Dr. Berg; Hi Jason. It is great to see you again and be here up at Sole Perfection. I think based on the timing the topic that hit me this morning was how patients and customers can keep fit but have fun in the sun,

Jason Brown: Yes. Well definitely from a health standpoint and in Washington we like to get out and enjoy the weather and our feet can help us a lot or hinder us.  One of the first things I think about is hiking season. I highlight Hoka's since they're lightweight and waterproof with great traction. You don't always have to have the big heavy boot, depending on the need for ankle support of course.

There are other great shoes like Merrill and other brands, but you know, great hiking shoes can make a big difference on the trail to help comfort and prevent blisters So you can have great hiking shoes. The other thing many people like to do is get out, walk Green Lake, just run, exercise, walk and there are a lot of shoes. And like you were saying, Hoka's a big brand. Everyone's talking about it. It is a great shoe.

Dr. Berg: Some patients are coming in nd they've got Brooks and New Balance and I thought it was a Hoka.

Jason Brown: Yes. A lot of brands now are making shoes that are competing with Hoka. These brands have always made good shoes, but like for example, this Brooks Shoe is equally light and it has their latest cushion system. So Hoka is amazing and we've got tons of 'em. But there are other great shoes from New Balance, Brooks, and Altra. So there are other options. It depends on your foot as you know, different foot types, different foot conditions. But getting the right walking and running shoes is very important.

Dr. Berg: New Balance has this too. And what we love about New Balance is their wider widths in the toe box if you need it.  And then just to remind you all, at least for podiatrists, what we love about the Hoka besides the light weight, is that it holds to my principles that shoe should bend in the ball, not in the middle, and not flop side to side. Now this doesn't shoe doesn't bend much at all. But see the additional factor is that they have this rocker in the front and that helps prevent heel pain, arch pain, ball of foot pain and almost every other symptom you have by getting you to propel forward.

Jason Brown: Yes. With the thicker soles, they have to do that now to prevent it from being clunky. And that's where we come into play hopefully, you know, you send people here and you've got information you've written down for them with their conditions. We look at all that and then it's about finding the right shoe in each brand. People always ask what's the best brand? It's not the brand, it's the shoe within the brand.

And then the other thing, a lot of people are traveling and you want something that doesn't look like you're trying to go for a run, especially if you're going to Europe or something. And I grabbed this shoe (canvas shoe by Taos) because it's very supportive. Again, you gotta have that support putting your orthotic,

Dr. Berg: (Takes the insert Jason just pulled out of the shoe and bends it.) Now that is substantial for a shoe that I will tell you will bend in the middle against my rules, however.

Jason Brown: Yep. - You stick support like that in there and bingo it beefs up, now you've got something more stable. And it's a fun little canvas style. A lot of canvas shoes out there have no support. There's literally a board with foam on top of it. This has that arch support built really well by Taos. Oh. And we all love the zippers. You know, lacing gets old, you're at the airport or whatever zip ends about, I just highlight this 'cause it's a fun non-athletic shoe that you can do a lot of fun walking with and stuff like that.

Then there's hot weather. I have warm feet. You have to get something for a hot day. I grabbed this 'cause this is a Dansko and they took their walking shoe, took the sole, and turned it into a sandal. And this is water-friendly. It's got webbing. It's just really supportive and has good shock absorption too. A blend of cushion, right. With arch support.

- Dansko is not the Dansko you used to know. Yeah, they have expanded. This is another Dansko just to show you that you can get, you know, a little dressier, a little cuter. But for every day--my wife has this one. It's a cork latex. It's got really good support.

Dr. Berg: Not bad. In a dress sandal, you've got to have some cushion in it. Not squishy but cushy. Yes. And that's a nice mixture in this particular cork.

Jason Brown: Exactly. No, you, you bring up a good point because you don't want things too hard. But you also don't want it too soft. I always use the waterbed analogy. People's feet hurt. So we think we need soft. If you stand on a water bed, it's soft, but if you have to stand there all day, you're gonna get tired. So it's finding that balance and that's where memory foam on top of a good core will really help. So whether it's sandals, dressy, casual, fun, or athletic shoes. Shoes can make a big difference in summer fun. Especially if you're having foot problems. That's when people come in to see you and get orthotics or have other foot conditions and giving the right footwear can make a big difference.

Dr. Berg: If you wanna be fit and have fun in the sun, come on up to Sole Perfection and Jason will help you out.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.