Featured Post

Thinking About Foot Surgery? Ten Things You Need To Think About BEFORE You Have Foot Surgery.

Ten Things You Need To Think About BEFORE  You Have Foot Surgery. 1. You need to exhaust conservative treatment before you decide...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Top Picks for Comfortable Easy Spirit Women's Dress Shoes

Podiatry Recommended
Top Picks 
For Comfortable Women's Shoes
From the Easy Spirit Anti-Gravity Collection
Fall 2013






These are my top picks for women's comfortable shoes from the Easy Spirit Anti-Gravity Collection. I've included summer sandals for my Arizona patients since we wear them through the winter as well as  boots and enclosed dress shoes for those women living in colder climates. 

What makes these shoes 'top picks' for comfort are the fact that they have thick, rigid soles that offer more protection for the foot joints as well as good forefoot and rearfoot control, which helps decrease mechanical strain for more comfort and less chance of injury. If you can bend or flex a shoe - it is not good enough for you! When you are walking, if a shoe bends and flexes, it is allowing motion across your foot joints, which causes 'wear and tear', inflammation, swelling and an increased risk of pain as well as injury. It is a counter-intuitive concept, but comfort in shoes is about having a thick and rigid, non-flexible sole, a soft and wide toebox, arch support and rearfoot control. If a joint hurts and is damaged (osteoarthritis, to name only one example) - the last thing you want to do is continuously force motion through it. You want to protect it with less motion so that it hurts less and you stop damaging and already painful and damaged joint. 

I would highly recommend wearing the Brassie, Oroco and the Menke with a custom-dress orthotic for more comfort and biomechanical control of the foot and ankle. If you do not have a dress orthotic, talk to your Podiatrist as they are often covered under various insurance plans or you can cash pay. Dress orthotics made by Podiatrists can last for years and, when they get old, can be refurbished to look like new. Another option is the get a heat-molded dress insert, which can be purchased from many Podiatry offices and are less expensive than custom-molded inserts. A third option is to get a good over-the-counter dress orthotic that is thin but gives you semi-flexible to rigid arch control, depending on your particular foot condition. Having good arch support will help to slow or stop the progression of bunions and can significantly help with knee, hip and lower back pain. 

These Shoes are Recommended for Patient with:
*Mild to Moderate Bunions
*Mild to Moderate Tailor's Bunions
*Mild to Moderate Hammertoes
*Mild to moderate Over-Pronation (wear with a dress orthotic)
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Achilles Tendonitis
*Mild Hypermobility
*Mild Osteoarthritis
*Mild to possibly Moderate Hallux Limitus (Limited Range of Motion of the 1st toe Joint)
*Mild Rheumatoid Arthitis
*Mild Morton's Neuroma
*Mild Capsulitis
*Corns and Calluses

These Shoes are NOT Recommended for Patients with:
*Charcot Foot
*Severe Hypermobility
*Severe Over-Pronation
*Diabetics with a history of Ulceration (Open Sores)
*Peripheral Arterial Disease with a history of Ulceration 
*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Foot Drop
*Balance Issues
*High Fall Risk Patients
*Hallux Rigidus (No motion at the 1st toe joint because of severe arthritis or a surgical fusion - unless your surgeon fused you at 15 degrees of dorsiflextion - in which case you can possibly wear the lower heels) 

**If you are diabetic, have nerve damage, poor circulation or any other serious foot issues, please check with your Podiatrist to see if these shoes are appropriate for your particular foot issues. I always encourage patients to bring in one bag of shoes so that we can check them together and discuss what is good and bad about each shoe. It helps the patient understand what they are looking for in a good shoe and saves them money when they are shopping. Also, what works biomechanically for one person is not always appropriate for another patient with a different foot issue or foot type. 

For more information on what makes a comfortable shoe, please use the search box in this blog to look up my articles:

'My Feet Hurt: Top Ten Things to do to Alleviate Foot Pain' 


'Shoe Recommendations for Patients Recovering From a Lisfrac's Injury'

Have a great day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy



Anonymous said...

Thanks Dr. McCarthy! Also am very happy that all of these selections are very reasonably priced!! Have a great day!

Designer footwear said...

Nice post on designer footwear for women!!

Ria said...

Wonderful Shoes and Sandals !!!

Misha said...

Wonderful shoes..hey do you have any suggestion for online eyewear shopping store !!!

Kaya said...

Hi Dr. McCarthy!
I'm ecstatic to have stumbled across your site. Thank you for your stories and wonderful suggestions. I need your expert advice.
I will be going on a 3 week trip to London, Paris and Rome in November.
I was wondering what you thought of the Wolky Pardo boot. I was planning to tour the cities with those boots on some days.
I am 5'4" 118 lbs, I have flat feet and arch pain. I have custom made orthotics that I would slip into the boots.
If those don't work out, do you have any other suggestions of newer hip good-for-your-feet boots?
Thank you kindly for your help and insight.

Dionne Nicole said...

Dr. McCarthy, I am so thankful that I've come across your blog. I have been utterly frustrated. I have narrow flat foot with a narrow heel.

I work as a flight attendant, and it has been so challenging to find shoes that fit the dress code requirement, yet give me the support that I need. I just went to a podiatrist, and he was not helpful in recommending shoes that would work. I left feeling discouraged.

It's the NARROW heel that makes it the most challenging because my foot is always slipping out of the back. I would be so thankful for any suggestions. Thank you!

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Bonjour Kaya!
We may be passing eachother in our Wolky's in Paris as my husband and I are going to Paris around the same time!

I have not seen the Wolky Pardo boot in person so I am not sure how rigid the sole is. It 'looks' fine but sometimes looks can be deceiving. If the sole is rigid and does not bend or flex, it should be excellent. If the forefoot area bends too much - not as good.

Although not as fashionable as your choice, I am going to wear the Wolky Blossom as my 'go to' shoe for Paris. I would normally wear my Dansko Profession clogs but they do not work as well on hills and cobblestone.

I'll take Vegas odds that the Wolky Pardo is going to be excellent - just make sure the sole is rigid and, if not, let me know and I will come up with some other suggestions.

I've been trying to learn enough French to make me dangerous and have been using the Pimsleur approach while I commute every day and, if you want to learn some French, I highly recommend it!

Au Revoir!

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hello Dionne Nicole,

I treat ALOT of flight attendents. The career is very tough on the feet!

I would suggest visiting a Cobbler as they have moleskin padding that they can add to the back of your shoes, which takes up room and gives a snugger fit. Also, wearing custom-molded orthotics (dress types) can help to cradle the heel, which can help.

Also, if you have a hard to fit foot, I highly recommed shopping at Nordstrom's, which have an excellent return policy if the shoe is not working for you. They have a wider selection and the salepeople are typically very knowledgable about which shoes run more narrow in the heels. If that doesn't work, then stores like The Walking Store, Foot Solutions, Arizona Walking Company and other smaller specilaty stores that cater to hard to fit feet can be very helpful.

I also find doing a google search helps. Try googling: women's shoes for narrow heels. There is so much info out there - someone may have a blog dedicated to that very issue!

Use my search block in this blog to look up "Top 20 comfortable women's dress shoes" and see if there is anything that might suit you and then go to Zappos and look at the ratings that users give that particular shoe. They have a very helpful area where customers rate if the shoe runs narrow or wide. If you hit a shoe where everybody is complaining about how narrow it is in the hell - bingo.

I will keep on the lookout for shoes that run narrow in the heel for you. Have you tried Jambu?

Thank you for reading and I hope that was helpful!

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Eyewear?? No suggestions on eyewear - sorry!

Kristen P said...

Dr. McCarthy,

I just found your blog and I am hoping that you can make a recommendation for some dressier boots. Winter is around the bend here in MN and I am searching for some good knee high or calf high boots that will provide good support for me. I just got my orthotics and am finding that none of my current shoes/boots fit with the orthotic in them. I did pick up some Dansko Arden shoes last week and am now hunting for some boots. I do have a hard time finding shoes that do not aggravate my bunion and accommodate my already wide foot. Since I would need a wider calf on the boot I have been looking online and have come across David Tate and Ros Hommerson boots. Blondo boots are too narrow in the toe box for me. I do not want a high heel since I am often on my feet a lot. I am afraid that the Dansko shoes would be too slick soled to wear outdoors in the winter. What do you suggest? Thanks for your help.

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen P,

Check out Ariat boots. They have a wide selection that includes fashion boots and you can narrow your selection to include only boots with "wide toes" for a better fit. What's important it to find a boot with a thick, rigid sole that does not bend or flex and a wide toe. Also, check out Naot boots. I go on Zappos and read the reviews of the boot I am interested in, which will give you a good indication of whether they run narrow or wide and any specific problems with that particular shoe.

Being in Arizona, I treat many cowgirls and they swear by Ariat and I am getting ready to do my next reveiw on the Ariat Fatbaby Original, which looks amazing.

I looked up the two boots brands you mentioned and, although I have not had a chance to test them, I think you would do better with an Ariat or Naot boot.

Hope all is well and thank you for reading!

Online Women Dress Boutiques said...

These are looking awesome thanks for sharing the cool images.

Kristen P said...

Dr. McCarthy,

I took your advice and went to the shoe store tonight. I found out that I cannot fit a Naot and they didn't have any of the Ariats in a tall style. Naots are too narrow. Do you have any other suggestions for wide feet?

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen,
Try Frye, La Canadienne, Rieker. Stuart Weitzman or Dr. Martens. They all have wider fits and make sure that the one that you try has a thick, rigid sole that does not flex. Let me know how it goes and thank you for reading,

Kristen P said...

Hello again Dr McCarthy,

I have been looking at some of the boots you last suggested. Will you tell me what you think of La Canadienne Blanche and its footbed/ sole? It comes in a wide width and other have said that it will fit an orthotic and is very comfortable. It also has a square toe which I think might be beneficial. I haven't been able to find these locally, so I would have to order them in and wanted to ask you about them first.


Kristen P.

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen P,
Regarding the Blanche - I'm not sure.

I haven't seen the boot in person. It consistently gets 5 stars on Zappos reviews, which is really good BUT on the video, they demonstrate how flexible the shoe is in the forefoot area, which is not good.

If you order them and they do not bend or flex, they will be fine but if they DO bend or flex - I would keep searching.

I know it's a drag but - with forefoot problems, you really can't afford to have a flexible sole. It will cause progression of any forefoot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes and it will not be as comfortable.

Hope that was helpful,

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen,
Another boot to try is the Frye Harness 12R, which I own. I would go one half size up as I thought it ran a bit small. If you watch the video, you'll notice the lady doesn't even attempt to bend the front of the boot (because it doesn't bend) and they see that as something bad.

When watching the zappos videos to evaluate the boot, you are looking for the boots that they don't even attempt to bend the forefoot area - those are the best. If the forefoot area flexes, they always flex it and promote it as a selling point because that's wheat sells - people mistakenly think that soft and flexible equals comfort and those boots sell faster.

I like my Frye boots - I wish they were a bit wider in the forefoot area. I wear my dress orthotics in them and I wear them when we go to Europe in the winter and do all day walking.


Kristen P said...

Love the Frye Harness 12! Would this work with a wide foot? With my bunion I need a wide shoe.


Kristen P

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen,
I bought mine at Dillard's at Fashion Square so they may have them to try on. I wore them to Germany and walked every day, all day for 14 days and - on the last day - they started bothering my 5th toe. I love them but they do run a touch narrow. Try them on at the store and find out if you can get them stretched over your bunions area. I bent and flexed EVERY boot in Dillars before I found that one and it was the ONLY one there that was good enough.
I hope it works for you!
What size do you wear?

Kristen P said...

Well that is the question of the century. It all depends on the shoe. I usually have good luck with 39's, some 40's and not a ton of luck for shoes in US sizes.

My true size would be 7.5 Wide without an orthotic and I have tried on 8.5 boots too. I did buy for 3 days a clark WW shoe/boot but decided to return them.

No Dillard's stores in MN though.

Kristen P

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen,
I would use Zappos so you get free shipping and return and try 8.5.
Let me know how it works out!

Kristen P said...

I found them in stock at the Macy's by my work, so I am going to try to get in there this week to at least try them on.

Kristen P said...

Dr. McCarthy,

I made it to the store today and I am concerned over the fit and possible stretch. I tried on several sizes. The 8.5 I was able to pull on but it was hard to get on. The 9 was easier to put on but for some reason was narrower on the right foot. So I am trying to decide on a size taking into consideration future leather stretching. The staff weren't much help.

With my orthotics in, there was no heel slippage and I understand that there should be. Did you get that with yours?

How much did yours stretch?


Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Kristen,
They are hard to stretch. Go with the larger size and I would ask the staff to try on several different pairs of the same size shoe since they can have subtle variations within the same size range. As far as heel slippage goes, you should judge on what feels the best. Try shopping after 2pm when your feet are a little more swollen so that you make sure you are getting the best size for those days when our feet have a bit more swelling.

GIrin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisamarie said...

Dr. McCarthy,

I've been searching for a dressy shoe to wear with skirts and dresses. I have a Morton's Neuroma in my left foot. It was operated on two summers ago, but still aches when I wear the wrong shoe. I'd hoped the new Allegria Coco from their career line would solve my problem. Unfortunately, my foot was aching before noon. The fit issues are further affected by my fairly broad forefoot. If you have any thoughts on shoes, I'd greatly appreciate your advice.

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Lisamarie,

I appologize for the delay in response! My husband and I were on our annual vacation and are just now getting back to our normal schedule.

I haven't seen the Alegria Coco in person but I suspect that the forefoot is bending too much and the toebox is too narrow. I know it's not quite as cute but if you like the Alegria brand - try the Alegria Paloma. That should work - especially if you Pod adds a cookie pad to offload the Morton's neuroma.

Also look at the Dansko Professional Clog with rearfoot control, Dansko women's dress shoes in general and the Wolky Cloggy (closed toe for winter). I would recommend that you try them on at a store if possible and shop after 2pm when your foot is a bit more swollen.

Once again, sorry for the delay!


Kristopher smith said...

Hello… I really like all these collection of trendy Gianni Bini shoes. I am intensely thinking to get these exclusive shoes from online, but how? Help me.