After hanging out all summer in sandals, some women cringe at the thought of going back to close-toed shoes. While most women look forward to shopping for new shoes, for women with foot problems new kicks are the last thing on their mind.

Here are the three most common foot problems that make particular closed-toed shoes a problem:


While you can have bunions when you're young, most women develop bunions as they age. Faulty foot mechanics (e.g. flat feet) and bad habits such as wearing high heels, pointy-toed shoes, or shoes that are too tight take their toll over time. Bunions don't form overnight, but after many years of putting more weight on the ball of the foot will cause them to progress.

The important thing is to catch them early so that they don't get worse. Choose shoes with heels once inch or lower that provide wiggle room in the toe box.


Hammertoes affect the joints of the baby toes by bending abnormally. Toes look like an upside down "V" and cause pain when rubbing up against the top of shoes, ball of foot pain at the base of the hammertoe, and corns and calluses between the toes.

My shoe advice is the same as for bunions. In addition, look for shoes with more depth in the toe box so toes don't rub against the top of the shoe.

Morton's Neuroma

Women experiencing burning, numbness, or tingling in the ball of the foot and most often between the 3rd and 4th toes most likely have Morton's neuroma. Again, wearing shoes with a wider toe box and avoiding high heels are essential to prevent aggravating this condition.

For more information about shoes with a wider toe box, check out Barking Dog Shoes. Check out each of the links above for treatment information.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", sent by email.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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