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Thread: Morton's Foot?

  1. #16
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    Surprising update: I DID wear my newly-configured shoes for a 10K running race yesterday and... no knee pain! This is the first time in YEARS I have had zero knee pain at this distance. Who would have thought 2-3mm could make such a difference?

    Next step: configure my bike shoes similarly and see if I notice a difference on the bike. I never feel like I'm striking the pedals with the entire ball of my foot... hmmm....

    OakLeaf, I never thought of putting an insert into V5Fs. Seems counter-intuitive, but I'm tempted. I was passed by a speedy barefooter yesterday and was intrigued. Again.

  2. #17
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    Hi all, I just noticed this thread and I have a few questions. My second metatarsal is longer than my first, but I seem to have retracted tendons in that toe on both feet that brings the toe more in line with my big toe. It also makes the toe perma-bent. It's also super ugly with a hammerhead appearance. The questions are: do you all experience this premabend as well? Do the pads help stretch the tendons and eliminate this strange bend? Do you have some web reading you can refer me to? I have successfully run short and long distance since I was 13 with very few injuries, but I worry this bend will be more pronounced as I get older and I will begin to have shoe-rub issues. Thanks!

  3. #18
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    Ginny, I wonder if your shoes are just too small.

    For years, I wore shoes that were too small for my toes, just because my toes are so long (all of them), and I wanted/felt I needed shoes that fit my feet, i.e. had their arch where the arch of my foot was.

    In the past year and a half I've completely revised my idea of what shoes fit and what don't. One of the things I've done is go from a size 8.5-9 to a size 10.5-11. My toes have gradually straightened out, and some of my toenail problems are resolving. (Others of my toenail problems have to do with width, not length, and so far I have yet to find a shoe that's wide enough for my forefoot and narrow enough for my heel - another reason I'm seriously eyeing the VFFs.) Seriously, at 5'3" I have the feet of Daisy Duck.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #19
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    Zia, great to hear that you had a positive result with your run! Looking forward to hearing how it goes with your cycling shoes.

    I'm gonna keep an eye out for some metatarsal pads when I'm out shopping this afternoon.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginny View Post
    Do you have some web reading you can refer me to?
    This is an excerpt from the book we're talking about.

    Google brings you other results.


    Wow Zia, that's great! I'm adjusting gradually and unfortunately I don't think it's a good idea to run my half marathon this Sunday in the new pads. There's definitely a big muscle adjustment going on in the shorter runs. I'm not 100% sure I've got the thickness and placement spot-on yet, either.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 10-13-2009 at 12:28 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #21
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    I wouldn't think you'd need to pad the 1st met head in a pair of VFFs.

    Don't forget, "Morton's Foot" is a perfectly functional foot. Entire civilizations had "Morton's Feet" (Greeks, Celts) and they were vibrant powerful cultures. They weren't hobbling around on crippled feet.

    What they had were shoes made for THEIR kind of foot. (or sandals/soft shoes) Morton's foot only becomes an issue when you try to cram a long 2nd metatarsal foot into a shoe designed by and for folks with long 1st metatarsal feet.

    (and, of course, they weren't constantly exposed to flat hard surfaces, which I still swear are the bane of ALL modern tootsies)

    Morton's foot isn't just a longer 2nd metatarsal, it's also a differently shaped cuboid bone so the foot really does move a little differently. It's also a longer foot, so it's easy to develop hammer-toe because of shoes that are too short in the toe box.

    VFF are enough like barefoot that I'd think they'd let your foot do its natural thing, unhampered by shoes designed for a different kind of foot. I'd just suggest you start your VFF running on dirt trails or grassy fields so your foot muscles have a chance to wake up and gain the strength to support your mets properly before you start running on hard flat surfaces.

    Knot-doesn't-have-Morton's-foot (but does have dropped 2nd met head)
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  7. #22
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    I wouldn't think you'd need to pad the 1st met head in a pair of VFFs.

    Don't forget, "Morton's Foot" is a perfectly functional foot. Entire civilizations had "Morton's Feet" (Greeks, Celts) and they were vibrant powerful cultures. They weren't hobbling around on crippled feet.

    What they had were shoes made for THEIR kind of foot. (or sandals/soft shoes) Morton's foot only becomes an issue when you try to cram a long 2nd metatarsal foot into a shoe designed by and for folks with long 1st metatarsal feet.

    (and, of course, they weren't constantly exposed to flat hard surfaces, which I still swear are the bane of ALL modern tootsies)

    Morton's foot isn't just a longer 2nd metatarsal, it's also a differently shaped cuboid bone so the foot really does move a little differently. It's also a longer foot, so it's easy to develop hammer-toe because of shoes that are too short in the toe box.

    VFF are enough like barefoot that I'd think they'd let your foot do its natural thing, unhampered by shoes designed for a different kind of foot. I'd just suggest you start your VFF running on dirt trails or grassy fields so your foot muscles have a chance to wake up and gain the strength to support your mets properly before you start running on hard flat surfaces.

    Knot-doesn't-have-Morton's-foot (but does have dropped 2nd met head)
    I agree with you that it's not really the foot that's the problem, it's the shoes and the fact that they just don't fit that foot shape well. Maybe some shoe company needs to design shoes around that foot configuration...or better yet there should be more flat, flexible, soft shoes that don't restrict the foot (and look acceptable for professional settings etc.) since that would be good for everyone, not just those who happen to have Morton's foot. The VFFs should be good, provided they fit you. Not sure what we can do about the hard flat surfaces--they're certainly not the healthiest thing for us but I don't think there's any getting around them.
    2011 Surly LHT
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  8. #23
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    So is there a stretch I can do to get my first met on the ground? I can't even really do it passively. I quit going barefoot because it was so painful - not the other way around.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #24
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    Anyone else think it's odd that the gadgets they have in shoe stores to measure your feet have sliders to measure, length, width, and length of arch, but it can be very difficult to find a shoe in anything but an "average" width; and I've never seen shoes that are sold with different choices in arch length.

  10. #25
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    It's no different from anything else that's sold pre-made - shoes, bicycles, clothing. Even the cockpits of automobiles, which aren't offered in different sizes but definitely vary in size. Each make of shoes has a general "philosophy," different models will be variations on that theme, and sizes of each model will keep the same proportions. Measuring your foot gives an experienced fitter an idea of what makes and models to try.

    There are still some custom cobblers around, but like custom anything, it's going to cost you.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #26
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    thanks for the link, Oak. Interesting... yeah, I have blamed my mom for years for putting me in shoes that were too small (family joke - you know, blame mom). Since I work in a chemistry lab, open toed shoes are out of the question... bummer, but big, clown type shoes are perfectly acceptable. I will look into that book...

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    I wouldn't think you'd need to pad the 1st met head in a pair of VFFs.

    Don't forget, "Morton's Foot" is a perfectly functional foot. Entire civilizations had "Morton's Feet" (Greeks, Celts) and they were vibrant powerful cultures. They weren't hobbling around on crippled feet.

    What they had were shoes made for THEIR kind of foot. (or sandals/soft shoes) Morton's foot only becomes an issue when you try to cram a long 2nd metatarsal foot into a shoe designed by and for folks with long 1st metatarsal feet.

    (and, of course, they weren't constantly exposed to flat hard surfaces, which I still swear are the bane of ALL modern tootsies)
    One of my readings -- which I of course can't find now -- indicated that the prevalence of Morton's Foot had increased dramatically over the past several hundred years. It used to just be 5% of the population, but now it's 25%. In another time, I would have been the one left at the hearth, sewing... or starving.

    I'm with you, OakLeaf. Running barefoot is painful. I feel like I am on the brink of a catastrophic injury when barefoot. I love the idea, but I'm not sold on it for my particular foot type. Yet. (Even though I want to be!)

  13. #28
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    Well this post has been an epiphany! I was diagnosed with a stress fracture a couple weeks ago and the dr described the foot condition to me without calling it Morton's foot. After reading all the posts and checking out the links, this describes my problem to a tee. I bought some moleskin and placed 4 layers under my first metatarcel bone and OH MY GOODNESS what a difference it made! I can walk without pain for the first time in weeks. Forget about walking barefoot anywhere or anyplace because I hobble like an old woman. I still have a copy of my xrays and when I took a look, my second metatarcel bone is a good inch longer than my first.

    I have suffered so on the bike with a hot foot on my right foot. I've changed pedals, bought 3 different pair of shoes, then it just got worse when I started running again resulting in a stress fracture. I'm realizing now maybe there's some hope.

    Zia and Oakleaf, do you ride with clipless pedals and has it been much of a problem on the bike?

  14. #29
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    an INCH??? wow.

    I don't actually have any trouble on the bike. I've used Look-style pedals, and toe clips before that. Before I learned about all this stuff, I put the intermediate Specialized arch supports in my shoes, just because they were available and I had custom orthotics in all my athletic shoes; but in my first incarnation as a cyclist, I didn't have any arch trouble or arch-related knee trouble. It's likely I still put more weight on the second met head on the bike, but it doesn't seem to cause the kinds of trouble it does for me on the ground. But the difference in length in my metatarsals isn't near what yours is.

    Knot, I really want to make barefooting work. I know it won't happen overnight, but I've struggled for almost a year now in Yoga. In all the standing poses, they're talking about "four corners of the feet" and "creating the arch with your big toe mound" and meantime, I can have my ankles in neutral, or I can have my big toe mound on the mat, but not both at the same time, no matter how hard I try. I can't even take my hands and force it down to the ground without my ankle caving, it just doesn't reach. So that's why I asked about stretches.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #30
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    Well, Oak, your reaction made me go measure the xray........don't have me guess your height or weight because I apparently suck at guesstimates. It was actually between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch.

    Do the custom orthontics help? I'm getting some next week.

 

 

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