I know they are cute, but…

The question of whether or not shoes cause foot deformities had been a highly debated topic within the podiatric community.

Okay, here comes a déjà vu moment… Dr. Oz is on and today it is about ‘your feet’. Not just yesterday, a co-worker sent a ‘flicked feet’ joke email to everyone in your office – all of this coming on the ‘heels’ of a progressive pain having had previously ignored a recommendation by your healthcare professional to consider support before style. You may ask ‘but what does that mean?’ It all stems from the footwear we outfit our street beaters with. I’m talking about the infamous pair of high heels, stilettos, and all-around pointy-toed shoes that have become the social convention for women throughout the decades.

The question of whether or not shoes cause foot deformities had been a highly debated topic within the podiatric community. However, we do know that other factors play a prominent role in the development of foot deformities such as genetics, biomechanics etc. Yet it’s safe to say that proper shoe gear has proven to be just as vital in preventing such deformities from making a mess of your foot. Honestly, most know what makes a ‘bad’ shoe. I often see my patients discretely (and sometimes not so discretely) nudge their pair of ‘foot offenders’, out of plain view, in hopes that I won’t notice.

I will admit I too used to wear much of the latest style of shoes that had me smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. As cute as they were and how flawlessly they matched my outfit, they hurt my feet like the dickens! Neither abnormal pressure, lack of support nor the act of contortion could change my conviction – I forced my foot to perform. What may begin to happen over time is the development of high pressure points that may cause pain, calluses or corns. Toes begin to adjust to being crammed and forced in unnatural positions which may lead to hammertoes, bunions, capsulitis and neuromas. A lack of support can cause shifts of pressure to increase in certain areas, producing arch pain, plantar fasciitis and tendonitis.

My goal is to not scare you into a pair of shoes shaped like a box and weigh a ton. I want to foster awareness and present a new way to see the role your shoes may play in your feet’s discomfort or deformity role. At the Shoe Fits, we have a certified shoe fitter who can make suggestions and help you find that ‘good’ shoe. We have doctors that are able to help you if you are already beginning to experience any of the ailments previously mentioned.

As it has been said, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’….

Dr. Daria Dalrymple, DPM