If the Shoe Fits: Fall & Winter Shoes Might Not Be a Perfect Fit!!
One of the best things about a new fashion season — particularly fall– is that it brings with it new trends in accessories, particularly shoes. The arrival of Fall 2008 will bring with it chic shoes that delitght and give you lots of choices. Among the most eye-catching trends will be sleek silhouettes such as ultra-high heels, menswear-inspired oxfords, classic boots of all heights and modest flats swathed in rich jewel hues and glamorous embellishments.
However not all that glitters is gold or a better metaphor might be your eyes might be bigger than your stomach or in this case more chic and not focusing on the wearability of the shoes. The variety of looks, according to board-certified New York City podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong , often pack a mighty punch
Check out the tips– and warnings- from Dr. Zong, so that you can can avoid any problematic shoe purchases that could cause the “agony of de-feet”. (sorry.. it just popped up!)
“One of the leading causes of foot problems, from painful conditions to visible deformities, are high heels and other uncomfortable footwear,” says Dr. Zong. “Since most women are unwilling to sacrifice their stylish footwear, I often help them figure out how to make the necessary compromises for their lifestyle to minimize the amount of pain they suffer and prevent lasting injuries.”
Reemerging this fall with be Antarctic-inspired duds to protect from the winter chill. will Once again be the flat soled, sheepskin lined boots is popping up on the fashion landscape and while they may be more comfortable than a pair of stilettos, they are notorious for causing foot problems like plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by the inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the toes. It causes stabbing or burning pain that’s most pronounced early in the morning because the tissue tightens overnight. The thin and flimsy soles often found in winter’s sheepskin boots lack arch support. These boots are primarily to blame for plantar fasciitis because they fail to provide adequate shock absorption to protect the tissue.
The good news is that in most cases, says Dr. Zong, plantar fasciitis can be overcome without invasive surgeries. For those who won’t part with their boots, Dr. Zong suggests investing in an over-the-counter orthodic to give the boot some shock absorption.
“These boots, while they may be incredibly warm and water proof provide just about no arch support,” says Dr. Zong. “My patients have been very successful both in treating and preventing plantar fasciitis as well as holding onto their boot.”
Oxford Style High Heels
One of the best aspects of wearing an oxford style shoe is that the foot is very secure and unlikely to trip or roll. . Dr. Zong warns that the very same trait is also to blame for one of the most painful and noticeable foot deformities: the bunion
. “A bunion results when the big toe becomes misaligned and turns toward the remaining toes,” cautions Dr. Zong. “The bump is actually additional bone formation and any shoe, but especially high heels because they add pressure to that area, with very narrow toe casings are the major culprits.”
Dr. Zong admits that he’s never convinced a woman to banish their favorite shoe to prevent bunions, but says that limiting the amount of time feet spend in super tight and narrow shoes can make all the difference
. If you heed the signs of pain, a bunion can be avoided. However, Dr. Zong warns, once the bunion appears it can only be removed through surgery.
Another pain-inducing aspect of oxfords, maryjanes and other styles that feature panels across and around the slope of the foot, is the amount of pressure they exert.
“Women are accustomed to wearing high-heels that grip the foot at the toe and at the ankle, and the newer styles that sheath the foot add pressure where they aren’t used to feeling it,” explains Dr. Zong, adding that often they are paired with sky-high heels. “It causes everything from subtle discomfort to major pain as the muscles below the arch are strained when women instinctively try to stretch the fabric by extending their foot even more.”
Dr. Zong’s best advice in this case is to admit defeat: there are shoe styles that simply aren’t made for walking and these are definitely among them. Wear them when you know you won’t be hiking far. (in other words, use the valet, and find a place to sit often. Don’t plan on standing all night.)
Open Toed Booties
Open toed shoes, particularly booties, were popular in summer and going to continue right through winter. Most of these open-toe styles feature a high heel punctuated by a narrow opening which becomes for disaster– the dreaded ingrown toenails.
“The pressure that the heel and the small opening put on the toes causes the nail to grow abnormally,” explains Dr. Zong, adding the problem can become much more serious. “Fungal infections thrive in the presence of ingrown toenails and the pain can become very severe.” (If there is fungus, do realize prompt medical treatment is necessary and it may take months to recover from this via oral and topical medication)
The best way, according to Dr. Zong, to prevent an ingrown toenail is to ensure that your shoe fits properly and lay off a troublesome pair until any early signs are addressed and healed. Dr. Zong states that if caught in time, ingrown toenails are easily corrected but if left untreated, they can require surgery.
Open toe shoes for winter is a new trend and one has to think about your local weather (.When was the last time you wore open toe shoes in snow and frigid weather? )
Snow, very cold temperatures and rain can damage a person’s feet.
“The biology of the foot changes when it’s constricted by a shoe leaving it more prone to numbness,” cautions Dr. Zong. “The pressure of the shoe combines with the low temperature and feet can loose sensation pretty quick. Whenever your feet are exposed in cold temperatures, just make sure to be conscious of how vulnerable they are.”.
Now you have all the health information to make informed decisions as you test drive all these great shoes for fall and holiday. If you are spending $$ on great shoes, you want to have happy feet not in just how they look but how they feel.
Thanks to Dr. Zong for all his input on this piece. I never realized just how much difference a well a shoe fits makes — or weather either!
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