- Wide toe box to allow foot to splay while walking
- Flexible sole to allow for 3-D foot movement
- Thin sole to allow foot to feel the ground
- Black/brown/blue, non-athletic looking - appropriate for business casual work setting
I ordered about 10 pairs of shoes, hoping to find something that would be good for work. In the end, I kept 5 pairs that are working for me. It's a bit tricky determining if a shoe is "zero drop" and outside of running shoes, there didn't seem to be much selection. Fortunately, Seattle is more casual than other parts of the country and my office/field takes liberty with the term "business casual." Despite that, I didn't want to just wear running shoes every day.
One brand that I thought would work for me because their shoes are wide (roomy), flat, and fun, is Keen. But NO. They were a huge fail in the flexibility department. I haven't given up on them yet but of the ones I ordered, my feet felt like the were in coffins. Stiff and heavy. Bummer because I have a pair of their snow boots that I love.
I was happy to find that Merrell has a great casual barefoot shoe collection and I was able to pick up these black slippers that have been working out great at work:
Another brand that advertises as zero-drop is Ahnu but these shoes really are low drop, and maybe a bit marginal at that. I picked up these super-cute "Karma" sandals that have a fairly low heel-to-toe drop and are quite comfortable. In addition, I got the "Crissy." The Crissy has a little less room in the toe box but is fine for wearing at work. My feet feel a bit cramped if I wear them all day though. I ended up with a brown pair of Ahnu mary-janes that I'm still a bit mixed on. The shell of the shoe is complete flat - no drop. BUT, the insert has a nice, thick, comfortable cushion in the heel that adds quite a bit of height. For most people this would be fantastic, but for me it's less than ideal. So, I'm wearing it for work but trying not to wear it to walk around in a ton (it's really cute too). It's difficult to tell what kind of drop a shoe will have until you actually see it. Also, these are much more of a solid shoe than the Merrells or barefoot runners. So, when you're walking you don't have as much tactile sensation of the ground. This also means they have slightly less flexibility in the footbed.
|Intuition - mine are gray instead of blue.|
|I still think these are the sexiest shoes in my closet and am dying to run again so I can wear these all over my 'hood.|
Maybe Converse All-Stars (cute but narrow for me)
Ummm. I think that's it folks.
So after 8+ weeks, can I tell a difference?
Well, I still have plantar fasciitis so it's not the magic, silver bullet that will cure all. However, I have noticed that when I've tried to wear my "old" running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline, Ghost, others), they feel uncomfortable. I haven't kept other casual shoes with a heel so I can't compare to those. With my old runners, I can feel my achilles and calves shortening up more and I miss that feeling of being closer to the ground.
I don't feel it's a bad thing to try to go low profile with all my footwear and am not regretting ditching all my Dansko, Ecco, other work shoes. I'm going to keep at this thing and maybe I'll find more "cute" options that will also make my feet stronger?
In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to beat this shit:
- scrunch the towel
- toe raises
- cold laser therapy
- vibration plate stretching
- next up: the night boot