Ask Mark Answers - Healing from Plantar Fasciitis

I spent all of 2014 healing up from a bad bout of Plantar Fasciitis. I'd like to start running again and getting ready for the SF Marathon on July 26.

What shoe would you recommend? Also, I am using SuperFeet inserts but am wondering if customized inserts would be better. How much do they cost?

I'm thinking about swinging by the store on Saturday for new shoes and maybe to get custom inserts. Will you be there? Who should I talk with if not?


Getting back from a bout of Plantar Fasciitis is not easy and you need to start slow.  It's important that the band is well healed.  Advance from walking to rapid walking or slow running to make sure there is no pain.

I am at the store on most Saturdays and can help you choose shoes and inserts.  Otherwise, all our salespersons are trained to fit shoes and orthotics; any of them can help you.  Choosing a shoe with good arch support is generally recommended for Plantar Fasciitis, but we'd need to evaluate your feet and gait to recommend a specific model.  We carry Superfeet Green, which is a nice product, but its really made for a single foot type.  Our On the Run inserts have different shapes to fit more people.  They range in price from $39-$89.  




Ask Mark Answers - Achilles Tendonitus (Pt. 2)

 I have been receiving physical therapy for a year for achilles tendonitus with little improvement. An MRI taken yesterday shows deep inflammation but no tearing. The next step will be cortisone and a boot, which won't be for another few weeks. I would like to start with better shoes and perhaps some other more natural alternatives. Your thoughts?

I would recommend a shoe with an elevated heel. This will take the stress off the Achilles' tendon. A Hoka shoe is a possibility. I would also use an arch support with a deep heel cup to keep your heel from rotating.  Walking barefoot should be avoided, and we frequently recommend slipper/house-shoes made by Haflinger and sandals made by Vionic.  Both have excellent arch support and can be worn indoors and, in the case of the Vionic, in the shower to prevent having to walk barefoot.  Using a plantar fascia night splint is also good to keep the tendon elongated.  




Ask Mark Answers - Achilles tendonitis recommendations

Fourteen years ago my doctor recommended your orthotics for P-F. They worked fine. Per your symptom chart, I see now, I actually had Achilles Tendonitis-- bilateral, burning heels--I'd get home from tennis and literally "cool my heels" with ice.

Last year I developed heel pain in one foot, and the pain is definitely in the bottom of the heel. After resting and gradual resumption of tennis, the improvement plateaued short of satisfactory. Two weeks ago a podiatrist gave me a cortisone shot, which helped, plus a Phys Therapy referral. Since the shot I've been able to "push off" with the affected foot. The PT gal wants me to stop playing tennis, and minimize heel-impact activities. I'm waiting for the PT and the Podiatrist to concur on a treatment plan.

Question: How do I make sure 1) that my current orthotics are NOT part of the problem, and 2) that my orthotics are the most appropriate for my current circumstances?


Our sales history says you purchased an Ortho Flex orthotic. In the case of Achilles tendinitis its best to wear an arch support with a deep heel cup and a high arch. This will keep the heel from moving around.  We have products with deeper heel cups than the Ortho Flex, and which may be better suited to your current condition.  Also, a lift on both heels will help to take stress of the tendon, a more solid shoe may help, and we recommend an evening icing regimen. You may also want to use an ankle brace to keep the Achilles supported.  

Most importantly, if you haven't already, ask your podiatrist to examine your current orthotic and they should be able to provide the best advice.