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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Eileen Fisher Chelsea Boot - Podiatrist Approved for Certain Foot Types.

Eileen Fisher Chelsea Boot
A Great Choice For Style & All Day Comfort.

Eileen Fisher is a very smart lady when it comes to designing comfortable and stylish shoes! What makes her shoes so exceptional are that they usually meet the four criteria that a shoe must have to be comfortable. 

Her Chelsea boot has a thick, rigid and non-flexible sole, which is absolutely crucial for protecting foot joints. If you are wearing shoes that have a flexible sole, then you are forcing too much motion through joints that may not be able to handle it because of previous injury, mechanical strain or arthritic changes. A shoe sole that is thick, rigid and non-flexible stops motion through foot joints, which decreases inflammation, pain, swelling and arthritic changes. Motion through foot joints promotes foot issues such as bunions, hammertoes, corns, ingrown toenails and can be the cause of everything from stress fractures, metatarsalgia, neuromas, and degenerative joint disease. Flexible-soled shoes can also cause more knee, hip, and lower back strain. It's like building a house - if you want a healthy roof, you better have a good foundation. If you want to have healthy knees, hips and less lower back strain, you need to create a solid, sturdy foundation for your skeletal frame by wearing shoes that have a thick, rigid and non-flexible sole. 

Secondly, your shoes should have a wide toebox. Shoes with tight toe boxes promote hammertoes, bunions, corns, Morton's Neuromas, and can make it impossible to get rid of fungal toenails. In fact, the only way I am able to get rid of fungal nail infections is getting the patient to wear better shoegear. Pressure on the toenails from tight shoes causes microtrauma to the toenail, which allows fungus to enter the toenail and spread the infection to other nails. 

A shoe also must have rearfoot control. If there is no rearfoot control or no strap around the back of the heel, then your tendons, muscles and joints have to work harder to stay in the shoe, which causes mechanical strain, tired leg syndrome and can make you more prone to injuries, particularly in the rearfoot and ankle. Not having rearfoot control can also cause more strain on the knees, hips, and lower back. 

The fourth component, which is arch support, is actually the least important factor. It is more important to have an excellent shoe with a thick, rigid and non-flexible sole, wide toebox, and rearfoot control. Of course, it is optimal to wear excellent arch support, but it is better to have an excellent shoe with no arch support or an excellent shoe with a decent over-the-counter arch support than to be wearing a flexible-soled shoe with custom-molded orthotics. I am probably one of the few Podiatrists who believes this, but in my experience - the sole of the shoe is controlling 100% of the foot joints while the orthotic is only controlling the rearfoot and the midfoot (because the front of the orthotic is only a topcover that is flexible). The forefoot area must be controlled by the sole of the shoe. Custom molded orthotics generally cost $400, so I tell my patients to spend that money on excellent shoes and we can put them in an excellent over-the-counter insert for $50 or a heat-molded insert for dress shoes for $75. In my opinion, the power is in the shoe!

The Eileen Fisher Chelsea Boot is recommended for patients with:
*Mild Bunions
*Mild Hammertoes
*Mild Morton's Neuroma 
*Hallux Limitus
*Functional Hallux Limitus 
*Hallux Rigidus
*Previous Lisfranc's Joint Injury 
*Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
*Mild Achilles Tendonitis
*Mild Posterior Tibial Tendonitis (wear with a heat molded or dress orthotic if possible)
*Mild Peroneal Tendonitis 
*Mild Arthritis
*Mild Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Mild to Moderate Over-Pronation (wear with orthotic if possible)

The Eileen Fischer Chelesa Boot is not recommended for patients with:
*Charcot Foot
*History of Foot Ulcerations
*Excessive Swelling
*Severe Bunions
*Severe Hammertoes
*High Insteps
*Bone Spurs on the top of the mid-foot area

If you have any of these conditions, check with your Podiatrist to see if the Chelsea boot is appropriate for you:
*Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
*Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
*Mild Foot Drop

For more information on proper shoes, check out these articles from my blog:

Shoe recommendations for patients recovering from Lisfranc's Injuries. 

My Feet Hurt! Top 10 things to relieve foot pain today.

I hope this was helpful!


Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy



Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. McCarthy! I've tried several of Eileen Fishers shoes/boots and find them usually impossible to get on!! I have a high arch/instep and almost all her footwear comes high on the foot and without zippers to open the shoe up so you can get it on! When she does have a zipper on a shoe it's always in the heel of the shoe which doesn't open the shoe enough. For some reason she dislikes side zippers! I tried the Chelsea boot which you just reviewed and found it completely impossible to get my foot in it! Sigh.....

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Anonymous!
Sorry it didn't work for you. I'll add 'high instep' to the 'not recommended' list.
Thanks for your input!!

dundun1021 said...

Hi Dr. Cathy,
I notice a lot of the recommended shoes are for only mild to moderate over pronation. I have severe pronation and haven't seen any recommendations for sandals or boots. I have the recommended new balance but I don't always want to wear gym shoes. My podiatrist just keeps telling me to wear good shoes. Any recommendations?

RoadRunner said...

I am so happy that I found your blog. Finally, a female podiatrist that can actually recommend some comfortable yet stylish shoes and boots! I have had bunions for a long time, I had a Morton's Neuroma (which has been removed) and I over-pronate. What brands of otc orthotics do you recommend for both casual and dress shoes? Also, what custom orthotic manufacturers do you recommend for casual/running shoes?

Also, do you have any recommendations for dress compression socks? I like EC3D sport compression socks because they kind of "hug" my arches and make my feet feel good. I haven't found any dress compression socks that I like. My current workaround is using self-adhering compression gauze that I wrap around my arches (for some reason, my arches feel great when I wrap the gauze up and around the arches of my feet but not so much when I wrap the gauze down and around the arches of my feet).

Finally, what are your thoughts on Taos and Rockport shoes and boots for people with foot conditions like mine?

Thanks so much!

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Dundun1021,
Sorry for the delayed response! You are really just looking for any shoes that meet the four criteria that a shoe has to have to be comfortable:

1. a thick, rigid and non-flexible sole
2. wide toebox
3. rearfoot control
4. arch support

For sandals, try the Wolky Rio, Tulip, or Jewel. Or you can try the Birkenstock sandals.

Thanks for reading the blog!

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi RoadRunner!
Sorry for the delayed response.
The best OTC arch support for sneakers if the full-length Powerstep.
The best OTC arch support for dress shoes is a heat-molded device that you can most likely get from your local podiatrist. It's thin and can be molded to your arch.
The best source of custom-molded orthotics is through your local podiatrist.
My favorite dress compression hosiery is Jobst 15mmHg knee highs (in black).

Taos and Rockport shoes are fine as long as they meet the four criteria that a shoe must have to be comfortable:
1. a thick, rigid and non-flexible sole (this is the most important!)
2. wide toebox
3. rearfoot control
4. arch support

And, of course, they have to be a good fit and comfortable to you!

Thanks for reading the blog!