I always associated Birkenstocks with sandals, but they make a complete range of footwear (including the boots illustrated above), all with the trademark toe grips.
It’s a while since I last wrote about podiatric attempts to alleviate my foot dystonia; in fact, I didn’t write much about the last couple of visits at all. At the end of last year, I went to see a podiatrist again. He took an imprint of my feet and ordered me some custom insoles, which arrived in February:
My toes don’t always behave themselves. That dystonia that I mentioned once or twice makes them curl up and squash together. The curling up makes shoes a problem, as the toes rub on the uppers. But even without the friction, cured up feet are difficult to walk on, particularly (and here’s the weird bit) in confined spaces. Like indoors.
I am seeing the podiatrist again in just over a fortnight’s time.
But I also had an idea, and I’m trying it out.
I’ve had a few problems walking lately.
It’s not the characteristic Parkinson’s shuffle; it’s a lopsided hobble. It’s almost definitely down to the dystonia that (literally) screws up the toes on my left foot. Continue reading
Parkinson’s UK, the largest UK charity devoted to curing and caring for people affected by Parkinson’s, has a theme for this year’s Parkinson’s Awareness Week: “In My Shoes”. It’s about explaining what it’s like to have Parkinson’s, and it’s about shoes. Because shoes are easier to illustrate.
I mentioned in my post about socks for hill walking that my walking boots are rather tight-fitting. What I didn’t mention, because it wasn’t really relevant to the subject in hand, was that on my recent walks, the dystonia in my feet stayed at bay. This seems to be due to the tightness of my boots in the toe area; there just isn’t room for my toes to curl up in there!
This is mostly a good thing. It means that I’m not standing on the ends of my toes. But it did have one unexpected result (which I felt after the first walk, but paid it little heed because it didn’t hurt as much as the huge blisters on my heels): I have a blood blister underneath my big toe nail! The toe nail has turned an odd shade of purple, and it all feels rather tender. I’m not posting a photograph of it because, lets face it, pictures of people’s foot injuries are seldom illuminating and almost invariably not aesthetic. And it’s not really all that bad, either.
If I tell you that my dystonia takes the form of the four smaller toes curling in, and the big toe sticking itself up, I’m sure that you will be able to see how this happened; that big toe had been jabbing itself up at the hard leather of my boot, just above where the toe should have been happily sat, moving with my foot rather than against it.
I don’t often wear high-heeled shoes, but I had occasion to do so yesterday, when I had a job interview. I also had a good wander around Andover, where the interview was.
I decided not to wear the orthotic insoles. They don’t actually seem to help very much, and in some shoes they make my feet ache more than they would without the insoles. I gave my interview shoes (block-heeled lace-ups which go nicely with a trouser suit) a spit and polish and off I went. By the end of the day (not-very-stressful interview and a couple of hours of fairly purposeful town-walking), my feet were fine. I realised that I had scarcely been bothered by the dystonia at all.
The only problem with heels is that I haven’t mastered the art of running in them.