Hi Dave et al,
I saw this message via email and wanted to read & respond. I have this problem big time! The way I describe it to people is that it feels as though I am walking always with either pebbles or broken glass inside my feet. I have had it diagnosed as plantar fasciitis, but it seems to me to be much more extensive, and unlike PF, my feet ALWAYS hurt, and they get worse after standing for long periods. This sensation is one of the primary reasons I can no longer run, because when I've tried to get back into the swing of running thing, the occurrence and magnitude of the pain increases. A lot.
I noted a lot of commentary about the bare feet shoes etc, and I have to say that because of my profound foot probs and the fact that my profession puts me standing for long periods daily at work, I invest heavily in shoes with a good orthopedic base. While cushioning is good, real support that fits your feet it better. I tried those shoes on and walked around in them for about 15 mins once, because so many ppl raved about them, but I have to say I found them to be incredibly uncomfortable. Furthermore, you can't wear good socks with them to wick away moisture, so your feet can get to be a hot sweaty painful mess. Just my two cents. Also, this style has fallen out of favor now and you will see many in between type styles - less lechnology than the super airs, but much more support than the 5 finger type shoes.
I have a few brands I like a lot, depending on the style shoe desired (sandal, dressy heel, clog, loafer, sneaker), and would be happy to give my take to anyone who would like to know my opinion. But again, you want something that fits your foot shape and your level of activity. Also, it is generally best to find shoes that have a removable insole so you can put in a custom fitted orthotic, because if you have neuropathic pain in your feet, you really need at least one pair. Outlay is expensive (300-500 $, depending), but it is worth it, so calculate it out to the long term and think hmmm, these will cost me 500, but will last 8 years, so they really only will cost me about 17 cents a day....
I have also found that a company called Thörlo makes really amazing socks. There are a variety of materials from synthetic to wools used. I avoid wool because they set my feet off like crazy. However, the synthetics are awesome. They conformmto your feet, providing support and cushioning, and they are very breathable so they actually help manage heat in your feet.
Whew! Long post... sorry to share so much, and I am sorry to hear others have this same unrelenting foot pain as I do, though it is good to know I'm not alone in it! it sure does feel that way at times :-/