Sunday, October 19, 2014
Ten Reasons Why Your Feet Hurt -
And How To Fix It.
1. You're walking barefoot.
I don't care what any of the minimalist enthusiasts claim - if you are having foot pain then you need to eliminate barefoot walking from your life! Podiatrists make money by removing foriegn bodies such as glass or cactus spines from the bottom of people's feet. Not to mention warts, which are a virus and can live on floor surfaces for days - just waiting for you to walk barefoot so the virus can find a new home to thrive in - your feet! Warts can be painful, they are ugly and they can be expensive and time consuming for you to treat. Walking barefoot is the perfect way to get heel pain (plantar fasciitis), tendonitis, broken toes and encourage the development of bunions and hammertoes - just to name a few.
The Fix: In the house, instead of barefoot, try wearing RX Crocs Ultimate Cloud or RX Crocs Relief. Other options are the Orthoheel Diabetic Slippers, which you can purchase online or Birkenstock sandals. You can use the 20% discount coupon in the upper right hand of this blog to order the Crocs. They only come in even sizes so order up a half or whole size. If your toes hit the front of the Crocs then they are too small. If they feel too big, that is okay. Wear the strap to the back so your feet stay in and remember that they are used as a bedroom slipper until you can put on your better shoes. You will not believe how much better your feet feel!
2. You're wearing flimsy flip-flops.
Flimsy flip flops offer no support or protection to your feet. They will help to prevent picking up warts and some foreign bodies, but they flimsy flip-flops can put you at risk of developing fractures, tendonitis, heel pain, bunions and hammertoes.
The Fix: If you are a hardcore flip-flop fan - at the very least upgrade to the Fit-Flop flip-flop, which is one of the better ones. In my opinion, there are no good flip-flops and I do not recommend wearing flip-flops of any type, but consider the Fit-Flop flip-flop your 'gateway drug' to getting into better shoegear.
3. You're wearing bedroom slippers that are too flexible.
Flimsy bedroom slippers offer little to no biomechanical control for your feet and ankles. If you have any conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis or pain of any type in your feet - everytime your flexible bedroom slipper puts motion through that area of pain - you are aggravating the condition.
The Fix: I recommend the RX Crocs Ultimate Cloud, the RX Crocs Relief, the Orthoheel Diabetic Slipper, or Birkenstock sandals to wear in the house as a bedroom slipper.
4. You're walking around your house wearing only socks.
Socks might protect you from warts, but that is about it. Once again, walking around in socks offers no support or biomechanical control to your feet, ankles, knees, hip or lower back and makes you prone to all sorts of injuries. I would estimate that twenty percent of my business comes from injuries sustained as the patient walks between the bed and bathroom at night when they are going to the bathroom.
The Fix: I recommend the RX Crocs Ultimate Cloud, the RX Crocs Relief, the Orthoheel Diabetic Slipper or Birkenstock sandals. Even if you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night - wear your RX Crocs.
5. You have an underlying medical issue that is causing foot pain.
There are many medical conditions that cause foot pain. Diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) pain in the feet that can feel like your feet are numb. The sensation of numbness can be excrutiating. Other sensations caused by neuropathy pain are if your feet feel like you have ace wraps wrapped tightly around your feet or if you feel like you are walking on sponges or if you feel like ants are biting your feet. There are many variations of neuropathy pain. Other diseases that can cause foot pain are fibromyalgia, chronic regional pain syndrome, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins and peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation).
The Fix: First, go to your primary care physician on a regular basis. If you have not been to a doctor in over a year, make an appointment with your primary care physician for a full physical. If you do have an underlying disease such as diabetes the most important thing is to get a proper diagnosis and proper treatment to get the disease under control. High blood sugars cause damage to the nerve, which results in nerve damage. Undiagnosed diabetes also takes a terrible toll on your eyes and can lead to blindness. The key to a healthy life is to get diagnosed with your disease early so you can spend the rest of your life medically managing the disease. I know that does not sound like fun, but it sure beats the alternative! Second, follow up with a podiatrist in your area. There are many things that podiatrists can do to help control the foot pain that is caused by various diseases.
6. You're walking around with an undiagnosed fracture in your foot.
If you are walking around with a dull, aching, constant pain (like a toothache) that rates at a four on a scale of zero (no pain) to ten (excrutiating pain), then there is a very good chance that you are walking around on an undiagnosed fracture. People assume that if you break a bone in your foot that you have horrible pain and you can't walk and although this can be true, it is more common to have a dull, low grade, constant ache in your foot that is often an untreated stress fracture.
The Fix: Make an appointment with your local podaitrist who will do a full examination, take x-rays and properly treat the fracture. A fracture usually takes six weeks to heal. Stop limping around and go get x-rays and get it properly treated so you can get back to having fun!
7. You work retail.
We are surrounded by concrete! Constant repetitive micro-trauma on a hard, unyeilding surface can be brutal on the feet. Even with the best shoes, careers in retail are tough on the feet, knees, hip and lower back.
The Fix: If you can wear tennis shoes at work, get the New Balance 928 or 1540. If you have to wear black shoes, you can purchase the NB 928 in black leather. If you have to wear something a little dressier, try the Dansko Professional Clogs (wear the ones with rearfoot control). For more dress shoe options, please refer to my blog articles: Top 25 Comfortable dress shoes list' and 'Top 25 comfortable boot lists'. Scroll through my blog as I created it as a resource for my patients to find good looking shoes that are good for their feet and are pathology specific. Yes, there are some ugly shoes, but keep looking - there are tons of options and when you find something you like, google the shoe to see what stores carry it and go try it on. If it feels great, then get it. If it doesn't feel great, keep looking. If nothing feels good, then you need an appointment with your local podiatrist because there may be something else going on - like a stress fracture or an underlying systemic problem that can be treated.
8. You have 'biomechanically challenged' feet.
This is my own term and what it means is that you were born with a genetic biomechanical structure to your feet that, if you do not wear proper shoes and arch support throughout your life, then you are destined to at some point in your life hit a 'tipping point' where you start developing foot, knee, hip or lower back pain. Detroit car manufacturers have robots that slam the car door over and over again so that they can determine at what point the car door hinge breaks. Think of your forefoot joints as a 'hinge'. It is logical to realize that all hinges have a number where they start to wear out and break down. In medicine we call this 'osteoarthritis', which is a fancy way of saying that the joint and the joint cartilage is damaged. The good news is that if you do have an underlying foot structure such as flat feet or functional hallux limitus, then you can go to your local podiatrist and get the proper diagnosis and treatment. In my opinion, ninety-nine percent of biomechanically challenged feet can be controlled by proper shoes and inserts, which will help to stop or slow the progression of you developing foot problems and pain.
The Fix: Make an appointment with your podaitrist to have a biomechanical evaluation with x-rays. I like it when my patients bring in one bag of shoes that they wear most often so I can evaluate if their shoegear is appropriate for their foot type. For more information, please refer to my article on this blog entitled 'My feet hurt: top ten things to do to alleviate foot pain' or 'Shoe recommendations for patients recovering from a Lisfranc's injury'.
In a nutshell, wear RX Crocs Ultimate Cloud in the house as a bedroom slipper, purchase the New Balance 928 or 1540 and wear arch support such as a custom-molded insert or a good over-the-counter insert from your podiatrist. This will work quite well for eightly percent of people. If you do all this and are still having foot pain, make an appointment with your podiatrist.
9. You are compensating when you walk because you are having knee, hip and lower back pain.
If you are limping or compensating for any reason, then you are causing problems. It's a domino effect! No one has a perfect gait and to some degree we all compensate when we walk, but if you are limping because of knee, hip or lower back pain for more than three to seven days - all you are doing is learning how to limp. When you see geriatric patients walking with walkers and canes - that did not happen overnight. It can be a slow, insidious process that is years in the making. If you are limping around and telling yourself, "Oh, it'll get better", then you are probably fooling yourself. All you are doing is learning how to compensate, which leads to wear and tear of your joint and more limping.
The Fix: If you are limping or in pain due to knee, hip or lower back pain for more than three to seven days, make an appointment with your primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist to get an evaluation, x-rays and proper treatment. Nip it in the bud! I had an eighty-two year old lady with chronic pain in both feet for twenty years before she made an appointment with a doctor. I was the first doctor she ever saw for her foot pain. We took x-rays and she had been walking around on a clearly seen stress fracture of the 2nd metatarsal for twenty years! With proper treatment, we had her back in proper shoes and inserts with minimal pain within eight weeks. After she was healed, I sent her to physical therapy for 'gait re-training' so she could learn how to walk more normally.
Foot problems are usually caused by what I call the big three: genetics, trauma and poor shoegear. Foot issues such as bunions, hallux limitus, hypermobility and flat feet (to name a few) can be genetic and run in families. Genetic foot problems can also skip a generation. So, just because your parents never had any foot problems, that doesn't mean that you didn't have a grandparent with the same foot type.
The Fix: Ask your parents and grandparents if they ever had foot pain. If they did have foot pain, you probably already know all about it because they probably have been quite vocal about the pain at the end of the day! Check your children's feet. If you are having foot pain then there is a good chance that your children have the same foot type that can lead to the same foot problems that you have. The wonderful thing is that it is a golden opportunity for you to get your children into proper shoes and arch support early so that hopefully they don't develop problems as they get older. You could potentially save them knee, hip and lower back problems also!
Also, Excessive Weight.
I dislike talking about this one because it is so obvious and people already know if they need to lose weight. I would like to say that if your feet hurt then it becomes hard to exercise, which can cause you to gain weight. If you are gaining or have already gained weight because your feet hurt and you are unable to exercise, it is very important that you get treated for your foot pain so you can return to your exercise regime. It's a vicious cycle: foot pain leads to less exercise, which leads to more weight gain, which leads to more pressure on the feet and more foot pain, which leads to "I can't exercise because my feet hurt worse", which leads to depression and increased risk of diabetes, which leads to more weight gain - and the vicious cycle continues.
My Professional Mantra: My job as your podiatrist is to keep you as active as possible for as long as possible with less injuries so that you see less doctors, including me. This goal can be achieved by making sure that you are in proper shoegear and inserts and change some simple habits. I have based my private podiatry practice on these concepts and they work. I no longer have to perform surgery as I can treat the vast majority of foot pain with conservative, non-surgical treatment. Give it a try for four weeks and you judge for yourself.
I hope that this was helpful!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy
Monday, October 13, 2014
Denzel Washington kicks butt in his new movie 'The Equalizer'
while wearing New Balance 1540 -
podiatrist approved shoe gear!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge movie fan! I've always been a Denzel Washington fan and I love a great revenge flick. When I saw that Denzel was wearing the excellent New Balance 1540's that I have been recommending to patients for years, I was thrilled.
Sure, maybe it was product placement that got the New Balance 1540's into the movie, but I prefer to imagine that Denzel had it written into his contract that he needed to wear podiatry recommended shoegear as he wreaked blood-splattering havoc on the bad guys. Maybe he's been reading my blog? Hey, a podiatrist can dream, right?
By the end of the film, Denzel switched over to a more conservative orthopedic looking black oxford and I'm hoping that they were as comfortable as the NB 1540 shoes.
The New Balance 1540's is a running shoe and has 'roll-bar technology', which creates a thick and rigid sole for more protection to the foot joints. The NB 1540 has good heel shock absorption, which helps with anyone suffering with heel pain as well as knee, hip and lower back pain. The extra-depth toebox is made of mesh and is great for anyone who has bunions, hammertoes or prominent bone spurs. To maximize comfort, wear a custom-molded functional orthotic, which you can from your Podiatrist, or wear a good over-the-counter insert like 'Footsteps' or 'Powerstep'.
NB 1540 is recommended for patients with:
*Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain)
*Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint)
*Hallux Rigidus (no range of motion of the 1st toe joint)
*Previous Lisfranc's Injury
*Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
*History of Ankle Sprains
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (poor circulation)
*Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
*Drop Foot (you need to wear an AFO with this condition and the NB 1540 should accommodate the it)
NB 1540 is NOT recommended for patients with:
*History of ulcerations (Check with your podiatrist)
When I recommend to patients that they wear the New Balance 928 or 1540 - you should see the strange grimaces and facial contortions of horror and disgust that I get in response! New Balance doesn't have the best reputation for being a 'cool' shoe and I have to convince people that 'cool' is a mental attitude and it doesn't matter what you wear on your feet. I think that's why I was so thrilled to see the uber-cool Denzel Washington in the NB 1540's!
Thank you Denzel for making the NB 1540's cool, which makes my job of getting patients into better shoegear easier!
Dr. Cathy McCarthy trivia:
I had a screenplay entitled 'There Goes The Neighborhood' declined by Denzel's people (I was told by my manager). My screenplay entitled 'Oh Brother' was optioned by Gold Circle Film (the company that did 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding') in 2005, but the film never went into production. My novel 'Gunning For Angels' is my latest writing and can be purchased on Amazon in Kindle or book form.
No hard feelings, Denzel! I still love you and can't wait to see your next movie.
I hope this review was helpful,
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Alden Men's Dress Shoes
For J. Crew
The Alden men's dress shoes for J. Crew are expensive, but they are worth every cent! Consider the money you spend on this shoe an investment in your feet. If you are experiencing foot pain or you have a history of foot issues, the money that you will save in medical bills far exceeds what you will spend on the shoe.
What makes this shoe so exceptional is that it has a true full-length metal shank that allows absolutely no motion through the bottom of the foot, which achieves maximum protection for your foot. I am horrified by how many shoes falsely advertise that they have a full-length metal shank, but the sole is still soft and flexible.
The full-length metal shank in the Alden men's shoe will prevent motion through any painful joints or foot structures, which allows less wear-and-tear on the joints and soft tissue structures. This translates into more comfort and decreased chance of injury. If you are recovering from a plantar plate injury, a Lisfranc's injury or have functional hallux limitus or rigidus (limited range of motion through the big toe joint), this is an excellent shoe choice for you.
I do wish this shoe had an extra-depth toebox, which would be more accommodative for patients with severe bunions and hammertoes. This shoe has a slightly tapered toebox, which can cause pressure on any large bunions or painful 'bumps'. I would recommend that you try them on at one of your local J. Crew stores to get the proper fit. In Phoenix, three locations are Kierland, Biltmore and Fashion Square.
For added comfort, add a custom-molded dress orthotic, which your podiatrist can have you casted and fitted for. It's a presription device that is custom-molded to your foot and goes inside your shoes to give you proper arch support, which helps decrease mechanical strain and help with foot, knee, hip and lower back pain. Your podiatrist's office staff can call your health insurance and check your benefits to see if the cost is covered under your insurance plan.
This shoe is recommended for paients with:
*Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion through the 1st toe joint)
*Hallux Rigidus (no motion through the 1st toe joint)
*Plantar Plate Injuries
*Mild Morton's Neuroma
*Mild Tailor's Bunion
*Mild Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis
*Previous Lisfranc's Injury
*Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
*Hypermobility and Ligment Laxity (wear a dress orthotic if possible)
*History of 'rolling your ankle out' when walking
*Healing stress fractures of the Metatarsal bones
This shoe is NOT recommended for patients with:
*Peripheral Arterial disease
*Severe Achilles tendonitis
*History of Ulceration or Open Sores
*Anyone with prominent 'bumps' on their feet
*Severe Bunions or Tailor's Bunions
For the Budget conscious:
You can purchase a similar men's dress shoe with a leather sole and take the shoe to a shoe repair or cobbler and ask them to put a full-length metal shank across the bottom of the sole to limit motion.
Another idea is to simply purchase a New Balance 928 in black leather and wear that as your casual dress shoe. If your work restricts your shoe choices, I will be happy to write a prescription stating that it is medically necessary for you to wear them.
Thank you to my friend John Z. for introducing me to this amazing shoe!
I hope this was helpful,
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy
Saturday, September 13, 2014
5-10 Camp Four Hiking Boot
This is the older version of the 5-10 Camp Four hiking boot and it is excellent. The new and updated 2014 version of the same boot is significantly inferior and I cannot recommend it.
If you need a good hiking boot, I recommend finding this older version. It has a thick, rigid sole that is protective of the foot joints, a wide toebox, excellent rearfoot control and it can accommodate an custom-molded orthotic.
The 2014 version of the same boot is pitiful. The sole flexes through the midfoot area, which will be a disaster for anyone recovering from a previous Lisfranc's injury. Stick to the older and far superior version.
I'm so disappointed in the company. They had an amazing hiking shoe and they 'dumbed it down' to a hiking boot that is inferior and could potentially cause hikers problems and pain.
For a more in depth review of the original 5-10 Camp Four, pelase see my previous review:
Have a wonderful day,
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Rocker Bottom Women's Casual Dress Shoes
Abeo R.O.C. Bree
Abeo R.O.C. Bethran
Shoes with rocker-bottom soles can be excellent for patients with certain biomechanical foot structures, but they are not for everyone. What makes the Rocker Bottom shoes so exceptional is that this is the type of sole that is on the bottom of a below the knee removable walking boot, which is what is used to treat broken foot bones. The most common fracture of the foot, the 'Jones fracture' (the 5th metatarsal), is treated by placing the patient in a walking boot with a rocker bottom sole for 6-8 weeks. By eliminating motion through the bottom of the foot and the ankle, the walking boot gives the body a chance to heal itself. No motion through an area of injury means less pain, less swelling and increased healing rate. The concept of the rocker bottom sole was taken from the walking boots and applied to shoes.
The rocker bottom soles are particularly useful if you have an injury in the forefoot areas such as a sesamoid fracture because it off-loads the forefoot area. It is also a great shoe if you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis or you are recovering from a stress fracture of the heel bone as it also off-loads the rearfoot area. There are exceptions to this rule: if you have a history of Achilles Tendonitis or a previous Achilles tendon injury, this shoe would be a bad choice for you because the rocker-bottom can rock your foot back, which would put too much stress on the Achilles and set you up for a new injury.
If you are recovering from a foot fracture and your doctor has cleared you to start wearing normal shoes, the rocker bottom shoe may be a good choice for you. I recommend wearing a custom-molded orthotic or an excellent over-the-counter insert in the rocker bottom shoes for more arch support. You can also wear a tri-lock brace with the MBT for more ankle support as you recover from your injury. Check with your doctor on his or her recommendations for your particular injury and foot type.
Rocker Bottom Shoes are Recommended for patients with:
*Jobs that require standing on concrete floors for long hours
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Mild overpronation (Wear an orthotic)
*Recovering from Lisfranc's Fracture
*Previous sesamoid fracture
*Plantar Plate injuries
*Mild Tailor's Bunions
*Corns & Calluses
*Knee, Hip and Lower Back Pain (you will have to try them on and judge for yourself. If they don't feel good, they are not for you. Ease into wearing them. Start by wearing them for one hour the first day, two hours the second and add one hour every day until you are in them for the whole day)
Rocker Bottom Shoes are NOT Recommended for patients with:
*History of Falling
*Low Blood Pressure
*History of Fainting
*Hypermobility or Ligament Laxity
*Patients who have to walk up and down hills or walk on uneven pavement such as cobblestone
*Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease
*Severe Supinators (Rolling to the outside of your ankles as you walk)
*History of multiple ankle sprains
Check with your Podiatrist if you have any of thesse conditions to see if a rocker bottom shoe is appropriate for you:
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
Have a great day,
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy
Monday, May 12, 2014
TOP THREE RUNNING SHOES
New Balance 1540
Hoka One One - Stinson Tarmac
I'm glad that the hype over the Vibram FiveFinger minimalist running shoes are being exposed for what they really are - a poor excuse for shoegear. The Vibram company just settled a class action lawsuit for $3.75 million for making false claims about health benefits runners get from wearing the Vibram FiveFingers. I suspect that the $3.75 million is peanuts compared to all the medical costs associated with the injuries caused by the FiveFinger shoes.
Here are my top three picks for running shoes:
New Balance 1540
Hoka One One - Stinson Tarmac
Each shoe has a thick and rigid sole so there is less motion through the foot, which allows for more protection of the foot and ankle joints, tendons and ligaments. Less motion through the foot translates to less damage to your joints, decreased chance of injury, decreased mechanical strain, and improved performance.
As far as improving your performance, think of it this way: if you are running around barefoot or in a minimalist shoe and if you have 'biomechanically challenged' feet, then you could be wasting a certain percent of you energy because you are being forced to use 'x' amount of energy trying to stabilize your foot and ankle or by compensating. When you biomechanically control your foot with a thick, rigid sole and a more protective running shoe, then you can put that previously 'wasted' energy into performance and speed.
One of the analogies that I use when discussing the advantages of a protective running shoe to my patients is: the car industry has robots that close the car door over and over to see at what number the car door hinge breaks. Think of the joints in your foot as 'hinges'. All hinges have a 'tipping point' where damage is done and the hinge will eventually break down. By wearing a running shoe that protects the 'hinge', you have increased the life of that hinge, which means more miles of running over the course of your life.
Runners love to run and, as a Podiatrist, my goal is to keep you running for as long as possible and with as few problems as possible.
I know that the minimalist runners get upset when anyone suggests that minimalist shoes are not good, but I would like to say that all of the information that I am offering is designed to keep you running longer with less problems so you see less doctors. The minimalist enthusiasts love to knock what I am saying, but I would also remind them that as a Podiatist I have a very specific point of view. No one comes to my office and pays me a $50 co-pay to tell me how great their feet are feeling. By the time someone makes an appointment with me, they are having enough pain to interrupt and disrupt their lives, not to mention their running activites.
I also recommend combining a great running shoe with a custom-molded orthotic, which is often covered by health insurance. If you can't get a custom-molded orthotic, I recommend an over-the-counter insert such as Footsteps or Powerstep. If you are recovering from a Lisfranc's injury or any foot or ankle injury and you are trying to return to running, I would recommend talking to your Podiatrist about possible bracing and physical therapy as you ease back into running activites.
I recently returned to light jogging and I am wearing the Hoka One One, which I purchased from the Runner's Den, located at 6505 North 16th Street in Phoenix. Scott was very helpful and advised me that if you have a history of Achilles Tendonitis, it is important that you stretch before running in the Hoka One One. The shoe has so much shock absorption that it can cause some added 'play' in the Achilles tendon, which can cause issues if you have ever had Achilles tendonitis.
Scott also told me that the shoe that gives them the least amount of returns are the Brooks Beast. He stated that people who get the Brooks Beast periodically return and simply request a new pair.
I have been recommending the NB 1540 for years and it has roll-bar technology with heel cushioning and is a great choice for anyone having heel pain or Hallux Limitus.
I hope this was helpful!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy
Monday, May 5, 2014
Top Comfortable Sandals at Dillards
Clark's Lexi Sumac
What's great about this sandal is that the sole is thick, rigid and not flexible, which offers more biomechanical protection for the foot. An excellent feature is that this is an exceptionally light-weight sandal. This is a great option for older or more sedentary patients who need a comfortable and light-weight shoe.
This sandal is appropriate for a multitude of podiatric conditions. The sole is thick, rigid and not flexible and it has a soft topcover with good arch support. I love that it has wide strapping for forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control, which translates to more biomechanical control to the foot and ankle structures. I have the Alegria enclosed shoe, which has the same sole and it is amazingly comfortable for all day wear.
This is, in my opinion, the best sandal on this list, so I am including a pathology specific recommendation list:
Alegria Kleo is recommended for patients with:
*Mild to Moderate Bunions
*Mild to Moderate Tailor's Bunions
*Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
*Plantar Plate Injury
*Mild Achille's Tendonitis
*Mild to Moderate Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Mild to Moderate Over-Pronators
*Mild to Moderate Hypermobility
*Patients Recovering from Lisfranc's injury
*Knee, hip & lower back pain
Alegria Kleo not recommended for patients with:
*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*History of ulceration
This is my new Spring sandal and I love the thick, rigid sole with a wide base, which means less motion, which translates to more comfort, less mechanical strain and decreased chance of injury. Also, the low heel height and the adjustable velcro straps and soft topcover add to the comfort.
One word of caution with Dansko, they do not work well if you are planning to spend lots of time walking on cobblestone. If you are going to Europe or vacationing anyplace with lots of cobblestone, you need a shoe with a thick, rigid sole but something with just a touch of "give" like the Alegria Kleo, Romika Fidji or Ecco Yucaton.
This sandal is a good option for anyone who can wear a slight heel. The sole is thick and rigid and it has excellent forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control. If you have any significant forefoot issues, this is not the best choice because of the heel height.
For anyone who can wear a heel, this is a good choice. I would not recommend this sandal for anyone who has any significant forefoot issues such as Morton's Neuroma, Hallux Limitus or if you are recovering from injury or fracture of the metatarsal joints.
It may work well for anyone who might have mild Achille's tendonitis because the heel lift decreases tension on the Achilles.
Fit Flop Sandal
I like the Fit Flop sandals for anyone with prominent bunions because it offers the thick, non-flexible sole as well as midfoot and rearfoot control, but it doesn't have any straps causing pressure on the bunion or Tailor's bunion area. It also has enough shock absorption to help with anyone suffering with mild heel pain or Achilles tendonitis. I wish it had more midfoot strapping, but it you have large bunions that hurt with shoe pressure, this is a good choice.
It's very important that you get the Fit Flops with rearfoot strapping as it offers more rearfoot control, which helps with forefoot issues as well as knee, hip and lower back issues. If you get the Fit Flop flip-flop with no rearfoot strapping, you are forcing all your tendons, muscles and joints to work harder to stay in the flip-flop, which causes more mechanical strain and "tired-leg syndrome".
The sole doesn't flex or bend and this sandal has excellent forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control. It also has decent arch support and the wide base makes it a stable shoe. It's well made, sturdy and should work well for anyone with painful bumps on the top of the midfoot area (Lisfranc's exostosis) as well as forefoot problems such as Hallux Limitus, metatarsalgia, and hammertoes.
If you get this sandal, make sure you purchase one that doesn't bend or flex for more comfort and biomechanical control. I've noticed that the quality can vary significantly from sandal to sandal. If you happen to get one that bends too much, ask the saleperson to let you try another in the same size. The adjustable straps and excellent arch support make this sandal comfortable for all day wear. If you have severe forefoot issues, you would be better off with the Alegria Kleo.
Born Emmy Mouton
I love this sandal, but it is not appropriate for anyone with Hallux Limitus or any forefoot issues. If you know that you can comfortably wear a shoe this height, this should be a comfortable sandal for you. I like the wide forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot strapping that allows for more biomechanical control.
I hope this was helpful!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy