Monthly Archives: October 2007

Shoes & Polish

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How easy is this? AK comes in today, tells me he needs to replace the above shoes because they’re worn out.

I turn the shoe upside down and the sole looks brand new. I set the shoes on a level surface and the heel counter’s are upright. Perplexed I ask “why do you need new shoes”. His reply, “these look terrible“.

Faster than the speed of light, I whip out my brown shoe polish, baby soft cotton cloth, apply a dab of polish, buff and within seconds, his shoes look brand new.

Moral of the Story: Shoes are expensive. Don’t toss a perfectly good pair of shoes out, just because the color is scuffed. My current favorite polish is WS Robson’s Finest Beeswax & Carnuba Shoe Polish. My husband likes Lincoln brand. Bottom line, the brand isn’t as important as the shine.

Shoe Lacing – Top Of The Foot Pain

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High arched (cavus) feet often have a big bump, mid-arch on top. Occasionally this creates numbness, tingling or pain, especially if the laces tightly crisscross over the top of the bump.

Solution: Just like the shoe above, lacce on either side of the bump and not directly over. The fit at the ankle will still be snug. Try it – only thing you’ll miss is the pain.

Excessive Wear

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Neuroma (burning forefoot) pain, right foot, only when working out. Shoe review identified the following two problems.

Problem Number 1: Shoes are 1 size too short. This causes the widest part of the forefoot to be forced into the tapered part of the shoe, kinda like a vice-grip.

Problem Nunber 2: Paper thin outsole, right shoe, which corresponds to foot having pain. No difference between a worn outsole and being barefoot. No wait… thin outsole coupled with the wrong size, it’s worse than being barefoot in the gym!

Instep Height – Topline

In order for a shoe to stay on your foot, the topline or instep part of the shoe needs to cover your arch. If it doesn’t, the only way you will be able to keep the shoe on will be to grip with your toes, which will create problems including blisters and hammetoes. In order to avoid this, make sure the topline is high. The following pictures show toplines which are too low.

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Pump Bump/Haglund’s Deformity

If you’re a male, a protruding bump at the back of the heel bone is called Haglund’s Deformity. If you’re a female, it’s called a Pump Bump. They’re both the same thing and represent excess bone forming at the back of the heel, usually because of lower leg alignment. Essentially, what happens is the the heel bone fishtails across the back of the shoe, with repetitive friction causing excess bone to form.

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For most of us an enlarged Haglund’s or Pump Bump is harmless, but for my patient, seemingly out of nowhere, the bump started to become increasingly red and painful. Dress loafers were not the culprit, so I asked to see his workout shoes and this is what I discovered.

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The inside heel area of his shoe was not only excessively worn but the plastic counter had actually cracked, essentially rubbing his heel bone raw.

The solution? New shoes with careful monitoring of wear and possibly even a shoe with a soft heel counter, depending on future wear.

Toplines (shoe opening) and Twig Legs or Narrow Feet

A patient has what my husband affectionately calls “twig legs”, AKA skinny ankles. His everyday shoes were hiking boots, which would otherwise be perfect if not for the big ol’ topline (shoe opening) which for his ankle, were way too wide. No matter how tight his laces were pulled, his boot still wouldn’t fit snug. His before boot is on the right, his after boot is on the left. If you have twig legs, you’ll want to check the shoe’s topline as well as the rest of the shoe fit, including depth, especially if your foot is narrow.

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