Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: shoe shopping

As September approaches, you've been perusing the internet looking for a shoe that's right for you.  You may decide to buy your shoes on Zappos or Amazon go to Nordies because you love the in store experience.

Either way there are three hacks to know instantly if the shoe is right for you.

You should never have to break in shoes. That's a myth your parents grew up with and somehow it's crept into your brain. The truth is your shoes should feel instantly comfortable right out of the box. If not, give them the boot.

Fortunately both Zappos and Nordies have great return policies.  If you put on some mileage and the shoes hurt don't hesitate to return them.

Test Your Shoes
Anyone can test a shoe to see if they're going to hold up and give your feet the love they deserve. Now it may not matter as much if you're just lounging around in your kicks. But if you're bussing it to work and have to walk around a lot, your feet will be a lot happier if you choose a shoe that will pass the test. You'll particular want to make sure they'll pass it if you've got flat feet that tend to pronate. A more supportive shoe will keep your feet from hurting.

Wiggle Room is Vital
Even though pointy shoes may look great on your feet if they're pinching your toes send them back. Shoes that pinch will hurt more once you start walking around in them.  Still not convinced? Consider the possibility of black or fungal toenails from the constant pressure your piggies will get when pressed against your shoes.  Make sure your toes have wiggle room by making sure you have a least a half inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

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".

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
August 05, 2016
Tags: shoe shopping  

You're a very conscientious parent. You've made sure to get all the major back to school purchases and errands completed a couple weeks before school starts. What's left?

Making sure your kid's feet are ready for school! Kid feet grow fast; up to two sizes in 6 months for those going through a major growth spurt. Leaving kids with worn out, tight shoes can cause all kinds of foot and ankle problems including ingrown toenails, heel pain, and twisted ankles.

Follow these shoe shopping tips to make sure your kids can put their best foot forward.

Bring Your Child With You
Have a knowledgeable salesperson measure the length and width of your child's foot. The correct fit will allow your kids toes plenty of breathing space and keep their feet aligned. Buying shoes at a discount store or without a skilled salesperson? Check the fit of the shoe by following this rule of thumb: make sure there's at least one thumb's width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. If you find that one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.

Buy Shoes That Feel Comfortable
Make sure that when your child tries on shoes, they feel comfortable before you buy. Shoes that require a "break-in" period very likely are the wrong fit for your child.

Check the Wear Patterns on Your Kids Shoes
Turn your kids shoes over and look at how they've worn out their shoes. Do you notice a consistent wear pattern from the balls of their shoes, sides, heels and between the two shoes? These should be fairly equal. Abnormal or unequal wear patterns can show atypical foot changes, and may be helpful to your podiatrist in detecting a possible foot problem.

Select A Good, Sturdy Shoe
Shoes should have a stiff heel counter (the part of the shoe that goes around the backside of the heel) and a rigid midsole area. The shoe should only bend at the toes and not under the arch. In addition, shoes should be difficult to twist (wring out like a rag). To get a better idea of what this looks like, you can view our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability". 

Avoid Hand-Me-Downs or Used Shoes
You may like to save money by buying clothes at thrift store and using hand-me-downs, but try to avoid it with your kids shoes. Shoes wear down and take on the wear pattern of the user. Loss of support and function occur as a result.  Sharing shoes can also spread infections such as warts or fungus from one child to another.

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+


By Dr. Rion Berg
October 20, 2014
Category: foot conditions

Buying the right shoes for your feet can make all the difference. Although some of us would love to wear sky high heels because they look so good, for many this  option will only cause pain and suffering in the short and long term. Getting to know your foot type and your own physical limitations will help you make good shoe shopping decisions. Your feet have to last you a lifetime, so one of the key steps to treating them well is getting the right shoe for your foot type and for your lifestyle.

1. Get Your Feet Measured: it’s not uncommon for women to buy the same size shoes they have always worn. As we age, our feet do get longer and may get wider. Keep in mind, there should be at least an index finger of width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

2. Shop for Shoes at the End of the Day: our feet swell as the day goes on. Although you may be tempted to hit that shoe sale early in the day, wait until the afternoon to get the right fit.

3. Buy Shoes to Fit Your Longer Foot: most of us have one foot that is slightly longer than the other. Since most people can’t afford to buy 2 pairs of shoes, choose the larger size so that you don’t cramp your toes. You can always pad the foot that is shorter for a better fit.

4. Shoes Vary Within Brands – most athletic shoes are made to meet the needs of its customers. Some shoes have much more give and are not intended to be worn to run a race. Others are specifically made for that purpose and have a firm heel counter, will only bend at the toe, and can’t be twisted when you attempt to wring them out like a rag. Be sure to let the salesperson know how you intend to use the shoe, so you get the right shoe for the right activity.

5. Choose shoes with a roomier toe box – pointy shoes that cramp toes can eventually cause all kinds of foot problems including bunions and ingrown toenails. You don’t need to sacrifice fashion to get the look you desire. Munro, Keen, Naot are just a few brands that have a roomier toe box.

6. Resole Worn Out Shoes To Maintain Stability – after putting many miles on your shoes the soles wear out and because of the way we walk our soles usually wear out unevenly. Wearing uneven soles can throw off our stability and put us at risk for falls and back problems. Most casual and dress shoes can be re-soled. Athletic shoes cannot. Most people put 400-600 miles on their shoes per year. Replace your athletic shoes annually or more often if you put on a lot miles.

7. Choose heels one inch or less – many women love their heels, but unfortunately they can cause many foot and ankle problems that often get worse over time such as bunions and hammertoes. If you insist on wearing heels higher than an inch, don’t wear them all the time. Constant wear of flat, flat shoes can also cause problems because they don’t provide the necessary arch support most people require. Flat shoes can cause a condition called plantar fasciitis which results in heel pain.

For more information about shoes or foot problems, call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

“I can never seem to find shoes that don’t hurt my bunions.”  This is a common lament of women I see in my Seattle podiatry office.  I had recently helped my daughter, who suffers from plantar fasciitis, find stylish shoes that accommodate her condition.  And then the lightbulb went off: why not invite some of my patients to go shoe shopping with me as well?  

My associate, Dr. Robyn Paloian, was excited and quickly got on board.  The shoe department at Nordstrom’s at Northgate Mall welcomed our idea, and on Saturday, May 3, three women joined us for our first Shoe Shopping Event.  

We started the morning talking with the women about their style preferences, shoe goals and foot types.  

One woman was looking for dress shoes, one for work, and one to accommodate her orthotics.  We browsed the department together and individually, and each woman had opportunities to try on shoes and ask questions.  Salesman Aaron Kramer was quite gracious and attentive.

It was a phenomenal experience to share time outside the office, listening to our patients, really hearing their desires and needs.  It’s one thing to know the foot as well as we do, it’s another to know shoes the way Nordstrom’s shoe salespeople do.  Saturday’s collaboration was a great education in maintaining style and comfort for patients and doctors alike.  We look forward to continuing this monthly tradition at Nordstrom’s.  

We will soon have more Shoe Shopping Events up on our website or call us at 206-368-7000.

painful shoesDid you know that more than half of us suffer from foot problems because of the shoes we wear? According to a recent studyfrom the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, wearing the wrong shoes can lead to lifelong foot deformities. Squishing your feet into narrow or pointy toed shoes can make your feet look good on the outside but eventually your bare feet will look like a horror show and you’ll also experience a heap of pain.

Here are three things to avoid when shopping for shoes in the New Year.

The Wrong Shoe Size– about 1/3 of us our walking around in the wrong size shoes. And not just by a half an inch; some of us are wearing shoes that are up to one and half sizes too big or small.

Solution: Get your feet measured by someone trained to do it properly.

High, High Heels- although they look good, high heels can be the culprit in the development of bunions, hammertoes, and also a shortened Achilles which can bring on plantar fasciitis a painful foot condition.

Solution:Opt for a lower heel to avoid problems down the line.

Unsupportive Shoes– a lot of women are wearing ballet like shoes without any support. These shoes may work for you if you’re not doing much walking, but if you are then you’ll need a much more supportive shoe with good stability in the heel and good shock absorption in the midsole. Even fashionable shoes can be supportive. How do you find out?

Solution:Do the Twist Test
Check a potential shoe purchase by grasping the shoe at the heel with your right hand and toe with your left hand and twist it. If it twists easily it won’t be supportive.

There’s no reason to suffer at that New Year’s party tonight. You can go in style and be comfortable at the same time if you follow the tips above.

Keep in mind that if you already have painful feet, this is not normal. Make an appointment with one of our Seattle podiatrists so that you can welcome the New Year with less pain. Call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

More tips on buying shoes
Shoe Store Review 2013