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Saturday, August 30, 2008

A GREAT Men's casual sandal...

The All-Rounder by Mephisto "Alligator" gets a "nine-toe" rating!! 

This is an excellent sandal and will work well for: patients with plantar fasciitis (heel pain), tendonitis, mild to moderate hammertoes, and mild bunions.

I would not recommend this sandal for: diabetic patients, patients with neuropathy (nerve damage), or patients with moderate to severe bunions. 

This shoe can be purchased at: 
Nordstrom's at Fashion Square in Scottsdale for $190 
Zappos.com for $194
Mephistowebstore.com for $190
The Mephisto Store on the NE corner of Scottsdale & Shea (near the movie theater) - unsure of the cost at the store but probably the same.

*Please remember that if you continue to have foot or ankle pain - please follow up with your podiatrist for a full evaluation and treatment. I have often had the experience with patients who come in upset because "my shoes hurt" or "my orthotic doesn't work" and what is really going on is that the patient is walking around on an undiagnosed foot or ankle problem that needs treatment. Remember: you can be in the best shoe or orthotic in the world, but if you're walking around on a stress fracture - nothing is going to feel good! I recently had a patient, a lovely elderly woman who came in with "chronic foot pain for twenty years." The poor woman had been suffering with foot pain for twenty years and I was the first doctor she went to to address the issue. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a "severe stress fracture most likely caused by chronic, repetitive microtrauma" (i.e. walking around in poor shoegear). My treatment goals for her are to heal her stress fracture and, after she is healed, get her into good shoes so that the problem will not reoccur. 

From You Friendly Neighborhood Shoe-Geek Podiatrist...
Have a Great Day!

P.S. If you get this shoe - I would love your feedback!


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!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Basics...

The first and most important rule is you have to stop walking barefoot! I tell my patients, "If I had a sign in my reception room that said stop walking barefoot and my patients followed that advice, I'd lose most of my business." 
If you stop walking barefoot, you will have a significant decrease in foot, ankle, knee, hip, and lower back pain over the next several week. I'm not kidding!
It's that crazy simple...
Some patients argue that "Cavemen walked barefoot so therefore it must be natural and good for your feet." 
I would argue that cavemen weren't walking around on concrete and often probably didn't live past thirty so they didn't have to worry about developing degenerative joint disease that would plague them when they are seventy and wanting to retire and relax. 
People fight this rule. I don't know why. What's so great about walking barefoot? It's the perfect way to:
1. Pick up verrucae (Warts).
2. Foreign bodies like cactus spines (remember, I'm in Arizona) and glass - which can turn into an out-patient surgery under anesthesia. 
3. Tendonitis.
4. Plantar Fasciitis (If you've had it, you know how debilitatingly painful it can be)...
5. Breaking a toe slamming it into a bedpost or door in the middle of the night. 
6. Stress Fractures from continuous low-grade micro-trauma (I see it all the time).
7. Callused heels (painful and ugly).
8. Fungus. And once you have an athlete's foot fungal infection of the skin, it's just a matter of time until it infects the toenails. 
9. There's lots more but it's time for me to put on my walking shoes and hit the treadmill...

I plan to review shoes and give recommendations based on:
1. Types of shoes (Running, sandals, dress, ect...) 
2. Types of pathologies (Heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, ect...)
3. Types of patients (Pediatrics, Sports Enthusiasts, Geriatrics, and, yes, the fashionista with foot issues!)