Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: athletic shoes

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 07, 2013
Tags: shoes   athletic shoes   high arches   flat feet  

Are you already starting to increase your exercise, work in your garden, or getting ready to travel? If so, be sure you treat your feet right to enjoy your activities that will place a higher demand on your feet.

Foot Design
The bones and joints in your feet were designed to absorb shock and move you forward.

But supporting these feet properly, may require knowing where your feet are on the spectrum from flexible flatfoot to a rigid high arched foot. The flexible flatter design is a good shock absorber, but lacks leverage to propel you well. Not only can this lead to foot complaints, but knee and low back pain as well. On the other end of the spectrum, the rigid high arched foot lacks shock absorption, but has plenty of leverage for push off.

Once you know your foot type, you can adjust your shoes and foot supports to match the needs of the foot and help prevent a host of chronic lower extremity problems.

Shoes and Suppports
In general, the more flexible and flatter the foot, the firmer the shoe needs to be. If you have a more rigid high arched foot, you'd be better off with a more flexible shock absorbing shoe.

No matter which shoe you purchase, here are some tips when evaluating shoes:

  1. Make sure they bend at the ball, not in the middle
  2. They should have a firm heel counter
  3. Avoid shoes that twist easily from side to side
  4. For athletic activities or working on your feet, the more lacing the better. Simple rule: Laces are better than Velcro, which are better than Slip ons.

Most shoes out of th box have poor arch support, no matter how much money you paid. How can you tell? When you can remove the insert, roll it up easily and stuff it into your pocket, it isn’t adequate! Invest $40 in Superfeet or Powerstep (in office only), and you will have invested in the health of your feet.

If you’ve been inactive during the winter, incorporate a good stretching program in your daily routine. Build up your exercise program gradually, and listen to your body. While minor overuse problems may fade away as you increase your activities, persistent pain is a signal to seek some professional help with your problem.

Favorite Shoes

  • For a very stable all around shoe for the flatter squarer foot, Brooks Addiction, Beast/Ariel have been around for a long time.
  • New Balance comes in widths, and has a range of stability in various models. Keen walking shoes are amazing.
  • Avoid flip flops, and take a look at Naot sandals and Chaco.
  • Few shoes are designed well for the high arched foot, but Dansko does a good job, and the rocker in the front of the shoe can help significantly.

Knowing what you now know about shoes, pick up the right pair for your feet and line up a walk at Greenlake, the Burke Gilman Trail, the new train around the Jackson Park Golf Course  or one of the other walking trails in Seattle. Many communities such as Lake City have urban trails developed and mapped.


By Dr. Rion Berg
January 31, 2013
Tags: foot pain   athletic shoes   running   tennis   football  

athletic shoesAs you get ready to watch the Super Bowl this weekend, getting in shape may be the last thing you’re thinking about.  However, after you’ve attended your Super Bowl party you might start thinking about getting back in shape after all that beer and junk food you just ate.  Just as football players need to change their athletic shoes on a regular basis, so do you.

When you look at your shoes, you’ll probably notice that the sole is worn down but it is another to know whether the materials in the middle, the midsole, are compressed. This midsole is primarily made of shock absorbing material, EVA, and it does have a limited lifespan. 

How do you know it’s time to replace your shoes?

A simple rule is to replace them after 400 miles of usage.  Given that you might not have a mileage meter on your shoes, this translates to approximately one year of active exercise.  You might resole a pair of dress shoes, but don’t do this to athletic shoes.  In addition to the midsole wear, your feet will wear out the upper portion of the shoe as well. This can sometimes be seen as the upper part of the shoe pushing out over the top of the sole.

If you have no clue how much wear has taken place, the best thing to do is replace your athletic shoes now.  Shape up your shoes as you set out to get in shape, and you might just prevent the development of a host of foot and ankle problems.

By Rion A. Berg, DPM
November 08, 2012
Tags: feet   mall   shopping   concrete   athletic shoes  

Santa may have a sleigh and travel through the sky, but as mortals, we’ll soon be pounding the pavement in concrete malls. I think people take their feet for granted like we do our cars and just get exasperated when they begin to hurt and break down. Unfortunately,  you can’t call AAA for "toe" service while you’re on your feet shopping. Here, however are some simple things you can do to prevent Mallitis.

#1 If at all possible, wear a good pair of athletic shoes with at least a good over the counter full length arch support such as Spenco or Superfeet. Your feet will thank you so much!

#2 Wear socks with microfiber and if possible, some compression built in. These socks will decrease your foot friction, decrease burning of the feet, and improve the blood flow back to your heart. This will greatly decrease your foot fatigue.

#3 Your feet dry out in the cooler wetter months of the Northwest (October through July?). Dry skin leads to cracks and fissures. Apply a good moisturizing cream such as Amalactin or Lachydrin twice daily in order to prevent skin breakdown.

#4 If women must dress up, you are actually better off with a low heeled shoe compared to flats which lack support altogether.

#5 Remember, don’t stand for foot pain. It is not normal, and when your feet hurt you will hurt all over. If pain develops, make an appointment* to come in and let us help you keep your feet healthy. You get only one pair that must last you a lifetime.  

Rion A. Berg, DPM
Podiatrist and Board Certified Foot Surgeon

*If you wake up one day with foot pain or develop pain during the day due to possible injury, please call us right away at 206.368.7000. We will do our best to get you in that same day.

Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City
2611 NE 125th St., Ste 130
Seattle, WA 98125


Our office is located in Lake City (northeast Seattle) within 10 minutes of Shoreline, Kenmore, Juanita, Sandpoint, Meadowbrook, Wedgewood, Maple Leaf, Broadview, Greenwood, Northgate, and Pinehurst. Parking is free.