Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: shoes

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 16, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: shoes  

Being a tourist just got easier. Not only can we make our plans over the internet, use podcasts from Rick Steves to take us on a virtual tour of the British Museum, and use our smartphones to get us around town. Now we can take our eyes off of our phone and let our shoes do the talking.

Now Sneakairs are here. These shoes created by EasyJet the budget UK airline, will buzz when you need to turn left or right so that you can reach the leaning Tower of Pisa without looking like a tourist.

These shoes get their marching orders through your phone navigation app. How cool is that!

Now I'm sure many of you may be pretty darn excited about this new innovation ala the Jetsons. But I'm more curious whether these shoes will meet my exacting standards when it comes to keeping your feet feeling good.

Since these shoes are still in the prototype phase I'm assuming EasyJet is still open for comment. Here is what I would tell them.

Dear EasyJet,

Thank you for your new innovation in shoes. While the technology is cool I have some suggestions for you.

  • Make sure the shoes aren't flat but have an arch to support your customer's feet.

  • The shoes should be engineered to bend at the toes, not in the middle.

  • Try twisting the shoes to see if they bend easily. If so make them more stable.

  • Try moving the heel from right to left. If they aren't easily movable, great. If they are please stiffen the heel counter.

If you need to see a demonstration just check out my video, "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability."


Dr. Rion Berg

If you're having pain in your feet, 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
September 28, 2015
Category: diabetes

It's often a Catch-22 for patients with diabetes to lose weight through exercise. Although endocrinologists recommend both diet and exercise to their diabetic patients, many people with diabetes have problems with their feet.

If you have diabetes, you may have experienced this. If you're not already seeing a Seattle podiatrist, it's important to start. Podiatrists specialize in getting your feet fit enough so that you can put exercise back on your to do list.

How do podiatrists help keep your feet fit?


One of the most important ways to lessen foot pain and get you moving is to get proper shoes. Tennis shoes with good support (video) and a wide toe box may work well for you if you have well controlled diabetes and mild foot problems.

Joslin Diabetes Center also recommends the following when buying shoes:

  • soft, stretchable leather

  • laced shoes over loafers for more support

  • a cushioned sole instead of a thin leather sole

  • shop later in the day

  • build up shoe wear gradually and check feet to ensure you have no cuts or blisters

For patients with neuropathy, burning, and more pain, special diabetic shoes may be needed. Podiatrists typically conduct a Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam annually to determine if these special shoes are needed. Diabetic shoes redistribute pressure on your foot and prevent ulcers and calluses from developing.

Managing Foot Abnormalities

Foot abnormalities such as bunions and hammertoes can cause pressure points, pain, and can put a diabetic at greater risk for ulcers. Podiatrists work with patients to relieve that pressure often using pads and prescriptive orthotics.

Educating Patients to Prevent Foot Complications from Developing

As a person with diabetes, it's important that you inspect your feet on a daily basis and follow other tips to ensure that you don't develop other foot complications.

Diabetes and Your Feet
Diabetic Patients with Fungal Toenails
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

If you want to get your feet fit for exercise so you can do the most to manage your diabetes well, call us today at 206-368-7000.You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , 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. Robyn W. Paloian
September 10, 2014

You may have picked up the paper or read online about the new paper sneakers designed by Peter Weinreb owner of Civic Duty. Reminiscent of Toms shoes with their minimalist, environmental message these shoes are made out of Tyvek-- technically not paper but very lightweight, water resistant, sturdy and breathable. Perfect, perhaps, for a young vegan who shuns leather and has no foot issues.  But will they work for you?

As your local Seattle podiatrist, the answer is: it depends.  Here are some conditions and situations where you’ll probably want to avoid shoes like these.

You suffer from plantar fasciitis or heel pain.  Although they say they’re sturdy, I’ll bet that they aren’t supportive enough if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. If you have heel pain, take my “shoe test” before buying any shoe. Hold the shoe in your hands with the heel in one hand and the toe in the other. The shoe should not twist easily and it should only bend at the ball of the foot.

You plan on doing a lot of walking.  These shoes might be good for the environment, but if you’re planning to do more than the casual walk it’s better to wear a sturdier shoe, particularly if you tend to pronate or supinate (when your arches fall in or roll out).

You have bunions.  You may be thinking, “These soft shoes seem like heaven to me!”  But keep in mind that they likely won’t have the structure to accommodate an orthotic or other padding that may be helpful to offload your bunions.

You have flat feet. Again, they just won’t provide the type of support you need.   If you also have tight calf muscles, walking with ultra-flat shoes and little to no arch support can incite plantar fasciitis.

You have diabetes or neuropathy.  A shoe with a very thin sole or upper (the fabric up and around the foot) cannot offer the foot protection a diabetic patient requires.  Stepping on a sharp or prominent object will more readily cause damage to the skin and soft tissue, potentially leading to an ulcer or infection.   

Come into the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City and we’ll get all your questions answered about the type of shoes that are best for your feet.  If you have any of the conditions above we’d be happy to treat your feet.  Call  us at 206-368-7000 to let us know you’re coming, or request an appointment online.


By Dr. Rion Berg
June 11, 2013

Investing in the right shoe for the right foot will go a long way to saving your sole by the end of a long work day or athletic activity. Keep in mind the following six tips when making a shoe purchase.

#1 All shoes were not created equal.  Regardless of the activity you do, your feet will feel better when the shoe you wear:

  • Bends at the ball and not in the middle
  • Has a firm heel counter
  • Doesn’t twist easily from side to side

#2 Choosing the right shoe for the right activity depends on:

  • Your weight
  • Your work/exercise
  • Your foot type
  • The surface you are on

#3 The more flexible and flatter your foot, the more likely you are will require a firmer shoe with rigid shank.  The more rigid and higher your arches, the more midfoot support and shock absorbing the shoe will have to be.

#4 Whenever possible, replace the insert that comes with your shoes with either an over the counter insert such as Superfeet or Powerstep, or a prescriptive orthotic.

#5 Match the type of shoes to the activity you are doing. Slip on backless Merrills, Crocs, and flip flops are casual wear that are not meant for long distance walking, hiking, or working.  Use them after work to take a break from your enclosed shoes, but remember, the less the shoe, and the less the lacing, the less support you will have.

#6 Even excellent shoes wear out. The midsole of the shoe is made of a shock absorbing material. As such, it is meant to last approximately 400-600 miles of average use. While you might not be able to look at the shoe and detect this, you should replace your shoes after approximately one year. 

Come in and have one of our foot specialists measure your feet to ensure you have the appropriate shoe size.for free. Call us ahead of time at 206-368-7000.

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 06, 2013
Category: family foot care

Did you know that less than 10% of all people with foot problems ever seek medical attention from any medical specialist? I find that amazing and appalling, when so many foot problems can be resolved without surgery. What are the key elements that contribute to foot pain?

#1 Weight

#2 Work

#3 Foot Type

#4 Shoes

#5 Lack of adequate support or stretching for the activity performed

Weight loss is not an easy thing to accomplish. In fact, it’s often the desired weight loss that drives a person to increase their exercise, only to find out that their feet and legs aren’t prepared to do it. Given that your work is your work, and you’re stuck with the foot type you were born with, your down to two areas that you can work on--your shoes, and the support you add inside them.

There is not a week that goes by that I’m not able to totally resolve someone’s foot pain with a simple change in shoes, a stretching program designed to match their needs, and either an over the counter arch support or prescriptive orthotics.

So, make yourself, your family and your friends part of the 10% of advantaged people who resolve their foot pain through a few easy steps. Visit your podiatrist today. They’re experts in evaluating and treating the mechanical disorders of the foot and ankle.