Where fashion meets comfort

By Bruce Pinker, DPM

We’ve all heard the expression “No pain, no gain.” It may hold true in some instances, but beautiful shoes do not have to be painful. Podiatrists maintain that your feet should never hurt, yet 53 percent of women experience foot pain, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Some of the most common foot and ankle ailments include bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis (or jogger’s heel, affecting the heel and underside of the foot) and ankle sprains.

Most of these concerns can be avoided by wearing proper-fitting footwear. However, 88 percent of women in the United States wear shoes that are too small. This is compounded by the fact that pretty pointy-toe pumps promote bunions and hammertoes, sexy sandals with minimal support can lead to heel pain and plantar fasciitis, and high heels can spark a sprain in an ankle. But as a podiatrist with years of experience, I know Cinderella and Dorothy were on to something: Women like their shoes.

Just look at the some of the feet of the famous. Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes, Oprah and even the high priestess of fashion footwear, Sarah Jessica Parker, all wear sensational shoes and all purportedly suffer from tortured tootsies. For years, women have been willing to grin and bear it in the name of Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, among others.

In addition to the discomfort found in many current, high-fashion styles, many of today’s shoes are not well-constructed. The materials aren’t durable and there is minimal cushion and support. While many of my patients longed for lovely shoes, they felt they had to sacrifice today’s popular looks for more matronly comfort.  No cage booties or peep-toe pumps for them.

Considering all of this, I developed a line of finely crafted, bespoke footwear, called Dr. D-LuCS, which debuts this month. The line of finely crafted footwear – available in pumps, sandals and boots – provides style coupled with comfort and unique design. In order to achieve the perfect fit, patients begin the process with a personal, computerized gait analysis from which we are able to construct a custom-made orthotic.

The orthotic is inserted in each shoe to ensure maximum fit and comfort in a beautifully designed shoe of the customer’s choice. Our clientele has the freedom to choose all the details of the footwear, thus empowering women to be confident and elegant from the ground up.

While providing fashion and function in a pair of shoes is the goal, my priority is always to get patients caring for their feet in the proper way. Check out these tips to keep you comfortably “on your toes”:

• Stretching is essential to having pain-free feet. A simple five-minute routine not only feels great, it can loosen the muscles, tendons and ligaments that commonly tighten up. This allows more flexibility and better functionality.

• Regular moisturizing keeps feet healthy. Applying a good foot lotion or cream regularly will remove the build-up of dry, hard calluses that can become painful and slow us down.

• Use good soap sense. Use nondrying soap such as Dove, which will also rehydrate your skin and improve its texture. And don’t forget to wash between your toes.

• Don’t wear the same pair. Alternate. Even if it means having two pairs of your favorite flats or gussied-up Gladiators, shoes need to air out  to avoid foot odor or infections.

• Maintain a healthy heel height. The average woman has nine pairs of high heels. That’s OK by me, but for maximum foot comfort, a heel height of 2½ inches or less is recommended.

• See a podiatrist for persistent problems. You can certainly trim your toenails or massage an achy foot, but for pain that doesn’t go away, consult a professional.

For more, visit drd-lucs.com.

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