Mike Napoli separated himself from the other Red Sox players taking fielding drills Tuesday. He was wearing sneakers.

The Sox first baseman has been relegated to donning the footwear during practice sessions instead of spikes due to a lingering case of plantar fascitiiis. Because of the ailment Napoli not only has had to adjust what he wears on his feet (including special inserts) but also is forced to manage time spent standing around.

“Butter [Red Sox infield coach Brian Butterfield] doesn’t let me take ground balls” he said. “I’ll only take about four ground balls.”

The approach is nothing new for Napoli who has been dealing with the injury for most of the season’s second half. He received a cortisone shot just prior to the Red Sox’ August trip to San Francisco but hasn’t duplicated the process since.

“Talk about hurting” he said “that’s a needle in the bottom of your foot.”

At this point Napoli is resigned to the notion that it is a problem that won’t be magically going away any time soon.

“I try and tell everyone it feels like I’m stepping on an ice pick” explained Napoli who said he doesn’t expect to need surgery at season’s end. “When I run it’s stabbing in my foot and it hurts … bad.

“I have my good days and bad days. When I’m running the bases a lot the next day I’m going to be sore.”