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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Effects of Wearing High Heel Shoes on Your Feet...

The Effects of High Heels
On Your Feet...

For the woman who is lucky enough to say, 
"I've been wearing heels for years and I've never had any foot problems" -
I would say, "You're one of the lucky ones - 
so far..."

In my mind, 
it's the same thing as the person who says, 
"My dad's been smoking a pack a day of cigarettes for fifty years and he's never had a problem."

In both cases, 
the only way to figure out if you are one of the 'lucky ones' that won't develop foot pain or 
lung cancer is -
you have to wear heels and smoke like a chimney for years and see what happens...

It's a gamble!

Don't gamble with your body!

Protecting your feet and taking care of your body will significantly improve your quality of life, keep you active longer and decrease the chance of injury.  

Let's talk feet...

Please don't get me wrong -
I'm not against wearing high heels! 
I do, however, have specific recommendations for the type of shoes you should be looking for if you want to wear high heels based on your individual biomechanics.

There are many women who will not be able to tolerate high heels due to the genetic biomechanical structure of their feet. 
Whether or not you can tolerate high heels is directly related to the biomechanical structure of your feet. 
The biomechanical structure of your feet is genetic and runs in families and it can also be 
related to previous injury. 

One example: 
If you have Hallux Limitus, which is decreased motion of your first toe joint and you try to wear an ultra high heel 
(i.e. you are trying to push motion through a joint that doesn't have motion) 
you are at risk for developing bone spurs, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and lateral ankle strain (to name a few).

Determining what type of shoe that works best for you is pathology specific! 

Basically, what type of biomechanical foot structure you have or what type of foot problems you have 
will determine what type of shoe will be ideal for you...

What works for one person, will not necessarily work for another person. 

Let's look at some pictures...


Ah, yes, those were the days!
Pre-Podiatry shoes...
And, yes, they did come out of my closet and, although I haven't worn them in two decades,
 I can't bring myself to throw them away. 
You know what I'm talking about, ladies...

What's wrong with these heels:

1. With a true heel height of 3 and 1/2 inches, they are too high and putting too much pressure across my foot and ankle joints - not to mention my knee, hip and lower back, which can cause joint damage, muscle strain, tendonitis, bunions, hammertoes and a multitude of other problems.

2. There is no midfoot or rearfoot strapping, which is forcing me to put more strain and wear-and-tear on my tendons, joints, and muscles - not to mention my knees, hips and lower back.  With no rearfoot strapping, I am struggling to keep my foot in this shoe!
I am crunching down my toes so that I can stay in the shoe, which causes more inflammation, swelling, strain and damage.
This can cause 'Tired Leg Syndrome' as well as a multitude of other problems.

3. The combination of the aggressive angle of the high heel and lack of midfoot and rearfoot strapping is forcing my joints, tendons and muscle to struggle to stay in my shoe.

Why this heel is better than the previous heel:

1. Because of the wedge style, this shoe has a true heel height of 3 inches. I'm getting the height (for fashion) but not as aggressive 'tilt' on my foot and ankle joints as the previous shoe.

2. There is midfoot and rearfoot control, which helps decrease mechanical strain, the chance of injury and pain. 

3.  This heel will not work for everyone, but it is better than the first shoe we looked at...

This is the Dansko Rowena and it is currently my 'go-to' casual heels to wear with jeans. 

Why this shoe is better than the 
previous two shoes choices:

1.  The wedge in the front of the shoe is thick and rigid for more biomechanical control and increased protection for the foot structures such as joints, tendons and muscles. 
The true heel height is 2 and 1/8 inches.

2.  There is midfoot and rearfoot control for more biomechanical control, which means less strain and more comfort.

 Wearing high heels 
changes your gait and the biomechanics 
of your feet, ankles, knees, hips and 
lower back and...

Inappropriate High Heels can cause:

*Degenerative Joint Disease
*Forefoot Pain
*Plantar Plate Injury
 *Lateral Ankle Strain
*Tailor's Bunions 
*Morton's Neuromas
*Knee, Hip & Lower Back Pain
*Corns & Calluses

For Recommendations for Comfortable Shoes that are Pathology Specific - 
please refer to my blog:
Within the Blog, 
Use the 'Search' box to look up: 
Top 10 Comfortable Sandals
Top 20 Comfortable Women's Dress Shoes
Top 5 Comfortable Walking Shoes

Hope this was helpful!
Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Comfortable Slip-On Shoe For Men...


 This is a great shoe for the man in your life who needs a comfortable slip-on shoe!

I have many patients who have trouble reaching their feet because of hip and knee replacements, severe arthritis, back pain or because they are elderly.
If you get a long-handled shoe horn, these are great shoes that are easy to get on. 

The problem with the typical slip-on shoes are that there is no rearfoot control so that the person who purchases a slip-on shoe with no back to it
ends up getting less biomechanical control of the foot, which is counterproductive  because it causes more strain to their knees, hips and lower back. 

With this shoe, you kill two birds with one stone...

Using a long-handled shoe horn (or not - it's not required, simply helpful), these shoes are easy to slip on and once you have them on, you have the rearfoot control that offers more protection and biomechanical control, 
which will decrease pain, strain and 
chance of injury.  
A shoe with no rearfoot control forces the person wearing them to put more mechanical strain on their joints, muscles, and tendons to hold the shoe on their foot. 

In other words, this shoe is far more comfortable than a slip-on shoe with no back to it. 

The WWM756 offers a thick rigid sole, which is protective of the foot. It also has a wide soft toebox, which is great for patients who need more room to accommodate their hammertoes and bunions. The insert inside the shoe can be replaced by a custom-molded insert or over-the-counter insert that offers more arch support for better biomechanical control. 
And it's a nice looking shoe! 


*Tailor's Bunions
*Morton's Neuroma
*Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Hallux Limitus
*Hallux Rigidus
*Previous Lisfranc's Injury
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Achilles Tendonitis
*Patients with Balance Issues
*Muscle Weakness


*Peripheral Arterial Disease


*Charcot Foot
*History of Foot Ulcerations or Open Sores

I hope this was helpful!

Have a great day...

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Comfortable Men's Work Boot - p.w. minor Hercules...

p.w. minor Hercules

This is an amazingly comfortable 
men's work boot and, at $291.95, will be well worth the money you spend and a great investment in your foot health!

And it is an investment!!  

Talk to you Podiatrist to see if you are eligible to get a prescription stating this boot is 
'medically necessary' for your foot condition. 
That helps to defray the cost by making it 
tax deductible and may even be covered by your HSA through your insurance. 

The p.w. minor Hercules is 
an orthopedic work boot that offers  
25% more extra-depth for the foot 
and is built to accommodate a 
custom-molded orthotic. 

The 8" height of the boot allows for more biomechanical control of the ankle, which helps with knee, hip and lower back pain and will be of particular value if you over-pronate, over-supinate, "roll in" or "roll out" when you walk. 

The inside is lined with "Ultra Soft"
which is a microbial material 
that wicks away moisture and it has  
added padding 
for the collar and tongue. 

The boot has a metal shank, which is very protective and allows for less motion of the foot joints, which means less 'wear-and-tear' on the foot and ankle structures, decreased chance of injury and superior comfort.

I also love that this company has a 
"Different Sized Feet" Program 
for people with two different sized feet.
For this program,
Call 1-866-324-3338

Widths are available in A - 5E.  

This Boot IS Recommended for Patients with:

*Mild to Severe Hammertoes
*Mild to Moderate Bunions & Tailor's Bunions 
*Mild to Severe Metatarsalgia
*Morton's Neuromas
*Hallux Limitus (Limited Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint
*Hallux Rigidus (No Motion at the 1st Toe Joint)
*Rheumatoid Arthritis 
*Achilles Tendonitis
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain) - I would recommended that you get a custom-molded orthotic, a good over-the-counter insert or heel cups.
*Mechanical Strain caused by poor biomechanics
*Overuse Syndrome
*Ankle Instability
*Chronic Ankle Sprainers
*Tired-leg Syndrome
*Knee, Hip and Lower Back Pain
*Corns and Calluses (Go to your Podiatrist to get them debrided or 'pared down' periodically to significantly reduce pain and risk of ulceration!) 

This Boot is NOT Recommended For Patients with:

*Charcot Foot
*The Elderly
*Nerve Damage that causes weak or flaccid legs
*Foot Drop
*Weak legs

This Boot MAY work for Patients with...
(Check with your Podiatrist so that he or she can give a specific recommendation to you based on the nature and extent of your foot condition):

*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage) - Your Podiatrist will determine if this is the proper boot for you!
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation) 
*History of Non-Traumatic Amputations
*History of Diabetic Ulcerations 

**I am not affiliated with this company 
in any way...

Have a great day!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Naot Prestige - Podiatrist Review of this Comfortable Wedge Sandal...


A great combination of style and comfort!

For women who know that they can 
comfortably wear a one-and-a-half inch 
heel height, this is a great shoe!

What's great about this shoe is the thick, rigid and protective sole that offers maximal protection 
to the foot and ankle structures. 
It also has excellent strapping 
that provides forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot biomechanical control, which provides less wear-and-tear on the joints, less chance of injury and increased comfort. 

There is a subtle flap under the straps in the front of the ankle so - if you have any "bumps" such as painful bone spurs of ganglions in that area - this feature may cause you some discomfort and this may not be a good shoe choice for you.

As always, Naot has an anatomic cork & latex footbed that molds to the shape of the foot, which is one of it's most popular features and sets it apart from most shoes. 

In general, any Naot shoe that has rearfoot strapping is excellent. 

I don't recommend the Naot sandals without rearfoot strapping because (in my opinion) 
it causes the person as they walk to grip down his or her toes to stay in the shoe, which can lead to irritation and progression of such forefoot problems as:
  Hammertoes, Calluses, Morton's Neuromas, Capsulitis of the Forefoot Joints, Plantar Plate Injuries and Joint Damage.  

This shoe is also lightweight 
and offers a narrow to medium fit. 

This Shoe should be able to be worn comfortably by Patients with:

*Mild Plantar Fascitiis (Heel Pain)
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis
*Mild Hammertoes
*Mild Bunions & Tailor's Bunions
*Mild Morton's Neuroma
*Mild Metatarsalgia
*Mild Tendonitis
*Corns & Calluses

This Shoe May NOT Be Comfortable for Patients with:

*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*History of Ulcerations
*Hallux Limitus (Limited Range of Motion of the 1st Toe Joint)
*Hallux Rigidus (No motion across the 1st Toe Joint)
*Moderate to Severe Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
*Severe Hammertoes
*Moderate to Severe Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis 
*Moderate to Severe Capsulitis 
*Moderate to Severee Plantar Plate Injury and/or Pain
*Moderate to Severe Morton's Neuroma
*Moderate to Severe Sesmoiditis
*Moderate to Severe Metatarsalgia
*Moderate to Severe Tendonitis
*Moderate to Severe Hypermobility
*Moderate to Severe Ankle Instability
*Balance Issues
*Charcot Foot

Hope this is helpful!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kork-Ease AVA -- Comfortable Women's Sandal


Comfortable Woman's Sandal...

 Quirky Colors Plus Comfort Equals 
Kork-Ease Sandals. 

These Sandals Should Work for Patients with: 

*Mild Hallux Limitus (Decreased Motion at the 1st Toe Joint
*Mild Heel Pain 
*Mild Bunions & Tailor's Bunions
*Mild Metatarsalgia
*Mild Capsulitis
*Mild Tendonitis
*Mild Hammertoes
*Mild Morton's Neuromas

This Sandal is NOT Recommended For Patients with:

*Moderate to Severe Hallux Limitus (Limited range-of-motion of the 1st toe joint) 
*Hallux Rigidus (No range-of-motion of the 1st joint)
*Degenerative Joint Disease 
*Moderate Osteoarthritis
*Moderate to Severe Tendonitis
*Moderate to Severe Hypermobility
*Nerve Damage
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*Balance Issues
*Ankle Instability

Basically, if you know that you can wear a one and a half inch heel, this should be a comfortable wedge sandal for this summer. 

Hope all is well,

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy