Yes, you heard that right. Golf balls. Right now two of them each are crammed into the front of my athletic shoes. You won’t believe how much I’ve wanted to get my hands on these little, bitty balls since my podiatrist suggested I use them to break in my shoes. After the golf balls, I’m going to shove in tennis balls.
I have almost flat feet and that’s done a number on my toes. They’re all bent towards the big toes. The big toes, however, are bent in the opposite direction, almost but not quite cramming into my middle toe. That leaves a steadily worsening bunion on both feet. I haven’t been able to wear new shoes comfortably in over a year. After a few hours, my otherwise well-fitted shoes are wearing against the bunion, causing a great deal of pain. I have one pair of athletic shoes that I can wear. They’re practically collapsed and have huge holes in the front, near the toes. People look down on them politely and I explain that the problem isn’t the shoes, it’s the feet.
I finally broke down and went to see a new podiatrist, one that’s covered by my health insurance. He was a wonderful, informative fellow who suggested the golf ball-tennis ball approach. There were some other devices I could try if the above-mentioned items don’t work. No mention of surgery, or of new orthotics. I’ve worn orthotic arch supports for years. My first podiatrist replaced them every year which, I’ve since learned, did a lot more for his pockets than it did for my feet. My second podiatrist excoriated the first and said changing orthotics that frequently was ridiculous. How did that guy sleep at night, he wondered? My third – and current – podiatrist said he had a pair of orthotics he’d worn for 25 years. In many cases, he said standard arch supports you buy at drug stores were sufficient. Alas, in my case they are not. But, my orthotics are fine.
I’ll try on the new athletic shoes in a few days, after they’ve (hopefully) broken in) and see how they feel. I’m crossing my fingers and getting ready to dance!