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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wolky - Podiatry Recommended Womens Casual Shoes for Troubled Feet.


Wolky shoes are fabulous shoes for anyone who has problem feet. 
The shoes featured here have a a thicker more rigid sole and are going to be more comfortable because they are going to offer more protection and biomechanical control of your foot. 
 If you have any forefoot issues such as 
bunions, hammertoes, metatarsalgia, 
Morton's Neuromas - 
be sure to only get a shoe with a thick sole.  
A common mistake for patients with these problems is to only get shoes with a wider toebox. This is important but what is more important is to get a shoe with a thick rigid sole that allows less motion through the forefoot area with each step so that there is less aggravation and "wear and tear" to the forefoot structures that need protection.

Remember, if you have forefoot problems - you want a shoe with a thick, rigid protective sole and a wide soft toebox. 

Wolky Assen 

Wolky Nijmegen

These shoes have a a removable insole so that you can replace it with a custom-molded orthotic if needed. They feature a
"thick, contoured, removable cork and memory foam footbed" as well as 
"an adjustable instep strap accomodates different height arches."
I find that most patients prefer the insole that comes with this shoe to any other insert.

The Wolky Assen and The Wolky Nijmegen are Recommended For Patients With:
*Mild to Moderate Bunions
*Mild to Moderate Hammertoes
*Morton's Neuroma
*Mild to Moderate Tendonitis
*Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion across the 1st toe joint)
*Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Degenerative Joint Disease 
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Knee, Hip and Lower Back Pain
*Tired Leg Syndrome
*Mechanical Strain
*Plantar Plate Injuries
*Mild to Moderate Ligament Laxity

Check with your Podiatrist to see is The Wolky Assen and Wolky Nijmegen will be appropriate for you if you have:
*Peripheral Neuropathy
*Peripheral Arterial Disease 

The Wolky Assen and Wolky Nijmegen are NOT Recommended for Patients with:
*Charcot Foot
*History of Ulcerations of the foot

The Wolky Sud

The Wolky Sud is a lesser variation on the above two shoes. It is an excellent shoe and if you have mild issues - this is a great option. If your foot issues are more severe - you probably want to start with the Assen or the Nijmegen as they offer more protection and biomechanical control for your foot.  

Wolky shoes are expensive but they are
an investment in your body
which needs to work and play for you for 
hopefully a nice long healthy lifetime of activities!

Have a great day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tsubo Magda - Comfortable Heels for Certain Foot Types.

Tsubo Magda 


Although the Tsubo Magda is not for every type of foot, this is a comfortable shoe for women who know that they can wear a shoe with a three inch heel height. The shoe gives you three and a half inches of height but the forefoot is one half inch thick.

First, it's gorgeous!

Second, it has a wedge type sole with a thick rigid sole that allows for more protection and comfort - particularly in the forefoot area. 

 The inside of the shoe has added cushioning in the form of "latex foam padding and a forefoot compression platform" that allows for more comfort and protection of the forefoot.
Tsubo has ergonomic design that "complements the nature form of the foot." 
I personally love the Tsubo shoes and can wear the lower-heeled Tsubo's all day. 
This, however, is a higher heel than might be comfortable for many women. 

The rule of thumb is - if you know that you can wear a three inch heel comfortably -  this shoe should be an excellent shoe for you. If you know that you can't tolerate heels this high, that means that your foot's biomechanical structure is not suited for heels and I would not recommend these for you. It may sound simplistic but, when it comes to heels, women typically know how high they can go. The trick is to not learn that lesson the hard way! 

This shoe is NOT Recommended for Patients with: 
*Hallux Limitus (Limited Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint)
*Osteoarthrutis of any of the Toe Joints 
*Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Degenerative Joint Disease
*Moderate to Severe Bunions or Hammertoes 
*Morton's Neuroma
*Ankle Instability
*Severe Hypermobility or Ligament Laxity
*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*History of Foot Ulcerations 
*Charcot Foot

Overall, if you know that you can comfortably wear a three inch heel, this is a great choice! 

Price: $104 - 150
Rating: 7 out of 10 
on a scale of zero to ten with ten being the best.

Have a great day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Comfortable Shoe for Painful Bunions and Hammertoes - Fly Flot

Fly Flot Flexi Slingback Sandal

A great shoe for ladies with "tender toes" and painful bunions. 

Fly Flot Flexi-Slingback Sandal

For some reason, I'm on an uber-comfort kick!

 Our intrepid Office Manager, Callie, 
spotted one of our patients in these shoes and told me I had to write about them on the blog. 

This patient has severe peripheral arterial disease, fragile skin and painful hammertoes and calluses. She claims that they are the best shoe she has ever owned and I believe her. She is elderly so it benefits her to have a light shoe and this shoe is very light. The shoe has a supportive sole that is rigid enough to protect the foot of someone but also has shock absorption for more comfort. What really sets this shoe apart is the material it is made of - the toebox upper is made of a "stretchy nylon textile and leather combination" that puts minimal pressure on the toes and bunion. 

If you work on concrete floors for extended hours or are very active, this shoe is probably not the optimal shoe for you. 
This shoe is great for light wear and especially for  elderly people who aren't as active as someone who works forty hours a week on their feet. 
If that is the case, you need a shoe with more rigidity across the forefoot area than this shoe so as to have less motion, which makes it much more protective and comfortable. 

I highly recommend this shoe for anyone who is elderly and has "tender toes". 

Fly Flot Ardelle Clog 

Although I am not a fan of shoes that do not have proper rearfoot strapping for biomechanical control, I do recommend this shoe for certain patients. Particularly, any patients who have painful bumps on the back of their heels and can't tolerate a strap. Also, for patients who can't bend far enough to tie laces and need a comfortable slip on shoe. This is an excellent choice because of the protective sole, the wide toebox and the "lip" in the rearfoot area which does allow for some biomechanical control of the rearfoot. When it comes to the rearfoot - some control is better than no control. If there is no rearfoot control, it forces you to "grip" your toes down which can help promote hammertoes, corns and a multitude of other problems including knee hip, lower back pain and "tired-leg syndrome". 
For more information on this subject, please refer to my article called "The Basics" in this blog. 

I hope that was helpful!

Have a wonderful day,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Comfortable Slippers...

The Adjustable Sheepskin Slippers 


Maybe it's the chilly weather, the Christmas tree, maybe the hot chocolate - 
but I've got a yen to review a uber-comfortable, warm and cozy slipper.

My husband and I just got back from vacation and one of my secret fascinations is the airplane's SkyMall magazine. 
From the "temperature regulating pet bed" to "the healthiest deep fryer" to the "the motion mimicking robotic pugilists" - I'm fascinated! 

The Adjustable Sheepskin Slippers are made from Mongolian Sheepskin and have a cushioned sheepskin insole with a rubber outsole that provides stable footing. 
I particularly like the adjustable top for anyone who has problems with swollen feet and this slipper is especially recommended for any patients suffering with diabetes, neuropathy or peripheral arterial disease.

Recommended For Patients for:
*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*Rhematoid Arthritis
*Mild Heel Pain
*Geriatric Patients 
*Foot and Ankle Swelling
*Painful Toenails
*Morton's Neuroma

Not Recommended For Patients with:
Can't think of any type of patient who this slipper would not be appropriate for...

Needless to say, I highly recommend this slipper! 
Hope all is well,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Ugg Boot - Podiatry Recommended from Pediatric to Grandmom...

The Ugg Classic

Yes, it is a cool and fashionable boot - 
usually seen on teenagers or twenty-something's with their Starbuck coffees 
(Hey, I'm not knocking it! I've got the Starbucks and the Uggs - just not the twenties...) 
here's another consideration...

The short Ugg boot is great for the grandmom with painful feet, corns or bunions. It's light and easy to slip on (if you get the short boot) and super comfy with it's sheepskin lining.

For those of you with a loved one 
confined to a wheelchair, 
the short Ugg boot is an excellent option 
for all of the reasons listed above. 
The Ugg boot is great for people who have swelling of the feet and ankles.    
It also has a wide base and is light for easier walking and stability. 

For younger patients who need more biomechanical control, 
the Ugg boot can accommodate 
custom-molded orthotics or a good over-the-counter arch support. 
My pediatric patients like wearing the Ugg and, when they have hypermobility, ligament laxity, bunions or hammertoes - the Ugg with arch support in it is an excellent option. 
It's good for their feet and they like that 
the Ugg is fashionable!

Hope all is well!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nike Shox - Podiatrist Recommended

Nike Shox

A great shoe for kids (and adults!) with "biomechanically challenged" feet.  

This may be strange for a Podiatrist to say but what I really love about the Nike Shox is - 
they are cool.

  When I have Pediatric patients with "biomechanically challenged" feet and I have to convince them to stop wearing flip-flops, Converse or Vans - they are always crestfallen - until I mention Nike Shox. 

Kids love the Nike Shox because they are cool.

So, if you have a fashion conscious teenager 
with problem feet - try the Nike Shox. 

Nike Shox work best with a Custom-Molded orthotic or an excellent over-the-counter insert 
for more arch control.

Nike Shox Junior 
Nike Shox Agent 

What makes the Nike Shox a great shoe for patients with "biomechanically challenged" feet is its thick rigid sole, which allows for excellent protection of the rearfoot, midfoot and especially the forefoot area. 

 If you have bunions or hammertoes - look for the Nike Shox with mesh toeboxes that allow for less pressure on any painful bunions. Another option is to take a leather shoe to a Shoe Repair shop and have them stretch the leather over the bunion area to decrease pressure on the bunion.  

If you decide to try this shoe, make sure there there is no bend through the entire sole of the shoe - that is usually the case with the Nike Shox but there are so many different styles - double check before you purchase them.  

If you are recovering from a bout of tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or any injury of the rearfoot or midfoot - 
try this shoe with a brace that has a trilock system
If you can't find the proper brace, follow up with any Podiatrist who will typically carry them in his or her office and the brace be billed to your insurance and should be covered as a durable medical equipment (depending on your insurance). 
Our office carries a Bioskin trilock ankle brace that biomechanically controls 
the Ankle Joint, the Subtalar Joint and the Mid-Tarsal Joint (Lisfranc's Joint) and, in my opinion, 
is the best brace I have ever found. 
Unfortunately, I have never been able to find it online 
and you can only get it through medical facilities. 

If you don't have insurance, I like the Futura brand, which you can find at your local pharmacy.  

Nike Shox are Recommended for patients with:
*Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
*Mild to Moderate Bunions  & Tailor's Bunions
*Mild to Moderate Hammertoes
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis
*Sever's Disease
*Mild to Moderate PT or Peroneal Tendonitis 
*Mild to Moderate Osteoarthritis
*Hallux Limitus (Limited Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint)
*Morton's Neuroma
*Capsulitis of the Toe Joints
*Plantar Plate Injuries (of the Toe Joints)
*Ligament Laxity

Nike Shox are NOT Recommended for Patients with:
*Diabetics with a a history of Open Sores/Ulcerations
*Charcot Foot

Once again, no matter what I recommend, if you try it on and it doesn't feel good - don't get it! 
If no shoes feel good to you and if  you are having chronic foot and ankle pain - go see your Podiatrist!  

Have a Lovely Day...

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Comfortable Women's Dress Shoes - Stuart Weitzman

I was introduced to the Stuart Weizman "Girlbands" shoe by a stylish and particularly chic patient who was wearing them this past week. She said they are exceptionally comfortable and she can wear them all day with no problems. 
After examining the shoe, I was particularly impressed with the rigid sole which gives more protection and comfort to the foot and I was especially impressed with the soft yet secure bands that have a little bit of "give" while holding the foot secure. This is an excellent choice for someone who has issues with mild foot swelling throughout the day.  
I also liked the fact that these can be dressed up for evening or can be worn with more casual outfits. 



Recommended For Patients with:

*Mild to Moderate Hammertoes
*Mild (Possibly Moderate) Bunions
*Mild (Possibly Moderate) Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion across the 1st toe joint) 
*Mild Morton's Neuroma
*Mild (Possibly Moderate) Capsulitis of the Toe Joints
*Mild to Moderate Exostosis (Bone Spur on the top of the foot)
*Mild Osteoarthritis 
*Mild to Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Mild (Possibly Moderate) Achilles Tendonitis 
*Mild Haglund's Deformity  
*Mild Ligament Laxity/Hypermobility
*Mild Tendonitis 
*Ingrown Toenails 

NOT Recommended For Patients with:

*Neuropathy (Nerve Damage) 
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation) 
*Charcot Foot
*History of Foot Ulcerations (Open Sores) 
*Severe Hammertoes
*Severe Bunions 
*Ankle Instability 
*Severe Ligament Laxity/Hypermobility 
*Hallux Rigidus (No Motion across the 1st Toe Joint)
*Moderate to Severe Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis

Please remember that if you are experiencing 
foot and ankle pain for more that a week - 
I highly recommend following up with 
a Podiatrist for evaluation and treatment! 
You'd be surprised how often we can help heal your foot and ankle issues without painful surgeries or injections. 
Sometimes surgery is appropriate but, in my experience, most problems can be greatly improved without surgery and by doing some pretty simple pain-free treatments. 

I always tell patients, 
"The first part of the process is we have to heal your foot. The second part is we have to make sure that you are in proper shoes and inserts so that the problem does not reoccur."

 That's what this blog is about - 
once you are through the healing phase, 
it's important that you find 
comfortable and (hopefully!) cute shoes 
that are specific for your 
particular biomechanics and foot issues.  

For more information, 
please refer to my article on this blog called 
"The Basics" or my article on "Crocs." 

 Happy Halloween!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 

Proud Second Runner up in a 
Pumpkin Carving contest last night where I won 
a pair of Halloween socks.  
How Apropo.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Twenty Comfortable Boots - Podiatry Recommended...


(Yes, some are not so pretty - but keep going -  there's a little bit for everyone in this list!)

Born Bitsy 

I'm partial to the Born Brand of shoes! This boot has soft, good quality leather and allows for extra room in the calf which is great for women with more muscular calves. They have good arch support and a rigid sole which allows for more protection of the foot. It has a decently wide toebox and the soft leather is good for women with mild to possibly moderate hammertoes and bunions. 
The slightly tapered toebox may not work for women with severe hammertoes and bunions.  

Born Christina 

Once again, Born is a wonderful boot! The thick rigid sole allows for better biomechanical control of the foot which allows for comfortable all day wear. The wide toebox is great for women with mild to possibly moderate hammertoes and bunions. The boot is true to size and has good arch support. 
If you have moderate to severe Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) or any forefoot issues like capsulitis, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease - this may not be the boot for you because of the heel height. 

Check out the Born "Sash" boot for $78 on 
It's not officially on the "Top Twenty" list but it should be! I came across it and I love the Born brand and I couldn't resist the price...

Dansko Aurora 

Bar none, Dansko are top-notch when it comes to comfort! Dansko shoes and boots have been a staple of my wardrobe for years. If you are on your feet all day, on concrete floors, have a history of foot pain or are looking for a great boot that will be comfortable - Dansko is it!  
The only caution I give with Dansko is that if you have prominent "bumps" on your feet - particularly on the top of your midfoot area - the Dansko might apply too much pressure and it could be uncomfortable. Also, if you are older (geriatric), have muscle weakness or significant nerve damage - Dansko boots may be too heavy for you. You need something supportive but light

 Dansko Finley 

Okay, not the prettiest thing on the block but hey, if your feet hurt and you need a dependable solid comfortable boot for all day activities - this is an even better Dansko boot than the one above. It's hardcore Dansko comfort! 

Durango Boot 

In an attempt to have some less expensive boots on the list, I found this Durango Boot at $128. It's hard to find a high quality boot for less than sixty to eighty dollars but they are out there. This boot offers a thick rigid sole for more comfort and protection. The toebox tapers in a bit too much so if you have moderate hammertoes or bunions - this may not be the right boot for you. 

Durango Harness The Dream
$59 on 6pm.com

A better price than the Durango above and a wider toebox. This boot has an awesome thick rigid sole which allows for exceptional comfort for all day wear on concrete surfaces. It has a low heel so that works especially well if you have forefoot problems such as Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint), osteoarthritis,  degenerative joint disease, mild to moderate hammertoes and bunions, and metatarsalgia.  
check out the Durango "Flower in Love" boot for $84 on 6pm.com. 

Fit Flop Hooper 

Fit Flop Hooper - once again, not the cutest boot ever but - ridiculously comfortable! As I tell my patients, having style and looking fabulous is all about your attitude - not what's on your feet. If your feet hurt, if you have chronic pain, if you are on your feet on concrete surfaces all day - don't knock this boot till you try it! 
If you have muscle weakness, significant neurological problems, are elderly or have balance issues, this might not be the boot for you.

Harley Davidson Huston Boot 

I bought this boot for a winter trip to Germany because I knew I was going to do tons of walking. It was very comfortable and it has a great look that was easy to dress up or down. The toebox does taper in and is a bit narrow so if you have any issues with hammertoes, bunions, corns or calluses - proceed with caution!  

John Fluevog Arresto 

I love John Fluevog shoes! The low heel, wide toebox and supportive sole provides lots of comfort. This is a great boot for light office wear but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for hard-core all day, run around on concrete floors kinds of work.

John Fluevog Cece

Excellent John Fluevog Boot! This has the rigid supportive sole as well as the lower heel for more comfort. Great for anyone who can't tolerate heels due to Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) as well as metatarsalgia, capsulitis, hammertoes, bunions and osteoarthitis. 

John Fluevog Together Hi Nico

I own the shoe version of this boot. The construction is basically the same and I absolutely adore it! It's very comfortable and I can wear it all day long for light office work. However, if I was going to be doing increased activities - I would probably bump it up to my Danskos. I like the John Fluevog thick chunky heel, the supportive sole and the wide square toebox. 


 MBT Boots 

 MBT is the ultimate classic boot when it comes to comfort! The rocker-bottom sole gives exceptional support, comfort and biomechanical control which is great for people with chronic foot pain and are on their feet all day. 
The MBT boot is not recommended for patients with Achilles Tendonitis issues, balance issues, muscle weakness, and significant nerve damage. Also, just as an aside, don't wear a rocker bottom shoe on a cruise. Nothing worse that wearing a rocker-bottom shoe on a rocking cruise ship!

Merrell Martina Waterproof

I think this is a cute look! And waterproof - what's not to love?  This boot has a thick rigid protective sole, wide toebox and low heel which is great for all day wear. 

 Naot Illusion

I love this boot! It's gorgeous and also super comfortable. The Naots tend to run narrow to medium widths so if you have large or muscular calves - this is not the best boot for you. 
It also accommodates a dress orthotic although it doesn't necessary need arch support as it has a thick rigid protective sole with decent arch support already in it. 

Naot Modesto 

 Another great Naot boot! Thick rigid sole, decently wide toebox and it accomodates a dress orthotic although it doesn't necessarily need one. 
It's a great looking boot and works great if you have mild hammertoes and bunions, metatarsalgia, and mild Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toejoint). It does run narrow to medium and does not work well for women with wide feet and calves. 


Spring Step Thrive 

Love the price! Not to mention it's a great boot. The thick rigid sole is very protective and comfortable for wonderful biomechanical control of the foot. The wide toebox offers adequate room for mild to moderate hammertoes and bunions. 
Excellent for anyone who has forefoot or midfoot issues such as osteoarthritis, Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint), degenerative joint disease, capsulitis and mild to moderate tendonitis. 

Ugg Ultimate Short 

You can't go wrong with Uggs! 
This Ugg has a sole that is thick, rigid and protective for more comfort as well as a wide soft toebox that is awesome for mild to possibly even severe hammertoes and bunions. 
The Ugg will accommodate custom-molded orthotics as well as over-the-counter inserts for more arch support. Many of my Pediatric patients wear Uggs with their orthotics because it's one of the few shoe choices that is biomechanically sound for their feet (which pleases their Parents and Podiatrist!) and also lets them feel like they are wearing something cool and somewhat fashionable (which pleases them!).
Worth the money!

Dr. Marten's Bellissa 

I love the way this boot looks! 
Dr. Martens have always been a standard of comfort because of its trademark thick, rigid, protective sole. The more traditional "combat boot" style of Dr. Marten's are popular with many of my teenager patients who have "biomechanically challenged" feet and can't comfortably wear the Converse or Van's. When I tell them they can wear Dr. Martens with inserts - their eyes light up. Funny how they were cool when I was a teenager and still are...
Check out the Dr. Martens website - they have lots of cool colors and styles and if you have a kid with foot issues and you need to wean them away from Converse or Van's - try luring them into comfort with Dr. Martens!
The more traditional Dr. Marten's "combat style" boot (not pictured here) is great for kids (or adults) with flat feet, hypermobility, ligament laxity, ankle instability - as long as they are worn with arch support.



Dr Martins Triumph 1914
What's not to love? These are cool! 
Perhaps it's the remnants of my nineties Goth days (I admit it - just a little Goth - circa 1999!) but I love these. Great for trooping all over the city in all sorts of weather - durable, comfortable and, one again, great for anyone with "biomechanically challenged" feet who want a cool look with comfort. 
The laced boot allows for more give so if you have trouble with boots being too tight in the calf or pressing too much on the top of your foot because of a high arch or a bump (exostosis) on the top of your foot - this would be a good option as you can adjust the tension with the laces. 
For the more daring fashionista - you can go to 6pm.com 
get this boot in some bold colors for $75).



Dansko Vail 

 I couldn't resist! I've got a long term love affair with Dansko shoes and this waterproof boot is great for trudging trough all types of gnarly weather. I did my residency in Buffalo and many is the time I had to walk my sweet pitbull Sheba at ungodly hours in sleet, rain, snow and all types of foul weather - this boot would have come in handy...
P.S. If you are in horrible weather and need a hardcore coat - try the "Stadium Parka" from LandsEnd. I'm not sure I would have survived Buffalo without that coat! 
Funny to end a blog on shoes with a recommendation on coats but - c'est la vie! 

Keep scrolling down for my September 17, 2011 blog on a great Donald J. Plimer boot! 

One of my patients said she asks a salesperson at DSW call her when they get in a shipment of Donald J. Plimer shoes in because she gets first pick of the shoe she wants at deeply discounted prices. Make friends with salepeople! They can be great assets in helping you in your search for the perfect shoe! 

I hope this was helpful!

Remember, good boots are an investment...

Hope all is well,
Dr Cathleen A McCarthy


For more recommendations of
Comfortable Boots - check out...