

There was one more stop. When my wife and I got married, we bought Birkenstock sandals. I still have mine, however they were very worn out. I had put contact cement on the cork a few times and had a quarter sole replacement under the heel. I went to a small shoe repair place in the south side of the Park Royal Shopping Centre. They told me they could do the whole sole for 40 bucks. Great! I said, I’ll be back.

Today, I wear the Birkenstocks in the house, and bought a second pair of Superfeet. This afternoon, my wife and I went for a walk. My foot is not totally better, but I can manage and tell that they are getting better. I use the ball in the morning, wear shoes with Superfeet all day and do exercises everyday. I have been told to keep this up, even when my feet are better. At least I have not spent many hundreds of dollars on orthotics.

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