Heel pain, what am I possibly doing wrong?

I've just started running again and have been wearing VFF's exclusivley for a little under a month now. Starting about 3 days agao I have strated to get some lower heel pain. It goes all arounf my heeel liek a horse shoe shape imagine and is at the very base where the foot curves under to meet sole. ({ sorry if this isn't a great description}) I have done really short distances ( around  BLOCK OR 2 near ym home) and not all that often - 3 times so far, so I think the pain is just from wearing them, but it just crept up on me, anyone have any suggestions?


  • I'm no doctor, but what you are describing sounds to me like the beginnings of Plantar Fasciitis.  I struggle with this too, and haven't found or heard of a way to make it go away except not running for 6 months.


    However, ways to help it that I have learned...

    1) find a golf ball or other small hard ball and roll the sore spots of your foot on it...this helps relieve some of the pain.
    2) do calf stretches - best I can tell is that because barefoot running involves a lot of work from your calves, I think sometimes they end up getting tight, which then tightens the ligaments in the foot. 

    I am curious too for what advice others have...some talk about getting rid of plantar fasciitis with the barefoot running...but I feel like mine got worse with it...
  • In addition to the two things pedalpavementpounder recommended, I also suggest using your toes to pick up golf balls and, if you can, tennis balls.  That helped me when I had a flare-up of PF.

    In some instances, if you're new minimalist running, PF will appear because you're doing too much too soon and if you're also heel striking.  I suggest working more on form, especially shorteer strides, and also not doing too many miles per week or increasing your mileage more than 5% per week.
  • Thank you both fo rthe suggestions. I tried really stretching out my calves well and it was a welcomed relief!! I may curb running for another week or 2 and see how I do. I watch my form when running but I have more issues just walking, need to work on that.
  • Along with the golf balls, stretching, and attention to form, let me add another couple aids.

    If you don't have one, try a strasberg sock.  You wear it at night and it holds your foot in a position that helps it heal from PF.  I've also found it helps alleviate achilles soreness.  It will start to feel better even after one night.  I think I have only ever worn mine for  three nights in a row. 

    My other favorite tool is my tiger tail foam roller.  I roll my feet and my calves at least once, usually twice, a day, with real intensity.  It seems to have helped me keep problems at bay.

    I think you are wise to take  a little time off from running.  If you can work on these other strategies in the meantime, hopefully you'll be able to come back without pain.  (In the past when I've had PF, I think it hurt more when I walked than when I ran.)
  • Don't forget to ice, that really help injury sites. Rolling's great VERY painful though :o :o. Yes watch your form very very carefully, I can't stress enough how important that is!
  • I am glad I read this thread.
    I have been running in VFFs for almost 2 years and no pain. I normally do about 20-25 miles a week, thats it.
    About 2 months ago I started developing bad heel pain in my left foot.
    I have absolutely no pain while running, but walking is another matter. Extremely painful while walking and when I get out of bed in the morning.
    After reading this thread, I can finally put a name on it.
    I just took 2 weeks off running, I was on R&R from Afghanistan, and this morning was my first run. Did 3 miles no problem, nice and slow. Walking is now almost unbearable.
    I am off to see if anyone has a golf ball and have been stretching like crazy. I hope it helps because I won't stop running..... ;)
  • Hi,
    I have planter fasciitis and my heel pain has decreased considerably since I have been wearing Orthofeet. It's great to find a shoe at a reasonable cost that seems to be just what I needed.
  • I experience foot pain pretty constantly and have struggled to find shoes that would help me alleviate the pain. Well, i have to say that I have found them. They fit well. They have reduced my heel pain as well as my fasciitis symptoms. I can walk much easier and longer now . So happy I got these shoes! orthofeet do the job!
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