Adam C. Young, MD
Alan C. League, MD
Albert Knuth, MD
Alejandra Rodriguez-Paez, MD
Alexander E. Michalow, MD
Alexander Gordon, MD
Alexander J. Tauchen, MD
Alexander M. Crespo, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
Ami Kothari, MD
Amy Jo Ptaszek, MD
Anand Vora, MD
Andrea S. Kramer, MD
Andrew J. Riff, MD
Angela R. Crowley, MD
Angelo Savino, MD
Anthony Savino, MD
Anuj S. Puppala, MD
Ari Kaz, MD
Ashraf H. Darwish, MD
Ashraf Hasan, MD
Bradley Dworsky, MD
Brian Clay, MD
Brian J. Burgess, DPM
Brian R. McCall, MD
Brian Schwartz, MD
Brian Weatherford, MD
Brooke Vanderby, MD
Bruce Summerville, MD
Bryan Waxman, MD
Bryant S. Ho, MD
Carey E. Ellis, MD
Carla Gamez, DPM
Cary R. Templin, MD
Charles L. Lettvin, MD
Charles M. Lieder, DO
Chinyoung Park, MD
Christ Pavlatos, MD
Christian Skjong, MD
Christopher C. Mahr, MD
Christopher J. Bergin, MD
Craig Cummins, MD
Craig Phillips, MD
Craig S. Williams, MD
Craig Westin, MD
Daniel M. Dean, MD
David Beigler, MD
David Guelich, MD
David H. Garelick, MD
David Hamming, MD
David Hoffman, MD
David M. Anderson, MD
David Raab, MD
David Schneider, DO
Djuro Petkovic, MD
Douglas Diekevers, DPM
Douglas Solway, DPM
E. Quinn Regan, MD
Eddie Jones Jr., MD
Edward J. Logue, MD
Ellis K. Nam, MD
Eric Chehab, MD
Eric L. Lee, MD
Evan A. Dougherty, MD
Garo Emerzian, DPM
Gary Shapiro, MD
Giridhar Burra, MD
Gregory Brebach, MD
Gregory J. Fahrenbach, MD
Gregory Portland, MD
Harpreet S. Basran, MD
Holly L. Brockman, MD
Inbar Kirson, MD, FACOG, Diplomate ABOM
Jacob M. Babu, MD, MHA
Jalaal Shah, DO
James M. Hill, MD
James R. Bresch, MD
Jason G. Hurbanek, MD
Jason Ghodasra, MD
Jason J. Shrouder-Henry, MD
Jeffrey Ackerman, MD
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Jeffrey Staron, MD
Jeffrey Visotsky, MD
Jeremy Oryhon, MD
Jing Liang, MD
John H. Lyon, MD
Jonathan Erulkar, MD
Jordan L. Goldstein, MD
Josephine H. Mo, MD
Juan Santiago-Palma, MD
Justin Gent, MD
Justin M. LaReau, MD
Kellie Gates, MD
Kermit Muhammad, MD
Kevin Chen, MD
Kris Alden MD, PhD
Leah R. Urbanosky, MD
Leigh-Anne Tu, MD
Leon Benson, MD
Lori Siegel, MD
Lynn Gettleman Chehab, MD, MPH, Diplomate ABOM
Marc Angerame, MD
Marc Breslow, MD
Marc R. Fajardo, MD
Marie Kirincic, MD
Mark Gonzalez, MD
Mark Gross, MD
Mark Hamming, MD
Mark Mikhael, MD
Matthew L. Jimenez, MD
Mehul H. Garala, MD
Michael C. Durkin, MD
Michael Chiu, MD
Michael J. Corcoran, MD
Michael O'Rourke, MD
Nathan G. Wetters, MD
Nikhil K. Chokshi, MD
Paul L. Goodman, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Peter Hoepfner, MD
Peter Thadani, MD
Phillip Ludkowski, MD
Priyesh Patel, MD
Rajeev D. Puri, MD
Rhutav Parikh, MD
Richard J. Hayek, MD
Richard Noren, MD
Richard Sherman, MD
Ritesh Shah, MD
Robert J. Thorsness, MD
Roger Chams, MD
Ronak M. Patel, MD
Scott Jacobsen, DPM
Sean A. Sutphen, DO
Serafin DeLeon, MD
Shivani Batra, DO
Stanford Tack, MD
Steven C. Chudik, MD
Steven J. Fineberg, MD
Steven Jasonowicz, DPM
Steven M. Mardjetko, MD
Steven S. Louis, MD
Steven W. Miller, DPM
Surbhi Panchal, MD
T. Andrew Ehmke, DO
Taizoon Baxamusa, MD
Teresa Sosenko, MD
Theodore Fisher, MD
Thomas Gleason, MD
Timothy J. Friedrich, DPM
Todd R. Rimington, MD
Todd Simmons, MD
Tom Antkowiak, MD, MS
Tomas Nemickas, MD
Van Stamos, MD
Vidya Ramanavarapu, MD
Wayne M. Goldstein, MD
Wesley E. Choy, MD
William P. Mosenthal, MD
William Vitello, MD

Are You Wearing the Correct Footwear?

Properly fitted shoes can help reduce the risk of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. Steven Jasonowicz, DPM, and Cathy Irwin, PT, OCS, MHS, of Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, give advice on how your shoes should fit and the deformities that could arise from wearing improper fitted shoes.

The fit of the shoe should be “snug without pinching,” says Irwin. You should not force your foot into a shoe that does not have a similar natural shape. Irwin says that, “a straight foot, needs a straight shoe and a curved foot, needs a curved shoe.”

Irwin recommends checking the following when buying shoes:

  1. Stiffness of the sole. Shoe should not be able to bend in half or be twisted in the arch. It should bend where your toes start, not in the arch (middle) of the shoe.
  2. Heel counter. The heel should offer some resistance when squeezing it.
  3. Size of toe box. Square toe boxes provide the most room, round toe boxes provide some room and pointed toe boxes provide the least amount of room for your toes.
  4. Depth of toe box. This is the height from the sole to the top of the shoe. Toes should not be scrunched in this area, they should have some room to move. Shoes with a narrow or tight toe box can aggravate bunions and cause blisters or sores.

Irwin also says to look for shoes made with materials like soft leather. Soft leather allows for more expansion in the toe box, accommodating for deformities like bunions. If you have to wear heels, opt for a heel that is two inches or less, has a thick or wedged heel, and if possible, has a strap around the ankle or arch. Shoes with straps, buckles or laces provide more stability.

Jasonowicz explains that, “Wearing the wrong shoes can not only be the culprit causing foot and ankle problems but can aggravate underlying deformity. Wearing the wrong shoes can change the way pressure is normally distributed in the foot. This can put extra pressure on the bones and soft tissue structures, it’s not uncommon to see stress fractures, neuromas and plantar fasciitis from wearing the wrong shoes.”

Jasonowicz sees these common conditions that could be exacerbated by shoes:

Jasonowicz says the best way to reduce your risk of developing foot deformities is by “getting properly fitted/sized for shoes. Sometimes you may require an insert or orthotic to accommodate a specific condition or deformity. It is ok to wear less supportive or more stylish shoes occasionally, but try and limit your time in these types of shoes.”

Jasonowicz adds, “People with diabetes and those patients with peripheral neuropathy need to be extremely careful with shoes. Something simple like a blister from an area of rubbing can result in a difficult to heal shore or even infection. Those with diabetes or peripheral neuropathy need to check their feet daily and let their doctor know right away if they are having any issues.”

If you are experiencing foot pain, Irwin provides simple exercises to help reduce pain:

  • Toe spreading and stretching
  • Golf ball roll
  • Bending toes forward and backward
  • Massaging
  • Calf stretch
  • Tracing the alphabet with your foot
  • Practicing balance

“Listen to your feet. If something hurts, avoid wearing those shoes in the future,” Jasonowicz says. Everyone’s feet are different. Try on multiple shoes in your foot style to compare what feels best.

Dr. Steven Jasonowicz

Steven Jasonowicz, DPM

Dr. Steven Jasonowicz is a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon providing diagnosis and treatment for the full spectrum of foot and ankle disorders.

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