DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: proper footwear

From last month's Quarryman Challenge race in Lemont to the recent Bacon Chase 5K at Montrose Beach to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, there are plenty of races happening in the area during the warm months to keep runners active.

At DM Foot & Ankle Ankle, my colleague, Dr. Michelle Kim, and I see lots of runners in our Lemont office. They come to us with everything from heel pain to ankle sprains. And when it comes to running shoes, it seems the trend of running in minimalist shoes – think of the FiveFingers shoes made my Vibram – are giving way to footwear that's quite the opposite.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, some runners are giving up “barely there” shoes in favor of those offering “maximal cushioning” to help provide exercise without destroying the legs.

These types of shoes look like updated, more colorful models of orthopedic footwear – and the Post claims some have called them “clown shoes” – but nearly a half-dozen shoe makers, including Nike, Brooks and New Balance, recently started selling shoes with soles that are roughly 30 percent thicker than typical running shoes.

The Post reports the first company to offer the super-cushioned shoes was Hoka One One. The company’s president even touts the design, according to the Post, as “the most dramatic advance in running footwear in 30 years” because the shoes' soft ride may help runners whose legs have taken a beating over the years.

But this is not the first time a shoe company has made such claims. Makers of barefoot and minimalist shoes also said their footwear could prevent injury. Those at shoe company Vibram, makers of the FiveFingers shoe, agreed to refund $3.75 million to customer last month after a lawsuit accused the company of making claims that it couldn’t support – mainly that its shoes reduce injuries and strengthen foot muscles.

At DM Foot & Ankle, we know there are lots of choices when it comes to running shoes, and we are happy to offer advice based on your foot and ankle needs. Call our office if you need help picking out the right running footwear – we also offer pre-made and custom inserts that many runners find helpful.

Good luck as you put miles on your shoes this summer!

By Diana Emini

Winter may have been marked by repeat visits from the Polar Vortex, but now that spring has arrived, the constant snow is likely to be replaced by rain. After all, that old saying “April showers bring May flowers,” had to come from somewhere.

 

When the weather is wet, it's important to keep your feet warm and dry. Not only are wet shoes and socks uncomfortable, but damp feet can lead to fungal problems such as Athlete's Foot. And since April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, it's a perfect time to remember the importance of foot care.

 

A great – and fashionable -- way to care for your feet during damp days is by investing in a good pair of rain boots. Some companies – Hunter is just one example – make removable fleece rain boot liners for chilly spring days.

 

If you are in the market for rain boots this spring, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Comfort is key. Rain boots can be cute, but don't sacrifice comfort -- especially if you're planning to wear the boots for a good amount of time or walk long distances. It's especially important that the boots keep you warm and dry, don't hurt your feet and provide support.

     

  • Don't forget size. Rain boots that fit the feet may be too tight or too big around the calves. In those cases, see if the boot can be adjusted around the leg. Don't forget to try on boots with socks to make sure they fit well and are comfortable for walking. There are also plenty of styles of rain boots that end below the calf for those who prefer a shorter boot option.

     

  • Quality counts. Rain boots come in a variety of colors, styles and prices. Choose one that's good quality and seems to be long-lasting and weatherproof enough to withstand puddles and showers.

 

As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I see how ill-fitting shoes can lead to injuries and foot damage. Call our Lemont office or make an appointment if you need help choosing rain boots or any other type of shoe. We also offer inserts that can give your boots extra support.

 

Enjoy the warmer weather and stay dry when showers strike!

 

By Diana Emini

 

Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker recently appeared at downtown Chicago's Nordstrom store to promote her shoe and handbag line, SJP Collection.

 

One of the shoes is even named “Carrie,” the character she played on the HBO series about single, shoe-loving women in New York.

 

In addition to her shoe line, Parker and “Sex and the City” cast-mate Kristin Davis, have made news recently about the show's high-heeled footwear that was practically a character all its own.

 

As a result of daily filming in footwear from Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, Parker recently admitted that she caused permanent damage to her feet.

 

I literally ran in heels. I worked 18-hour days and never took them off. I wore beautiful shoes, some made better than others, and never complained,” she said, according to the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper.

 

In addition, after twisting her ankle on the set of a film, her podiatrist gave her some harsh news.

 

I went to a foot doctor and he said, ‘Your foot does things it shouldn’t be able to do. That bone there – you’ve created that bone. It doesn’t belong there,'” she said, according to the newspaper.

 

Meanwhile, fellow actress Davis Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte in the series, apologized to the Telegraph this month, saying she regrets that the show encouraged women to squeeze into too-tall stilettos on a daily basis.

 

I do feel guilt about the heels,” she told the paper. "It did seem we were trying to say to women, ‘You should be wearing heels like these’... "But we definitely weren’t...”

 

In fact, the actress admitted she now wears flats as often as possible, and when she does put on heels, it hurts.

 

As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle, Dr. Michelle Kim and I don't recommend that women wear high heels on a daily basis – instead we suggest the shoes be saved for special occasions. As the ladies of “Sex and the City” have learned, they can cause corns, severe heel pain and even cracks in the bones of the foot.

 

Call our Lemont office if you're having pain from high heels. We can also offer supportive inserts that can fit into your dress shoes.

 

Meanwhile, if you're thinking about buying a pair of shoes from Parker's new line, just remember that while the collection includes stilettos, it also offers flats.

 

 

By Diana Emini

Since Sunday's ceremony, the Oscars have been talked about everywhere from E! News to morning talk shows to Facebook and folks around the water cooler.

 

This year's ceremony lent itself to plenty of memorable moments – from the “Oscar selfie” starring Bradley Cooper, Meryl Steep, Jennifer Lawrence and other A-listers that host Ellen DeGeneres shared on Twitter to John Travolta introducing “Frozen” singer Idina Menzel as “Adela Dazeem” to traditional talk about the fashions, this year's ceremony became an instant part of pop culture.

 

As usual, many celebrities wore long gowns paired with tall high heels. While the fashions are always debated, as podiatrists, we know for sure that sporting Oscar-style shoes on a regular basis is a less-than-glamorous way to treat your feet.

 

That's because humans are naturally meant to walk heel-to-toe with legs at roughly a 90-degree angle to the foot. High heels alter the position of the foot and how it functions. In short, that means problems can happen.

 

For one, the shoes can cause corns to develop under the balls of the foot where body weight presses down – for some women, this can create the sensation of stepping on small stones as they walk.

 

Meanwhile, pointy high heels that squeeze the toes can lead to neuromas (in essence, pinched nerves;) tightening of the Achilles tendon (the band that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone;) severe heel pain and even stress fractures or cracks in the bones of the foot.

 

At DM Foot and Ankle, my colleague, Dr. Michelle Kim, and I advise women to avoid wearing tall high heels and stilettos. However, we know that some ladies have jobs that require dressy shoes or are reluctant to give up high heels. In these situations, we suggest a bigger, chunkier heel or wedge to lessen the chance of ankle sprains or injuries. We also offer supportive inserts that can fit into many heels and dress shoes.

 

If you are suffering from pain from high heels or stilettos, or are interested in getting inserts for your dress shoes, call our Lemont office. We can help with any pain or problems and help you protect your feet so you can enjoy everyday life – and maybe get out there and see a few new Oscar-winning movies!

 

By Diana Emini

 

In the middle of winter, your shoes of choice right now may be snowboots and Uggs. But with Groundhog Day approaching on Feb. 2nd, we hope it won't be long before you can get outdoors and enjoy warm-weather spots such as Navy Pier, the Brookfield Zoo or Lemont's Centennial Pool.

 

As the seasons change, so do many people's footwear. Unfortunately, at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Diani Emini and I see many patients with foot pain or injuries from wearing the wrong shoes.

 

Here's a look at a few popular shoe types, and some of the ways they can harm the feet.

 

Ballet flats

Problem: These simple slip-ons may feel comfy, but they don't support the feet and can lead to pain.  They lack arch support and typically have very little insole padding.  People think because it is not a heeled shoe, it is better for them, but this super flat shoe is sometimes just as bad.

Solution: We have dressy fit orthotics that can work in the littlest of shoes.

 

Stilettos

Problem:  These tall, trendy shoes are stylish. But the price of looking good has its downside:  the narrow forefoot cramps those toes and can cause worsening of bunions and hammertoes.  The skinny heel does not offer much in balance and throws all the weight of the foot on the ball – causing neuromas and other joint inflammatory conditions. 

Solution:  A chunky heel or wedged heel are better optionsbecause they have more surface area and re-distribute the weight more evenly. Don't be fooled – these shoes still place stress on the ball of the foot, but the risk or tripping or spraining an ankle may be reduced.  Save the stilettos for those special occasions only.

 

Worn-out shoes

Problem:  Those pair of running shoes you’ve had for years or the old Chuck Taylors you keep wearing can make existing foot problems worse.  Just because they look OK on the outside doesn't mean the inner lining and overall structure of the shoe are still in good condition.  Most likely, they are worn down and are not offering you any shock absorption or support.

Solution: Thow away that too-old pair of shoes. If you need advice on finding a new pair, simply ask one of us at DM Foot and Ankle, or visit a store that specializes in running or walking shoes.

 

Flip flops

Problem:  These easy to slip-on sandals lack support, and your feet have to work extra hard to keep them on.  Over time, these can cause foot pain or tendon strain.

Solution: Choose a pair of sporty, fitted sandals that have a built-in arch support with a rigid sole.  While you shouldn’t go walking long distances in these, they are a great alternative to those rubber thongs that so many people love.

 

By Michelle Kim