Two summers ago I was logging long miles and two-a-days for the first time in my life. All was going well, minus what I thought might be a stress fracture in my toe (but that doesn’t count), when I finished my first trail run with my husband. Suddenly my achy feet had taken a turn for the worse. I had a hot stabbing pain in my heel that I just couldn’t shake.
Admittedly I knew right away what it was but I was in the first stage of a runner’s injury: DENIAL. I looked on every website for an alternate answer. I took a day off followed by a treadmill run, because in my messed up runner’s head that was the prescription for shaking the nagging injury.
Finally, after two months of excruciating pain from the moment I woke up, I went to a podiatrist. I thought I would trick him by giving him my symptoms, and he would magically tell me there was a shot for that. And then he said it…..
“You have plantar fasciitis.”
No!!!!!! I had read about plantar fasciitis in Runners World in the past and often thought, “That sounds horrible. Thank goodness I’ve never had that.” Well there I was.
And then he delivered what I thought was the next bad news. “I want you to go out and buy a pair of Crocs. Wear them whenever you are at home and out of your sneakers.”
I hated Crocs. I would turn my nose whenever I saw them and think they were the ugliest things ever, save when Mario Batali pulls them off with his vests (I am a huge fan of The Chew).
And thus began my nightly routine of walking around our home in Crocs. Once you get past the funny look, these bad boys are pretty amazing. The comfortable shoes have plenty of room for your toes and a nice cup for the heel. It provides the padding and support your feet need to help the tissues repair. They are not going to cure your injury, but it will provide the protection for the bottom of your foot against the floor as it heals.
During physical therapy I asked when I could go back to bare feet. “Never,” was the response. Once you have plantar fasciitis, just like a sprain or a strain you are more susceptible to re-injury. Just suck it up and slip them on your feet when you get home. To be honest, I have gone on vacation and forgotten to bring my Crocs along. I can tell a noticeable difference in my feet when I go barefoot for too long.
To make it more appealing, Crocs come in other versions than the big orange ones you see Mario wear. Check out my cute, somewhat strappy pair. They have little “jewels” on the side and come in lots of different colors. You can look slightly fashionable in these and they are coming out with more styles all the time. Any pair of rubber Crocs will do the trick.
A word of caution. I may have been a professional skater, but I have a serious lack of coordination anywhere off of the ice. When wearing Crocs on wooden floors, I sometimes forget to pick my feet up as I walk (let’s pretend its from all those years on the ice) and I scuff my feet with the rubber of the shoes and the floor. This causes me to trip. If you have any amount of coordination whatsoever, you should be fine. But I add it as a disclaimer for all my not so graceful friends, especially after a glass of wine. By the way, my husband finds this to be pretty amusing and I can’t blame him.