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Forum > Miscellaneous > Looking for lightweight, flexible athletic shoes ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Looking for lightweight, flexible athletic shoes
need toe/ball of foot support
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3569
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Date: 6/4/12 4:46 PM

You guys were so helpful last winter when I was looking for walking shoes for snowy and icy weather that wouldn't aggravate the bursitis in my hip, I thought I'd see if you had any more suggestions for me! (I didn't actually end up needing the snow walking shoes, because we had ONE snowfall all "winter," but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate all the suggestions! )

My issue now is slightly different. This spring I've had a nagging soreness/numbness in the toes of one foot. I read this thread about Morton's neuroma from a couple of years ago, and it sounds all too familiar. It usually doesn't bother me if I'm wearing good shoes (which I mostly do), but I've recently taken up barre-style workouts, which are typically performed barefoot or in grippy yoga socks. Many of the poses are done raised up on the balls of your feet ("releve"), and it's putting some unwanted strain right on the sore part of my foot.

I tried wearing my regular workout shoes (sturdy New Balance running shoes with a steel shank in the sole for stability), and while they did make my toes feel better, they also felt a lot more clunky and awkward, and I don't feel like I got into the poses as well.

So I'm looking for a compromise! I need a supportive shoe that will still allow me to move with flexibility, without the strain of going barefoot. I'm crossing my fingers that I'm not looking for something that doesn't exist (but the other thread gives me hope).

Suggestions?

Thanks!!

------
~Gem in the prairie

Sewliz
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Sewliz  Friend of PR
Colorado USA
Member since 6/22/04
Posts: 4439
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 6/4/12 5:59 PM

The dance world has a few solutions with cushions under the balls of the feet. ideas here

------
Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 4/1/08
Posts: 6128
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 6/4/12 8:01 PM

Sorry, it is the case of the stuttering iPad, again.
-- Edited on 6/4/12 8:06 PM --

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 4/1/08
Posts: 6128
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 6/4/12 8:01 PM

Spikeless racing flats, some of the karate/martial arts shoes and the newer minimalistic or flatfoot technology shoes.

My old shoes are mid weight spikeless racings flats from New Balance. The new ones are from the Puma Faas line. I have particularly fussy feet and knees and I'm trying to get the new ones broken in for tai chi. You will probably understand that it is a bit of a process.

I hope you'll be able to go to a running store. If you need extra width in the forefoot, some of the men's racing flats will still have a narrower heel. The good ones are like being barefoot with support.

The shoes can be researched online and the runners turn in very helpful reviews. I had a start up list in hand when I arrived at the store. Fleet Feet.

I started tai chi in socks or ballet shoes. After a week of cleaning out my brother's home and hitting an oddly placed step at the same spot you are having trouble with, I needed more support also. Yowsers, that hurt. I would have liked the martial arts shoe but could not find the better one in my size. The racing flats were a great solution for me as foot flexibility is important in tai chi also.
Best wishes.
-- Edited on 6/4/12 8:04 PM --

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

maryl
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maryl
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 6/24/05
Posts: 528
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Date: 6/4/12 8:36 PM

I have lots of problems with my feet (arthritis, etc.) and literally the only shoes that I can wear comfortably all day are Reebok Classic ( called variously Classic Nylon, Classic Ballistica . . . I think they keep changing). I prefer the men's versions as the toe part is a bit wider. I just order a size and a half smaller than the woman's size I wear.

Here's a link to the shoe on Zappos: http://www.zappos.com/reebok-lifestyle-classic-nylon-white-light-grey?zfcTest=fw:0

I love these shoes so much that I order them in all different colors. In the winter I have a couple of pairs of black ones that I wear with black pants, for example. They are just so completely comfortable that they've spoiled me for any other shoe.

anae
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anae
Beginner
New York USA
Member since 4/6/03
Posts: 259
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 6/5/12 4:00 PM

For general overall cushioning (without that squishy unsupported feeling) you could try the speedo zipwalker water shoe. The bottom is meant to be a little grippy though - you couldnt do much actual ballet. There are other water shoes out there that could work if you just need to protect the bottoms of your feet from a hard floor--speedos and tevas -- you'll probably want to stay away from teh ones that have knobby bottoms because the knobs can feel like stones after a while. That zipwalker is one of the flatter ones.

Another thing you can do is look for molefoam or moleskin from the dr. scholls section in the drugstore. You can cut out the shape you need, stick it to the bottom of your foot, and just wear whatever shoes you normally find comfortable. Doing that can get expensive. But once you've found the size/shape/placement of molefoam that works for you, you can stick it under your shoe's insert instead of sticking it to your foot. The molefoam can stay there indefinitely.

LoriB
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 LoriB  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Armed Forces (AE) GERMANY
Member since 4/23/02
Posts: 1030
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Date: 6/6/12 0:33 AM

I have Morton's Neuromas in both feet. Well actually it's gone from the right one because I had it operated on about 2 years ago so now my toes are just numb because the remaining nerves have not completely healed. Before going to the podiatrist I tried those Dr. Scholl gel pads to no avail. My podiatrist put me in custom insoles, but I admit I don't wear them all the time because unfortunately they just don't work in sandals and high heels. But when my feet bother me I wear shoes with the custom insoles in them and then they're ok. The running shoes suggested by my podiatrist were all supportive as opposed to flexible or ones with cushy gel in them. I wear my insoles in those.

You might try going with a wider shoe. My walking shoes are black New Balance sneakers in a wide width - they work with the insoles and are comfortable but not too therapeutic-shoe looking. My favorite sandals are Earthies - they have a formed foot bed with a high arch. Very comfortable yet supportive.

Edited to add: just reread your post and see that you do have supportive shoes but need flexible - that's going to be tough if you do have Morton's Neuroma. I really suggest you see a podiatrist. If you aggrevate the neuroma it may never recover. I think that's what happened in my right foot and why I ultimately ended up in surgery. I'm trying to keep my left foot from the same fate.
-- Edited on 6/6/12 0:37 AM --

------
Lori (visit my blog at: http://monkeyroom.blogspot.com)

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3569
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Date: 6/6/12 5:08 PM

Eep! Posted before I was actually done writing. Sheesh.

Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the suggestions! And Lori, I really appreciate your input; I think you shared your story in the other thread, as well.

I think the issue with my current New Balance shoes was actually that they're cut too high around the ankle, and I wear really thick socks with them, so there was a lot of "stuff" in the way when I rose up on the balls of my feet. I don't think the problem was the overall rigidity of the shoe, after all. I hope, anyway!

But thanks to everyone's suggestions (and particularly the search term "running flats" that Seven gave!), I think I've found some that will work. I still have a couple of pairs from my Zappos order to try, but today I found these Asics at DSW. They had a whole section called "Lightweight Athletic," which was precisely what I was looking for. They're running shoes, so they still have the support and cushioning--and when I put them on and wandered about the store, my toes felt GREAT! (But my hip was still twingy, so I dithered. But now I'm thinking I'll go ahead and get them anyway.) They're snug and low-profile, so they have the shape I was looking for--no problems with the releves!--but the forefoot support is impressive.

But I think the best thing about them is that they're one piece, mostly. I have trouble with sneakers that have lots of layers and stripes and all sorts of stuff going on like these, because all those bits of stuff press into my feet uncomfortably. These don't have any of that--the Asics design is printed on, not part of the construction.

Anyway, things look promising!
-- Edited on 6/6/12 5:17 PM --

------
~Gem in the prairie

Map

Map
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Ohio USA
Member since 5/21/05
Posts: 184
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Date: 6/7/12 10:08 AM

I have a Morton's neuroma and wear orthotics and just bought Ryka Kelly Ripa ortho-lite. I love them, they look great, feel great and I don't get to say that very often. When I buy athletic shoes I do go 1/2 size bigger so I bought an 8 and they fit fine. I 'm thinking about a 2nd pair.They retail $80 but they go on sale.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3569
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Date: 6/7/12 5:49 PM

Map--that is exactly one of the pairs I have in my Zappos box right now! I had a pair of Ryka walking shoes a few years ago that I just *loved--*they had the most amazing cushioning and were the best thing I've found for my hip. But the newer Rykas don't seem to have the same support. I keep trying them, though, because I do like their focus on making athletic shoes for the unique needs of the female foot/leg.

------
~Gem in the prairie

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