Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shoe Review – Chaco Sandals

If you have a wide foot that’s either deep or shallow then Chaco sandals ( may be just right for you. They have a thick sole with a built in arch, which is great for flat or collapsing feet.

My favorite part of the shoe though, is how easily it adjusts by sliding the straps to increase or decrease depth. This makes for a better customized fit, then if you just had width adjustability alone.

Another added bonus is their repair program, which includes all parts of the sandal from strapsto soles. At around $100 for the sandal and $30 for the repairs, Chaco sandals can last years. And don’t your feet deserve that?

Thierry Rabotin Designer Shoes

Arthur Beren in San Francisco is the place to go if you are stylish and don’t mind spending $400 (or more) on a pair of shoes, including Thierry Rabotin. Previously a designer for Taryn Rose, he now has his own line which many of the well heeled wear. Butter soft leather uppers and insoles the color of Tiffany box blue. Genius marketing…if only I’d though of it!

Today someone brought in two pair of Thierry Rabotin shoes which perfectly fit her wide (bunion), shallow, hard-to-fit feet. This pair is “Grace”, a ballerina flat with an elasticized vamp insets which help with the fit. Stylish and fun. If you can afford the sticker shock, Thierry Rabotin is a great designer shoe line.

Shoe Review – La Sportiva Trango Trek GTX

Thanks to Bill for bringing in this pair of hiking boot today. This is a great boot if you have a narrow, deep foot. Vasque is for a narrow shallow foot, whereas LaSportiva is for those feet having slightly more volume with a narrow width.

This is a sturdy hiking boot good for variable terrain including lots of hills. It also cinches up tight for narrower ankles.This boot can be found at REI and several other retailers for around $180.

Shoe Fallacies – #1

Special thanks to patient, reader and author Dan for asking me to highlight common “Shoe Fallacies”. I usually only think about these when I hear them, which isn’t every day, so I am going to outline them in lists as they arise. Here’s shoe fallacy post #1.

  1. There is one brand of shoe that will always work for you each and every time. No. No. No. Is there one manufacture of clothing that works for every body type? No. No. No. The same goes for shoes. If one pair of Nike doesn’t fit right, that doesn’t mean that every pair of Nike won’t fit right. Conversely, If you have one pair of New Balance running shoes that fit perfectly, it doesn’t mean that every pair of New Balance shoes will fit perfectly.
  2. Non-career shoe salespeople care about your feet. Usually, what they care about is their commission, which in San Francisco hovers around 6%. So, be your own best advocate. Buy with minimal help from a salesperson. Sale racks (Nordstrom to Bloomingdales), big box stores (Costco) and those help yourself shoe stores (Payless, Shoe Pavilion, DSW). I’m not saying that all shoe salespeople are in it for the money, but c’mon, 6%, what does that tell you?
  3. I wear down the outsides of my heels – What’s wrong with me? Rest assured, everyone, wears down the outside of their heels. This is normal. This is why taps are usually placed on the outside of the heels. What isn’t normal is when one heel wears faster than the other creating asymmetrical wear.
  4. Listed shoe width and Length mean something. This fallacy goes with #1. There is no universal size when it comes to lasting shoes. Two size 9’s will be entirely different lengths, even within the same manufactures line. I’ve seen a size 14 narrow New Balance, 1″ longer than a 14 wide, which was narrower than the 14 narrow, New Balance running shoes. Take home message – Shoe size is an approximation only and you should always try the shoes on.
  5. The more expensive the shoe, the better fitting or longer lasting it will be. I’ve seen $15 dollar shoes from K-Mart fit better and last longer than exclusive boutique $400 pair of shoes. The adage you get what you pay for, doesn’t always apply, especially when it comes to shoes.
  6. Making sure you have enough room at the end of the toe in a shoe, is how you determine fit. This only works if your heel to toe measurement is longer than your heel to ball measurement.
  7. A shoe sized narrow width will always be narrower than a shoe sized medium width. Many shoes that come only in one width (medium) will be much narrower than similar shoes, lasted as narrow. When in doubt, look at the outsole (bottom) of the shoe and visually check the width this way instead. This will be a better measure of what a shoes width is than the width that’s listed on the box.
  8. Buying shoes online is a bad way to purchase shoes. Online shoe shopping and purchase can be a great way to find shoes. Especially if you have to hard to fit feet. The harder your foot is to fit, the more trouble you’ll have finding a shoe in a brick and mortar store. With online retailers, you can find every color, size and style, which offers much more choices, than in a regular shoe store. Free shipping also makes it easy to exchange shoes, so let your fingers do the shopping – online.

Shoe Review – Nike Air Monarch III

Nike Air Monarch III is a great all purpose work out shoe. It doesn’t twist longitudinally (torsional stability) and the outsole is thick and doesn’t flex in the forefoot. Here is an image of a new pair that was brought in to me today.

The best foot type for this shoe is a narrow, deep foot. Notice how the angle from ankle to toe is a straight line? This is the best profile for a deep foot.


The outsole above is more rectangular in shape, as opposed to inverted triangle, which usually matches a narrow foot.

The downside to this shoe is it has a soft heel counter (back) which will cause the shoe to wear faster than if it had a firm heel counter.

All in all though, this is a great shoe, especially at a $60 price point, for the narrow, deep foot type.

Craziest Shoes From Around the World

Ruby Slippers to Marsha from Down Under, for bringing this site to my attention. The 21 pair of “Craziest Shoes From Around The World” on this site are amazing, unusual and just plain interesting.

Here’s the first image…see what I mean?


I am amazed by what can be accomplished when love of shoes and creativity are involved. I hope you enjoy these images as much as Marsha and I did.

Toenail Polish Fungus

80% of the women’s feet I see, are wearing polish on their toenails. Unlike fingernail polish which rarely lasts more than a week, toenail polish is often left on for weeks at a time, sometimes until it wears off completely. Toenails need air to thrive and prolonged toenail polish can cause a surface type of fungus to inhabit.



These are pictures of surface toenail polish fungus, before and after the coarse side of an emery board files it away. If left unchecked, it can contribute to a worse type of fungus which can’t be filed away.

Squeaky Orthotics

If you have squeaky orthotics here’s an easy solution. Place cloth or duct tape on the underside of the orthotic as shown here.


The squeak occurs when the orthotic material springs on the shoe’s insole. Occasionally you will need to place the tape further back, but usually application as shown is sufficient to stop the squeak.

Heel Slippage: Orthotics & Tennis Shoes

Whenever I dispense orthotics for the first time, I always re-lace a person’s tennis shoes. Without orthotics, your arch height is flatter than it is with orthotics.

By increasing the support undeneath your arch with an orthotic, you’re effectively raising your arch height, which in turn lowers the front part of your foot. If your shoe lacing doesn’t take into account this new foot shape, then you foot will act like a teeter-totter, popping your heel in and out of the shoe with each step.

Also, the best way to ensure proper fit is to completely cinch snug the laces closest to your toes and not the laces securing your foot to ankle. The more form fitting the shoe, the better the fit.

Pinch Callous Running Shoe Modifications

A pinch callous forms when there is friction against skin – usually the side of the big toe or or under the little toes. This is a patient’s healed pinch callous that formed during a marathon which I mostly shaved off.


This is the shoe which was used during the marathon. Notice the distinct red color, corresponding to the pinch callous bleeding into this runner’s sock and shoe? In this case the problem was the trim on the shoe, gouging into the pinch callous with each running step.


The cure?…a little surgery to excise the offending trim and voila! No more pressure, no more bleeding. The hole was made by this person’s foot, but cutting into the mesh would be fine too.


Worn Outsole


This sole wear is shocking for two reasons:

  1. This is an expensive shoe, and should be re-soled when worn out.
  2. This shoe is too short. Central wear should always be at the ball and not forward from the ball, like this wear is.

Don’t let this happen to your shoe!

Antique Shoe Buckle

Ever delightful Ann wore this beautiful brooch into the office today. Imagine my surprise, when she informed me, it’s actually an antique shoe buckle, fashioned into a pin. An heirloom from many years ago. Very intricate, very unusual, and very beautiful. Thanks Ann!


Worn Sock Liners – Windows to Your Soles

How many of us check the insides of our shoes? If you’re like most of us, never, right? Well, you may want to get better acquainted with the insides of your shoes.
Above is a worn pair of sock liners I removed from a pair of Rockport shoes. Even without a podiatry degree, you should be able to see significant signs of wear and tear. Amazing, how different the right and left foot wear patterns are. Notice the right sock liner with the big hole on the outside? Even if you never see the foot, you would still worry that something important alignment-wise might be happening on the right foot side. And you would be right… Achilles tendonitis on the right side. See? Worn sock liners really can be the window to your sole!

Shoes & Polish


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.

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.



A Well Made Shoe Should Last Years

I see this at least once a week and this problem is not only unnecessary but also seems to be gender neutral. In walks a patient, with an otherwise very expensive ($400+) or even an inexpensive (<$25) pair of shoes, having an almost irreparably worn down heel.



Don’t let this be your shoe. Instead, march your excessively worn heels directly to your local shoe repair shop. They’re professionals and for less than a bargain matinee and a large bag of refillable popcorn, they can create a good as new, flat level heel. Now isn’t that worth it?

In San Francisco’s Financial District, check out Jack’s Shoe Service (415.989.9434) or Anthony’s Shoe Service (415.781.1338). I have used and recommend both. Check em’ out.

Perfect Prada’s – Heel & Vamp & Adjustable Upper Straps.

First thing Monday morning, my very stylish patient Anne arrives to pick up her new running orthotics when lo and behold, I see that she is wearing a stunning pair of Prada platform heels.


Reasons to Love Anne’s Shoes:

  1. Platform design gives the illusion of added height without actually adding height.
  2. Platform sole and heel are wooden and very stable (think Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals).
  3. Heel style comes straight down from counter of shoe. If given a choice, this will always be better heel design than say a kitten heel or other off center style heel.

Nordstrom Men’s Shoes – Merrell Jungle Moc

While shopping with my husband this afternoon I looked down at his heels and noticed, he was like one of the cobbler’s children without any shoes. He was walking on the outside of the heels of his shoes to the point that he looked like he had a limp and was hobbling from side to side. When I asked him how he could possibly walk pain free in his shoes, he replied, “I can’t, so we won’t be shopping for long”.

Fortunately we were right next to Nordstrom and could buy new shoes, because we had a lot of shopping to do. Once in the men’s shoe salon I quickly wandered around and found him the following three pair of shoes. My husbands challenges are that his foot is very deep and he has a long heel to ball. Lace styles suit him best, but he is drawn to slip-ons because of the ease of getting them on and off.

He wears orthotics for functional hallux limitus, i.e. sore big toe joints and is most comfortable when the shoe is torsionally stable and has an inflexible forefoot sole. Within 5 minutes, I had the following three contentenders in hand.

1. Mephisto Gaham – Size 12
A very handsome tie shoe, wide and deep – Sticker price – $395
2. Ecco Montreal – Size 46 Euro
Beautiful slip on shoes – Sticker Price – $275
3. Merrell Jungle Moc – Size 12
Wide and deep, very orthotic friendly – Sticker Price – $79.95

Much to our dismay, when the shoes were retrieved, my husband was unable to fit his orthotics into the shoes. Although all shoes had removable foot beds, the heel cup of his orthotic was unable to seat fully back. The result, a tight fit in the vamp and excessive heel slippage in the back. It didn’t matter whether the shoes heel counter was soft or firm, the orthotic would still not seat back.

Worried that we still wouldn’t be able to shop, because it was increasingly apparent my husband wouldn’t be getting shoes, I thought AHA, I know, lets remove the custom orthotics and insert a pair of mens 3/4″ Superfeet instead.
Great for flats and slip on tennis shoes – Sticker – $19.95

Within a minute of trying these beauties on with the Merrell’s – order was restored in the world. With a kiss and hug, my prince charming had found his slipper that fit. From then on he commented more than once on how he felt as though he was walking on a cloud.

Thanks Nordstrom. Thanks Superfeet.

F-Scan Findings: Atypical Heel and Arch Pain

Three very similiar patients; one female and two male, having narrow, bony feet have all had chronic, longstanding arch and/or heel pain, accompanied by extreme plantar foot “sensitivity” and pain for many years.

Each were on the brink of disaster alignment-wise, when a seemingly benign event (new orthotic, unexpected prolonged hiking) occured, changing them forever, sending them along a downward spiral of worsening, unrelenting foot pain. All have see countless foot specialists (podiatrist,orthopedists) and have tried a bundle of different shoes and orthotics with no success whatsoever. All have also presented with shoes that are too long and deep for their bony, skinny feet.

As a board certified orthopedic podiatrist, I would have previously tried to cushion their orthotics or grind in a plantar fascial groove to offweight an otherwise tight, bow strung, plantar fascia. What I have learned instead, using F-Scan pressure mapping is that standard orthotic treatments don’t always work. Instead, fine tuning the trajectory parameter is essential to prevent excessive dorsiflexion of digits 2 or 3 during the toe-off phase of the gait cycle.

Before and after results are listed below. Symptomatic relief using these principles in my three patients has not been immediate, but over 2-3 months time, all patients were 80% improved from before the study trial.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog. With 17 years of looking at feet and the shoes that brought them in, I realized that I know a thing or two about shoes and feet. In an effort to teach others what I know, I have created shoe class 101. During the class, I create personalized shoe fit guides for everyone who attends, but until now, I haven’t figured out a way to archive and organize all of this extremely useful information. So, I have created Jenny’s shoe blog for all of you, in hopes that by explaining and showing you what I have learned, the information will make you a little smarter too. Finding a stylish, well-fitting shoe isn’t rocket science, you just need an experienced guide. Which is where I come in. Shoe Class 101 blog, you’re officially alive.