Question about insoles (with some info on Shoespring shoes)

Based on the recommendations primary from this newsgroup, I went ahead and purchased a pair of Shoespring shoes (www.shoespring.com). I'd been on the hunt for shoes that would be good to use on flat surfaces all day, and the Shoespring brand seemed like it might be what I needed.
The first thing I should say about Shoespring shoes is this: Whatever size you wear, you may need to increase that by a full size (1.0 in US units). The first pair I got from Shoespring were way too small. I've since traded them off for a pair 0.5 US units larger, and they are still a little too small. Specifically, they're a bit narrow. (Lengthwise, they seem to be right on target, because I now have essentially too much length on the interior.) Shoespring says they do not currently offer any wide models, which is what I suppose I would need to acquire in order to counter the narrow trend of their make.
I've decided to deal with the too-narrow shoes I currently possess (the second pair I got from them), because the whole ship-shoes-back, wait-for- replacement thing has gotten old. I have discovered that I can remove the built-in insoles from the shoes, with the result that they suddenly fit remarkably well. But obviously, this would probably prove to be a catastrophic decision if I were to actually wear the shoes like that to work, all day long. Springs or no springs.
Therefore, I'm needing to get some information on purchasable insoles. The built-in insoles are too thick. I suspect there are some gel-based solutions out there which would be not so thick, and would serve my purposes handily. What I DON'T know is whether or not it would be a good idea to outright replace the built-in insoles with gel substitutes. Is that what is normally done? Or do people more typically use both insoles simultaneously?
Further along this train of thought.. What are some good gel insoles? I picked up some Bob's Insoles (not the actual name of the product) from Famous Footware or somesuch, for about three bucks. They are clearly a very minimalist product and will probably not last more than a month or two of wear. This indicates to me that there is bound to be a wide variety of qualities when it comes to these products. Just about anyone out there would be more knowledgable than I am on this subject. Recommendations would be most welcome. Particularly, I'm hoping to find some insoles which are FLAT. The Shoespring built-in insoles are actually a little thicker on the heels, and even my preliminary tests have indicated that this will generate a lot of fatigue in my heels.
Thanks in advance!
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Ummm get a pair of RockPort shoes...
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Umm Leon, your just wrong on this one. My wife sells both, and many more good shoes, and for standing and working in a localized area, the shoes springs are hands down a better shoe. If you don't believe me, check with the hordes of medical pro's who are switching.
Digger

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Seems as though the original poster is having problems getting a good fit with the brand you believe to be superior.. As for a quality drop in Rockport shoes...I keep going back and wearing them but do buy a more expensive Rockport.
"Digger" <DW> wrote in message

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I will say that if they are trying to mail order them and haven't been fit for them locally, they might have a problem fitting several different shoe brands. Any shoe store worth their salt that just sells you a size without getting to try them on and check for fit, is not providing good customer service. It never ceases to amaze me that I can go into most any shoe store and five pair of shoes (all the same size) fit or don't fit completely different. The OP not getting a good fit does not mean the shoes af to blame, just that the person has not been properly fit for whatever shoe they are trying to buy.
I also bought the higher end RockPorts because they just feel beter and last better than their budget lines, but the quality of the shoes that I bought in the mid 80's was far better than the same model shoes today. I think it's probably like that in many shoes (or other products), but you just really expect RockPort to always be a great shoe, not just a good shoe. It's just sort of a let down.
As far as ShoeSprings, it's not my opinion, but the buying decision of those who are making the change that I refer to. If you remember a thread a few weeks ago, people were suggesting all kinds of athletic shoe brands for people who work in the shop all day. It's just bad advice to suggest a shoe made for long walking or running to a person who is standing and only walking in a reasonably small area. It would be like suggesting baseball shoes for a marathon runner. Both good shoes, just the wrong application. Some of these people were also telling people to "just go buy some ortho inserts". More bad advice if just buying off the shelf. If properly fit, they can be a footsaver, if not they can do real damage. Onve again, it's the right fit, right shoe, right application that makes it all work. I still like RockPort, just not as much as their older stuff. Oh, those were the days.... *LOL*
Digger

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"Digger" <DW> wrote in message

This seems to be the case. I've gotten a size 9, returned it, got a 9.5. The 9's were way too narrow and I couldn't wear them for very long. They were the same length as the 9D's I was wearing beforehand. The 9.5's were a bit longer than my old 9D's but were STILL too narrow by a bit. I would have to occasionally situate my toes atop one another to relieve some of the strain.

I have to wonder if this is what's going on with me. Ignoring the front of the shoes, they otherwise fit reasonably well. So I was really mystefied by the fact that my feet would already generate excruciating pain after only a couple of hours wearing the shoes. My old shoes had been missing their INTERIOR SOLES for a while (they disintegrated) and they didn't generate that kind of pain that quickly (though I did buy $3 gel insoles to help with that). The size 9.5 Shoespring shoes are a walking model. They don't have a "standing" model and I've never really heard of such a beast. I can't buy gel insoles for my 9.5's because I can barely wear them with socks as it is. (Even though they are actually a little long for my feet.)
For now, I have to grit my teeth and keep wearing the Shoesprings until I can afford a cheap replacement so I can send them back to Shoespring.

So.. WHAT the heck is good these days, that I have a chance in hell of being able to test at the local shoe place? I was almost ready to start looking into Rockports until I read the replies to my thread here...
Shoespring says their casual shoe line will have wide models available. I'll give them another run then, I suspect. Mainly because the shoes ARE comfortable for the first hour or so. (Though my right shoe squeaks.)
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Marc Brown notes:

Good grief.

These things are worthless, at least for you.

Got to WalMart. For 25 bucks, they've got all kinds of cheap work shoes. Try them on until you get a pair that FITS, but don't expect them to last. Then check out the Rockports and Red Wings and other brands.

Marvelous. A whole hour. Wide models are going to slip up on your heels and create blisters if they current narrow models fit well at the back.
A friend of mine gets his shoes from Mason's (mail order house). He used to work in furniture factories, on concrete floors all day, and bought the USGPO versions because they lasted well and were comfortable almost from the git go.
Just checked: www.bamason.com.
And got reminded that they are NOT cheap.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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On 08 Oct 2003 10:08:13 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) pixelated:

Remember that dealers get discounts, and anyone can (could) become a Mason Shoe Dealer. DAMHIKT (in the late 70's)
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Larry Jaques responds:

I seem to recall their print catalog offering discounts that don't appear to show up on their web site. Might be worth asking for the print version, but it also has been awhile since I've seen the catalog.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in message

Rockport is a brand I have heard mentioned numerous times. But this thread has revealed that their quality (comfort?) has gone down in recent years. Are they still worth my money? Are there certain models that are higher quality than others? I see that there are plenty of places I could visit to try them out, but I speak from experience when I say that a few minutes is nowhere near enough testing for me to determine if they're going to cause me extreme pain out of the blue, the way my current Shoespring shoes do.

Here's what specifically happens during the course of the day, wearing my Shoespring shoes. In the morning I do more walking than during the day, but just for a short while. I tighten the shoelaces a bit more during this period. If I don't, they tend to slip off my heels a bit, and the only way to counter this while walking is to apply some pressure with my toes. In any event, I cannot walk with the shoes in a relaxed fashion, the way I might if I were barefoot. Tightening the shoelaces actually only alleviates this problem; it doesn't eliminate it. The consequence of this is increased fatigue for the front of my feet. In fairness, I can't say for certain whether I'd ever be able to find a pair of shoes that I could walk around in totally relaxed.
Later in the day, I can relax the shoelaces because I won't be doing any prolonged walking. This relieves some of the strain to the front of my feet, which is ever-present due to the fact that my feet at the front are wider than at the back, which the shoes do not conform to adequately. The primary source of pain - the area which already hurts badly enough after two hours to necessitate as much time off my feet as I can manage - is my heels. They fit comfortably enough in the back of the shoes, but for whatever reason, standing upright is extremely fatiguing to my heels. Evidently moreso than doing so in a pair of shoes with no springs and no interior soles (my old shoes). I've taken the Shoespring shoes' soles out to examine why this might be. They are made out of some sort of foam material, with a small layer of fabric on top. But the heels have an additional wedge of foam of a slightly more porous variety. The result is that the heels end up being situated higher in the shoes than the rest of the foot. Considering the heels bear the brunt of my weight, this design makes little sense to me. After all, when I'm barefoot, my feet are flat on the ground. At least, I think they are. If I didn't have the option of sending the shoes back, I'd rip those extra heel wedges out to see if doing so would result in some sort of improvement to the comfort level.
So, standing is very bad. Walking feels much more comfortable, even considering the exercise my toes get (almost on a subconscious level) trying to keep the shoes from slipping off. If I forget to tighten the shoelaces before walking, my toes do too much work keeping the shoes on, and this (surprisingly) causes pain to develop in my shins.
Oh well, that's what happens day by day. I'm not any sort of expert on musculature or foot issues so I can't really offer educated opinions as to why the pain develops in the ways it does.
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Marc Brown responds:

No it hasn't. It's revealed a couple of opinions.

Huh? If the damned things fit, with a little room to spread as you're on your feet, why should they hurt out of the blue?

You may need to get handmade shoes. I feel for you if you do, because even low end handmade shoes are high end cost.
You may need to find a local expert on shoes, though in all honesty, I can't even think of the type of place to recommend these days. Once upon a time....yeah, right. The sales people in top shoe stores MIGHT have been able to help. Today, they're mall rats like too many of the rest of mall salespeople.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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last few years. Ther was a time that they kid about everyone's butt, but not anymore. It's kind of a bum deal because that's all I USED to wear.
Digger
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