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View Full Version : Heel pain returning to tennis


yemenmocha
02-20-2010, 06:36 AM
I've been pretty much off of tennis for 18 months and slowly getting into it again now (elbow is improving!).

I haven't worn tennis shoes at all for those 18 months and I have 3 different brands/pairs, 2 of which are unused (warranty replacements).

I'm mid 30's, gained over 30 lbs. since I used to hit, and now when I hit for an hour my feet are really really achey the next morning, especially on the heels.

Is it probably just my return to the game, coupled with hard courts, age, extra weight, and being accustomed to shoes that are more plush? I don't think I could mentally handle another injury so I'm taking it very easy.

There is no pain on flexing toes or moving foot in any way. It's just pain when my body weight is on my heels.

Thanks!!:confused:

athiker
02-20-2010, 07:20 AM
Google and search the boards for Plantar Fasciitis to see if yout symptoms concur. There is a lot of info out there re: diagnosis and various treatments...unfortunately not all agree, you'll have to decide what you want to try. Everything from "posted" inserts to various rehab exercises to surgery.

As I get older and talking with others my age (mid-forties) there is one common denominator that seems to come up over and over re: joint, tendon and ligament health. Its probably no surprise and is definitely not easy. Its keeping the weight off. Pick up even a 20 lb bag of something and run and jump around with it. Now imagine how much less stress your body would be under if you could drop 20 or 30 pounds.

It used to be easy for me as I've always been naturally active, but its a constant effort for me now...but very worth it. I notice a difference if I add as little as 5 pounds. I've been between 210 and 195 over the last year (6' tall). Between 200 and 205 isn't too tough for me to maintain but too heavy for me to really play intense sports w/o nagging injuries and some joint pain. When I hit 210 I've been slacking (mostly in the eating department). I'm just a few pounds under 200 right now...winter is always harder...I really feel I need to get down to 190 to feel good and stay very active long-term. I'm hopeful with a better starting point I'll get there this summer. There is only one formula...calories in vs. calories out. Good luck.

charliefedererer
02-20-2010, 08:48 PM
Do yourself a favor. Get the Asics Gel Resolution tennis shoes. They are the most cusionioned shoes I have ever worn. http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Reviews/AGRWWB/AGRWWBReview.html

And also get some good shoe replacement inserts like the superfeet oange (as long as you have a normal to high arch).
http://www.runningwarehouse.com/catpage-insoles.html
They will provide support and cushioning. With the support they will spread your weight out along the whole sole of the foot, instead of just on the heel and forefoot, which will result in excessive flexing of the middle part of the sole - the cause of plantar fasciitis. When you take out the insoles from any shoe, notice how thin they are. And the ones in your current tennis shoes have already compressed down in the weight bearing areas of the forefoot and heel; they all do after the first wearing.

I assume part of the reason you are taking up tennis again is to help burn some calories and lose weight. But you'll have to play a ton of tennis to do that. I hope you also plan to give up, or at least markedly decrease junk food and high calorie drinks (soda and beer).

Good luck, and welcome back to tennis.

athiker
02-20-2010, 09:15 PM
charliefedererer thanks for the recommendation for a cushioned shoe in the Asics Gel Resolution. It looks like they have transitioned to version 2 though. Have you tried those? They still get good marks for cushion and are described as medium width but there are a few comments about not doing well for anyone over a D in width. Any comments on width?

I'd really like to get a more cushioned shoe myself but my feet are a little on the wide side. My Barricades are really a little too snug in fact and they have had positive comments re: width. My Prince T9 have perfect width for me...just no arch support. I replaced them with some 3/4 drugstore arches...forget the brand...that have helped, but will check out the Superfeet Orange. Superfeet are well respected in backpacking...in fact my wife used them on our A.T. hike. Thanks.

SystemicAnomaly
02-20-2010, 11:45 PM
You might have heel spurs (which could be related to plantar fasciiitis). For more about this and other possibilities, check the following:

http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/generalinfo2/a/heelspur.htm

http://orthopedics.about.com/od/findingthecaus1/a/heelpaincauses.htm

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00159

Another shoe to consider is Nike Air Monarch. This is a relatively inexpensive x-trainer that can be found often found at Sports Authority, who usually has it on sale for $50 (or sometimes for $40). This shoe comes in a D or EEEE width for men and has quite a bit of cushioning. This is one x-trainer that I find suitable even for playing tennis. I'll often supplement the insoles with heel inserts/pads.

athiker
02-21-2010, 05:56 AM
I love the Nike Air Monarchs and 2nd the recommendation. I've bought them for years. But I wore through 3 pairs very quickly when I started back playing tennis on hard courts. They are very comfortable, great cushion and good for wide feet even in the D width (I've had both). The price is right too. The tread just does not hold up well for me playing tennis.

I am hard on shoes so I've been trying to find shoes with soles than hold up longer but if one is not that hard on shoes the Monarchs are great. Really if Adidas didn't have the 6 month warranty on their shoes I'd be better off buying Monarchs every few months. I wore through my Barricades in about 5 1/2 months, but got a new pair under warranty.

Even as it is, for comfort it might be worth going back to the Monarchs.

SystemicAnomaly
02-21-2010, 08:28 PM
I love the Nike Air Monarchs and 2nd the recommendation. I've bought them for years. But I wore through 3 pairs very quickly when I started back playing tennis on hard courts. They are very comfortable, great cushion and good for wide feet even in the D width (I've had both). The price is right too. The tread just does not hold up well for me playing tennis...

Buy the $5 extended (1 -year) footware coverage plan from Sports Authority. I bought 2 pairs of Air Monarchs early in 2009 (one for $50 & the other on sale for $40). My last 3 pairs of shoes since then have only cost me $5 for each pair (plus I put down another $5 to cover the replacement shoes).

(Hopefully, this suggestion is ok with TW since they don't seem to carry x-trainers)
.

athiker
02-22-2010, 06:34 AM
Thanks for the tip. I have never heard of that warranty option. We only have Dick's Sporting Goods nearby, but I occasionally get over to an area with a Sports Authority.

athiker
02-22-2010, 06:42 AM
This is all I could find on the Sports Authority warranty offer: http://consumerist.com/2009/06/sports-authority-is-selling-an-extended-warranty-for-shoes.html

I couldn't find anything on their website. They have free shipping on shoes now, but they don't have the Monarchs in anything over size 9. I hope this doesn't mean they are dropping the model.

jazzyfunkybluesy
02-22-2010, 06:44 AM
Be careful man that sounds like your achilles heel is aggravated. Make sure you wear high quality shoes.

SystemicAnomaly
02-22-2010, 11:25 AM
This is all I could find on the Sports Authority warranty offer: http://consumerist.com/2009/06/sports-authority-is-selling-an-extended-warranty-for-shoes.html

I couldn't find anything on their website. They have free shipping on shoes now, but they don't have the Monarchs in anything over size 9. I hope this doesn't mean they are dropping the model.

Yeah, I'd hate to see the Air Monarch model go away. Have been using them for quite a while (more than a decade?). The original Nike Air Monarch and Air Monarch II (phased out several years ago) were even better shoes than the current Air Monarch III. Even so, I've not been able to find any suitable replacement for the current model.

I picked up my most recent pair just about 2 weeks ago in a local SA store. There were plenty of 10.5 and 11's in both the D and EEEE widths in stock at that time.

SystemicAnomaly
02-22-2010, 11:28 AM
^ From what I understand, the employees are strongly urged to sell the extended footwear plan. I can't remember them ever forgetting to ask if I wanted to buy the plan in the past few years.

charliefedererer
02-22-2010, 07:50 PM
charliefedererer thanks for the recommendation for a cushioned shoe in the Asics Gel Resolution. It looks like they have transitioned to version 2 though. Have you tried those? They still get good marks for cushion and are described as medium width but there are a few comments about not doing well for anyone over a D in width. Any comments on width?

I'd really like to get a more cushioned shoe myself but my feet are a little on the wide side. My Barricades are really a little too snug in fact and they have had positive comments re: width. My Prince T9 have perfect width for me...just no arch support. I replaced them with some 3/4 drugstore arches...forget the brand...that have helped, but will check out the Superfeet Orange. Superfeet are well respected in backpacking...in fact my wife used them on our A.T. hike. Thanks.

The Gel Resolution II's feel essentially the same to me, and are very comfortable. But as you have already pointed out, they are are probably a true D (and fit me great, but I don't have wide feet).
Another shoe line to consider is the New Balance line that has 2E and 4E widths, and many positive comments on the TW site.