Fitting the Foot

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
Message
Author
elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#351 Post by elfn » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:21 am

Do I think he needs them? Not if he'd do exercises to strengthen his feet. Will he? Not a chance. He's almost 70. I'm doing my best to keep him patched together and comfortable. I'm hoping he sees how much I'm improving and it plants a seed but I am not holding my breath.

Denise, I hear what you're saying about proper exercise. Since this last pair of shoes my feet have improved enormously. No more ingrown toenail, no more losing a whole day to pain and swelling if I walk around outside on hard or unlevel ground. Between the new shoes, yoga and walking around with my heels off the ground, I've hugely strengthened my feet and ankles but I still need a footbed that's going to support a trashed ankle for standing and heel touchdown. Such is life.

I'm hoping I can find a happy medium between not enough support and too much support. I don't get in trouble so much when I'm walking around, though there's a bit of that with the ankle not being properly aligned. My biggest problem is when I have to stand for any length of time. That's when the ankle gets irritated enough that it swells as soon as I take my weight off it. Because the majority of the swelling is between the bones in the heel and back half of the foot, walking after the swelling occurs becomes a significant problem. The goal is to get everything properly aligned so I can prevent the swelling. That's the hope, anyway.

dlskidmore
2
2
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:13 pm
Full Name: Denise Skidmore
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Re: Fitting the Foot

#352 Post by dlskidmore » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:18 am

Yeah, I had to walk up on the balls of my feet for about 6 months while everything healed too.

I hope you find something that works for you.

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#353 Post by elfn » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:53 am

You too?! No kidding! I stumbled on it by accident! Running around with my heels off the ground makes me want to make myself a pair of something cute with Cuban heels . . .

I'll keep pecking away on this. I know my feet and my problems better than anyone so I'm the logical one to find the solution. Perseverance is the answer, I think.

dlskidmore
2
2
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:13 pm
Full Name: Denise Skidmore
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Re: Fitting the Foot

#354 Post by dlskidmore » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:31 pm

That's the spirit! I'm a big fan of educated self-experimentation. We're all very individual and have individual challenges and answers. Medicine is still an art as much as it is science.

djulan
2
2
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:39 am
Full Name: David Ulan

Re: Fitting the Foot

#355 Post by djulan » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:19 pm

Hi Nori,
The STS casting socks are very convenient, but require a plastic liner over the foot since STS bonds to skin. So I like plaster splints, for many of the same reasons you do.
Try about 50% hydracal added to your plaster of paris to strengthen it. It's not perfect, but strenghtens the plaster. Also, the mixing procedure for plaster-like products is key to it's durability, so mix accordingly.
It is near impossible to cast oneself, so train a helper to apply the plaster splints when you are satisfied with positioning of your foot for casting.
This is a semi-weight bearing method so I do not know if it will appeal to you, but maybe you will find something in my experience; I use impression foam (Bio Foam) to capture the desired foot position before casting with plaster splints. Take the foam impression seated and have the practioner place the foot in the anatomically desired position before they carefully press your foot into the foam. Then lay (loosely, without tension) a wet plaster splint over the impression foam and set the foot on the wet splint into the foam in the position intended. The foam is enough from keeping the foot from wiggling and tilting till the plaster is set, and gives total plantar contact for the orthotic molding later. Also, I use a "Clamshell" casting method so as not to open and close the plaster splints when removing the foot.
Finally. It is important to reduce bulk from the cast around the ankle area (see stock lasts for reference) when shaping the cast into a shoemaking last. This allows you to use the finished shoe closures to adjust the amount of ankle support needed. One must force oneself to reduce material from that are more than you think. Trust this.
Lastly, your left foot may need some reinforcement on the lateral counter. This really depends on the pain and where you need support. You can simply add a layer or two of counter material laterally between the upper and lining.
Hope that makes sense.
David

dlskidmore
2
2
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:13 pm
Full Name: Denise Skidmore
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Re: Fitting the Foot

#356 Post by dlskidmore » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:38 pm

"It is important to reduce bulk from the cast around the ankle area (see stock lasts for reference) when shaping the cast into a shoemaking last. This allows you to use the finished shoe closures to adjust the amount of ankle support needed. One must force oneself to reduce material from that are more than you think. Trust this. "

That is very useful info. Do you have any guidelines for how much to remove? Professionally made lasts are very skinny in this area... I know shoes I've made from foot castings all require a lace around the ankle because of looseness there.

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#357 Post by elfn » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:36 pm

David, thank you for all the wonderful feedback. From what you're telling me, the STS sock (they make two varieties, don't they, one plaster, one a water activated resin?) will stick to skin. Would painting the foot with a mold release work in place of the plastic? A glycerol/alcohol mold release would be a pain because it would take two coats and require drying time but olive oil's an option. Or canola or almond oil . . .

Thanks for the hydracal info. I'll look into it.

How do you do a clam shell casting? Do you cut it both sides so you don't have to spread it or do you cast your foot in two parts?

I understand about reducing the bulk around the ankle. If I can get the footbed figured out, then I can fuss with that area. I have it in the back of my mind, though, so thanks. I reduced the bulk on my current lasts but without a proper fitting footbed, heel and arch it was a waste of effort.

I'm going to say adding a lateral counter isn't going to help my problem. I need the surface I stand on to keep my ankle and leg in alignment when walking and standing. A flat surface rotates my ankle out and stresses the ankle and heel. If I have it in alignment there's no lateral force involved in standing or walking . . . I think. If this whole process proves me wrong and it turns out I do need additional counter material to make it all work, I promise to fess to it, but what I've done already with the current pair of lasts inclines me to think it's not a value added task.

I've considered getting some impression foam from the vet (they use it for horses with damaged feet), but I'm so close to what I need with the method I'm using and it's so easy for me to get help to cast my foot I'm questioning the value. I'm happy with the right foot cast, so recasting the left is my next try. If I can't get it right in the next couple tries I'll go the impression foam route.

I did think of one other thing. I was easily able to cast my left foot from the ball back by myself and get it just the way I wanted it. Why can't I do that, fill it with plaster and then build up for the toe box. I have to build it up anyway . . . and I can clean it up and cast it for a preliminary last with, I think, a minimum of fuss. I may try adding toe to the cast I've already done and see how it comes out.

djulan
2
2
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:39 am
Full Name: David Ulan

Re: Fitting the Foot

#358 Post by djulan » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:38 pm

Nori,

STS socks which use a water activated resin CANNOT be used without the plastic bag to protect the skin. I am not familiar with a plaster impregnated casting sock.

A link to a video and explanation of a clam shell cast is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyHHFL7X-ko&feature=youtu.be

If you are going to add a toe character to the partial cast of the rearfoot, I would add plaster splints creating a negative toe, then pour the plaster.

A thicker lateral side of a counter may help keep the heel area of the shoe under the foot. You apply so much lateral pressure the heel area that the insole of the shoe might be 'squirted' to the medial side in use, and not supporting the lateral side as desired..

David

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#359 Post by elfn » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:02 am

Still researching . . .

I found this site, and this page in particular, imparts interesting information on mold making.

silicone molds using silicone caulk

I think I can use this method to create an inexpensive mold for my last once I get it done.

I found hydracal . . . thanks for the tip, David.

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#360 Post by elfn » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:49 am

I also found this, a 50% ground up pecan shell casting recipe.

resin/pecan flour casting mix

This has a lot of potential.

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#361 Post by elfn » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:29 am

Here's one more silicone caulk molding mix. This one uses corn starch as the accelerator.

casting silicone caulk

chuck_deats

Re: Fitting the Foot

#362 Post by chuck_deats » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:38 am

Nori,
It is your choice, but I do not allow silicone products in my shop. Contaminated a shop once with silicone saddle oil. After that glues and epoxys would not stick properly. Silicone is difficult to impossible to remove. Most commercial shops that use adhesives follow the same rule.
Chuck

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#363 Post by elfn » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:50 am

Chuck, I can certainly see your point. Silicone can be very pernicious stuff.

raving_raven

Re: Fitting the Foot

#364 Post by raving_raven » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:17 am

Wow,

I am glad I saw that. I remember trying to get silicone oil off a car window once and it is impossible. I certainly would not want it wafting around a space used for gluing.

Thanks for saving me a headache.

Rosemary

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#365 Post by elfn » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:49 pm

I took the casting I made for my footbed mold and added modeling clay to it to produce a prototype I will use to make a mold. That'll give me something I can carve on. I know I'm going to have to do some ankle shaping but I want a last I can make a fitter on first. This is my bad ankle and it's going to take special attention. So far, though, so good. I posted the step by step for casting the partial cast from toes to ankle on my stuff site.
14856.jpg
14856.jpg (20.95 KiB) Viewed 1005 times


(Message edited by elfn on August 19, 2012)

paul
8
8
Posts: 1014
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:00 am
Full Name: Paul Krause
Location: Prescott, Arizona, USA
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#366 Post by paul » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:14 am

Nori,

I'm so encouraged by you , and I can tell I'm not the only one.
Your example to persist is fantastic, and your ability to engage us in your efforts, comes from 'showing your work'.
I'm sure some, of one tradition or another, may shudder at the elementary efforts. But so many others working alone, have to be creative and innovative also.
We're right there with you sister.
Wishing I could help more, but facinated by your efforts.
You go Girl!

Paul

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#367 Post by elfn » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:20 am

Thanks Paul.

I tremendously admire people like Lisa, Marcel and DW who keep the traditions alive and make such wonderful footwear, but there also has to be a place for those of us who cannot afford custom made footwear or who have a yearning to do for ourselves. I've been made to feel very welcomed here. I get lots of great advice and suggestions and the occasional pat on the back. It's a wonderful thing. If anyone thinks what I'm doing is trivial or stupid, they don't share it or they couch it in such a way as to be helpful and supportive. That, too, is a lovely thing, a real live and let live philosophy, enchantingly libertarian.

dlskidmore
2
2
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:13 pm
Full Name: Denise Skidmore
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Re: Fitting the Foot

#368 Post by dlskidmore » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:46 am

My work is even more primitive than Nori's but I've felt welcome here. I hope the sophisticates see that we unsophisticated makers encourage the idea that shoes don't have to come from factories, and may encourage someone else to become a real shoe artisan. Most every craft works that way, for every 100 dabblers a real artist emerges. Kids especially are fascinated when I bring my moccasin sewing with me to parties and such. It just never occurred to them before that shoes could be made rather than bought.

last_maker

Re: Fitting the Foot

#369 Post by last_maker » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:55 am

Nori, You should use the casting that I made for you at the HCC meeting by pouring mould soap into the to cravass.Swish it around to coat all the internal surfaces well. Let it dry. repeat. and do this three times. Once you have three coats. mix up some plaster and pour into the cravass of the foot mould.

You will have to tear off the orginal mould but if you apply mould soap to now the foot positive, let it dry, you can cast as many plaster bandage moulds as you want from the orgninal positive using the bilateral casting method. Then you don't have to keep trying so hard to get an orginal casting. you have one already.

just a thought.

Marlietta
Lastmakingschool.com

last_maker

Re: Fitting the Foot

#370 Post by last_maker » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:00 am

also if you place you saw line from center of ankle to the little toe, you will not have added hight or indent where you need to see the most the shape of the foot. Therefore, you will be able to see better where the top of your large toe connects to your first metatarsal. This is the strongest push off area and also the top of where most shaping begins for the convex haul.

Marlietta Schock
Lastmakingschool.com

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#371 Post by elfn » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:28 am

Marlietta, until I'm sure about my casting methods and comfortable with the process, I'm holding your work in reserve. I know how valuable they are and don't want to take a chance of ruining the result.

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#372 Post by elfn » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:45 am

Diane, I saw something in my search this morning that might interest you. It might solve your heel problem nicely.
14883.jpg
14883.jpg (11.17 KiB) Viewed 1006 times

elfn
3
3
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am
Full Name: Nori Lamphere
Location: Onalaska, WA, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#373 Post by elfn » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:42 am

I'm still struggling with casting my last. It's purely a mental thing. I know it cannot be that hard, but I'm still struggling. At some point I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just make the mold. Once I've done it, all this angst will go away. Picture me shaking my head at myself. Part of it is health issues I've struggled with this summer. Now that everything's improving, my brain starting to be better behaved and this might actually happen.

While I'm struggling with this "cannot be that hard" step in producing lasts, I'm working on other things that haven't happened because my brain energy was on vacation. I've got a quilt for my son on my design wall and I'm thinking about shoes, castings, what I want to try next.

I had a epiphany this morning. I've got a test concept pair of shoes I worked on last year. They were the precursor to the shoes I'm wearing now. I was trying for a shoe I could stabilize on my foot without putting so much pressure on my arch. I thought they were a dead loss as the concept didn't hold up to what I thought it would give me but this morning I had an epiphany.

If I install a lace race around the top and my eyes and hooks down the opening I can use them. I think . . . maybe. It's worth a try, anyway.
14941.jpg


It makes me happy that I may actually be able to use these and have a second pair of healthy shoes!

User avatar
kemosabi
5
5
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:03 pm
Full Name: Nat Ledbetter
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Fitting the Foot

#374 Post by kemosabi » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:24 pm

For anyone using the Derby and Oxford patterns in Golding's volume-1:

I've been noticing the recommended top line position is too high and causes clearance problems with the outside ankle.

Anybody else seeing this too?

-Nat

User avatar
romango
8
8
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:40 pm
Full Name: Rick Roman
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Re: Fitting the Foot

#375 Post by romango » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:43 pm

The outside ankle varies from person to person. Many people have a very low ankle bone and a too high top line is miserable. You have to measure it on the feet.

Post Reply