Sandals and Plantar Fasciitis – My Story

Akershus Banquet Hall at Epcot Norway

Hello everyone! My name is Allyn and this is my story. The title, sandals and plantar fasciitis, is important. Let me fill you in on the reasons why.

But first let me note that since I created this site and plan to have others share their stories about dealing with plantar fasciitis, I felt it would be good to post my own personal story right up front.

Where Do I Begin?

I first encountered my heel pain issue while on vacation at Disney World in Florida (USA). We were on a family vacation that included my wife, our two children, their spouses, and our four grandchildren.

It was our first evening at Disney World, having arrived by plane in the early afternoon.

After getting checked into our resort we headed off by bus to Epcot, where we were scheduled to have dinner at Akershus Banquet Hall in the Norway area of the park.

I was wearing sandals, the ones pictured below, a nice pair that I had worn numerous times before. They felt comfortable as I walked.

Well, if you have ever been to Epcot you’ll know what I mean when I say that it is a bit of a walk from the bus stop back to the “country” area. We had a wonderful dinner and then we slowly made our way back to the bus and the resort.

My First Encounter With the PainSandals and Plantar Fasciitis

That night, I woke up about 1:30 am, needing to use the restroom. So, I stepped out of bed and, to my horror, almost went down face first on the floor. The pain was excruciating! I hopped and hobbled to the bathroom, walking sideways and hanging onto anything I could for balance and support.

There was no doubt in my mind what this was. I had been studying it for some time. So, I spent the next 40 minutes in bed, exercising my ankle and trying to force my toes upward to stretch my plantar fascia. Having enough knowledge to know to do this helped relieve a little bit of the pain.

When it was time to get up in the morning, however, I knew what to expect. I was really concerned about my ability to keep up with my family that next day.

All I can figure is that the sandals lacked arch support for a walk of that distance. Even though I had been studying the topic of plantar fasciitis, I wasn’t aware that sandals and heel pain could be related.

 How I Dealt With It

The funny thing is, I had just talked with my son-in-law about plantar fasciitis the previous week. He is a runner and had dealt with this issue for some time. Fortunately for me, he had brought along a Futuro night brace. I “borrowed” it for the remainder of the trip.

Needless to say, the bounce in my step was gone the rest of our vacation. I struggled along each day, resting my foot as best I could as often as I could.

For the remainder of the week at Disney World I wore my tennis shoes. The shoes had good padding but it still hurt to walk.My Crocs

Near the end of our time there, I broke down and bought a pair of comfortable Crocs with nice soft soles. I wore them almost every day for the next couple months until most of the pain was gone.

Products, Exercises, and Treatments

After arriving back home, I purchased Dr Scholl heel inserts and still use them in all of my shoes. They seem to have helped significantly.

I went through a period of time when I iced my heel two or three times a day. That also helped, though it often brought on more pain if I iced for too long.

In addition, I added several of the common toe and Achilles tendon stretches to my daily schedule.

Perhaps if I had been a bit more aggressive with appropriate exercises and treatments early on I could have gotten rid of my plantar fasciitis completely by now.

How it Affects Me Now

Since I live in the same house as my grandchildren and love to play with them, I often can be found outside playing tag or some other game that involves activity.

We are all involved in karate, also, so my feet get plenty of activity. Often times I find that the pain shows up again a few hours after the activity stops. Fortunately, it subsides relatively quickly.

And … I’ll admit this … I’m overweight, which I realize may be a contributing factor.

Let me end with this: the pain is still here, especially on days when I have to wear harder-soled shoes or, as I said, shortly after participating in karate lessons. But it is lessening with time.

Hopefully, I’m on the way to getting rid of this difficulty. It restricts my ability to play and have fun with my grandchildren and it is a nuisance!


Allyn Beekman has worked in the computer industry and higher education. At a point of semi-retirement, he struggles with plantar fasciitis. His goal is to share all avenues of treatment and exercise that will help eliminate heel pain.

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