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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gravity Defyer - Spring technology Footwear...

Men's & Women's Dress Shoes with Hidden Shock Absorbers in the Heel...

It's been a challenge for my patients to find dress shoes that are decently stylish while still being good for your feet. The Gravity Defyer was designed Alexander Einekevah who created this shoe when his 14 year old nephew was diagnosed with a cancerous growth in his heel and had to have heel replacement surgery and was told by doctors that he was given little chance of living pain free. Mr Einekevah created the Impact Research Technology Groups in 2003 which was a "think tank of engineers" to help him create the Gravity Defyer Shoe which claims to have:
1. Industrial Grade Smart Memory Master Spring in the heel area.
2. Twin Stabilizer Springs also in the heel area.
3. AVS3 Cooling Vent in the heel area.
4. Removable Thick Insole (may be able to be replaced by a Custom Molded Insert depending on the shoe).
5. AVS3 Air Circulation Channels in the Sole.
6. Shock Absorbing Polymer Sole.
7. Soft leather Collar shaped for comfort.
8. Hand Stitched Nappa Leather Uppers.

These shoes would be very good for anyone who requires a dress shoe and suffers with:
* Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain
* Knee, Hip, Lower Back Pain

Patients who might have fitting problems with the shoes are:
* Moderate to Severe Bunions or Hammertoes.
* Forefoot Issues.

This is worth a look for anyone searching for a decent dress shoe that is comfortable as well as stylish. Go to...



1-800-429-0039 (for a catalog)

*Remember that if pain persists - see your Doctor!

Have a great Day...
Dr Cathy McCarthy

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Men's New Balance 642...

This is an excellent Men's walking shoe with a rigid, protective sole, wide toe-box and good rear-foot control. One of my patient's got it this past weekend at Penny's at the Paradise Valley Mall for $40.

This is an excellent shoe for just about any foot condition!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dansko Serafina Order Pending...

I am eagerly awaiting my newest shoe order - the Dansko Serafina sandal, which should arrive by the end of this week and which time I will be reviewing it. I wanted to order the Lolita but it does not seem to be in stock anymore - very disappointing...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kid's Amphibious Sandals...

There are some excellent quality Kid Sandals on sale at http://www.campmor.com 

These sandals are especially good for kids with:
Mild to moderate Flat feet/ Hyperpronation
Mild Ligament Laxity
Mild ankle instability
History of a resolved foot/ankle injury (that has been properly medically treated)
Mild Pediatric Bunions 
Mild to Moderate hammertoes
History of Ingrown Toenails
Mechanical Strain 

1. Birkenstock Children Rona Sandal - $42.99
This has a strap in the back which offers some rearfoot control. This is not a sandal for sports activities but more for casual wear. 
2. Keens Kids Raleigh Sandal - $50
3. Keen Kids Newport H2 Sandal - 44.99
4. Teva Dozer Watersports Kids Teva Shoe - $24.97
More an amphibious shoe than sandal but excellent for forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control. It has a closed toebox for maximal protection and minimal exposure. 
5. Chaco Boys Z1 Performance Sandal - $29.96
Chaco's offer very nice arch support and are amphibious.
6. Teva Kids Hurricane Sport Sandal - $24.98
7. Teva Children's Spoiler 3 (only available in size 2) - $19.97
8. Spoiler 3 Kids Teva Sandals - $19.97
9. Kids Teva Hurricane Sport Sandals (only available in size 4-5) - $15.97

** Final thought - shoes are an investment - your kids may not appreciate it now but they will remember you and thank you when they're forty and everyone around them is having knee, hip, lower back issues and, hopefully, they are not!! 

Have a great day! 


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Women's Sandal's at REI...

Some excellent sandals on sale at REI this weekend:


Excellent rigid sole with a slight rocker-bottom shape as well as good forefoot, midfoot and some rearfoot control. Comes in various colors and this is the type of sandal that can be worn casually or dressed up. I have patients who are going to Europe and going on cruises this summer and are concerned about proper shoe-gear that is comfortable and looks good. This is the perfect sandal to wear for those situation. Of course, if you're doing all day walking and more aggressive tourist activities, I would recommend an enclosed walking shoe for more support, protection and biomechanical control. 
Cost: $69.93 (36% reduced)


This is a great sandal for land or water. Going to Rocky Point? Don't risk swimming with barefeet - this is a excellent sandal for in the water. I've treated many patients with lacerations from stepping on glass or sharp rocks in the surf and have done surgeries pulling sea urchin spines out of people's feet from landing on coral. This sandal has good toe protection, a rigid-sole and good forefoot, midfoot and decent rearfoot control. This is a casual look for the beach and sports-related activities. 

Cost: $69.99 (Usually $95)

CHACO ZX/2 Sandals:

Rugged rubber outsoles and great arch support. It's a little skimpy on the forefoot, midfoot, and rearfoot control but the fabulous arch is its saving grace. This is a land and water sandal and is for casual/sporty wear. This sandal doesn't work well with people who have moderate to severe bunions because the strapping has a tendency to aggravate the bunion/bump. If you have sweaty feet - there's good news and bad news - bad news is that the rubber sole can make you sweat more, good news is that the rubber sole is easy to clean/wash. For people with sweaty feet, you can purchase over-the-counter CERTAIN-DRI to put on your feet every night before you go to bed to decrease sweating. 

Cost: $69.99 (Usually $95)


An amphibious sandal with a shock absorbing sole and adjustable nylon webbing/straps. This is the classical "TEVA" look and is great for casual wear. If you get this sandal, check the sole by trying to bend or flex it - make sure it doesn't have a lot of give, which can cause problems. Remember, the more inflexible, the more rigid - the better. Motion means more wear and tear on your foot/joints - make the shoe do the work and take up the damage - not your foot! 

Cost: $49.99 (Regular $80)

**Special mention : If you see the Teva Westwater Shoes and the Chaco Flips - Do your feel, knees, hip and lower back a solid -- keep walking!! 

Once again, sandals are not appropriate for diabetics, patients with neuropathy (nerve damage) and moderate to severe foot deformities. If you're unsure if you fall into any of these groups - make an appointment with your Podiatrist and take in a bag of your shoes. It may sound silly but I prefer when people bring in their shoes. It helps with patient understanding and compliance and it helps me help you get better quicker!!  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Men's Wide Shoes...

I found a great new resource for Men's Wide Shoes - please see my link to tap into their website. I need to do some research on their shoes and my next blog will e about specific recommendations within their website. 

Have a great day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Clark's Sandals at Macy's Memorial Day Sale...


An excellent women's sandal in three colors are going to be on sale at MACY'S on their MEMORIAL DAY SALE for $49.99, which is an great deal.

The sandal has a thick, rigid sole with good arch support. It has good forefoot control with adjustable straps, which is nice for anyone suffering with mild to moderate swelling in their feet. It also has a rearfoot strap for mild motion control and a soft cushion insole. This is a very popular shoe with my older patients who need support, comfort and want a casual sandal that looks nice. 

This shoe is excellent for:
Patients with mild to moderate foot swelling, an older patient who wants a nice looking and supportive sandal, mild to moderate hammertoes, mild to possibly moderate bunions, Morton's Neuroma's, mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the forefoot and midfoot, mild to moderate plantar fasciitis, mild to moderate flat feet, and mild tendonitis and ankle strain. 

This shoe MAY NOT be appropriate for:
Patients with Neuropathy, Diabetes, dropfoot, and many types of severe foot conditions such as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, and tendonitis. These patients have special foot needs and need to consult their Podiatrist for special shoes, inserts, and, in some cases, Ankle-Foot Orthosis (braces). 

Where: Macy's on Memorial Day

Cost: $49.99

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Inexpensive version of an MBT!!

Okay, good news! For the cost conscious (all of us!), local K-Mart's are advertising an "knock-off" of the MBT for only $19.99, which is fabulous because a real MBT costs $250.


This shoe looks very similar to an MBT, which means that it looks like a tennis/walking shoe with a "rocker-bottom" sole. It's a great shoe for anyone with back pain, heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Osteoarthritis of the forefoot and midfoot, sesmoiditis, some tendonitis conditions, and is an excellent shoe choice for anyone who works retail or is on their feet for long hours and has a limited budget. It is approved by the Academy of Therapeutic Footwear. 

Patients with poor balance should not use this shoe. Also, if you have moderate to severe back pain, you should ease into wearing this shoe by wearing it for one hour the first day, two hours the second day, three hours the third day - ect - until you are up to a full day of wearing the Thera-Shoe. Patients with diabetes or neuropathy should check with their Podiatrist before wearing this type of shoe - typically these patients are better off with an "Extra-Depth Shoe" that is intended for diabetic or neuropathic patients. Also, I would never put an elderly patient into a shoe like this as it may cause imbalance issues. 

Price: $19.99 (at K-Mart)


Another great option for people who insist on wearing a flip-flop and have a limited budget. Although I don't recommend wearing flip-flops, I do understand that some people are going to wear them so, if you are one of those people, this is one of the better flip-flops available. 

The real-deal is called a Fit-Flop and can be purchased from Victorias Secret, Dillard's, Zappos.com and a variety of other places. K-Mart is offering this "Fit-Flop Knock-off" for $9.99 which is a fabulous price. 

IF you MUST wear a flip-flop (Yes, I'm cringing!), I would suggest using this for around-the-house activities - not for all day activities. 

Also, if you have foot issues, are recovering from an injury or you are "biomechanically-challenged" and have to be extra careful with your shoegear - if at all possible, INVEST, and buy the real deal. Good shoes are an investment and, as I tell my patients, "You can spend your money by investing in a  good pair of shoes or you can spend your money on co-pays to me!" 

A good pair of shoes can potentially save you thousands in medical bills!! 

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The new trend: Skyscraper six inch heels...

As an adjunct faculty member of MidWestern University's Podiatric School of Medicine, I was fortunate enough for appear on Channel Three's Good Morning Arizona to discuss the newest fashion trend to hit the red carpet and the cat walk - the six inch "Skyscraper Heel." 

Previous to my appearance, I suggested to the Producer that we take X-Rays of her feet in the "Skyscraper Heels" and, although I knew the shoes were bad, examination of the actual X-Rays were horrifying. The central two-thirds of the foot are almost at a complete vertical and the first toe joint is so dorsiflexed that the woman is actually bearing her full body weight on the inside cartilage of the first toe joint. Yikes! 

This extreme stress across that small area can cause:
Degenerative Joint Disease
Stress Fractures
Knee, Hip, and Lower Back pain
Ankle Sprains 
Achilles Tendonitis Contracture

The shoes that we reviewed on the show were all beautiful in an artistic "Wow" factor way but I am amazed that women would subject themselves to this kind of pain (the words "Medieval torture devices" were the first words that sprung to mind when I saw the extreme six inch heeled shoes). It's rumored that some of the celebrities who wear this fashion do what's called a "PT BLOCK" prior to appearing on the red carpet or at an event in these shoes. Basically, that means they are injecting the Posterior Tendon with lidocaine to numb it up prior to an event so they can walk pain free. 

Being a woman and a Podiatrist, I'm in a unique position to not only be a big fan of beautiful shoes but also to know what constitutes a good shoe and I've spent over a decade treating people for various foot ailments - many caused by poor shoe-gear.  

I'm not advising that women give up their heels - unless of course you have a specific foot problem that makes it dangerous and/or uncomfortable to wear such shoes (such as Diabetes, Neuropathy, ligament laxity, extreme flat feet, Posterior Tibial Dysfunction, ect). I am recommending, however, that women follow some simple rules when looking for a good dress shoe. 

If you feel you must wear a high-heel shoe, here are some things to look for:

* Try to limit yourself to a two and a half inch heel. 
If you have limited motion of the big toe joint (hallux limitus) be particularly careful of your heel height. There's a simple test for this - stand on the ground and, without shifting your weight, have someone try to pick up your big toe. How far does it go upward? However high it goes - you should not ever go in a higher heel height than that. If you do, your body will compensate: just remember, if your body cannot get the motion it needs across one joint, it will find the motion it needs across another joint - whether it is your knee, your ankle, or, more commonly, walking on the outside of your foot which can lead to multiple "mechanical strain" problems. 

* Look for the "Wedge" shoe as it has a more rigid sole that will protect your foot. There are several advantages to the "Wedge" shoe. First, you can get some of the height that you are seeking from a dress shoe while limiting the range of motion that you are forcing across your big toe joint. You can have a four-inch wedge but actually only be in a two-inch heel. Secondly, a solid wedge will decrease the wear-and-tear on your foot that a more flexible, thin sole will allow. 

* Avoid a thin, flexible forefoot area - try to get a dress shoe with a thicker more rigid front.

* Look for a shoe with a wider front - the wider the front of the shoe, the more pressure per square inch for the force/weight of your body to be distributed over. 

* Although you are looking for a thick, rigid-soled sole - try to find a shoe with some padding and cushion built into the interior.  

* Strap in the Forefoot area and the Rearfoot area securely for more protection and to minimize injury. Remember, the more motion you have, the greater the chance of injury. Everyone thinks that you need a thin, cushy, flexible shoe but it's the exact opposite - you need rigid, biomechanical control. 

* Most importantly - everyone is different! What works for one person does not necessarily work for another. The acid test is PAIN! If the shoe hurts, forget it. Pain is a warning sign that something is going on and you need to stop and listen to what your feet are telling you. (If you have Peripheral Neuropathy you should not be in this type of shoe at all because if your feet are numb - you can't feel the pain that is warning you of a foot problem, which can set you at risk for limb threatening problems). 

I really enjoyed my stint into television land and, as much as I appreciate the aesthetics of these lovely shoes as works of art to admire - I cringe at the thought of the damage that occurs to the foot, knee, hips and lower back while walking in them. 

As I tell my patients, what would you rather do - wear a more sensible shoe so that you can run around in, having a blast as you do everything you want to do or look fashionista fabulous but be in pain and not be able to keep up with your friends as they run around and do everything that you can't do? 

Have a great day!
Cathy McCarthy, DPM

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Update about "Anne's Wide Shoes"...

Claire was kind enough to give me an update on "Anne's Wide Shoes" and unfortunately they have closed. 

Claire recommends The Shoe Mill which carries many of the same brands for wide to extra wide shoes. 

She also recommends OtherWideShoes on the NE Corner of Southern & McClintock. 

Both stores are in Tempe, AZ but she says "the trek is worth it"!

Thank You Claire!!