Everyone has a pair of “lucky shoes.” Maybe it’s your favorite pair of heels or your fastest running shoes. Maybe it’s the shoes you wore on your wedding day or when your team won the big game. For me, my lucky shoes are The Healing Sole flip flops.
Not long ago, I started experiencing some heel pain. It was so intense first thing in the morning that I could barely walk. It subsided during the day but always came back with a vengeance.
As moms sometimes do, I put off my own pain relief and health just to keep my family’s daily life in order. My oldest still had to go to school and do homework in the afternoons, my toddler still required constant attention (and running behind him) during the day, and my husband still had to go to work. I didn’t have anyone to watch the baby and didn’t want to burden anyone else with “my problems.” So I put up with it and suffered silently… until that morning when I fell due to the pain with my first step of the day.
My husband didn’t realize what I had been going through – because, you know, moms don’t always share their pain – so he insisted right then that I see a doctor immediately. We called in reinforcements to watch our youngest so that I could go see an orthopedist.
Warner Orthopedics and Wellness
As luck would have it, I recently began working part time for a small marketing firm in Baton Rouge, and one of their clients is Warner Orthopedics and Wellness. My regular orthopedist had recently retired, so I decided to give this place a shot. And I’m so glad that I did.
At my first visit, Dr. Warner noticed things that my old orthopedist never did. She took the time to give a thorough examination and even had me give blood for a workup. A blood test? At the orthopedist? I was floored at how thorough she was and knew, almost instantly, that I had made the right decision.
Turns out that I have a heel spur, which isn’t really a huge deal. Lots of people have them. However, the pain I was experiencing did not make sense with just a spur. It was determined that my calf muscles were very tight, and pulling on my Achilles, which caused it to tighten and rub against that spur. In fact, it was likely the cause of the spur as well. Physical therapy was ordered to stretch and open up my calf muscle and hips.
Remember how hard it was for me to find time to go to the doctor for just one visit? As soon as I heard the words “physical therapy” I got extremely anxious. I was terrified that I’d have to continue dealing with this pain because there was no way I could go to therapy 2-3 times per week. I resolved to make a strong effort, though, and managed to make it happen for about a month, which is roughly half of the suggested time I needed.
The Healing Sole
Full disclosure: Yes, part of my new part time job is marketing for Dr. Warner. And another part is marketing for her invention, The Healing Sole. But let me tell you something, this shoe works.
The main purpose of the shoe is to treat plantar fasciitis and promote overall foot health and function. I don’t have plantar fasciitis so I didn’t think it would help me because my pain stems from tightness in my calf. So when my new boss gave me a pair, I figured I'd wear them just for standard market research. I couldn’t believe it when I started experiencing pain relief as well.
It almost feels silly to refer to The Healing Sole as a flip flop because it’s so much more. There are 5 features that turn this flip flop into a medical grade healing device:
- Raised big toe lift – This little ramp keeps you from clenching up your toes like regular flip flops.
- Neoprene straps – These keep the shoes from slipping out of place.
- Arch support – This takes pressure off of the plantar fascia and is low to prevent further damage.
- Compressible medial heel – 1/3 of the heel on the inside (maximum point of pain for plantar fasciitis) compresses and the rest of it is quite firm. This brings a natural stretch to the Achilles and plantar fascia.
- Rocker bottom sole – This limits foot flexion and extension and allows the muscles in the foot to rest.
Dr. Warner is pretty adamant that the shoes shouldn’t be worn all day until they have been broken in. That part was easy for me to follow. I can’t wear flip flops to work and running after a toddler in flip flops probably isn’t a good idea. So I wear them where a lot of moms spend most of their time – in the kitchen. I put them on to make breakfast for the kids and pack my son’s school lunch. I put them on when I make lunch for my toddler. I put them on in the evenings while I’m cooking dinner and wear them continuously during clean up after dinner as well. On days I don’t go to the office, that adds up to about 3-4 hours a day.
I firmly believe the compressible heel is what helped the most. It almost feels like standing backwards on a diving board with your heels over the edge. Your heel drops down a little in the shoe and gives you a good stretch in the Achilles and calf – which is exactly what I needed.
I haven’t been able to make it back to physical therapy (yes, I do still need to go and it’s on my list – I swear!) but my daily pain level has drastically decreased since I’ve started wearing The Healing Sole. I can walk first thing in the morning without wincing from the pain. I can run around after my toddler all day or wear heels to work and not be in agony that evening. It still hurts some, but the pain is far less, even on my worst days now.
So why are these my lucky shoes? Because they’ve given me enough pain relief that I can continue running my family’s daily routine without losing precious time or having to pay for a babysitter. I no longer have anxiety about chasing after my son or spending an extended amount of time on my feet. They’ve saved me time and money. If that’s not lucky then I don’t know what is!