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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Finding a fashionable dress shoe for a patient with heel pain and sesmoiditis.

I have a wonderful friend and patient who has suffered from plantar fascitiis (heel pain) and sesmoiditis (pain under the ball of the 1st toe joint) who has been looking for a fashionable dress shoe to wear to work. He works in a rather glamorous profession and is a handsome bachelor who does not want to wear "ugly shoes." He requested that I look in Nordstrom's at Fashion Square in Scottsdale for a pair of dress shoes and, by sheer coincidence, we ran into each other this morning in the men's shoe department at Nordstroms! Needless to say, I was there for forty minutes before he came in so I had plenty of time to look through the entire men's shoe department and had some ideas for him. Overall, because of his heel pain, we wanted something with some heel cushion (if possible) to absorb shock with each step and because of his forefoot issues, I wanted to get him into a shoe with a rigid sole to prevent too much flexibility in the forefoot, which can cause aggravation to the sesmoid bones as well as more damage. We found a black boot by Kenneth Cole called "N-Different." I got the distinct impression that although he was not completely thrilled with the aesthetics of the boot, it was something he could live with -  and this guy is very fashionable and I would describe his overall style as contemporary with a European flair. 

On a rating system of "zero-toes" (arch enemy) to a stellar "ten-toes" (foot friendly), I rate this shoe in the six-to-seven toe area. The boot may move up in my estimation depending on my friend's feedback. The boot lacks good arch control but that can easily be remedied with a custom-molded orthotic, heat-molded dress orthotic, or a good other-the-counter insert that controls the arch within the shoe. 

This shoe will not work if you have: moderate to severe bunions, moderate to severe hammertoes, if you are diabetic or have neuropathy (nerve damage), have a painful Morton's neuroma, bone spurs across the top of your midfoot area, a very high arch, or have forefoot issues such as degenerative joint disease or Rheumatoid arthritis. 

This shoe will work well (assuming you have at least an other-the-counter insert for arch control) if you have: ankle instability due to tendonitis or hypermobility of your joints and/or ligaments, or if you have a history of chronic ankle sprains. 

Ultimately, this shoe has it's limitations but, overall, it is a decent shoe for a young, healthy man who wants a fashionable dress shoe.  

Rating: Six-to-Seven Toes. 
Price: @$275

Special Note: I met a lovely salesman, Mr. Lucas Mitry, who was very helpful and is a certified shoe fitter who I would recommend requesting if you are in the Nordstrom's at Fashion Square. 

Preview: I am very excited about an upcoming visit to Target where I plan to review Children's shoes - stay tuned!


Ian said...

I am the alleged "handsome" bachelor Dr. McCarthy is so kindly referring to.
Imagine this scenario: You're sitting in the men's shoe department at Nordstrom, with your "shoe fitter" and "podiatrist", both assisting you in finding the right pair of shoes. One would think my limo driver was waiting out front for me. Dr. McCarthy seemed impressed that I had a regular salesperson, and I can only imagine what the salesperson thought about the fact that my podiatrist was there to council me. While Dr. McCarthy is a friend, this blog is a testament to her commitment to helping anyone suffering with foot related problems. Although I didn't end up buying the Kenneth Cole boots Dr. McCarthy was referring to (don't tell her), I did buy some another Kenneth Cole style boot that I liked better. While they don't have quite the stiff sole that the Combat boots had, I'm hoping that the the custom orthodics Dr. McCarthy is making for me, will do the trick. I'll know in a couple of weeks and let you know. Until then, I encourage anyone with foot problems to make an appointment with Dr. McCarthy. They don't get any better than her!

Val said...

I am SOOOO GLAD I found your blog. As someone who suffers from on and off plantar fasciitis (thankfully it's been in "remission" for the last 2 years), I am extremely particular about what I put on my feet.

It is, as you know, such a challenge to find a cute, yet comfortable pair of shoes, boots, or sandals, let alone heels.

My question: I ordered the uber-expensive, yet much-hyped Kenneth Cole Silver Spoon, the heel that promises to be immensely more comfortable than the typical heel.

Do you think this shoe will be ok for me to wear when I have special occasions, such as weddings? I wear well-designed shoes (Clarks and Born brands are great) on most days, but sometimes there are just those events that require a fancy heel.

I would love to hear what you think about this so that I can send them back to the store, if need be! Thanks so much!