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Couch Potato 03-24-2010 10:36 AM

Footwear post fractured calcaneus
I fractured my heal whilst holidaying in Majorca in August 2009. Unfortunately the fracture was diagnosed as torn ligaments by the Spanish medics. On my return to the UK and several visits to A & E the heal was eventually x-rayed after two weeks and the facture found. The swelling was horrendeous. Today I was discharged from my local facture/trauma clinic and told to 'get on with life as best I can', maybe in the future if the pain gets too bad they could operate.

What I would really like to know (in order that I can get on with life as best I can) is there anybody out there who can help me in finding suitable footwear for my still very swollen right foot, especially the heal part. Something temporary for the injured foot would do. I don't want to spend a fortune on 'frumpy' footwear, although it is obvious "flatties" will now be my only choice of footwear. Please, can anybody help as I return to work in two weeks.

Zerk 03-24-2010 05:21 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
How many weeks out are you? Most people can't put weight on it for 8-12 weeks? Are you still in cast?

Are you getting orthodics, alot of heelies do. If you do, you need to bring them with you to try your shoe on. In my case I had to get 1/2 to 1 size bigger and as wide as they make.

Heavy socks help alot. I like light wool hiking socks. I have a pair new balances that are deep enough to fit the orthotic. I wore tennis shoes only for months. When I went back to work I need steel toes. I started out with Red Wing King toes. So,so. Boots have hard soles. I recently bought pair of Danner Pursuits, with atheltic soles. I am going to look for them in safety toes.

Recently I have been wearing boots laced tight, this seems to be helping, supports the ankle. I damaged my subtalar joint.

Heavy socks, start with tennis shoes, maybe high tops.

Zerk 03-24-2010 05:29 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Have you started physical therapy? It will benefit you.

Couch Potato 03-25-2010 04:56 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
My cast came off in late December and I started physio a week later. This is still continuing to present date. I have been weight bearing for eight weeks now and although I am improving | have been told it will always be stiff and swollen. The main problem is my heal and ankle, which is still very swollen and as I am returning to driving was looking for something practical. Thanks for your suggestions.

desross4 03-25-2010 02:52 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Couch Potato:

Try to find shoes with a rocker sole. Dansko Professional Box or Alegria's all have rocker soles. Alegria's will accommodate custom orthotics but they already have a very supportive footbed that forms to your foot. You can order Alegria's online but go down a size as they run large.

Some local retailers may carry both lines. Try a local "comfort" shoe store or two. Not all the shoes are frumpy as I discovered.

I would recommend a sneaker to start, with custom orthotics: New Balance 927 or 811 or Skecher Shape-ups are good brands. New Balance also has rocker soled dress shoes under the Aravon Stridarc line.

Your swelling should diminish some over time. Do you wear a compression sock? It really helps that swelling to move away from your heel and ankle. You can get one especially for a broken calcaneus or ankle at an orthopedic outfitter store (where you got your walker, cam walker boot, etc.)

One year out from my accident, I'm just now starting to wear some of my old shoes part-time. I can wear flats as long as they have a bit of a heel and good side support.
Clogs are okay for me, too, but I prefer the Alegria line for fit, comfort and style.

Crocs work well for driving but you will need more support when you walk. The "Mammoth" style with the fuzzy liner works great for driving and around the house.

Good luck with the shoes!


Couch Potato 03-30-2010 05:55 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Many thanks for your advice and ideas. It is much appreciated. Unfortnately I managed to get an old pair of shoes on and went shopping to the local supermarket for the first time, this was a very bad idea but I was so pleased to be able to get out. I now appreciate the need for the footwear you suggested.

Zerk 03-30-2010 07:37 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
I got an old pair of tennis shoes, I leave laced loose and wear around the house. Your going to have some pain going out, it get betters with time.

SWKinder 05-26-2010 05:10 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Hi - I crushed my calcaneus 10 years ago when I was 39. It WILL get much better! However, that being said, I can no longer wear "cheap" shoes and have totally given up on any heel higher than 1/2 inch!!! :-( Good news is that I can and have been walking ~ 4 miles /day for years - no more running though. I have the inversion/eversion issues associated with the subtalus thingy. I just call it a "sore ankle" Much worse in winter! I can walk barefoot indoors, but foot's too sensitive for barefooting outside. My desire & why I joined this site is to find the ULTIMATE walking shoe for this issue. I have orthotic inserts, but now that I am nearing 50, the arthritis has become worse and I need a better shoe for exercise. I have been viewing MBT's & Mephistos, but am looking for actual user input on these before I invest $300 for a shoe. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!!!

stepbystep89 05-27-2010 11:13 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Hi there!

I never broke my heel, but I have had my ankle and subtalar joints fused due to post traumatic arthritis from a pilon fracture 10 years ago.

I have tried just about every kind of shoe made for women and I have found New Balance is truly the best. I gave up on cheap shoes many years ago, so I am not afraid to pay over $100 for comfort and stability.

I have recently been prescribed an AFO brace. I don't know if you are familiar with it, but it is a low profile brace that fits in lace up shoes. Its not the prettiest thing, but it does seem to help with the stability. My subtalar joint is not completely fused, so I also have issues on uneven ground.

One thing my orthotist told me about the rocker sole shoes is to be careful of those that have a lot of instability (skechers, mbt's). If you have a tendency to roll your foot to the outside or the inside it will be even more pronounced. Also, the soles are very "squishy" and you will have to replace them often. In his professional opinion, the mbt's didn't offer anything that the skechers didn't have so he didn't think it would be worth paying double the price.

I ended up going to a shoe store that specializes in people that have foot issues. I was helped by a man who was a certified pedorthist, and I was impressed with his knowledge. He understood what was going on with my foot and how to help me relieve some pain and adjust my gait. I ended up buying New Balance's version of the "shape and tone" rocker-soled shoes. It comes in all white or light blue and white and offers more stability than the other brands. It is an amazing shoe - comfortable and very easy to walk in. Maybe you should check them out - they are New Balance 1442.

Keep us posted!


desross4 05-28-2010 07:06 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus

Thanks for the info on the NB 1442. I've been wondering if those would work for me. I had a heel fracture a year ago and my subtalar joint fused last April. I've been having a lot of problems since December with supination.

My PT & I decided I needed to go back to my dr to see what's going on. In the meantime, I've been trying to find a pair of athletic shoes I could wear. I tried Curves for Women (Avon), Shape-ups, Avia and Easy Spirit rocker-soled shoes. The Curves shoe worked for a while. The Shape-up was too unstable. The Avia too soft in the heel. I bought the Easy Spirit Anti-Gravity shoe but I started supinating almost immediately. Last week I bought New Balance 1011 (motion control, SL-2). Even though it's not a true rocker, it has rollbar technology and seems to be fighting my supination better.

I also discovered that my $370 custom orthotics are no longer helping correct my alignment so I switched back to my off-the-shelf orthotic & it seems to be cupping my heel better.

I had planned to try the Ryka Reform and the New Balance version to see how they would work for me.

For work, I've been wearing Alegria's that come in a variety of styles. The Paloma (Mary Jane) and Seville (clog) styles seem to work best for me. They have a mild rocker and a really supportive but removeable footbed. Best of all, I've found some on sale locally and online so I've been able to keep the cost down and find some really cute shoes. They also have a men's line.


P.S. I live in the KC area & noticed you're from MO, too.

Zerk 05-28-2010 01:21 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
One thing that will probably help, is give up on looking pretty or cool, and just go with good shoes or boots.

Gimplady 06-11-2010 12:15 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
OK - I will return and make note of the shoes mentioned and comments. Contrary to what Zerk writes, women are concerned with shoes that look a little betterthan tennis shoes or work boots because we wear dresses and other outfits - not just jeans or pants all the time. I'm fine with the tennis shoes right now, but ultimately, I have to think about what shoes will look good with my business suits (women's) and dresses. My surgery for left foot calcaneus shattered reconstruction and subtalar fusion was 10-13-09 and I'm only 3 weeks into a larger size tennis shoe with orthotic inserts and a compression sock. But not throwing out the shoes (or giving away) until a little later and find out what will work. Right now PT says tennis shoes with fabric that have side sewn supports are OK and I actually can walk with minimal limp in them. Frowned on the Teva sandals for inside because no adequate support for ankle, but I still put them on for short interior walks (to chair). The tennies are a Gel sole but comfy - but I have the Good Feet arch support system since plantar fashiatis problem. This is a problem with the injured foot since this wraps around the outside of the foot, up the bottom of the foot and the ankle and is displaced during surgery and has to "remodel". OK - so...I'm in the cold about what shoes I'll wear in 10 months also - but bought some cute sandals with hopeful enthusiasm!

Zerk 06-11-2010 09:28 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
[QUOTE=Gimplady;4263816]OK - I will return and make note of the shoes mentioned and comments. Contrary to what Zerk writes, women are concerned with shoes that look a little betterthan tennis shoes or work boots because we wear dresses and other outfits ![/QUOTE]

I'd like to wear my cowboy boots, but I realize my foot is no longer the foot I was born with, in shape or function. My goals are to get through my life with the least amount of pain and be active. I am trying to face facts.

I wish you the best, not everyone's injury is the same. I did see on TV where they were putting gel pads in dress shoes.

Firelady1 10-11-2010 07:00 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
I thought I'd reanimate this one instead of starting a whole new one.

I am 8 weeks post crushed calcaneus fracture. Non surgical and have significant displacement that I will live with forever. My heel is 1/2 inch shorter than the other. Anyways, I have been cleared to weightbear and start PT next week. He said he wants me in a shoe within 3 weeks or so. My injured foot is almost twice the size of the other and my heel is still incredibly tender. There is no way that I will get my regular running shoes on, even if it is left loose. Winter is coming soon here in Canada and I'll need to put something on my foot!! Any ideas?

klyde 10-12-2010 12:21 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
I would recommend some Reebok Classic shoes. I just bought them few days ago, and i can tell you that i feel really comfortable in them. I was on my feet yesterday walking around my college for 4-5 hours, and didn't experience any serious pain, although i walk much slower than usual. Almost 4 months since injury, so you gotta be careful picking apropriate shoes in the beginning. Those shoes are not expensive at all, and i found them really helpful.

Zerk 10-12-2010 03:48 AM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
[QUOTE=Firelady1;4343509]Winter is coming soon here in Canada and I'll need to put something on my foot!! Any ideas?[/QUOTE]

Heavy wool socks will provide warmth and cushion.

I can still wear my old heavy pack boots, and some of my lace ups. But I ended up buying new footwear for my new foot. Same as yours 1/2 shorter, and wider.

They say not to spend to much on shoes the first year. But you got to wear something. My foot while bigger, didn't really change size after the swelling went down. Which was mostly after I started walking.

First shoe I bought was the widest tennis shoe I could find, I think 4E.

I now wear my old tennis shoes like slippers around the house, sliding them on and off.

Ask your doc about a compression sock, to wear under the regular sock. I found light wool hiking socks good, for all year.

desross4 10-12-2010 02:05 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Dear Firelady1:
Try going to a comfort shoe store for a fitting. They will fit your larger foot first. Bring custom orthotics & compression sock if you have them so you can be sure they will fit into the new shoes.

Your doctor can give you a script for orthotics and a rocker sole if that will help you. Insurance may or may not cover the orthotics & rocker sole but they may be necessary for you to progress.

When I first went for a shoe fitting just prior to losing the boot, I was fitted with New Balance 882s in a Mens's 11D. They were wider than my usual fit but the length of the shoe was about the same. A rocker sole was added to both shoes by the orthotics outfitter. My right foot was at least 1/2 inch shorter so that orthotic was built up. Finding a rocker athletic shoe is easier now; NB, Avia, Easy Spirit, Skechers & Ryka all make a rocker-soled sneaker plus MBT. I would recommend one of these as a 1st shoe. Once you're ready to try a dressier shoe, try the rocker-soled Alegria line.

Zerk 10-12-2010 03:53 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
I wouldn't worry about bringing the compression sock, there not that thick. But you probably should be wearing it around anyways.

You need a deeper shoe for the orthodic. You can also get the orthodic adjusted for the shoe and your foot.

I haven't tried the rocker.

I've been wearing the same size on both feet. Even though I used to be a D, and now I am E+. It doesn't really bother me. A couple of my shoes they put a filler insole in under the normal insole for the good foot, took some slop out. Last two pairs of boots, I didn't bother. Just tighten the laces to fit.

Not saying this is right thing to do, just what I do.

Firelady1 10-12-2010 06:44 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
Actually that was one of the questions I was going to ask, what do you do with the "good" foot when you have to get such a bigger size for the injured one. I do already wear an orthodic in my shoes, but it maky be a bit before I get a new one, as my heel is still a little too tender to get fitted.

Can you explain what a "rocker" is? I have a fairly wide foot anyways so will probably need to go the same route as you and go to a mens wide shoe. Our selection is usually much more limited than yours but luckily I live close to the US border and have a propensity for cross border shopping lol.

How do you get the compression sock over your foot? I have those as well, but there is no way I would get them over my foot at this point.

Zerk 10-12-2010 08:04 PM

Re: Footwear post fractured calcaneus
How do you get the compression sock over your foot? I have those as well, but there is no way I would get them over my foot at this point.[/QUOTE]

Pull harder.

Alot of things about this injury require you to suck it up and do it. The sock doesn't hurt. Just have to roll it up.

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