As a former dancer and current cute shoe enthusiast (let me just pop into Nordstroms and see what’s on sale…) I am admittedly not the poster child for healthy footwear. As a child I begged my mom for the latest cool boots instead of my dorky sadle oxfords even though getting them on my feet meant me lying on the bed and her using a pair of pliers and some serious muscle.
I am lucky to be genetically gifted with healthy, albeit wide, feet. I cannot say the same for several of my clients. If you suffer from hammer toes, bunions, plantar faciatis (or more often fasciosis according to Dr McClanahan, more on that later) or a host of other foot ailments, one solution may be changing your footwear.
Dr Ray McClanahan of Northwest Foot and Ankle here in Portland recommends shoes that are flat, wide across the toes, and flexible. He has a healthy shoe list on his website with millions of shoe options.
I admit I could go the rest of my life without seeing another adult in crocs, however the Noat mary janes are super cute.
Ok now back to the faciosis. Dr Ray claims that most people are misdiagnosed and that the tissue in your foot in not inflamed, it is suffering from lack of blood flow, or necrosis. In other words dead tissue (I know, gross). This may be the result of our toes being abducted and extended for long periods of time. Take a look at the toe spring in the front of a typical running shoe – not a recipe for happy feet.
I usually spend the majority of my day barefoot. I realize not all of us have this luxury. If you are suffering from unhappy feet experiment with one of these shoe styles and see if this brings you some pain relief.
I have several clients on a foot heath program that involves exercises, stretches, heat and ice. Contact me if you would like more information.