Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: high arches

It seems like every day you read about shoes that you shouldn't be wearing. And I admit, I've been a naysayer myself. Enough of that for now. It's almost summer and you want to take full advantage of the weather. Whether you like to walk around Greenlake in Seattle, the beach in Richmond Beach or Edmonds, or you prefer hiking on the trails of Hamlin Park in Shoreline there are shoes that will help keep your feet out of my office.

Shoes for Walkers
There are so many shoes out there, it can seem almost impossible to pick the best shoes for you. Here are 4 tips that will help guide you in making a sound purchase.  

1. Where you walk
2. Your foot type
3. Shoe fit
4. Weather conditions

Where You Walk

REI recommends that if you walk on sidewalks or pavement choose a casual shoe, multisport shoe, or a running shoe. If you walk in parks with trails like Hamlin Park in Shoreline or a beach that has uneven terrain choose a trail runner or a light hiker.

Your Foot Type

  • Normal arch -if you have a normal arch you'll still need supportive shoes but not to the same degree as someone who has flat feet.

  • Flat feet - if you have flat feet, your feet will tend to pronate (roll in). You're more likely to develop heel pain, bunions, and hammertoes. A running shoe is best since it provides the highest level of stability. In addition, purchase an insert like Superfeet or Powerstep to give you even more support.

  • High arches- if you have high arched feet you'll tend to supinate (foot rolls out or you walk on outside edge of your feet), have tight Achilles tendons, and calf muscles. Because high arched feet primarily come into contact with the ground at the ball of the foot and the heel, you're more likely to develop calluses on the ball, side or heel of the foot, hammertoes or clawed toes, and a condition called metatarsalgia. To get the best support for high arches look for:
     
  • A neutral shoe
  • With a lot of flexibility
  • A firm heel counter
  • Ankle support

    e.g. A light hiker would be a great shoe for this foot type

Shoe Fit

Making sure you get the right fit is essential. That starts with getting your feet measured. After pregnancy women's feet will often go up in size. And the same is true as we age.

If you're walking hills or doing stairs, you'll also want to make sure your shoes fit in both of these situations. Stores like REI provide a downward incline for you to walk to ensure your toes aren't hitting the top of your shoes. Some stores may also have stairs you can use to check whether your heels are staying in your shoe or lifting out of the soles The latter can cause blistering.

Weather Conditions

You like to walk no matter the weather. You'll need a shoe that's waterproof like a trail running shoe.

You've found the perfect pair of walking shoes, but your feet still hurt. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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 Dr. Rion Berg
January 14, 2014
Category: Heel pain
Tags: foot pain   hammertoes   high heels   high arches  

Watching Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams hit the red carpet at the Golden Globes with their high heel shoes, I started to wonder if they had high arches. You’d think only a podiatrist would wonder such things. But it seems lately that this issue has been a big concern for people seeking out information on our website.

If you are a woman with high arches and you have pain in your feet, there are some things to consider.

High arched feet primarily contact the ground in the heel and the ball of the foot. If you’re having pain you could have a condition called metatarsalgia. This condition can develop in the ball of the foot, particularly if you have a job that requires a lot of standing.

You may notice yourself gravitating toward your pretty high heels because they feel better then lower heeled shoes at first. That’s because the shoe matches the arch of your foot. Unfortunately when your heel is higher than one inch, more pressure is added to the ball of your foot.

If you wear heeled shoes frequently throughout the day, your Achilles tendon will tighten and you’ll increase the chance of developing unsightly hammertoes.

Recommendations for women with high arches:

  • Protect the ball of the foot with additional support either in the form of a metatarsal pad, or a slim over the counter ¾ length arch support that includes a metatarsal pad, if you wear heels regularly. Dr. Jill’s gel metatarsal pad’s are reusable and are applied directly to your skin.
     
  • Stretch your calves before working out at the gym or running outside. Wearing heels all day shortens the calf muscle and without proper stretching, you are more likely to have problems with your feet such as heel pain. If you don’t have prescriptive orthotics, replace the inserts that came with your athletic shoes with a good full length arch support. You can find Superfeet at local pharmacies or Powerstep at our office or online.
     
  • Wear a lower heel during the day. More supportive dress shoes with squarer heels no higher than 1.5 inches would be best. When fashion dictates, alternate between wearing dress heels and lower heels or flats.

You may have been born with pretty high arched feet, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with pain. If you’ve tried over the counter arch supports  and your pain is not better, seek consultation with a foot specialist.

The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City in Seattle has been treating patients for over 30 years. Make an appointment by calling us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online at www.bergdpm.com/appointment.html.

Almost everyday I have a patient who complains of ball of foot pain. This is particularly true in the spring and summer with an increase in activities such as walking and hiking. It's also not unusual for a patient to increase their activities to get in shape or lose weight after a long period of not exercising.   

While the pain can have a sudden onset, when I get a detailed history of my patients I often find that they have changed their work or play activities and are spending more time on their feet.

Of course there are many possible diagnoses, but upon complete evaluation I usually find something faulty in their foot mechanics that in combination with increased activity, has produced the pain. Pain present directly under one joint will often help me differentiate the problem from tendon or nerve problems.

I also look for presence of bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet, high arches, neuromas, and tight heel cords/Achilles. Orthotics, physical therapy and use of special daily splinting for a limited time, can usually resolve the problem.

Summer is a time for outdoor fun. Don’t stand for foot pain. It is not normal and the faster you get it evaluated and treated, the faster you will be able to return to enjoy your spring and summer activities.

Additional Information
Video - What Causes Ball of Foot Pain?
Video - What Is Morton's Neuroma?
Ball of 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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

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 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.

Supports
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.

Exercises
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
February 21, 2013

Women with high arches often face a dilemma when deciding what shoes will work best for them. High arched feet primarily contact the ground in the heel and the ball of the foot.  Pain may develop in the ball of the foot with prolonged standing or exercise, called metatarsalgia.

Women with high arches often feel better at first with heeled shoes, because these shoes are often the only ones that actually match the shape of their feet and contact the arch. The problem is that when you lift the heel greater than one inch, you add pressure to the ball of the foot. If you wear heeled shoes frequently throughout the day, your Achilles tendon will tighten and you will increase the chances of developing hammertoes.

Flat shoes and often even athletic shoes may not feel supportive without the addition of  an over the counter arch support, or custom orthotic. Frequent problems may occur with the development of pain either in the plantar fascia, or in the middle of the foot where your metatarsals join the tarsal bones.

Recommendations for women with high arches:

  • If you wear dress heels regularly, protect the ball of the foot with additional support either in the form of a metatarsal pad, or slim over the counter ¾ length arch support that includes a metatarsal pad. Dr. Jill’s gel metatarsal pad’s are reusable and are applied directly to your skin. Sole Perfection shoe stores have an excellent selection of over the counter dress supports.
     
  • If you go directly from working all day in heels to working out in the gym, stretch your calves regularly before you begin your work out. If you don’t have prescriptive orthotics, replace the inserts that came with your athletic shoes with Powerstep inserts.
  • If you can, wear more supportive dress shoes with squarer heels no higher than 1.5 inches. If style dictates otherwise, alternate between wearing dress heels and lower heels or flats.

If you have foot pain, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

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.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+                         

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