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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Can MBT's and Crocs RX be Tax Deductible?


I'm not a CPA so I can't give you tax advice 

I often write prescriptions for my patients who need specific shoes for their foot problems. For those patients who need better shoegear but are hesitant about spending the money - I find that (as long as the shoes are medically necessary) I can write RX's for the patients which may make it tax deductible. Sometimes patients can use their "Flex Dollars" through their insurance plan to reimburse them for the shoes. I had a patients several years ago who had severe foot problems and she absolutely loved her retail job which required that she spend long hours on her feet. She talked to her boss and the company decided to purchase the shoes for her because she was such a valuable employee. 

The usual prescriptions are for:

*MBT's (For Heel Pain, Osteoarthritis, Hallux Limitus, Metatarsalgia, Tendonitis, ect)

*Rocker Bottom Soled Shoes (same as MBT's)

*Extra-Depth Shoes (For Diabetics, Neuropathy, Severe Hammertoes, Corns on the tops of toes, Painful toes, Morton's Neuroma's, ect)

*Crocs Rx (For Everybody! I highly recommend wearing Crocs Rx as your house shoe - for "puttering" around the house - this will prevent everything from warts, foreign bodies, fractures, heel pain, broken toes, ect). We carry Crocs RX in our office that cost $50 and our staff is trained to fit patients properly. Also, you can use our referral code and save 20% if you order through the Crocs website (the code is 40011802). I always tell patients that I don't care if they purchase cheap knock-off's - it's still preferable to walking barefoot!

*Shoes with a Steel Shank (For Severe Biomechanical Strain caused by Flat Feet, Over-Pronation, Ligament Laxity, Tendonitis, Hypermobility, Metatarsalgia, Overuse Syndrome, ect). A good site for this is: vanderbilts.com

*New Balance (Great Walking Shoe for many different foot types - especially if you get a NB with "Roll Bar" Technology).

Talk to your Podiatrist about possibly writing an RX for the shoe that you need...

Have a great day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Podiatrist's review of Skyscraper Six Inch Heels...

Having stayed out late last night at a Girl's Night Pool Party complete with a "Just Dance" Wii Deathmatch - I'm taking the liberty of posting a "rerun" of an older post that I thought might be of interest. Last night, the ladies thought it was hilarious that right before the Wii "Just Dance" competition - I put on my Kuru sneakers and orthotics but, seriously, I had so much fun and I danced my booty off and my feet feel fab! I'm off to Target to get me some "Just Dance" so I can kick in the the Kuru's at home!

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 Tibial 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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Born Tierney - Comfortable Women's Casual Heel at Dillard's at Paradise Valley Mall



Okay, Gene Tierney and the Born Tierney shoe are not related - I just happen to be a big fan of both the actress and the shoe!

I purchased the Born Tierney today and have enjoyed wearing it out this evening. 
Very stylish and comfortable... 

I love the beautiful rich finish and I love the height it gives me (four inches) but because of the wedge sole - it comes out to about only two inches of actual elevation for the foot. The thick rigid sole is protective of the foot and the forefoot and excellent rearfoot strapping allows for more biomechanical control of the foot and ankle and therefore - more comfort. 

This Shoe is Recommended For Most Patients with:
*Mild Heel Pain
*Mild Bunions and Hammertoes
*Mild Tailor's Bunions 
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis 
*High Instep
*Bumps/Exostosis on the top of the Midfoot Area

This Shoe Is NOT Recommended For Patients with:
*Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*History of Ulcers or Open Sores
*Charcot Foot
*Moderate to Severe Bunions or Hammertoes
*Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (Limited Range of Motion across the 1st Toe Joint)
*Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease of any of the Forefoot Joints
*Capsulitis of the Forefoot Joints
*Moderate to Severe Morton's Neuroma
*Moderate to Severe Ankle Instability 
*Moderate to Severe Hypermobility 
*Moderate to Severe Tailor's Bunions 

I'm love this shoe! 

It's flattering and comfortable. 

If you have any serious forefoot problems - particularly pain or limited range of motion across the forefoot joints - this is not the shoe for you. 

8 on a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the best. 

I paid $99 at Dillard's at Paradise Valley Mall. 

I also highly recommend the 1944 classic movie "Laura" starring Gene Tierney. 


Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Comfortable Women's Naot Dress Boot for Autumn.

Naot Footwear Dynamic

It's definitely too early to talk about boots in Arizona but for those of you in colder climates - I thought it would be a good idea to start discussing them

I plan to do a "Top Ten" Women's Dress Boot List in the next month but I thought this would be a good preview. 

This boot has a thick, rigid protective sole which allows for more comfort for anyone who has to be on their feet all day. The heel gives some added height to the wearer (the heel height is 2-1/2 inches while the actual platform height is 1 inch) but it is also thick enough in the forefoot area to give protection. The boot tends to run a bit narrow so keep that in mind if you are ordering online. It has decent arch support and has a soft, wide toebox. I also like the aesthetics of the boot!

This Boot is Recommended For Patients with:
*Narrow Feet
*Mild Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
*Mild Hallux Limitus (Mild Limited Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint)
*Mild Hammertoes
*Mild Bunions
*Mild Morton's Neuromas
*Mild Osteoarthritis
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis
*Mild Tendonitis
*Mild Hypermobility
*Mild Ankle Instability

This Boot is NOT Recommended For Patients With:
*Wide Feet
*Anyone with "bumps" or Prominences (exostosis) on the top of their midfoot area (the boot may cause too much pressure on the bump) 
*Severe Hallux Limitus (Limited Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint
*Severe Osteoarthritis / Degenerative Joint Disease of any of the Toe Joints
*Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*History of Ulcerations or Open Sores
*Charcot Foot
*Severe Hypermobility
*Severe Ankle Instability
*Moderate to Sever Bunions
*Severe Hammertoes
*Severe Calluses & Corns

Cost: $150 - $200
I found this boot on Zappos.com for $150

Rating: Excellent (especially for Women with narrow feet).

Have a Great Day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Comfortable Wedges at a Great Price.

Comfortable Wedges at Great Prices. 

Brown Wedges  

Wedge Fashion Sandal 

Green Wedges 

Sexy Blue Wedges 

Pink and Black Wedges 

Apricot Wedges 


Using Alltop.com - I found this great website with cool, funky, fun wedges that, depending on your specific foot type, should be comfortable for most women who know that they can wear wedge heels. I'm not suggesting that these heels are appropriate for everyone but I like to have suggestions for patients who are able to wear heels. If you are able to wear high heels, I believe that a solid wedge with forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot strapping is the best choice for comfort and stability. 

If you have any limitation of motion across the toe joints (particularly the 1st toe joint) or any forefoot deformities or pain (such as capsulitis, Morton's Neuromas or metatarsalgia), these shoes are not recommended for you. 

What I like about these wedges are that they all have rearfoot control (which means more biomechanical control) which is crucial for this type of shoe to be comfortable. If a shoe has no rearfoot strapping then, when you walk, you are forcing all of your tendons, muscles, joints, knees, hips, and lower back to work harder to stabilize your lower extremities which can lead to mechanical strain and tired-leg syndrome. 

These Wedges are NOT Recommended For Patients with:

*Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (limited range of motion across the 1st toe joint)
*Capsulitis of any of the Toe Joints
*Tailor's Bunions
*Ankle Instability
*Rhumatoid or Osteoarthritis
*Knee, Hip or Lower Back Pain
*Nerve Damage
*History of Ulcers or Open Sores
*Charcot Foot
*Drop Foot
*History of Ankle Sprains

Personally, I love to wear funky cool wedges - not to mention that I was totally loving the prices! 

I hope that this has been helpful and if this is your shoe of choice - please keep a pair of good walking shoes/sneakers in the trunk of your car!  :)

Have a great day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Julian Hakes "Soleless" Shoe.


As art, this shoe is stunning!

I'd happily display it in my living room.
I don't know what my husband would say about it but, you never know, he's an artist (and he loves me) so - he might totally humor me.

As a Podiatrist...

Oy Vay.

If this shoe gets popular and women actually WEAR it...

Or, even worse, try to walk it in...

This shoe could single-handedly help pay off my student loans!

Final Analysis:
I highly recommend this shoe as beautiful gorgeous eye-candy art...

or to wear while sitting...


Don't walk in it!! 

Thank you Julian Hakes for the gorgeous shoes!
They are beautiful...

Yours Truely,

Lover of Beautiful Shoes,
Friend to Feet,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Podiatry Shoe Review Featured on Alltop...

I'm happy to announce that Podiatry Shoe Review is being featured on Alltop. In their own words:

You can think of Alltop as the “online magazine rack” of the web. We’ve subscribed to thousands of sources to provide “aggregation without aggravation.” To be clear, Alltop pages are starting points—they are not destinations per se. Ultimately, our goal is to enhance your online reading by displaying stories from sources that you’re already visiting plus helping you discover sources that you didn’t know existed.

Check them out at: