So many great suggestions for managing the pain.
Preventing the pain? Like many others I have bought every shoe and inset I could find. I finally (duh) asked my doc to send me to a podriatist, it hurt so bad. She asked me to describe it, then said “we’re taking care of that here...a podiatrist will just give you a shot.” Knowing how much the shot itself would hurt, I tried it her way. Hamstring stretching. Simple as that. The scarf exercise described in a earlier post. The wall exercise (easy to google). Toe touches (gently). I like the toe touches because I can do them whenever I think of it without having to arrange myself.
After a couple of weeks I could walk to the kitchen with no pain. If I get lazy with the stretching the pain will begin to return. Often I can cut it off early, with my leg on an ottoman (eg reading or tv position), and with my leg straight, flexing my foot with my toes toward my nose as hard as I can. Hold, release, repeat, until I’m sick of it. I’m pretty close to normal now (in the foot department, that is).
Shoes are not wasted, however. Even though the good shoes didn’t solve my pain problem, the are essential for maintaining the good results of all that stretching. If I try to wear the wrong shoes, it all comes right back. For me, strong arch support for my crazy high arches is a must. I’ve found that Dr Scholl’s $12 3/4 length high arch insoles turn most any footwear into heaven on earth. I even put them in my slippers. Of course I didn’t try those until I spent my mortgage money on the “proven” shoes and soles. Tip: the men’s seem to work better than the women’s.
I hope you find the combo that works for you. The pain is unbelievable. And when you don’t want to walk, life-limiting. And from personal experience, fattening. And depressing.
I do agree with the notion that really hard floors, like concrete, can exacerbate it, especially if standing a lit (rather than walking). I always find walking outside on unpaved surfaces easier on my feet, though not on my speed or balance; to me, a minor sacrifice for all the good.