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Posts for category: Shoe Gear

This is a nice article recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association on choosing the right shoes for women.

Summer is right around the corner and Carolina Foot Specialists would like to give recommendations for excellent sports/casual women's sandals. It is important to remember that when you are in one of the local shoe stores trying on the shoe, check each shoe to make sure that the sole is thick and rigid with as little bend as possible across the ball of the foot and there should be no motion across the arch area.

  1. Keen Venice H2: Keen's Venice H2 is a great sandal for many reasons. It has a thick, rigid protective sole with excellent added toe protection as well as excellent forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control. It's a great sandal to wear at the beach and even into the water.
  1. Ecco Yukaton: This is a popular shoe with many of our patients due to it's comfort, decent price and the fact that it's light weight, good looking and versatile. It has a thick and relatively rigid sole with adjustable forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control
  1. Abeo Hungtington Neurtral: This is a very similar sandal to the Ecco Yucaton in it's build, weight and recommendations. This sandal is approved by the American Medical Podiatric Association and provides good biomechanical control of the foot and ankle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4)    Easy Spirit Women’s heel Riser: If you like the Fit-Flop - this is much better. It has an   awesome sole that is thick, rigid and light.
  2. Chaco Z/2 Vibram Unasweep: This is a great sandal with fabulous arch support and a thick rigid protective sole.If you have painful bunions or Tailor's bunions - be careful that the straps do not cut across them which can cause more irritation and discomfort.
  3. Bite Orthosport: This sandal has a removable foot bed that will accommodate orthotics. Great arch support!
  1. Keen’s Newport H2: Another great Keen Sandal! This sandal offers even more biomechanical control and protection of the foot and ankle than the Venice H2. It has a thick, rigid, and protective sole as well as an excellent forefoot guard for the toes and wonderful forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot
  2. Sketcher Shape-Up X: It's frustrating when I hear the bad press on Sketcher Shape-Ups! Although there are some patients who I would never put in a rocker-bottom soled shoe, the majority patients wearing this shoe will greatly benefit from it. Patients who should not wear a rocker-bottom shoe are: anyone with balance issues, anyone with Achilles Tendonitis, the elderly, anyone with nerve damage that causes muscle or leg weakness.
  1. Taos Rockstep II: This is another great rocker-bottom soled sandal. I like the extra arch support that is built into the sandal and I also like the aesthetics.
  1. MBT Katika: The MBT's are a bit  but look at it as an investment as it may save them not just pain but also money in doctor's bills for painful feet, knees, hip and lower back. Good shoes are crucial to keeping joints healthy! So, as we get older, we can keep out joints healthy and protected so that we can stay active and do all the activities we love to do!



By drsaffer
May 25, 2010
Category: Shoe Gear

Flip-flops tied to surge in teenage heel pain

Many of us are welcoming the warmer weather sporting flip-flop sandals; however, their popularity among teens and young adults is responsible for a growing epidemic of heel pain in this population.
We are seeing increasing cases of heel pain in the 15 to 25 years old, a group that usually doesn't have this problem. A major contributor is wearing flip-flop sandals with paper-thin soles everyday to school. Flip-flops have no arch support and can accentuate any abnormal biomechanics in foot motion, and this eventually brings pain and inflammation."
Our practice recommends wearing sandals with reasonably strong soles and arch support. Such as the "Chaco" style sandals.
Especially for girls and young women, thicker soled sandals with supportive arches might not be considered stylish, but if you want to wear sandals most of the time, you'll avoid heel pain if you choose sturdier, perhaps less fashionable styles.
It is estimated that 15 percent of all adult foot complaints involve plantar fasciitis, the type of heel pain caused by chronic inflammation of the connective tissue extending from the heel bone to the toes. Being overweight and wearing inappropriate footwear are common contributing factors.
The pain is most noticeable after getting out of bed in the morning, and it tends to decrease after a few minutes and returns during the day as time on the feet increases. Not all heel pain, however, is caused by plantar fasciitis. It also can occur from inflammation of the Achilles tendon, bursitis, arthritis, gout, stress fractures, or irritation of one or more of the nerves in the region. Therefore, diagnosis by a foot doctor to rule out other causes is advised.
Initial treatment options for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis should include anti-inflammatory medications, padding and strapping of the foot and physical therapy. Patients also should stretch their calf muscles regularly, avoid wearing flat shoes and walking barefoot, use over-the-counter arch supports and heel cushions, and limit the frequency of extended physical activities.
Most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to non-surgical treatment within six weeks. However, surgery is sometimes necessary to relieve severe, persistent pain.


December 20, 2009
Category: Shoe Gear
Tags: Orthotics  

Carolina Foot specialists link for our state of the art digital orthotic scanner.

Don't compromise your game!
The right foot gear will keep you performing your best and injury free.

By Dr. Andrew Saffer

During a ten mile run, the feet make approximately 15,000 strikes, at a force of three to four times your body's weight. Even strolling around your neighborhood for an evening walk puts about one and a half times your bodyweight on your feet. The average non-athletic person will log approximately 1,000 miles per year on their feet. Twenty six bones work with the foot's ligaments, muscles and tendons in two very small structures to support and balance the weight of your entire body. And you thought they were just feet.

Whether you're training for the Bridge Run, playing tennis, or even golf, it's essential to make sure that your feet are comfortable and protected. It's important to remember that foot problems are not only menacing to your feet but can also affect the proper functioning of other parts of the body, including the hip, knee, and back. Because these injuries are progressive, you are probably not even aware of the damage that you're doing.

Before we go any further let's discuss common foot disorders that could be problematic over time and some basic treatment options. A majority of foot pain is the result of a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot. Incorrect alignment can result in significant discomfort. This abnormal function can lead to foot disorders such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain), achilles tendonitis, bunions, hammertoes, and calluses.

Many of these common "overuse" injuries can be attributed directly or indirectly to improper shoes. Choosing appropriate footwear will not only help prevent injuries but will also let you participate to the best of your ability.

For example, with respect to running shoes it is essential that your specific foot type matches the construction of the running shoe. Pain can result when the shoes' construction doesn't match your foot type. All shoes are constructed from a "last" which is the inside shape of the shoe. Generally, running shoes have a straight last, modified last, or a curved last.

If you have been told that you have a flat arch then you would most benefit from a straight last shoe which maintains support beneath the arch. If you have a high arch foot you would benefit from a curved last shoe which provides more cushioning. If your feet are neutral then you should choose a modified last shoe. Fortunately, most athletic shoe stores employ people who have knowledge of the factors that go into choosing the right pair of shoes.

For some, the right shoe is only half the battle. Custom molded orthotics are prescription medical devices that can be made from various techniques such as plaster cast impression, foam boxes, and our new state of the art technique, "Three dimensional digital scanning."They are designed to control alignment and function of the foot in order to treat or prevent injury-causing forces on bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Often, orthotics are used to limit motions such as excessive pronation where your arch may tend to collapse inward. They also make activities such as running, walking, and standing more efficient. Orthotics work like shock absorbers to remove pressure and stress from painful areas in your foot and ankle. They can restore balance, improve sport performance and even alleviate pain in the knee, hip, and lower back. Orthotics are sport specific and different sports may require different orthotics (golf shoes, cycling shoes, tennis sneakers, ski boots, etc.)

Forgive my digression but it should also be noted that in addition to providing relief from painful foot problems or injury, custom orthotics may also benefit people who must walk or stand excessively on the job. In the case of overweight individuals, orthotics can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet, as minor problems are often magnified due to increased weight and stress.

Our new state of the art digial scanner system captures a digital scan of the feet, in a neurtal stance position. The three dimensional image is sent to our orthotic technicians via email. Based on our specific prescription, the technicians customize a device to meet the patient's specific needs.

The orthotic style most often used in athletes is semi-rigid. It allows for dynamic balance of the foot while running or participating in sports. By guiding the foot through proper functions, it allows the muscles and tendons to perform more efficiently. It is constructed of layers of soft materials, reinforced with more rigid materials.

You may be surprised to find that your insurance company will fully or partially cover custom orthotics. Many insurance companies are beginning to recognize that for some, orthotics can be an effective tool in eliminating pain and promoting the overall health and well being of the foot and therefore the rest of the body.

As you gear up for Spring, make sure that you have the appropriate shoes paired with an orthotic device (if necessary) so that the muscles, tendons and bones of your feet function at their highest potential.

You can find more information about this topic and others online at