Several years ago I developed a neuroma (pinched nerve) between my 3rd & 4th metatarsal in my left foot. I'd been wearing tactical boots every day and I think these caused the inflammation in my foot. Wearing small raised pads out of felt that "separated" the bones in my feet greatly helped, and the neuroma healed.
Fast forward to present, and I've been wearing my VFF's for about a year now (give or take days when I'd wear flip flops or a low-heeled shoe to work). Over the past week, I've noticed that same pain in my foot when I wear regular shoes, but in the right foot. But when I wear my Vibrams, the pain is nonexistent.
Has wearing the Vibrams gotten my feet accustomed to naturally spreading out when I walk? And now when I wear dress shoes I get that pinched nerve sensation. Has anyone ever experienced this? The few dress shoes I wear aren't restrictive, have elastic to "hold" the foot in place, and are cushioned.
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I would never have neuroma surgery. I work as an assistant for a podiatrist.( I do not follow the doctors advice) I'd wear the Vibrams. I wore New Balance to hike 8 miles in Hawaii last winter. I live in FLAT Indiana. In the space of a couple hours, my shins were killing me. I could also only walk barefoot. I could not wear flip flops, or athletic shoes. I switched to my vibrams and hiked all over a volcano that afternoon. I stayed in them for the rest of the vacation.No pain when wearing them. My feet are wide and tall.I am a 56 year old female. It is hard to find shoes I can wear. I don't care what they look like as long as they do not injure my feet. I have to wear the smallest men's vibrams. I believe that most shoes are like wearing casts on your feet. They make your feet weak. Just like wearing a cast. They make them prone to breaking easily. Feet must be exercised just like the rest of your body to stay supple. Body weight must stay in the normal range. We have so many people who are twice what they should weigh coming in with major pain on feet that are over worked just to keep them standing. Sugar issues cause lack of circulation in the feet and cause a lot of pain. Paleo eating should be recommended to everyone.... But again, I am only the lowly assistant and not allowed to speak. I just observe.
I exercise my feet just as much as the rest of me by pulling a hand towel toward me on the floor with my toes, Stretching the tendon on the bottom, and twisting and turning on them doing kick boxing on rubber mats. I go barefoot as much as possible.(not the doctors advice.)
For years I suffered with painful Morton's neuroma of both feet and "idiopathic" peripheral neuropathy. I did opt to have surgery on one foot to see if it would take away some of the excruciating pain I was having. This was about 15 yrs ago. Well, the surgery did nothing for the pain so I did not have surgery on the other foot. What did make a difference is when I totally eliminated gluten from my life 8 yrs ago. Now I have foot pain from neuropathy of 0-1 and the other neuroma does not seem to be an issue. It is all about inflammation. Now low carb paleo for blood sugar control.
I have been thinking about getting a minimalist shoe of some sort. I have wide feet and hard to fit. My toes are short so I don't think the ffv would work for me. It is only the past few years that I can go barefoot in the house. I still have residual numbness from the neuropathy but that seems to be lessening. Maybe one day I will again have normal feet.
This is why I don't wear minimalist shoes. A simple summer beach thong is all the padding I need, and my toes can fan out over the edges when they need more room. I wait for them to go on sale and buy up a few pairs. The nicer ones, not the colored rubber kind. $15 instead of $5. That is as minimalist as I'll go. I don't switch to regular shoes anymore. If I need something more substantial I'll wear an original crocs-type style so my feet can swim in them or a men's extra-wide running shoe.
I have a stump neuroma in my left foot and a Morton's neuroma in my right foot. The stump neuroma is the result of surgery to remove a Morton's neuroma that formed after a few months of wearing shoes with approximately 1 1/2-2" heels.
About a year ago, I seriously aggravated the neuromas in both feet by wearing 5-10 canyoneering shoes for two full days. Both neuromas were so badly aggravated by the stiffness of the soles - the shoes weren't overly wide, and I even wore them comfortably with neoprene socks - that I could not walk. At all. With any type of shoe. The only time the painw as bearable was when I was barefoot.
As soon as I got back from my trip, I started wearing my KSOs or being barefoot 24/7 (I wore the KSOs only occasionally prior to that time). It took about a month for the Morton's neuroma in the right foot to subside to the point where I thought "OK, maybe now I won't need surgery after all."
To answer your question - if your shoes are too tight, you should be swapping them out for something that fits anyway. If they aren't, it could be the type of the shoe and the heel height, not just the fact that your toes cannot spread out. http://www.footsmart.com/health-conditions-mortons-neuroma