#269–Life and The Good Feet Store . . .

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A few years ago, I drove a friend over to Eugene because her back was hurting too much for her to drive. She was going to The Good Feet Store. I had heard of it but knew very little about it.

This is the Eugene store near Valley River Center.

We were walk-ins—no appointment needed. Each foot’s pressure points and measurements were taken, customized inserts were created for her, and she bought a pair of shoes. She said that it wasn’t cheap but felt it was worth it.

That gal is a personal trainer and knows all about the alignment of the body and how it is affected when our feet are having problems. Feet can be the cause of a backache, neckache, knee problems, etc. Yep, dem bones really are connected!

For the past few years, my feet have become more and more pronated as my right knee was kinking ever more inward. And the left foot was worse than the right one.

I had surgery last January 28 to correct my kinking knee. The surgery was also because the knee had osteoarthritis, lost its cartilage, become bone on bone, and hurt when I moved it. So I had total knee replacement. The doctors say that it takes about six months to fully heal. Since six months had passed as of August and my right leg was straight and no longer hurting, it was time to tackle the pronation. (I love my new knee.)


I remembered my visit a few years ago to The Good Feet Store. So I did some research about it online and decided to visit when I took over my car for its next tune-up. I made the car appointment for mid-October and knew how to get from there to Good Feet—actually very close.

The day after I made my appointment, I was talking to my yard man, Todd, and he had just been there and was wearing new inserts. What a small world!

After my car appointment, I went to The Good Feet Store and was waited on immediately by Rachel. After giving me an overview and seeing that she had not scared me off, she had me stand on a device that measured the pressure exerted at every point of my foot. Then I did the other foot. After that, she measured each foot as to length and width.

Rachael explained the three types of inserts:

The strengthener is cream colored and sturdier than the other two.

1. The strengthener is designed to be the main support. They exercise and strengthen the muscles of the feet, placing them in the ideal position.

The maintainer is black I use this one when walking around the neighborhood.

2. The maintainer is designed to be the transitional support while folks adjust to the strengthener. Afterwards, they are the go-to support for activities––especially outdoors.

The relaxer is brown and I sometimes put it in my sock slippers.

3. The relaxer offers the right level of rest and relaxation for the feet while continuing to provide support. At first, it’s most of the time. Later, it’s at beginning and end of day.  

The inserts would fit in any of my shoes where I can remove the inside footbed. Each has a high arch, and they are shorter than I thought they would be. She answered my questions and gave me material to read.

My new house shoes (slippers) with the relaxers that are very easy to insert under a flexible footbed provided by Good Feet.

I hadn’t bought new shoes in a while, so I bought some house shoes (their version of slippers) and a rather nice sturdy shoe.

I spent a bundle of money, but felt I was doing something good to address the problems of my pronating feet. And I learned that you pay once and they work with you for years, if necessary. If you need to replace or alter any of the inserts, that will be done without any additional expense.

While we were waiting for the inserts to be readied for me, we chatted. She made the mistake of asking me what I do. So I told her. She ended up buying two copies of The Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!! Who knew!

As soon as I got home, I started wearing the inserts and following directions precisely. I was doing fine adjusting to them for about a week, until I tied the house shoes much too tight and wore them that way all day. I really liked the way they looked, but when I took them off that evening, a small bunion on my right foot was hurting. I had never noticed it before.

The strengtheners are usually worn with this other pair of new shoes I got at Good Feet.


The new bunion continued hurting, so much that I didn’t want to put a shoe on that foot. After a week, I went to the walk-in clinic. Three x-rays showed nothing broken. It did show some bone deterioration. The doctor told me not to wear shoes for a few days. Bottom line: Nothing broken just deteriorating due to old age.

The next day Rachel called. It had been a little over two weeks. I told her about the sore bunion. She said to do whatever needed to be done to make it feel better and not to worry about the inserts just now.

So I spent three days wearing my comfy sock slippers with no inserts. The bunion began to feel better but would hurt again if I wore the maintainers or strengtheners for several hours. The relaxers in the house shoes were fine all day, as long as I just slipped the shoes on and didn’t tie the laces.

The maintainers are usually worn with my most comfortable shoes.

At the one-month point, it was time to go back to the store to recheck the pressure points to see what progress had occurred. I felt, I had disrupted my progress to the point where I wanted to delay this first check. So I called and postponed it for two weeks.

My bunion continued to feel better but so gradually. I’d been wearing the maintainers or strengtheners whenever I went out, and around the house, I wore the relaxers.

That takes us up to this past Monday, November 30. I drove to Eugene and had my six-week check-up. Even with my disrupted wearing of the inserts, my pressure points are changing and for the good. Bottom line: Progress, which is what I wanted.

And she had asked me to bring in all three inserts. They disappeared into the back of the store upon my arrival. Later, before I left, all three inserts were returned.  The two stronger ones were still in good shape, but the relaxers were replaced. She said that they had totally broken down, showing that I was wearing them a lot. She also said that was not unusual when folks are starting the program.

My of-so-comfy sock slippers, which also work with the relaxers.

Except for the sore bunion, I’m a happy camper when it comes to the expensive inserts from The Good Feet Store. The bunion problem I consider my fault and don’t blame it on the inserts.

Whenever I put on shoes with any of the inserts, it takes a few minutes for the feet to adjust. At first with the strengtheners, I thought I had put a roll of dimes under my arch on each foot. With these strongest inserts, you start at half hour and gradually work up to being able to handle several hours. Since this is the one that does the main work of correcting my feet, Rachel advised me to start using this one more, at least a few hours each day. So that is my goal.

Oops! I just realized I have on sock slippers and need to put on strengtheners. . . . Good thing Rachel’s not here!

I’ll keep you posted!    

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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