How Do Your Favorite Shoes Stack up? Short-term and Long-term Health Effects of Popular Types of Shoes



“Rocker” Shoes

“These shoes are great for people with arthritis, but for the average foot, they can be detrimental. They prevent normal ambulation and can be very unstable on ice and snow.”
–    Dr. Marlene Reid, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association

Foot Doctors give the scoop on whether Rocker Shoes are good for your feet or cause other problems.“I usually recommend these shoes to patients who have osteoarthritis of the tarsometatarsal joint or suffer from hallux rigidus. The rocker sole does the majority of the work during propulsion, which decreases the stress at the tarsometatarsal joint and great toe. This shoe has been adapted from the shoe modification used in patients with Charcot arthropathy (arch collapse).”
(Rated rocker shoes 4th on a 13-point scale of 1-Best :: 13-Worst)
–    Dr. Melissa Hong, podiatric expert at Crystal Lake Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, LTD

Rocker shoes often change ambulation patterns and can lead to an unstable gait.”
–    Dr. Jane Andersen, Board Certified Podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC

Going Barefoot

Is going barefoot bad for you? Find out!“If your foot is a perfect foot, walking barefoot would be fine as long as you are indoors and on protected surfaces. Most feet need the support (and protection) that carefully constructed shoes offer.”
–    Dr. Marlene Reid, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association

“Your feet need to be protected from environmental factors such as heat/cold and from foreign objects. Shoes provide support and protection. Going barefoot puts you at increased risk of injury (puncture wounds, blisters, frostbite, burns) and trauma.”
(Rated going barefoot 13th on a 13-point scale of 1-Best :: 13-Worst)
–    Dr. Melissa Hong, podiatric expert at Crystal Lake Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, LTD

***

“In summary, foot pain is not normal,” advises Dr. Robin Ross, podiatrist and New York State Podiatric Medical Association. “If you have foot pain, see your Podiatrist – the foot specialist – right away. The Podiatrist can offer options to allow you to walk pain-free, which may include a recommendation regarding shoe gear, medication, orthoses (custom made inserts to hold your feet in the corrected position as you walk), or even surgery, if warranted.

“When wearing fashionable shoes exercise common sense,” she adds. “Wear a good running shoe for most activities, or to a fashionable event or work, and then change into the shoe that compliments your outfit. If a shoe does not feel completely comfortable when you are trying it on, then chances are it won’t get any better after they are purchased. Before you break-in the shoe, it will most likely ‘break’ your feet. When in doubt, see your Podiatrist.”

About the Experts:
Dr. Marlene Reid is a specialist in women’s foot health and a long time spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Dr. Reid is one of the leading podiatric experts in the US, currently practicing in Naperville, Illinois. She is also the APMA’s current Chair for the public education and information committee. For more information, check out Dr. Reid’s blog at http://womensfoothealth.blogspot.com.

Dr. Melissa Hong is a podiatric expert at Crystal Lake Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, LTD. in Crystal Lake, IL. After graduating from Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, IL., she completed a comprehensive training residency in forefoot and rearfoot reconstructive surgery at Loyola Medical Center and the Edward Hines VA Hospital. For more information, please see http://www.cuttingedgeortho.com/home.php.

Dr. Jane Andersen is a Board Certified Podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC.  She is a member of the Public Education and Information Committee of the APMA and the Past President of the American Association for Women Podiatrists, Inc. For more information, please see http://www.chapelhillfootandankle.com/bio_2.html.

Dr. Robin Ross is a podiatrist and an association member from Shelter Island, NY. The New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) named her the President Elect on the Board of Trustees. Since 2001, Dr. Ross has been a member of the Board, serving as treasurer from 2007 to 2008 and vice-president from 2008 to 2009. She is board certified in podiatric surgery. In 1992, Dr. Ross began a private practice in Brooklyn, NY and currently has an office on Shelter Island, NY.

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2 thoughts on “How Do Your Favorite Shoes Stack up? Short-term and Long-term Health Effects of Popular Types of Shoes

  1. Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst.”;-`

  2. I’m super petite and it’s hard for me to stay way from high heels and wedges,it’s the only way to add height to my small body frame… 🙁 I wish i’m tall so i can avoid these risky stilletos… 😥

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