Foot Pain?

I am just a runner. I have been running pretty seriously since 1980. I ran at Edgemont Jr. High, then at Puyallup High school, then moved on to Green River Community College, and finished my education and school running at Central Washington University. In 2005 I was on the Saucony national racing team with 50 other people. In 2013 I have run over 2400 miles so far (pretty typical for me), and I use to keep track of my mileage and specifically which shoes I used. 


15 years ago I raced a 10k on a mostly downhill course, which really hammered on my feet. That tendon that runs from your heel out to your toes (the tendons that make up your arch) ended up really stretched out. Plantar fasciitis is extremely painful, especially first thing in the morning. I was told to take some time off from running, which I did. I was told to get custom arch supports from a podiatrist, which I did 3 different times. Custom arches are typically heavier than I like (for running), the cost is quite high, and they never gave me the level of relief that I got with this secret that I am going to share with you.


Go to the dollar store and pick up one of those foam water noodles. Yes, those 5 foot long floating things with the hole down the center.

Next, take a sharp knife and cut a length off the pool noodle, about 3 inches long.

From here you'll take your 3 inch section and cut some plugs out of it.

Then you can insert these little pieces of joy under your insole of your shoes or if you are using racing flats, just under your arch.

Years ago, when you bought a pair of Nike shoes, they’d give you a foam piece to put under the arch if you needed it. This is sort of the same idea only bigger. Depending on how high your arches are and what feels good, you might have to cut the pieces a little differently than I’ve shown. When you first put them in, walk around a little. The foam will flatten down but it shouldn’t hurt. You will have to put new plugs in every few runs as they flatten out. In all of my shoes, my dress shoes included, there are multiple flattened plugs already (I don’t always take the old ones out when I put new ones in). And I always have fresh cut ones in my gym bag, ready to go into my shoes at a moment’s notice.


I am by no means a doctor or physical therapist. I am just a runner, and I figured there must be other runners out there with foot pain or heel pain caused by a running injury, searching for an alternative to custom orthotics. What I have shared with you has really helped me and quite a few of my friends and family members over the years. The key is to listen to what your feet and body are telling you. If you are having pain, then you need to change what you’re doing, keep your feet happy and keep running!

Lance Docken