Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: barefoot

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 21, 2020
Category: Heel pain
Tags: barefoot  

You're stuck at home. If you're like many people, you've been walking more. Perhaps you've also started working out at home. As a result, you may be wondering if it's OK to work out barefoot or in stocking feet.

The answer is, it depends. If you've been Zooming into a yoga or Pilates class your fine. These forms of exercise are low impact.

But recently patients have been coming in with foot pain as a result of doing higher impact workouts at home while barefoot. Heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and other foot problems can result when additional pressure is added to the plantar fascia--the thick band of tissue which originates at the heel, travels across the arches, and inserts into the base of the toes.

When you go barefoot your feet don't have the support they need to withstand the higher pressure placed on them.

When doing higher impact activities it's important to wear athletic shoes designed for that exercise. Be sure you're shoes aren't showing signs of wear. Also, shoes should only bend at the toes, not in the middle, be hard to wring out like a rag, and have a firm heel counter. To learn more about buying supportive shoes, view this video on how to test your shoes.

If you're experiencing foot pain 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.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

For chronic heel pain, download our eBook, "Stop Living With Stubborn Heel Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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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By Rion A. Berg, DPM
June 19, 2012

As I approach the summer, the number of patients coming in who go barefoot at home, and wear minimal foot gear during the day increases.  It’s totally understandable given the fact that we at least want to pretend summer’s here, dress down, and give our feet some air.

Here are some tips on how to keep foot loose and worry free.

First, remember that no matter how much you love shedding those shoes, being barefoot all day for most of us, is too much.  There are a select number of people who with the right training and the right foot, can be coached in barefoot running. For the rest of us however, who are carrying on a full load of household and play activities, a limited amount of time without closed shoes will not hurt you. That means, however, for the rest of our day, our feet need support to carry our load.

With that said and done, the question is, how much support is enough? Can we get by wearing thongs/flip flops? Are Tevas and other “supportive” sandals supportive enough?

To answer this question, you may need to be honest with yourself regarding how much support usually feels good with in each activity. Thus, if you’re lucky enough to have a good arch, you may be fine around the house barefoot or in sandals, but you are probably better off wearing more supportive shoes for extended standing or walking activities.

Second, open backed shoes, such as Crocs and Merrills are likely more supportive than thongs/flip flops, they still should be used a limited amount of time.  The reason for this is very simple. The closed back of a shoe and the full lacing adds a tremendous amount of support to your foot. So, yes, if you’re going to be on your feet all day, travelling, or hiking, you should be wearing a supportive athletic shoe or light weight hiking shoe.

Third, remember that even the best athletic shoes come with a very flimsy arch support. That means spending more and adding at least an over the counter full length support such as Powerstep. It truly will make a world of difference in helping you avoid developing chronic foot strain or plantar fasciitis.

Lastly, beware of stepping on foreign objects while you’re foot loose. A recent traveler came in and after performing bathroom surgery elected to have me take a look. Multiple spines had to be removed and the foot can become infected easily once an object penetrates the skin. If you suspect you’ve stepped on something foreign, have a foot specialist evaluate you as soon as possible. We really do want to keep you foot loose and worry free!

If you're experiencing foot pain, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.