Get (relatively) off your feet for a while.There is absolutely no substitute for a period of rest from the offending activity. And when you have a sensitive foot, even one step of supporting your body weight can flare things up. Two or four weeks in a walking boot may be in order. It will be at least that long should you elect for surgery.
I realize that taking some time off work or fitness and athletic activities can cause various hardship. But if your feet remain painful despite various treatments, and you're running out of options, do not neglect this step in the process!
Treat the symptoms.
The therapeutic exercises may feel uncomfortable but they should not hurt. If they cause the same symptoms, you are doing something wrong and need further guidance. For example, people with plantar fasciitis can and should stretch their calves, and when done properly, this does not irritate the symptoms.
Put time and money into the best shoe for you.There is no "best shoe for plantar fasciitis." The best shoe for you may be different than for someone else with the same diagnosis, and depends on your foot structure, walking or running style, and activity level.
Expect to pay more for a well constructed shoe. For example, the Asics that you buy on sale for $40 at Kohls are absolutely not the same as the Asics that you buy for $100 in a shoe store.
As compared to the shoe store, you can probably find the same quality shoe for $10 less on-line. But then you miss out on the expertise of shoe service staff, and the ability to try multiple shoes on at once. When the size 9 fits good in length but not width, you can immediately try the 9.5, the 9-wide, and a comparable shoe that possibly suits your needs better. Try doing that on-line.
Consider an appropriate off-the-shelf or custom orthotic (inserts).Soft gel insoles rarely fix the problem. If all of your problems are solved with a $15 gel inlay from the grocery store, then truly good for you! But most people with chronic foot problems need something that provides contoured support to the arches of the foot and facilitates a change in the mechanics of the foot/ground interface.
Do not expect a custom orthotic to magically address all factors above. They always...ALWAYS work much better when you have given your foot relative rest, have managed the symptoms, and have addressed biomechanical issues with the lower extremity.
If you do obtain a rigid or semi-rigid device, be prepared to gradually taper into full time use of them. Be prepared to have them revised to fine-tune the fit and function as needed.
The person who works 10-hour days standing on cement, returns to 10-hour days standing on cement. That's simply a case of too much, too soon, and most of the population without foot problems would struggle with that.
Also, the person who loves to walk or run, simply returns to their former exercise routine, when they should have undergone low impact weight bearing strengthening exercises with a very light start to their walking/running progression (adding less than 10% distance or duration per week).
Helpful...help for foot problems-
-Did the professional examine your foot flexibility and strength in both weight bearing and non weight bearing positions?
-Did the professional examine your general movement patterns - how you walk or run, squat down, balance, etc?
-Did they comment on the status of your current footwear, athletic and casual shoes?
-Did they offer means to manage the symptoms?
-Did they offer means to restore proper function prior to resuming your typical activity level? Did they offer guidance on a reasonable plan for getting back to what you want to do?
-If they construct orthotics, did they offer a compatible shoe suggestion, activity modification, and easy follow-up for making revisions as needed?
If you get the feeling that a professional is attempting to push you into their own "mold" of treatment; only injections, or surgery, or shoes, or orthotics, or exercise, and it's not working...move on.