The Good Feet Stores

The Good Feet stores

After I spent much of May (2017, of course) claim-staking dawn-to-dust in the Rocky Mountains’ Kettle River Range, in northeastern Washington, it took a week or two for the old bones and muscles and connective tissue to regain painless function.

But the foot was fine, the good old plantar fasciitis foot. I made it through two weeks before, on the last day, my disintegrating hiking shoes tore open on multiple seams. Sure, my feet were tired from the lateral stresses of constant steep terrain. But that little mass of defective tissue in my right heel, which the medical profession calls plantar fasciitis, never made a squeak.

Of course I took my Good Feet orthotic inserts out of the shoes before I threw them in the garbage can, and stuck them in some other shoes. Can’t lose those. I credit them. Five years ago, before I had those things, it was hard to hobble through a shopping mall.

Arch support inserts were only a part of my Self-Cure Story, of course, but an important part.

And the Good Feet Stores have some good features. Like when I stopped in my local Good Feet store (Lakewood, Colorado) in about March 2015 because it seemed like my old arch-support inserts didn’t feel as good as they used to…like maybe my weight (and I do need to lose weight, that’s a factor) over the past two-plus years might have flattened them a bit? Now, when the saleswoman measured the inserts and said, yeah, they had deteriorated, lost a bit of their loft, that happens to a piece of plastic after being walked on for years, I thought  Oh, great! Now I gotta pay that breath-taking price for new ones?

Pricey, but they also include stuff like the service where, for example, I twice got new inserts for free, as Good Feet measured and responded to changes in the feet. I think they have three-dimensional CAD/CAM models of the curving of surfaces and distributions of pressure, with optimal matching to the morphology of the feet. Or some kind of high-blown jibber-jabber like that.

Shoestore as medical technology company.

After I got two pairs of those inserts in September 2012, of course, I had a one-year guarantee for replacement. By by 2015, WAY past that full-year guarantee, I needed new ones. Saleswoman said, don’t worry, Good Feet would gimme new ones for free, according to that lifetime warranty I’d paid $70 for when I bought the first ones. I said, Duhhh? I bought that? And she said, Lemme check your sales record on the computer. Ooo, she said, I guess you didn’t. So I asked, How much did that cost? She said, it would have been an additional $70. It’s something you are supposed to do at the time of sale, she said, but she would get me with the warranty anyway. So I paid $70. Sure beats having to pay original price for inserts AGAIN. What that $70 buys me is that, when the new ones in a year or two or three start to lose their loft, replacements will be totally free. For all eternity, apparently. OK, now here’s the story.

NOW My Story — The Good Feet Stores

Plantar Fasciitis Solutions is not about recommending products, but word of mouth and personal experience requires that I say something about the Good Feet Stores. People have asserted that their formula works. I’ve found that it works. I know that some people have tried other orthotics approaches and found them satisfactory, and there even may be some who disagree with my positive assessment of Good Feet.

But here’s that assessment. Good Feet shoe inserts — and actually, some of the shoes I bought there — have helped a great deal, and are my main footwear. Makes my feet feel so much better. Along with plantar-fasciitis-specific stretching exercises, in fact, I think it’s helped my self-cure along greatly. Nowadays I do a lot of hiking and don’t wind up at the end of the day with a limp, like I was doing in the summer of 2012. Of course, in that summer I was hiking all day every day, but still. Good Feet is the best thing I’ve found for footwear/orthotics.

Plantar fasciitis came at me in early 2012. However, as I spent that summer walking on my bad heel from daylight to dusk May-October in yet another mineral exploration field season on rough footing up and down mountainous terrain, I really place the beginning of my self-cure effort in November.

Good Feet Stores offer one of those more-expensive-than-over-the-counter approaches, but after hundreds of dollars spent on podiatrist visits, I was ready to try something new when my wife read about them in the paper and said, why don’t you try this?

Add to that the recommendation of a friend, Dan D., who said he had gone to Good Feet. “The inserts from Good Feet,” said Dan D., “I’ve been super happy with those. It was a two-week process of discomfort, but now I live to put those shoes on. I bought regular inserts for every day and inserts for the exercise shoes as well. That really did the trick. My plantar fasciitis went away. After three weeks…I’ve not thought about going back to Good Feet or going to a doctor.”

Over a year earlier, he said, he had gone to a specialized walking shoe store and what they gave him was “worthless.”

But after three weeks? He can’t have had the kind of serious plantar fasciitis I have, I thought as I listened. And he did say that by the sixth day he did notice a cumulative effect of discomfort and take ibuprofen. It’s shaping your foot as well as supporting it, supposedly, and ultimately it replaces pain with the pleasure of comfort.

Dan says he doesn’t stretch, and stretching is the main recommendation for cure. So I figured, if I stretch as well as trying this program, what can I lose?

Well, some money. What you are buying is a one-year program, but at the outset you’re not quite sure what you’re getting into. Until you realize what the “program” is, in fact, all you see is what look like little pieces of plastic at a cost that tempts you to say something like, “WHAT the HELL?”

But as I said above, on September 4, 2012, as part of the program, I bought two pairs of arch support insoles at Good Feet: the “Exercisers” and the “Maintainers.”

The Exercisers are “designed to put the foot into the Ideal Foot position, in which all of the body’s weight is evenly distributed throughout the entire foot, so that no single part of the foot takes on more pressure than it is supposed to,” according to company literature.  They’re designed to “exercise the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the feet into a more ideal alignment.” OK.

The Maintainers “are designed to preserve any of the changes your arches go through when you are wearing your ‘Exerciser’ supports,” according to the company. OK again.

But good heavens they were expensive, at that time costing $299.95 pe pair. I added 6 pairs of Good Feet cushion insoles to go over the arch supports, total $65.85. And a package of Velcro pads to put in a variety of shoes and on the bottoms of the arch supports to hold support stable in shoe, $24.95. With a “package discount,” it came to $575.70.

Walking out of the store, staggered by what I had just paid, I had the momentary buyer’s remorse of wondering, “What just happened? I paid how much? And for what again? WHAT the HELL? Am I one of those suckers stampeded by desperation into going for anything?

Maybe not. First, they take impressions of your feet and fit you with the arch supports that are most appropriate. They give you directions about changing your arch supports, the Exerciser for day to day use and the Maintainer for more athletic activities and longer walking. And they tell you that there will be some discomfort at first, and if it persists, come back for an adjustment. And they tell you that the program should be changing your arches toward what they should be to get out of the plantar fasciitis cycle.

Within weeks, I noticed more discomfort than seemed right, I went back, got new feet impressions to see how the foot was doing.  “Your feet have changed, all right, that’s what we’re trying to accomplish,” the lady said, and she gave me new ones. Free of charge.

After going back to the exploration field and running up and down some more mountains into October, I came back to the Good Feet store in November and said I was having discomfort. The guy in the store, measured my feet and gave me new ones again, supposedly another stage in an adjustment process of some seven stages – that felt more comfortable. Again, no charge!

I got a different shape of the Exerciser to accommodate the fact that, he said, my metatarsal arch had moved forward by 2 millimeters from the last measurement. And he gave me a new Maintainer arch support, not a different shape but of different material, stronger and a little less flexible.

Again, it felt better. I began to see that this year-long program I had bought was buying more than just two sets of arch supports. You can go in and bother the store for help as much as you want, getting the “adjustment” of new, more comfortable supports free of charge. My year program is long over, but the Good Feet inserts are what I walk on nowadays, and I do a lot of walking. In summer 2014 I did do a 16-mile hike (round trip) in the Flat Tops Wilderness here in Colorado. As I mentioned above you can see that on this Web sites’s intro page. 

And then, as mentioned above, I went in to the store in early 2015 and got another new pair, for the additional $70 lifetime guarantee. And in early August 2015 I did another backpack trip in the Sangre De Christo mountains as well, and while I had some geezer pains from that, plantar fasciitis — which used to be the MAIN pain — was not among e’m.

Of course inserts are not the whole story, and I do keep up the stretching program recommended for plantar fasciitis, using the night splints as much as I can, and wearing shoes with tighter heels and more flexible soles, in the meantime.

Hmmmm. Now, in late 2017, I’ve had those last inserts for a couple of years. I wonder if they’ve flattened a bit. I think it’s time to go in and see if I need new ones again and can get them for free. It’s time to test that lifetime guarantee again, and I’ll sure let you know if it fails the test.  

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