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Dr. Steve Rosenberg

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Open Toe Shoes for Summer: A Good Choice

Posted: 05/13/10 02:58 PM ET

Feet. They usually come as a pair and often have lumps and bumps in places that makes you run to the podiatrist to find out how did that happen. Sometimes they hurt in shoes and other times barefoot. However, whether you are wearing shoes or barefoot, foot problems occur because of abnormal foot biomechanics which are genetically preordained. Looking at your grandparents and parents feet can give you a tremendous amount of insight in why those lumps and bumps have appeared. These are formally called hammertoe, bunion and bone spur deformities. When your foot hits the ground, either when you are barefoot or when wearing your favorite pair of shoes, all the joints and muscles in your feet have to adjust to the forces created by your walking. Therefore, your feet can slide in shoes, developing corns and blisters on the tops of your toes or thick calluses on the balls of your feet. This is a bone causing a skin problem because of friction and pressure (movement of bones rubbing against each other or against one of the shoe surfaces).

Now that spring is here and summer is right around the corner it is time to dig out those shoes which give your feet some breathing room. That means your casual or dress sandals, slides, open toe pumps, flip- flops and clogs. These types of shoes will create space for your toes to move. If these types of shoes have straps that cross over the front of the foot (i.e. toes) they should be adjustable in order to decrease the rubbing on the top of the foot that may occur when walking. Often times a strap crossing over a few toes can rub and irritate the skin on the tops of the toes causing skin problems. One draw back is that these types of shoes do not have very good arch support in fact they usually do not have any arch support and often times your feet will suffer. Style dictates shoewear. So depending on what's hot and what's not, you will either have "happy feet" or ones that will say Ouch!

There are solutions to try and eliminate or slow down the development of those lumps, bumps, corns and calluses caused by abnormal foot biomechanics. Functional orthotics help control the development of such foot problems but they only fit in closed shoes. Instant arches, an over the counter foot product, is another type of arch support that can stick in your shoes weather they are closed or open. They will improve postural stability and spinal alignment. Orthotics will also allow the foot to adapt to different types of walking surfaces, providing better balance with each step. Soft flat insoles can be placed in your shoes to reduce foot friction when wearing pumps or flat shoes. Foot surgery is always an option if all conservative treatments fail.

So kick off your closed-toe shoes and start walking, happily ever after ...

 

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