Originally Posted by moguljunkie
I've gone the exact opposite route. Had PF last year -- went away after a few acupuncture treatments. Now, I make an effort to be barefoot as much as possible, and I run in the lightest, least-built-up shoes without my orthotics. After five months of strengthening my feet, I ran twenty minutes barefoot on a grass field yesterday with no problem and over an hour the day before in racing flats.
PF was rare many years ago; now it is common among athletes. Most likely because we all wear built up athletic shoes (with heels raised far higher than the toes) that no one wore thirty years ago. The key is to wean off bulky shoes and orthotics VERY slowly. From what I've read, a very quick transition will exacerbate foot problems, because the foot is very weak from a lifetime of being coddled in over-supportive shoes. I've had a few minor setbacks from rushing things, but, overall, my feet feel stronger than ever.
Feel free to write this off as another crazy MogulJunkie theory. But, if interested, you can do a search for "minimalism" at letsrun.com and find a lot of support for my theories.
You know, I don't disagree with you -- it makes sense that a lifetime of shoes would weaken your feet compared to a lifetime of going barefoot.
But ... I don't suspect many of us will be able to revert.
I don't know why pf is more common now ... I imagine there are more factors involved than just shoes, too. Such as: it has a name other than "my aching dogs"; I know I just thought I had sore feet, and sort of stumbled on an online diagnosis while I was looking for something else.
Athletes train more and differently now, too, than they did years ago. I mean, the whole jogging Jim Fixx thing started about 30 years ago, didn't it? It's my understanding that a lot of pf comes from running on hard surfaces. And pro athletes do a lot of off-season and cross training that they didn't do in decades past.
I don't wear built-up athletic shoes, hardly ever. I don't run, due to knee issues. I play tennis, and I get the flattest court shoes possible. I did buy some with a slightly built-up heel once, and my achilles tendon started getting sore. I don't know if it had anything to do with it, but I immediately switched back to my old style of shoe, and it went away.
Not that I don't believe you, I do, but I think there are many other things, too. Mine came about when I had started playing tennis again when my second baby was about 3 mos old, and I had just moved to California. We had tile floors; those suckers wore out my legs. Also, I wore nothing but cheap flip flops, and I was a few pounds over my normal weight (I wasn't by any means overweight, so I don't know if that had to do with it or not). I guess postpartum body weirdness would also be possible ... everything else was falling apart, too. LOL