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Monday, November 28, 2022

Mash-Up Podiatry Recommended Shoe List!


Podiatry Recommended
2022-2023 Winter Mash-Up Shoe List

What makes these shoes 'podiatrist approved' is that they all meet 3 of the 4 criteria for what makes a comfortable shoe:

1. A thick, rigid, and non-flexible sole. A shoe that has a thick, rigid, and non-flexible sole allows less motion through painful joints, which means more foot comfort. The concept is counter-intuitive but less motion means less pain, less strain, and less damage to the joints and will help slow the progression of bunions, hammertoes, and arthritic joint changes. 

2. Wide toe box. Pointy-toed shoes cause bunions, hammertoes, corns,  and ingrown toenails (to name a few!). 

3. Rearfoot control. All of these shoes and boots have rearfoot control, which helps to decrease mechanical strain on tendons, and ligaments and also increases strain on your knees, hips, and lower back. 

4. Arch Support.  Many of these examples will not accommodate a full-length functional orthotic, but most will allow you to wear at least a good over-the-counter insert or a thinner dress orthotic. Arch support is important to help slow the progression of bunions and hammertoes as decreases strain on your knees, hips, and lower back. 

Fredy Platform Boot Marc Fisher LTD

This is a great option for anyone who knows that they can wear heels comfortably. Boots with more rearfoot height are especially good for anyone who has a history of previous Achilles tendonitis.

Dansko Professional Clogs 

The Dansko Professional Clog is the classic 'go-to' shoe for many doctors and nurses. They are great for working long hours on retail or concrete surfaces. They work best if you have feet that are relatively 'straight' with no big 'bumps' such as bunions or a high arch. The best way to figure out if these work for you is to got to the store and try them on. I do not recommend that your order these online unless you already know they work for you and you know your proper size. 





The above two boots are going to work better on someone who knows that they can handle a heavier or chunkier shoe. I would not recommend these for anyone with drop-foot or any muscle weakness. 

Steve Madden Klayton Black Boot

A solid boot like this used to be my favorite choice for a boot that I could dress up but still be comfortable wearing for hours. As I've gotten older, I cannot tolerate this height anymore, so I do not recommend anything like this unless you know that you are comfortable and safe wearing heels this high. 

Jeffrey Campbell

Book Platform Apron Toe Derby

I love the look of these oxfords! Only consider something like this if you know that you can handle the 'chunkier' and heavier shoes. 


Talla Loafer Wedge (Women)

This is a lovely choice for a low wedge and will most likely work best for someone with a more narrow foot and forefoot. I would not recommend this one for someone with painful bunions or hammertoes.

Alegria Paloma

This is a fabulous choice for anyone with a history of heel pain, metatarsalgia, osteoarthritis, and plantar plate issues (to name a few!). I would recommend that you try these on at the store and not purchase your first pair online. 

Kaila Shoes (Sundance)

Woven Naylor Sandals (Sundance)

Rowena Sandals (Sundance)

Living in Arizona, I felt it was important to include several sandals/wedges on the list as these can be appropriate to wear during the winter months. I have a patient who introduced me to the Sundance shoes and I was very impressed with how sturdy and well-made they are. 

Baxter Shoes (Sundance)

This is a great example of a solid Oxford which should feel comfortable for long hours on your feet. I love the chunky sole and color!

Kinetic Breakthru Conquest Boots (Sundance)

Iris Track Boots (Sundance)

These are good examples of sturdy boots that aren't your typical REI look, which isn't bad but these are definitely more stylish. 

Xelero Steadfast Hiker (men's)

Xelero Steadfast Walker (Women's)

Xelero Genesis XPS (Women's)

Xelero Heidi Deep Ocean

Xelero Heidi Black Ice (Women's)

All of the above Xelero's are great shoes! They all have a thick, rigid, and very protective sole that is perfect for anyone with a history of plantar fasciitis as well as any forefoot or midfoot pain such as metatarsalgia, plantar plate issues, a history of stress fractures, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and sesamoiditis. 

Hoka Bondi

My husband loves his Hoka Bondi shoes to the point that he is now even golfing in them! They are great for anyone with heel pain as well as knee, hip, and lower back pain. The only drawback to the Hokas is that, if you are super active (like my husband is!) they will wear out sooner than most other types of shoes such as New Balance or Xelero. I have to replace my husband's Hokas every 4-5 months, which can get expensive.  

Drew Surge (Men's)

Drew Flare (Women's)

These Drew shoes are the gold standard (like the New Balance 928 or 1540s) for anyone who needs a sturdy and comfortable all-day walking shoe. I own the Drew Flare and wear them with my full-length custom-molded orthotics and they are the most comfortable shoe that I own. 

Apex Women's Walker

Apex Women's Trail Runner

Apex Men's Trail Runner

The above Apex are great options for hiking or walking shoes. They also have a rigid and supportive sole and they can accommodate a custom-molded orthotic. 

Apex Men's Ariya Moc Toe

This is a nice option for all-day comfort for someone who wants a more traditional dress shoe. 

FitFlop Shuv Soft Pink Slippers
Alegria Chillery Smoke

I have not tried the above two slippers myself, but they certainly look super comfortable!

For more articles on painful feet and proper shoes, please check out my articles:

My feet hurt: Top 10 things to do to alleviate foot pain today.

Shoe recommendations for patients recovering from Lisfranc's fractures: Shoe Recommendations for patients recovering from Lisfranc's fractures

Thank you for reading! 

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy


Saturday, March 19, 2022

10 Great Choices for Podiatry Approved Comfortable Summer Sandals!

 10 Great Choices for

Podiatry Approved Sandals

What makes these sandals excellent are that they are meet 3 of the 4 criteria for what makes a comfortable shoe:

1. A thick, rigid, and non-flexible sole. A shoe that has a thick, rigid, and non-flexible sole allows less motion through painful joints, which translates into more comfort. The concept is counter-intuitive but less motion means less pain, less strain, and less damage to the joints and will help slow the progression of bunions, hammertoes, and arthritic joint changes. 

2. Wide toe box. Pointy-toed shoes cause bunions, hammertoes, corns,  and ingrown toenails (to name a few!). 

3. Rearfoot control. Flips flops are not good for your feet because they cause you to "grip down" your toes, which can promote hammertoes and mechanical strain to tendons, ligaments and also increase strain to your knees, hips, and lower back. 

4. Arch Support. This is where many (but not all) sandals fail, but you can always add in arch support with over-the-counter products that you can "stick onto" the footbed. Our Certified Pedorthist (Mike) at our office can help you with this. For a free shoe and arch support consult, you can call 480-563-5115 and ask for an appointment with Mike. You do not have to be a patient of the practice to make an appointment with Mike, but if you are diabetic or are having significant foot issues, please call and make an appointment with either Dr. Kristina Jay or myself for a complete and comprehensive evaluation (this appointment is not free and we will either bill your insurance or offer a cash pay cost upon request). 

Dansko Tiana

I own this shoe and love it! 

Eileen Fisher
Sport Suede Criss Cross Banded Wedge Platform

Wolky Jewel

Bionica Akela

Bionica Soreno

Vionic Kellyn Wedge Sandal

Keens Newport H2 

This "amphibious" sandal a great option for the beach 
(to wear in the sand and into the surf) 
as well as wearing in the pool for water aerobics. 

Ecco Yucatan

Gizeh Platform Vegan

Although this shoe doesn't have rearfoot control, 
I include this in the list because it is a wonderful option for ladies with bunions. 

Fit Flop LuLu Crystal Back-Strap Sandals

Pinnacle Peak Podiatry now has a full-time Certified Pedorthist who is offering Free Shoe Consultations. To make an appointment, please call and schedule an appointmetn with Mike at 480-563-5115.  

I hope this was helpful!

Have a great day,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy


For more information:

Monday, November 2, 2020

Podiatrist Recommended Top 10 Comfortable Slippers!

 Top 10 Comfortable Slippers!

Podiatrist Recommended

For those of you who dress for Zoom, wearing professional clothing from the waist up and yoga pants hidden below, this one is for you! These are my top 10 recommendations for comfortable all-day house slippers and I hope that you find the one that works best for you. 

Please remember that if you are wearing one of these slippers and still having foot pain, I recommend that you bump up to wearing more supportive walking or running shoes, such as the New Balance 928 or 1540. If you do this and are still having foot pain, I recommend that you follow up with your local podiatrist for evaluation to ensure that you don't have a more severe problem that needs treatment. 


This is my top choice for 90% of people seeking a more comfortable bedroom slipper. They work so well that we actually carry them in our office for our patients to try on as a bedroom slipper option. When you purchase these, make sure that your toes do not touch the front of the shoe. The correct sizing should feel "too big" and it should feel like your feet have plenty of room. You should wear the strap to the back which helps prevent knee, hip, and lower back strain. If you purchase them and they are too tight (toes or bunions rubbing on the inside of the shoe) then you will most likely develop painful blisters. If you order these online, order one-half to one-whole size up from what you normally wear. If you live in a cold climate, you can also order fleece-lined Crocs which are ridiculously comfortable and toasty warm. 

Vionic Relax Slippers

If you know that you like a lot of arch support, then the Vionic Relax slipper is a great choice as it offers the best arch support of all of these bedroom slippers. If you know that you can't tolerate arch support, then stay away from these slippers as the arch support will probably be too much for your foot comfort. This is also a good choice if you have narrow heels or a narrow foot because the strap can be adjusted tighter for a better fit.  

Women's Charlotte Orthofeet slippers

This is another amazing choice for a bedroom slipper. It works particularly well for older patients as it has a stable base and it is still relatively lightweight. It also has an adjustable velcro top to accommodate anyone who has a more narrow foot. If you purchase these, be aware that you need a new pair at least once a year. 

Men's Orthofeet Ashville slippers

This bedroom slipper is so good that we carry this in our office (along with the Crocs) and they work great for anyone who needs an easy slide-in bedroom slipper with lots of stability and is also still relatively lightweight. 

Men's Orthofeet Tuscany Moccasins

The Orthofeet Ashville slipper (previous option) is great, but if I know that a patient needs more rearfoot control (such as a patient with Parkinson's disease who tend to shuffle), I like to put them in the Tuscany Moccasin. It's always best to have rearfoot control, but I think it's better to have a slipper that someone can slip into to get quickly from the bed to the bathroom if needed, but if you know that you feel more secure with rearfoot control - this is the slipper for you. 


This is my recommendation for people who prefer a more open slipper so that their feet can 'breath.' This option works well for anyone with a history of athlete's foot infections, hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet), the sensation of claustrophobic feet, or the sensation of having 'hot' feet (hello menopause!). I recommend you find a shoe store that is an official dealer for Birkenstocks, so you can go to the store and get a proper fit. If you purchase these sandals online and you get a poor fit then it will significantly decrease the chance of having all the comfort your feet deserve. Do yourself a favor and go to the store and make sure they fit well and feel great. 

Birkenstock Boston Shearling

This is for anyone who loves their Birkenstocks but wants more warmth. It greatly helps to go to the store and get a proper fit on these (versus purchasing them online). 


Fit Flop Women's The Cuddler

Oh la la! Warm and comfortable and an easy on and easy off. It's hard to beat these for all-day comfort around the house! 

Fit Flop Mukluk Shorty

This is a wonderful choice for anyone who needs more ankle support, such as anyone with mild hypermobility or ligament laxity issues. If you have more severe hypermobility, I recommend that you get into a better, more supportive walking shoe or high top boot during the bulk of the day and keep these for 'puttering around.'

Fit Flop Lulu

Got bunions? I am normally not a fan of flip flops of any kind, but when you have large bunions - this is a perfect choice for getting support and no pressure on your bunions. 

For more information, check out my article:

I hope that this was helpful! 

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy