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Posts for category: Footwear

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
October 15, 2012
Category: Footwear


Flip Flop FeetAs the temperatures rise and the weather begins to heat up, many will stay cool by slipping on a pair of their favorite flip-flops.   Whether you are hitting the beach, or simply walking around town, flip-flops are often our selected footwear of choice for those hot, summer months.  Unfortunately, wearing flip-flops can lead to painful foot ailments including cuts and abrasions, broken toes, and painful sprains.  Flip-flops that are widely purchased today can be extremely unsafe for your feet. 

Some flip-flops can be cushioned, which lead people to believe that they are good for your feet, but most offer little to no arch support.  Flip-flops can also be very flimsy, which causes them to breakdown quickly.  Shoes that do not offer proper arch support can lead to biomechanical abnormalities starting when the heel strikes the ground.  This, in turn, can lead to pain felt in the joints of your foot and ankle, as well as in the knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and neck.  If you are to wear flip-flops, wear them with caution and in moderation.  It is important to assess how long you can wear flip-flops on an individual basis and to be aware of the effects they can have on your body.

Tension for Your Toes

Wearing flip-flops may feel like the next-best thing to going barefoot, but your feet are working a lot harder than you may realize.  By wearing flip-flops, you are forcing a change in your walking stride.  With each step you take, your toes pull down on the shoe to stabilize the foot against the ground because your foot has to work harder to keep the flip-flop on. Forcing your toes to act in this unnatural manner can cause toe pain and even stubbed toes.

ProblematicHeel Pain

It is estimated by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, that about 15 percent of all adult foot injuries involve plantar fasciitis, which is an awful pain that is caused by the tissue over stretching from your heel through the arch to the toes.  By wearing flip-flops, you are increasing your risk of developing heel pain.  While many people don’t want to give up flip-flips, it is important to understand that if you are going to the beach, then wear your flip-flops.  However, if you are going to the mall or even an amusement park don’t wear them. 

Wear the Right Shoes for Your Activity

When choosing footwear for summer, or vacation, it is important to follow these guidelines for healthy feet:

  • Shoes should be lightweight and ventilated.
  • Have an extra pair of shoes and alternate between them daily so that each pair has a chance to dry out completely.
  • Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton, as acrylic draws moisture away from the feet.
  • Change your socks at least once a day.

Flip-flops should not be worn as everyday shoes—they are meant for the beach and the pool, not for everyday walking, as they do not give you any arch support, which makes your feet more prone to injuries.  Wearing flip-flops for an occasional stroll may be fine, but you should never overdo it.

If you feel pain in your foot or ankle, visit Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish for further diagnosis and treatment.  You can prevent painful foot conditions and injuries by wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding flip-flips. 

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
September 17, 2012
Category: Footwear

Back To School FootwearBackpacks, paper, pencils and clothes are just a few of the things your youngster may need before the start of a new school year. When shopping for your child during back-to-school season and throughout the year, don’t forget to add proper fitting shoes to your shopping list.  

Your child’s feet are rapidly changing and growing. In fact, feet grow so fast when kids are young that parents are often surprised at how often they need to change shoes sizes to accommodate the growth.  

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, parents should consider a few things when selecting shoes for their little one. Remember these tips the next time you buy a new pair of shoes for your child:

  • Proper size. Poor-fitting footwear can lead to irritation and other problems, so always measure your child’s feet before buying a new pair of shoes.  Because feet are seldom the same size, always buy shoes for your child’s larger foot.
     
  • Avoid sharing shoes.  Hand-me-down shoes can spread fungi such as nail fungus and athlete’s foot.
     
  • Index finger. As a general rule, leave an index finger's width from the top of the big toe to the end of the shoe.
     
  • Breathing room. Buy shoes made of natural, breathable fabrics that are soft and pliable like your child’s feet.
     
  • Test them out. Always bring your child with you to the store to try on shoes before purchasing a new pair. When testing out shoes, the child should wear the socks that they would normally wear to ensure proper fit.  Have your child walk around the store for comfort and fit.
     
  • Examine the shoe itself.Your child’s shoe should have a firm heel counter, adequate cushioning of the insole, good flexibility and a built-in arch.

Feet are an important, but often overlooked, part of the body.  Since kids’ feet are soft and pliable, they are subject to abnormal pressures at a young age that can easily cause foot problems and deformity.  By promoting healthy footwear choices and consulting your Sammamish podiatrist whenever you suspect your child has a foot problem, you can ensure healthy development of feet.

Running Shoes

If you’re a runner, then you know that your shoes are an integral piece of equipment when it comes to comfort, performance and injury prevention.  Your foot type and function will determine which type of running shoe will be best for your unique needs and training regimen. A shoe must properly fit the shape and design of your foot before you can train in it comfortably.

There are several factors to consider when searching for a new running shoe. These may include:

  • Foot structure
  • Foot function
  • Body type
  • Existing foot problems
  • Biomechanical needs
  • Training regimen
  • Environmental factors
  • Previously worn running shoe

Failing to replace old, worn shoes is a major cause of running injuries, as old shoes gradually lose their stability and shock absorption capacity. The typical lifespan of a pair of running shoes is approximately 500 miles. It’s important to keep track of their mileage to avoid overuse.

Helpful tips for choosing your shoes include:

  • Go to a reputable shoe store that specializes in running footwear
  • Bring your old/current running shoes with you
  • Know your foot type, shape as well as any problems you’ve previously experienced
  • Have your feet measured
  • Wear the same socks you wear when training
  • Try on both shoes, and give them a test run

If you’re a beginning runner and just starting your training regimen, then it’s a good idea to visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for an evaluation. Your podiatrist will examine your feet, identify potential problems, and discuss the best running shoes for your foot structure and type.Seasoned runners should also visit their Sammamish podiatrist periodically to check for potential injuries.

Don’t allow poor shoes choices derail your training program and jeopardize your running goals.  A proper-fitting running shoe is an invaluable training tool that allows you to perform your best without injury or pain. The correct footwear, in combination with a proper training routine and professional attention from a skilled Sammamish podiatrist is the key to minimizing faulty foot mechanicsand maximizing your performance.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
January 16, 2012
Category: Footwear

Athletic ShoesNo matter what sport you play, the type of shoe you wear while playing your favorite game is one of your most important pieces of equipment.  Choosing the most appropriate, supportive athletic shoes for your specific sport and foot structure can make a huge difference in keeping your feet healthy and comfortable while improving your performance.  Serious back, knee, hip and heel pain; Achilles tendonitis; fractures; and painful blisters are some of the common conditions faced by athletes wearing the wrong footwear.  

From soccer and tennis to golf and basketball, the structure of your foot and any abnormalities should be considered when selecting a proper shoe for your activity.  Look for a shoe that combines flexibility, support and cushioning to absorb impact and lessen shock on the feet.   Before selecting an athletic shoe, it is always recommended to consult Howard Schaengold, DPM for a professional evaluation of your foot type, any underlying deformities and helpful shoe buying tips.

Types of Shoes

There are unique variations in the way different athletic shoes support your feet.  This means that it’s not good to play football in the same shoes you use for jogging. Your feet require different support for different activities and movement.

A good sports shoe should be fitted to support the foot in position that is most natural to the movement required.  For instance, a running shoe is designed to accommodate high impact while a shoe built for tennis or basketball provides a combination of flexibility and sideways support.

Out with the Old

Like most things, your athletic shoes will wear out after a period of time. An old, worn out shoe is a common cause of sport-related injuries.  If you run, track your mileage to determine when your shoes have endured too much activity, and when you notice obvious wearing of the soles or you sense a lack of cushioning from the shoes, it may be time to buy a new pair.

Remember, the best pair of athletic footwear doesn’t have to be expensive to support the needs of your feet and body during a workout.  There are numerous shoes available that will fit both your needs and your budget. When you’re feet are protected by the right footwear, you can reduce the likelihood of injury.  Visit our Sammamish office for an evaluation and shoe recommendations.