Dealing with plantar fasciitis for those of us with concrete floors.

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Forum topic by dbhost posted 04-14-2014 08:53 PM 10067 views 0 times favorited 64 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5864 posts in 4565 days

04-14-2014 08:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

If you haven’t experienced the joy that is plantar fasciitis, count your blessings. I can’t go into details on it but basically, as I understand it, it is a sort of tendon overstress caused by age, weight, and overly hard surfaces such as concrete and tile flooring.

My shop floor is concrete, and I AM dealing with this issue. So I was wondering what other folks do to deal. I have good boots with orthodic inserts, but I need something more to make my feet happy, or at least tolerable…

I have added 3 24×36 diamond plate looking nice and thick anti fatigue mats in the most commonly used areas of my shop. I am considering adding more.

What else are folks using to make the hard surfaces tolerable? Other than facility, what else can I do to reduce the impact of being in the shop on my feet?

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64 replies so far

View bandit571's profile


30423 posts in 4016 days

#1 posted 04-14-2014 09:03 PM

I think Walmart and others sell those interlocking kids play mats? Lock a bunch together to make a board game sort of thing. Get a set, turn them over, lock enough together to cover the floor.

Yep, I have that foot thing too. And spurs on the heels. I work at a factory job ( my”Day Job”) for 12 hour shiftd. Walking almost five MILES a shift. Yep, them doggies are BARKING all the way home. Most days, it is a soft pair of tennis shoes. Other day, it is the steel toed, gelling insert. Feet still hurt.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View bigblockyeti's profile


7962 posts in 3053 days

#2 posted 04-14-2014 09:05 PM

I put down 5/8” x 2’ x 2’ interlocking foam tiles in my basement after deciding against carpet in the event of a plumbing failure. I thought of doing the same in my shop with a thin wood overlay to allow sliding and rolling for all but the heaviest (stationary) machines where the flooring would be placed around.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Ted's profile


2877 posts in 3544 days

#3 posted 04-14-2014 09:13 PM

The bottoms of my feet hurt if I’m on them all day, but I started wearing running shoes and it’s makes a huge difference. Not sure if this is applicable to what you’re talking about here, but just thought I should throw it in.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5362 posts in 5293 days

#4 posted 04-14-2014 09:29 PM

Been there, done that. I started wearing Merrill shoes with adequate width (toe box), and the standard cushions for the shoes. These “sneaks” have made a big difference in my foot comfort.

-- [email protected]

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4497 days

#5 posted 04-14-2014 09:32 PM

Running shoes should be tried, especially if you already have them. Also, make sure you have a chair the right height that can be used for those tasks that don’t require standing. A high chair, like a bar chair, and a work surface to match will be used a lot more than one that requires you to get down low into a chair.

I work a lot on my RAS top doing things that don’t require tools much, and kind of lean on it with my arms since it is quite high, and large. That takes some load of your feet, and varies the load.

I use a chair only when I have an extended period of time to work on detailed things, such as electrical stuff, plans etc. My chair is essentially a swiveling bar chair I bought cheaply unfinished decades ago. Sitting will help, but only if it is comfortable, and the work surface is the right height.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5864 posts in 4565 days

#6 posted 04-14-2014 09:42 PM

Yeah, since this flared up it would appear that my backside has been on the shop stools a LOT more than I had ever used them..

I typically wear very supportive, and comfortable hiking boots. Not sure how sneakers would be any better…

I have a pair of very, very cushy, and quiet soled hunting boots that I am tempted to start wearing regularly just to treat my feet nicely…

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View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 2862 days

#7 posted 04-14-2014 09:49 PM

I thought I read it here not to long ago that someone cut one of those foam mats to fit their shoe then contact cemented it to the bottom and kept them for just to wear when they are in the shop. I haven’t tried it but was thinking about it. Cheaper than covering the whole floor.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View Redoak49's profile


5464 posts in 3321 days

#8 posted 04-14-2014 09:57 PM

Anyone who has or had plantar fasciitis will really sympathize with you.

The things that helped me the most were good shoes and some therapy. The therapy helped get rid of some of the symptoms and also provided me with some daily exercises which were mainly stretches. Over a period of time, the exercises really helped but you need to keep doing them.

Finding good shoes is not an easy thing to do and not cheap. Some running stores can have people who will help you find the right shoes with arch support. I probably make some of the people in the store unhappy as I have found that the younger people in the shoe store may no about running shoes but not about older peoples feet. I found the owner of a New Balance store to be very helpful for me finding good shoes with proper support.

Good luck and hope that it gets better soon.

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1309 posts in 3567 days

#9 posted 04-14-2014 09:59 PM
The above site has good info. If it were me, if you haven’t already, I would see a Podiatrist. I am an RN and I do home health care and I have seen several patients that obtained relief by seeing a “Foot Doctor.”

-- Jerry

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 4404 days

#10 posted 04-14-2014 10:01 PM

Fortunately I don’t suffer from plantar fasciitis, but in addition to the mats and shoes, you could try putting a cheap wood floor on top of the concrete.

A chapter near the end of Great Workshops by Fine Woodworking shows various types of floors. I checked the book out from my local library.

One of the cheaper options was a DIY wood floor made from 2×4 stretchers with foam between them and plywood/OSB on top. They also recommended putting a moisture barrier on top of the 2×4s to protect the plywood layer. Another idea was to use DRIcore panels, which are usually used for basement subfloor. In both cases they also recommended painting the floor. I’ll probably go with one of these solutions in my garage, but they also mentioned various other flooring solutions, including a couple interlocking foam/rubber tile systems.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View BJODay's profile


528 posts in 3276 days

#11 posted 04-14-2014 10:08 PM

I also suffer from plantar fasciitis. See a podiatrist and have custom orthotics made. They are not cheap, ~$400. It takes a few months of consistent use to see improvement.

After 18 years, one of my dogs ate my orthotics. I thought I could go without them. Not so. It became irritated and painful. I had a new set made and I am now mobile and pain free.


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4497 days

#12 posted 04-14-2014 10:52 PM

......and I think you are planning on a wooden floor, when able…..........right? Sooner might be better than later.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3590 days

#13 posted 04-15-2014 12:56 AM

I experienced what I thought was plantar fasciitis and went to a massage therapist. She worked a bunch of knots out of my calves and had me stretch my legs 2-3 times daily. It worked. Now, I stretch once daily and have not had any further issues. The stretching was to put one leg well out behind me and slowly lean forward on the bathroom vanity and hold that for 30 seconds with 3-4 reps, then do the same with the other leg. FWIW

-- Art

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 2898 days

#14 posted 04-15-2014 01:12 AM

I have anti-fatigue mats in any area I frequently use. A 6’x4’ can be had at $10 bucks from sears. They come in 2’x2’ interchangeable squares. For $20 I’ve covered every area in my shop I spend any amount of time on.


View Underdog's profile


1802 posts in 3368 days

#15 posted 04-15-2014 01:46 AM

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. No fun.

Best quick relief method? Ice in a styrofoam cup. Peel back the edges and ice your sole down. Gets the inflamation down.

Best long term relief? A pair of custom made orthotics perscribed by my Physical Therapist Sister in Law. Best $90 I ever spent. They’re still in use. The last ones I got from a podiatrist weren’t nearly as good, and yes, they were $400 easy.

My experience is that they MUST provide arch support and lot’s of it. The more expensive orthotics didn’t provide nearly enough arch support and aggravated my shin splints something fierce.

Good luck.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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