My Mother/Father just won’t pick up his/her feet!

It’s a tough situation, your mother or father begins to trip because they can’t pick up their feet and you know sooner or later they are going to break a hip or worse. What makes the matter worse is that they won’t listen to reason because their worried about losing their independence. What to do? Tripping is often caused by the shoes that they wear. Dr. Carol Frey, director of the Foot and Ankle Center at Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angeles, conducted a year-long study regarding safe footwear for seniors. Her research showed that in many cases shoes that are generally considered “safer footwear” were often to blame for falls that caused injuries. Dr. Frey studied 185 men and women over 55 who had fallen and injured themselves during a one-year period. Among those 65 and older, shoes were frequently at fault for the falls that resulted in the injuries. Your parent’s shoes could be contributing to their stumbling.  Athletic shoes are mainly to blame. Sixty percent of those wearing sneakers when they fell said they fell because their shoes “caught or dragged” on the floor and 40 percent said their athletic shoes were “too slippery.” What shoes should older people wear? Doctors recommend:

Never wear shoes with slippery or worn outer soles. Also avoid shoes with smooth leather or plastic soles, which can be slippery on carpets, wood and tile floors, and wet surfaces. Some athletic shoes made with synthetic soles, which may be ideal for exercising in a gym, can be extremely slippery on a damp or wet surface. Remove any tripping obstacles, even a low lying rug can be tripped on.

Avoid wearing shoes and slippers that are loose or ill-fitting.

When walking on carpets, avoid wearing shoes with heavy rubber lugs that can catch on carpets, especially when they are worn by people who barely pick up their feet when they walk. The rubber tips on the toes of running shoes can also cause a stumble on a carpeted surface.

For an all-around shoe, consider walking shoes, which provide good traction and support but do not have heavy soles or rubber over the toes.

Although shoes with a lot of cushioning can make you feel as if you are walking on air, they can also make an older person unstable and are best avoided unless they are at risk of diabetic foot ulcers.

Shoes that tie are safer than shoes that slip on the feet. Laced shoes can be adjusted to accommodate orthotics, braces and swelling of the feet. For those who lack dexterity, consider replacing cloth laces with elastic ones that hold the shoe firmly on the foot, but stretch enough to allow shoes to be slipped on and off without tying or untying the laces.

The wrong shoes can mean falls for the elderly. Experts recommend shoes that lace up and have light rubber soles, and warn of possible hazards of the ones shown below. Slippers can fall off. Shoes with smooth leather soles can slide. Running shoes with thick rubber soles that extend over the toe area can stick to the carpet and cause falls. If your parent can’t bend over to lace the shoe consider Velcro straps.

Leg muscle weakness, illnesses, medication side effects, vision problems and problems with proprioception (proprioception is the ability to know where your body’s position and movement is in relation to the environment) are common factors that can lead to balancing problem in the elderly. Mary Tinetti, MD says, “The nerves in their feet are not giving their brains the message of where they are.”  “A cane or walking stick gives input to your brain of where your feet are through your hands,” she adds. Balance can be measured by the time patients can stand on both feet in tandem stance (heel to toe) and on one foot (single stance); normal is greater or equal to 5 seconds. A walker may provide similar input to the brain. But those whose balance is compromised enough to require a walker may not experience the same level of effect. But walking devices may be a hard sell to older adults. They’re associated with aging and dependence in an elderly person’s mind. Judy Stevens, Ph.D., epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control says, “The best way to motivate older adults is to appeal to their desire to remain independent, rather than to talk about the dire risks of falling.” Allways consider physical therapy, strengthing can lead to years of independence for your parent.

Foot Facts

The foot contains 19 muscles, 107 ligaments and tendons, 26 bones with 33 joints.

The foot contains @ 25 % of all the bones in the body. If foot bones are out of alignment, then the whole body is out of alignment.

Most people have one foot that is larger than the other. The average male shoe size is 10. The average women’s shoe size is 8.5, this has gone up two sizes in just four decades. Feet are at their largest in the evening, this is also the best time to get fitted for shoes. A person’s foot will increase two sizes longer when they stand up.

In our lifetime we will walk the equivalent of more than 4 times around the earth. @ 115 thousand miles.

In an average day of walking 8,000 to 10,000 steps, we displace the weight of a fully loaded cement truck on our feet. Each time our heel leaves the ground our toes carry the weight of ½ our body weight. When running the pressure on the feet can be as much as four times the runner’s body weight.

An adult averages 4,000 to 6,000 steps in a day. Walking is the best exercise for your feet. Standing is by far, more taxing, because just a few muscles are under continuous strain. The average woman walks three more miles in a day than the average male.

Problems in the feet are a precursor of things to come, many conditions such as arthritis and diabetes first show their symptoms in the feet. Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems, but 75 out of 100 Americans will experience serious foot problems in their lifetime.

90% women wear shoes that are too small for their feet. Because of high heels (a 2½-inch high heel can increase the load on the front pad by 75%) and ill-fitting shoes they are 4 times more likely to experience foot problems than men. Another symptom, more than half the women in America have bunions, a common foot deformity in which the joint that connects the big toe to the foot gets larger and juts out.

Foot fetishes are more popular or profitable than foot health, there are more websites having to do with foot fetishes than with foot health. Heel pain and ingrown toenails are the most common problems searched for on the internet. Approximately 5% of Americans will have ingrown toenails in a given year.

It is normal for a child to take its first steps between 10 to 18 months but the average that it occurs is 13 to 17 months. A child’s feet will grow rapidly for the first year, by the age of 12 their foot will be 90% fully grown.

By the mid thirty’s the padding in the bottom of the foot thins out. This is why foot pain can develop from standing for lengthy periods. Read more – Metatarsal Pain

Corns and calluses will affect approximately 6.5% of the population. Read more – Safe and Effective Ways to Remove Them.

Soles of feet contain more sweat glands and sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body. In a pair of feet, there are 250,000 sweat glands which can excrete up to a half-pint of sweat a day.

When a toenail is torn off, it takes 5 to 6 months for a new one grow back.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records:  Madeline Albrecht was employed at the Hill Top Research Laboratories in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, a testing lab for products. She worked there for 15 years and had to smell literally thousands of feet and armpits during her career. She has sniffed approximately 5,600 feet.

The record for the world’s largest feet belongs to Matthew McGrory who wears US size 29 1/2 shoes. There is a video showing him putting shoes inside of his shoes.

Akshat Saxena from India, holds the world record for having the most toes with 10 digits one each foot!

About 20-30% of the world’s population have Morton’s Toe, a foot condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe. Once considered a mark of intelligence and beauty. Read more – Morton’s Toe

Approximately one in four Americans have flat feet.

Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain) Over 2 million Americans seek treatment) each year. Approximately 10 percent of the US population in a lifetime.

During pregnancy, hot weather and teenage years, toenails grow faster.

The Plantar Wart virus can enter cuts in the feet and take hold. The feet can also contract many diseases from communal showers: Planter Wart, Athletes foot, Ring worm. Approximately 5% of the US population has fungal foot infections in a given year.

It is common for the elderly to have foot conditions that cause pain and disability which can lead to loss of mobility and independence.

For @ 7 million Americans arthritis is the number one cause of disability. It limits everyday dressing, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed or walking. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the United States affecting an estimated 20.7 million, mostly after age 45.

Diabetes usually attacks the foot first with Peripheral Nerve Damage and other complications. Approximately 56,000 people a year lose their foot or leg to diabetes. Read more – Diabetes and the Foot.

Peripheral Vascular Disease a disease of the arteries, affect the feet and legs, when severe leads to ulceration, infection and sometimes amputation.

Most injuries reported from people 17 or older are ankle sprains, @ 60%.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – a pinched nerve going to the foot is a very common reason for feeling pain and burning in the feet. Read more – Tarsal Tunnel

75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives and @ 19% of the population will have 1.4-foot problems each year.

Stone Age people used animal skins to protect their feet. The ancient Romans were the first to make specific left and right shoes. The first pair of boots were created for Queen Victoria back in 1840.

In Britain shoe size is measured in Barleycorns, this unit of measurement stretches back to King Edward 2nd in Anglo-Saxon times. He declared that the diameter of one barely corn- one third of an inch- would represent one full shoe size.

Diabetic Shoe Vs Therapeutic Shoe

These Shoes are virtually the same and often called by other names, such as Orthopedic Shoes, Ortho Shoes, Orthotic Shoes, Ultra Depth, Extra Depth, Depth Shoes, Ultra-Wide, Extra Wide, Sugar Shoes, Medical Shoes, Custom Diabetic Shoes, Custom-Molded Shoes and Orthotic Insert Shoes. A Diabetic Shoe can be all of the above but all of the above can’t always be a Diabetic Shoe. Diabetic Shoes have meet certain manufacturing standards.
1. They must not have any seams with stitching inside that can scratch or tear skin.
2. A Larger Toe Box, this prevents injury from friction.
3. The collar around the ankle of the shoe is padded to prevent blisters.
4. The Shoe offers stiffer protection in the front, to prevent stubbing.
5. Soles are made of a non-skid material for better traction.
6. They are fitted with a special diabetic shoe insert, this insert is smooth and soft to prevent injury to the foot.

If I need an Orthotic Shoe for Knee Pain then why buy a Diabetic Shoe?
1. If you need an Orthotic Shoe Insert you are going to need the Extra Depth and Width.
2. If you have Hammer Toe, Claw Toe, Morton’s Toe, etc. you will need the Larger Toe Box and the no seam feature.
3. Everything else is a bonus.

Why Should I wear Orthopedic Shoes?

If you are diabetic and have neuropathy you are vulnerable to having wounds on the foot. Many times the person doesn’t even know until it’s too late. I heard of a Podiatrist with neuropathy who stepped on a nail. He didn’t feel or recognize it, until gangrene set in. He ended up with a foot amputation. According to the American Diabetes Association, 600,000 diabetic patients get foot ulcers yearly, resulting in over 80,000 amputations. There can’t be 80,000 people not noticing their feet. The goal is to prevent a sore, ulcer, tear in the first place. Read our article “diabetes-and-the-foot” this will explain why and how this happens to the Feet, usually first.
The Diabetic Shoe is designed to prevent injury from happening in the first place.
Why is this Necessary? Because Diabetics have a difficult time feeling (Neuropathy) & healing (Lack of Blood Flow). Open wounds must be avoided!
For this reason Diabetic Shoes were made to certain Specifications. Diabetics are prone to thin skin which can split. Diabetic shoes have special inserts that relieve pressure points. They mold to the foot and allow areas around a pressure point to absorb pressure, thus reducing the risk of a split. They have a smooth surface (often referred to as shear) which helps prevent the skin from tearing as a result of friction. Diabetic Shoes have a cupped heel area to prevent lateral movement when standing or walking. A “Diabetic Shoe” is often referred to as a “Therapeutic Shoe” or “Ultra Depth Shoe” and can be categorized under “Orthopedic Shoe”. A Therapeutic Shoe is deeper in that allows for a thicker insert and more space for toe movement without friction. This additional space is also used to accommodate toe and foot issues such as hammertoe. The toe box is sturdy, this helps prevent toe stubbing. The Shoe will contain no inside seams that could create a blister of tear skin. The Lining will be smooth and moisture absorbent. They will contain soft padding around the heel area. The soles are skid resistant to help prevent falls.
When should I consider Orthopedic Shoes? If you are non-diabetic you will want these when you have any issue that calls for a “Custom Made Shoe Insert”, especially a full length insert. A ¾ length insert might fit comfortably in an “off the shelf shoe”. If you are diabetic there are several issues to consider. Many say get these if you have a hard time keeping your blood sugar regulated. They are definitely a must if you have foot neuropathy. When a normal foot feels pain from friction and pressure, their feet will hurt and they will stop walking before a blister or sore develops. In a diabetic foot with neuropathy they will just keep walking because they can’t feel the pain. Again “Wounds must be avoided”.

Should I run in Minimalist Shoes?

When walking heel striking is more efficient. But when we run a mid to forefoot strike can be better. Everyone agrees that when a person is in an all-out sprint, a forefoot strike is best and natural. After watching videos of professional runners and native tribe people running – barefoot striking is better. David Carrier explains in detail why we are one of the few mammals that heels strike when walking. I will elaborate more about what I believe is the confusion on whether a heel striking or mid forefoot strike is best for you.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH – David Carrier – Professor of Biology ********************


Feb. 11, 2010 – Humans, other great apes and bears are among the few animals that step first on the heel when walking, and then roll onto the ball of the foot and toes. Now, a University of Utah study shows the advantage: Compared with heel-first walking, it takes 53 percent more energy to walk on the balls of your feet, and 83 percent more energy to walk on your toes.

“Our heel touches the ground at the start of each step. In most mammals, the heel remains elevated during walking and running,” says biology Professor David Carrier, senior author of the new study being published online Friday, Feb. 12 and in the March 1 print issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology.

“Most mammals – dogs, cats, raccoons – walk and run around on the balls of their feet. Ungulates like horses and deer run and walk on their tiptoes,” he adds. “Few species land on their heel: bears and humans and other great apes – chimps, gorillas, orangutans.”

“Our study shows that the heel-down posture increases the economy of walking but not the economy of running,” says Carrier. “You consume more energy when you walk on the balls of your feet or your toes than when you walk heels first.”

Economical walking would have helped early human hunter-gatherers find food, he says. Yet, because other great apes also are heel-first walkers, it means the trait evolved before our common ancestors descended from the trees, he adds.

“We [human ancestors] had this foot posture when we were up in the trees,” Carrier says. “Heel-first walking was there in the great apes, but great apes don’t walk long distances. So economy of walking probably doesn’t explain this foot posture [and why it evolved], even though it helps us to walk economically.”

Carrier speculates that a heel-first foot posture “may be advantageous during fighting by increasing stability and applying more torque to the ground to twist, push and shove. And it increases agility in rapid turning maneuvers during aggressive encounters.”

The study concludes: “Relative to other mammals, humans are economical walkers but not economical runners. Given the great distances hunter-gatherers travel, it is not surprising that humans retained a foot posture, inherited from our more arboreal [tree-dwelling] great ape ancestors, that facilitates economical walking.”

Measuring the Costs of Different Modes of Walking and Running

Carrier conducted the study with Christopher Cunningham, a doctoral student in biology at the University of Utah; Nadja Schilling, a zoologist at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany; and Christoph Anders, a physician at University Hospital Jena. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and a German food industry insurance group interested in back pain.

The study involved 27 volunteers, mostly athletes in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Each subject walked or ran three different ways, with each step either heel-first, ball-of-foot first with the heel a bit elevated or toes first with the heel even more elevated.

In his lab, Carrier and colleagues measured oxygen consumption – and thus energy use – as 11 volunteers wore face masks while walking or running on a treadmill. They also walked on a “force plate” to measure forces exerted on the ground.

Part of the study was conducted at Anders’ lab in Germany, where 16 people walked or ran on a treadmill as scientist’s monitored activity of muscles that help the ankles, knees, hips and back do work during walking and running.

Findings of the experiments included:

“You consume more energy when you walk on the balls of your feet or your toes than when you walk heels-first,” Carrier says. Compared with heels-first walkers, those stepping first on the balls of their feet used 53 percent more energy, and those stepping toes-first expended 83 percent more energy.

“The activity of the major muscles of the ankle, knee, hip and back all increase if you walk on the balls of your feet or your toes as opposed to landing on your heels,” says Carrier. “That tells us the muscles increase the amount of work they are producing if you walk on the balls of your feet.”

“When we walk on the balls of our feet, we take shorter, more frequent strides,” Carrier says. “But this did not make walking less economical.” Putting the heel down first and pivoting onto the ball of the foot makes the stride longer because the full length of the foot is added to the length of the step. But that has no effect on energy use.

The researchers wondered if stepping first on the balls of the feet took more energy than walking heel-first because people are less stable on their toes or balls of the feet. But increased stability did not explain why heel-first walking uses less energy.

Stepping heel-first reduced the up-and-down motion of the body’s center of mass during walking and required less work by the hips, knees and ankles. Stepping first onto the balls of the feet slows the body more and requires more re-acceleration.

Heels-first steps also made walking more economical by increasing the transfer of movement or “kinetic” energy to stored or “potential” energy and back again. As a person starts to step forward and downward, stored energy is changed to motion or kinetic energy. Then, as weight shifts onto the foot and the person moved forward and upward, their speed slows down, so the kinetic energy of motion is converted back into stored or potential energy. The study found that stepping first onto the balls of the feet made this energy exchange less efficient that walking heels-first.

Heel-first walking also reduced the “ground reaction force moment” at the ankle. That means stepping first onto the ball of the foot “decreases the leverage, decreases the mechanical advantage” compared with walking heel-first, Carrier says.

In sum, walking heel-first is not more economical because it is more stable or involves fewer, longer strides, but because when we land on our heels, less energy is lost to the ground, we have more leverage, and kinetic and potential energy are converted more efficiently.

Form and Function of the Foot

If heel-first walking is so economical, why do so many animals walk other ways?

“They are adapted for running,” Carrier says. “They’ve compromised their economy of walking for the economy of running.”

“Humans are very good at running long distances. We are physiologically and anatomically specialized for running long distances. But the anatomy of our feet is not consistent with economical running. Think of all the animals that are the best runners – gazelles, deer, horses, dogs – they all run on the ball of their feet or the tips of their toes.”

When people run, why is there no difference in the amount of energy they expend when stepping first onto their heels versus the balls of their feet or toes?

The answer is unknown, but “if you land on your heel when you run, the force underneath the foot shoots very quickly to the ball of your foot,” Carrier says. “Even when we run with a heel plant, most of the step our weight is supported by the ball of our foot. Lots of elite athletes, whether sprinters or distance runners, don’t land on their heel. Many of them run on the balls of their feet,” as do people who run barefoot. That appears to be the natural ancestral condition for early human runners, he adds.

“The important thing is we are remarkable economical walkers,” Carrier says. “We are not efficient runners. In fact, we consume more energy to run than the typical mammal our size. But we are exceptionally economical walkers.”

“This study suggests that one of the things that may explain such economy is the unusual structure of our foot,” he adds. “The whole foot contacts the ground when we walk. We have a big heel. Our big toe is as long as our other toes and is much more robust. Our big toe also is parallel to and right next to the second toe.”

“These features are distinct among apes, and provide the mechanical basis for economical walking. No other primate or mammal could fit into human shoes.” *****************

Let’s answer the question, Should I Heel Strike or Fore Foot Strike?

I think the problem is one person’s opinion of running is different than another’s. If you start walking on a treadmill and slowly turn the speed up, somewhere between 4 and 5 a person will have to abandon the heel to toe walk and then jog with a heel strike or midfoot strike. At this point many say that a heel to toe strike is fine up to the point where the pace makes the runner overextend. If the heel of a running shoe is getting eaten up, it’s a good sign that the runner is overextended. This is where minimalist shoes will help because the runner will have less padding in the heel, so impact pain will force the runner to take shorter strides and land on the mid to forefoot area of the foot. Some People are going at a fast walking pace and trying to perform a mid-foot strike (basically tip toeing while walking). As stated above it is less efficient and is said to put more strain on the ankles. Everyone’s running pace is different but if you are breaking that fast walking pace stride, consider a pair of minimalist shoes (Age plays a part in this). An 8 week study by MD Scot Mullen, performed at the University of Kansas Medical Center, was done in 2015 using 29 runners with 10 years’ experience or more. Runners over age 30 had a tougher time making the transition to forefoot striking with minimalist shoes. 43% of the 30 and over crowd continued to heel strike even at the fastest pace as where only 12% of the adolescents did.  Minimalist shoes are said to strengthen the arches.  Before and after pictures of avid runners support this theory. You can actually see that the runner’s arch has risen over time.

We Know That in Barefoot Running:

  • The stride length is decreased.
  • Heel stress is decreased.
  • Forefoot stress is increased.
  • Knee stress is decreased.
  • Ankle stress in increased.
  • It is more efficient for runners, so they have a lower heart rate.
  • Runners will have increased instances of stress fractures in the Metatarsal Bones. These odds will increase if the runner over pronates or over supinates.

Will Orthotic Inserts Help? Many say it defeats the purpose of strengthening the foot, Some say only if the runner has alignment issues such as extreme over pronation/supination and this should be done with the thought of slowly removing them as the foot becomes stronger. Chances are that they would have to be custom made because minimalist shoes have less space to include them.

So many Opinions: You can probably find just as many studies for and against minimalist shoe running but everyone agrees that if done, it needs to be done slowly and gradually. Some runners start their run with a minimalist shoe for a short distance, then walk back. Others will start with a minimalist shoe and then pull a pair of Orthopedic Inserts out of their pocket to install after certain distances. However it is done, make sure you stop if pain is felt.


Stand if You Can

I became a believer and purchased a stand up desk, I am actually standing now as I write this. I am 57 years young with type 2 diabetes, taking 1000 mg of Metformin daily. My doctor just recently doubled my dose from 500 to 1000, and that’s when I decided to take this disease seriously. My new year’s resolution for 2016 is to lose 30 lbs. I actually started a few weeks early so I have a month’s experience. What does the doctor always say to us, “Diet and Exercise” but my Uncle had a saying that hit the nail on the head, “If you want to lose weight, the first thing you have to give up is you’re Friends!”   Most activities involve eating and drinking, right? Like most diets I started out gung ho, I checked my body mass index 29.16 borderline obese! I have to admit it shocked me, I know I am chunky but I see people that make me look underfed and I mean a lot of people, what is there BMI. I then wanted to find out how many calories that I needed in a day just to maintain my existing weight. To maintain my current weight: 2204 calories a day with a sedentary lifestyle. 2526 a day with light activity which is usually described as 150 minutes of exercise a week. Now it becomes a numbers game. To lose one pound, a body must have a 3500 calorie deficit. So let’s say I’m exercising and eat @ 2000 calories a day, in a week that adds up to 3500 calorie deficit and equates to 1lb a week lost. I’ve been trying to lose 2 lbs. a week (suggested maximum weight to lose safely) so I’m eating @ 1500 calories a day. I’ve actually lost 9 lbs. in 4 weeks but not because I’ve stuck to 1500 calories a day. I think that out of the first 9 lbs. a lot was water weight, I have noticed that I have reached a plateau now. That seems to be the way it works for most people. They will lose a few lbs. and stay stuck at a weight for a week and then drop 2 lbs. overnight. My job is sedentary, I’m in front of a computer all day. I go home and hit the treadmill @ 4 – 5 times a week. I have built up to burning 300 calories in 35 minutes. Then my life becomes sedentary again. I eat dinner with the family, work on the computer a little, watch television and go to bed, pretty boring. Last night my friend called and asked me to meet them down at our local pub to watch the national football championship. I had to decline, when I told him that I was trying to lose weight and get my blood sugar under control he laughed (he is also type 2 diabetic) and replied, “ All you have to do is drink Tequila,  they have found out it lowers blood sugar. I don’t know about that, but what about all the chips and fried food I’m going to eat? I don’t know about you but drinking weakens my will power, I think a large portion of our birth rate could involve drinking in some shape or form. The good news in Ohio, if you can get past the eating a drinking with your friends, there’s not a lot of anything else going on, so it’s easier for me to find time to exercise. In the summer I golf 4 times a week, sometimes 27 holes and according to my doctor, “That’s not exercise, because you ride in a cart”. Even if I wanted to walk it’s not going to happen, the guys I play with love burning through the course in 3 hours and my gambling addiction is stronger than my will to lose weight, I have to admit. Let say that you can’t exercise and your sedentary. How hard is it to eat 500 calories a day less than your break even number? For me it’s not too bad, my biggest problem is portion control. I have always eaten everything on my plate. It just seems strange to me that when I go out to eat with someone and they leave food on their plate, my parents would have blown a gasket, “People are Starving Out there”. I also eat extremely fast. I remember my first date with my now wife, she had a forkful of food and by the time she finished talking, I was done with my meal (this still hasn’t changed in the last 15 years). I have been practicing on slowing down my pace and leaving something on the plate. You’ve probably heard of the 20 minute rule, but I’ll repeat it. It takes 20 minutes after eating for the stomach to feel full. So even if your still hungry after eating your limited calories, if you wait 20 minutes you should feel fool. It seems to work for me, or maybe I just stop thinking about it after 20 minutes. Being Diabetic makes dieting more difficult, we also have to watch what we eat. The big no no’s are sugar, pop, juice, potatoes, rice, bread, beer, alcohol and pasta. God, “Why does Beer have to be loaded with Carbs”? I’ve been doing well on the carb maintenance and my blood sugar shows it. In fact I had a little scare yesterday. I usually check my blood sugar every other morning. Yesterday morning my blood sugar was 95 (fasting) and I didn’t work out the day before. It was The NFL Playoff Sunday.  When I get home from work on Monday,  I feel like I need to check my sugar again, I never do this but I was curious, it’s been 4 hours since I have eaten lunch. My meter shows 61, I think, something must be wrong, check again – 61. I really didn’t feel strange or weird but I eat some strawberries, blueberries and hit the treadmill. Later that night @ 8:30 I drink my protein drink – 30 grams protein and 4 grams of carbs. This morning the meter reads 100, which is good. What I can’t explain and maybe you can help me understand is, why after a 4 hour fast my blood sugar goes low to 61 but after 11 hour fast at night its 100? And the other thing I question is, if I am going to cheat on my diet, it is almost always a Sunday. No work, and the refrigerator is right there. So I cheat on Sunday, don’t exercise and my blood sugar is lower the next morning than when I don’t cheat and do exercise?

Why Stand Up?

They say you can burn an additional 50 calories an hour standing vs sitting. My little mind tells me, 15 minutes on the treadmill is hell, all I have to do is stand for 3 hours a day. I have just discovered the holy grail of weight loss! I order my stand up desk pronto. It is just like anything else, you have to work up to it. I started walking a mile now I’ve built up to 3 miles. Standing is similar. There was no way that I could stand up for three hours straight, my ankles, knees and back were killing me. At age 57 you learn patience. First thing I do is get a pair of custom orthotic shoe inserts. Now I know everything is in alignment and weight distribution is correct. This means a lot as you get older. The orthotics adjust the foot so that the bones in the ankles, knees and back now ride a position that is able to hold the weight correctly. In my case I have a knee with worn cartilage, the orthotic has changed where my knee joint makes contact, virtually eliminating the pain. Next I purchase a anti fatigue pad to stand on, I think this helps. I have found that standing for an hour at a time works well for me. I stand first thing in the morning from 8:00 – 9:00 am then 11:00 to 12:00 pm and then 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Start standing 10 minutes at a time if that is all you can do. We carry a complete line of ankle, knee, and back braces if needed. If you have sciatica that is aching, don’t let it stop you, wear a brace. You’ll find these pains the first hour that you attempt to stand!

What I Have Noticed:

When I climb the steps at work, I am not winded now. I can now stand for @ 3hrs straight. A technique that works well for me is to move a little. When I first started standing I was perfectly still, like a statue. The pain in my knees and hips would become unbearable. Now I’ll rock from side to side, walk in place a little and occasionally take a walk to the coffee pot or water bottle. Doing these little tricks has helped me double my standing time.  I know I have a long way to go but my blood sugar is lower than it has been in years and I’m thinking of reducing my medication back to what it was. When you stand you use muscles and this helps burn excessive glucose, studies say by as much as 30%.  My energy level is much higher, I work around the house much more. I even helped my wife take down the Christmas Ornaments, first time ever! I have been less grouchy, according to my wife.  I am anxious to see if this will manifest to even greater levels when I lose another 20 lbs.

Think of What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t

If I can emphasize one point it would be, “START SOMEWHERE”. Stand for 5 minutes, walk 10 feet. It’s a beginning to build on. I once read, being at rock bottom is a good place to start, you now have the most solid foundation to build on!             Everyone is going to falter. If you fail one day, two days, a week, start the process over again, this is not a race. If you average ½ lb. a week that’s still 26 lbs. in a year.

Good luck and please share exeriences!

Hammer Toe

What Does Hammertoe Look Like?

The PIP Joint/s (proximal interphalangeal joints) of the toes will be pointed upward, when you look down at them they will be waiving at you. Usually with a corn or callus on the top. The end of the toe is the hammer that hits the ground.

The Claw, Mallet and Curly Toe are all typically caused by the same things just affecting different joints in the toes. View the Image above to see the visual differences. Symptoms and Cures are almost identical.

What you might feel with Hammer, Claw, Mallet and Curly Toe?

  • During movement of the toe, Pain and stiffness may be felt
  • Since the top of the toe/s rub on shoes, there are often painful corns and calluses
  • The bottom of the toe that hits the ground, there are often painful corns and calluses
  • Pain may develop on the bottom or the ball of the foot
  • Inflammation, Redness and swelling in the toe joints often occurs
  • In a diabetic the hammertoes may be susceptible to ulcers and infections.

What Caused My Hammertoe?

Hammertoe can be hereditary or caused by a severely stubbed toe but just like bunions women are much more prone to acquire hammertoe than men. It is said that as high as 4 to 5 times as likely. This is because of the shoes women wear. Squishing a foot into a shoe that is tight and narrow shoe, cramps the toes upward. Eventually the toe can become stuck like this. High heels further exasperate the condition, the toes are under more pressure and crammed forward even further.

Other Factors:

  • Highly arched feet.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Tendon imbalance. When the foot cannot function normally, the tendons may stretch or tighten to compensate and lead to toe deformities.


What Can I Do About Having Hammertoe?

Remember when I said, “That toes could become stuck in that position”. If the toes cannot be straightened forward there is no self-help solutions but you can treat the symptoms and hopefully become pain free. First step is to get a pair of therapeutic shoes, ones that are called ultra-depth. Explain to our Certified Pedorthist what condition you have and they will tailor an Orthotic Insert to your specific needs. says, “Functional orthotics can be thought of as contact lenses for your feet. They correct a number of foot problems that are caused by an abnormally functioning foot. Our feet, much like our eyes, change with time. Functional orthotics slow down or halt this gradual change in the foot. Often when orthotics are used for flexible hammertoes, the toes will overtime straighten out and correct themselves. Calf stretching exercises are also helpful. Calf stretching can help to overcome part of the muscle imbalance that causes the hammertoe”.

Therapeutic Shoes will allow the toes to move forward and or stop rubbing on the shoe. This will also help the corns and calluses to go away. Sandals in the summer, again look at therapeutic sandals they have much mort support. Padding and Taping is available to protect the boney top-part of the hammertoe as a means of relieving pain, and to change their current position. This will help to relieve the pressure that led to the hammertoe’s development. Medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and Ibuprofen/Aleve can help deal with inflammation, swelling and pain caused by your hammertoe. Cortisone may be injected into the joints, this will relieve the pain temporarily.

Don’t be vain, therapeutic shoes are more stylish than ever and pricing is comparable to store bought shoes. These aren’t Granny Shoes anymore.

I Can’t Stop The Pain?

The good news is that toe surgery has a high success rate and is usually done on an outpatient basis. The bad news is that it can take a while to heal. Any surgery on the foot is prone to extended swelling because the blood is drawn into the feet. In severe cases swelling can last a year. Full recovery time is typically 1-3 months.

Flexible Hammertoe (one that can be straightened forward): A procedure of transferring the tendons from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe where it is sticking up. This helps pull the bent joint into a straight position.

Fixed Hammertoe: (when the hammertoe has become fixed (stiff).

Joint resection: The end of the toe bone is cut and removed, this allow the toe to straighten. Tendons and ligaments may be cut to help straighten the toe. Then temporary pins (removed 3-4 weeks post surgery) are used to hold the toe straight.

Fusion:  In this procedure, the ends of the toe bone are cut and the toe is straightened. Pins, screws or other implants can be used to keep the toe straight (fusion process) while the bone ends heal together. The ligaments and tendons are also cut to help straighten the toe.

If you have a toe ailment like hammertoe, claw toe, mallet toe, curly toe, or have had surgery please share with us, your experiences.

Bunions of the Feet

Bunions are a common problem where the Great Toe (Big Toe) metatarsal bone shifts outward and away from the second. This is recognizable by the Great Toe pointing inwards. Bunions develop in approximately 30% of the population, which 9 out of 10 are women.  Bunions start slowly and progress as we get older. At first the Great tow will lean against the second toe. Over many years the bone on at the end of the 1st metatarsal will jut outward and on severe cases the second toe will overlap the Great Toe. This is the classic Bunion.

A tailor’s bunion is similar to a bunion in that it is caused by the same circumstances. They are recognizes as smaller bunions that form on the joint(s) at the base of the little toes


What Cases A Bunion?

  • Heredity – most people have parents or grandparents who have had bunions.
  • Pronation – during the walking gate the pressure is carried mostly by the Great Toe. If the inside of your shoes show greater wear, this is a noticeable sign.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis can contribute
  • NUMBER 1 REASON – (Improper fitting of footwear) although experts disagree, I think the evidence states its case. 9 out 10 cases are women and what do they wear. Tight fitting shoes and high heels with little or no cushioning. Yes they can say that there mother had them too, but what did the mother wear? Probably shoes that were narrow or pointed and high heels. Why else would men be one out of ten?

What Are The Symptoms?

  • The Great Toe facing inward toward the other toes
  • A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe that is often red from swelling and is painful to the touch
  • A callus forms at the base of the Great Toe
  • Limited motion of the Great Toe
  • Swelling in the joint
  • Joint pain increases when wearing shoes
  • Continuous Pain

How to Treat a Bunion Before and After It Becomes Painful?

  • Podiatrists are experts on Bunions and they don’t recommend surgery unless there is pain. Many say don’t consider surgery unless the Bunion is painful for at least one year. Almost all agree, don’t have surgery for cosmetic reasons.
  • First line of attack is to get proper fitting shoes that are wide enough not to squish your toes together. Do not wear shoes with stitching that runs along the bump. Remember you cannot correct the bunion but you can keep it from getting worse and in most cases remove the painful aspect.
  • Bunions shields, padding and splints help with pain.
  • Avoid activity that causes pain to the bunion.
  • Use an ice pack to reduce inflammation.
  • Keep your body at the proper weight.
  • Most Effective – Orthotic shoe inserts. The best ones are called Custom Orthotics or Custom Therapeutic inserts. These are made from a mold of your feet and when you tell the Pedorthist that you have bunions. They will correct any pronation qualities in your gait. Most importantly they will supply strong arch support, this will help relieve pressure felt by the Great Toe. Usually with a custom Orthotic Therapeutic shoes are recommended, they are called Ultra Depth Shoes. Meaning they are deeper allowing room for the Orthotic. Therapeutic Shoes are more stylish than ever and are priced relative to a normal shoe.

The Shoes and Orthotics Help But I Still Have Pain Sometimes.  You May Consider!

  • Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Aleve, may reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Prescription strength pain relievers
  • Cortisone injections

I Can’t Take It Anymore, I Need Surgery.

  • Dr. Botek from the Cleveland Clinic says, “There are more than 150 types of bunion surgeries, but surgeons typically choose one from about a half-dozen commonly used procedures”.
  • Almost all patients are happy with the results the conflict that they can’t agree upon is the recovery. Many patients say the pain is intense or excruciating from 4 to 8 weeks. Others say that it’s only a couple weeks. Most say that they are in a Cam Walker Boot (A Walking Brace) for 6 to 8 weeks. Podiatrists and Surgeons both agree that the foot draws blood down to it, so swelling frequently postpones the wearing of normal shoes.

WebMD Recommends:  What to Expect After Surgery

  • The usual recovery period after bunion surgery is 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the amount of soft tissue and bone affected. Complete healing may take as long as 1 year.
  • When you are showering or bathing, the foot must be kept covered to keep the stitches dry.
  • Stitches are removed after 7 to 21 days.
  • Pins that stick out of the foot are usually removed in 3 to 4 weeks. But in some cases they are left in place for up to 6 weeks.
  • Walking casts, splints, special shoes, or wooden shoes are sometimes used. Regular shoes can sometimes be worn in about 4 to 5 weeks, but some procedures require wearing special shoes for about 8 weeks after surgery. In some cases, it can be 3 to 4 months before you can wear regular shoes. Many activities can be resumed in about 6 to 8 weeks.
  • After some procedures, no weight can be put on the foot for 6 to 8 weeks. Then there are a few more weeks of partial weight-bearing with the foot in a special shoe or boot to keep the bones and soft tissues steady as they heal.

Please Share Your Story. If you have bunions please share with us, when they first started showing, when they became painful and what things helped with the pain. If you have had surgery for Bunions Please share with us, what the experience was like!

Morton’s Toe


If your second toe is longer than your big toe (The big toe is also called the Great Toe) or your first metatarsal joint is shorter than your second metatarsal joint you have Morton’s toe (View Images). This is hereditary, 10-20% of the population have it. Many people have it with no complications. In the Greek Classic Period almost all statues were modeled after people with the “Greek Toe”. Not only was it considered attractive, a person lucky enough to poses this trait was considered to be intelligent and with qualities of creativity and leadership. One Lady that we all recognize (The Statute of Liberty) has a Greek or Morton Toe.

Why Does a Morton Toe Cause problems:

The Great Toe is supposed to carry @ 65% of the pressure with each adjacent toe bearing less and less. The Little Toe is said to carry 5% leaving 30% of the pressure to be carried by the middle three toes. Other factors contribute. If you pronate (walk on the inside of your foot) the big toe will carry a greater percentage of the pressure. Pain from Morton’s Toe can develop because the longer second toe bears an excessive amount of pressure. The 1st Metatarsal bone is much bigger in diameter than the 2nd Metatarsal because it is meant to carry the majority of pressure. When the second toe is longer it can create a side to side movement in the foot often called hypermobility. This adds to the complications of Morton’s Foot. Anything that adds additional pressure to the mentioned metatarsals increases the odds of Morton foot. Because of high heels, women are 8 times more likely to develop Morton’s Toe than men.

I Now Have Pain from Morton’s Toe, How do I Treat it?

  • Custom Orthotics with Metatarsal pads are highly recommended. They can offer relief from pain by distributing pressure on the foot evenly and help stop over pronation which is common with Morton’s Toe.
  • Comfort Shoe Wear.
  • Taping the first two toes together
  • Icing the bottom of the foot
  • Cortisone shots
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Ibuprofen, Aleve or aspirin, may be taken orally to reduce pain and inflammation.

If pain remains chronic, contact a podiatrist, there is surgery to shorten the bone in the second toe. Recovery time can be as little as two weeks.

Metatarsal Pain

Metatarsalgia (Met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh)

Metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot. It is called stone bruise for good reason, it feels like you stepped on a sharp stone and then a 300 LB person stepped on that foot. The degree of pain varies and it can be tender to the touch. Pain is caused by inflammation at the end of the metatarsal bones which is above the ball of the feet. There are five long metatarsal bones that extend above the arch of the foot to the toe joints. The first and second metatarsal bones absorb the majority of this force. Most Metatarsal pain is between the third and fourth metatarsal heads (view pictures). Pain is felt when weight is applied to the ball of the foot and worsens when the walking gait transfers the weight to the toes. People with high arches and long second toes are prone to metatarsal pain. The longer second toe absorbs more weight during the gait and aggravates the metatarsal joint. If the pain is in the big toe it is often from osteoarthritis. Metatarsal pain is mostly an overuse pain. It is most common in athletes, runners, women who wear high heels and overweight or obese people.


  • 80% of the time symptoms develop slowly as it is an overuse condition. 20% of the time it is from an extreme overuse condition. Take a father who plays basketball with his son for example. The next day he might wake up and feel extreme pain in the balls of his foot/feet.
  • Pain in the ball of the foot and or in the second, third, or fourth toes
  • Increasing pain when walking on hard surfaces
  • Pain that increases when flexing the feet
  • A tingling or numbness that can be felt in the toes
  • When standing or moving there is pain but when sitting pain decreases

Healing Time of the injury include:

  • Lifestyle of the patient
  • Medical history of the patient.
  • How long the injury has been inflicted.
  • Severity and frequency of the pain
  • The person’s medical history and is there pain elsewhere?
  • The person’s gait, does the patient put excessive weight on the injured area from pronation?
  • Is surgery required?

Treatments may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen or Aleve, are useful in pain relief.
  • Appling ice to the area up to several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Doctors may subscribe Steroid injections to reduce pain and swelling. Remember to ease into recovery often steroids mask the pain and patients are eager to over evert the injury.
  • Foot orthotics with metatarsal pads work well especially for people with high arches and arthritis pain and will be likely be prescribed to all, with or without surgery.
  • Shoes with Cushioned heels that absorb shock.

Note: if pain is persistent see a doctor it could be a stress fracture in the toe. Be aware that forefoot pain is the most misdiagnosed in podiatry. Other mitigating circumstances: Hammer Toe, a pinched nerve, etc.

Diabetes and the Foot

Definition of  “metabolic disease”  a syndrome marked by the presence of usually three or more of a group of factors (as high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, and high fasting levels of blood sugar) that are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes often called also insulin resistance syndrome. From Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Metabolic syndrome” – is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. From the staff at the Mayo Clinic

“Neuropathy” – means nerve disease or damage and affects the nerves in your toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms.

“Peripheral neuropathy” A common, often misdiagnosed disorder that results from damage to the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms include numbness, weakness, tingling and/or burning in the toes or fingers.

Why does nerve damage from diabetes usually start in the feet? These nerves travel the farthest from the brain and spinal cord.

There are too many types of peripheral neuropathy to list. We are going to concentrate on “Sensory Neuropathy” because this is most likely the first one that a person with diabetes will develop. Sensory neuropathy affects the nerves that control what a person feels, like pain or an itching sensation. Again we will pertain to the feet since it will most often occur there. Some symptoms that a person might feel are: Numbness and tingling of the feet, Loss of sensation, like poking the bottom of the foot with a pin and not feeling pain. Loss of balance, especially in the dark.

Why do diabetics tend to get foot problems?

In the diabetic foot, glucose reacts with the collagen in the connective tissue. The short version is it causes both inelasticity and toughness in the foot’s connective tissue. This creates stiffness and weakens the muscles in the foot. Pressures on the foot that used to dissipate throughout the foot while walking are now accumulated to specific areas, causing blisters sores and ulcers.

Serious problems can begin when the diabetic foot or areas of the foot becomes numb. The diabetic skin cracks easier and if goes unnoticed can easily become infected. There are many people who started out with sores, blisters and have ended up with an amputation.

“I’m Pre-Diabetic” or “I have Type II Diabetes”.  Unfortunately it doesn’t matter, there is equal prevalence in types I and II. Only 5 percent of the diabetics in this country are type I. However time does matter – people are most likely to develop diabetic foot problems with over 20 years of being diabetic. Approximately 15% of the people with diabetes have consequential foot problems but that’s still millions of people, there’s @ 29 million people with diabetes in the USA.

Let’s not talk about preventing diabetes. You could fill a library with the books that have been written and I’m sure you have read that about 9 cases in 10 could be avoided by taking several simple steps: keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking (I’m talking about type II diabetes). Please don’t Google “Diabetic Foot Photo” unless you have a strong stomach, although the pictures will probably do much more for change in lifestyle than all the books written?

Care for diabetic neuropathy in the foot:

Clean Daily – Soaking of the feet should be avoided, use lotion to moisturize the feet, avoid letting lotion seep between the toes.

Cut Toenails: We don’t want a sharp edge to cut another toe. Cut and file appropriately and gently file calluses

Wear Shoes/Slippers to Protect the Feet: Wearing thick, soft, seamless socks can help prevent skin irritation.

Shoes: Wear ones that fit well and allow the toes to move (Ultra Depth/Therapeutic Shoes Preferred). Break new shoes in gradually.

Use Diabetic Shoe Inserts: they are smooth and less likely to rip the skin. They are soft which will help prevent skin from cracking. There are generally two types to consider. A flat diabetic insert (Generic) or a custom made diabetic insert (Molded). A diabetic insert is made of a special material that allows the foot to settle downward, into the insert. This allows the pressure points in the foot to settle so that surrounding areas that did not bear weight before, will now, creating a more even weight distribution. This is extremely important to a diabetic because neuropathy can prevent the feeling of pain. Diabetic Inserts have been proven to greatly reduce the development of Diabetic foot complications such as ulcers and lesion’s. When more severe Diabetic Foot Symptoms exist: loss of foot padding, thin skin, sores, Hammer toe, Claw’s Toe, Morton’s Toe, Bunions, Calluses, Red Spots, Blisters, Extreme Foot Neuropath, Diabetic with a Charcot foot, Metatarsal Pain (pain in the ball of the foot), etc., then Custom Molded Inserts should be used. These have been scientifically proven to reduce Metatarsal Pressure by increasing weight distribution and pressure onto the Plantar (Arch) area of the foot. Since they are custom molded to each foot, they supply ample arch support.  There are mixed reviews about relieving pressure stress in the heel area, although they are much thicker and softer than a flat prefabricated diabetic insert and will allow all pressure points to settle further.  That being said, pain is diabetic foot complications generally start in the mid to forefoot area.

If pain, sores, ulcers, etc. develop: See a Podiatrist!


 Merriam-Webster Medical Definition:   “Supination”: a corresponding movement of the foot and leg in which the foot rolls outward with an elevated arch so that in walking the foot tends to come down on its outer edge.

Pronation”: rotation of the medial bones in the midtarsal region of the foot inward and downward so that in walking the foot tends to come down on its inner margin.

By looking at your shoes can tell you a lot, if the outside of the shoe is worn from the back to the front you are supinating. If the heel is worn on the inside to the big toe you are pronating. Imagine balancing yourself on two broomsticks down the center of your feet, now rotate your weight to the outside of your foot-supination, now to the inside of your foot – pronation.  This is exaggerated but the picture is clear. Many problems can occur because of the way we walk and by added weight that is carried by our feet. If a person’s gait is pronated (over 90% of the people with foot problems over pronate) it is common for them to have claw toes, toes that are curled up, this is because only the big toe carries the weight. If the other toes carried weight they would be forced spread out. People that walk on the inside of their foot are prone to ankle, knee and back pain. The least common issue is supination, where the weight of the body is carried on the outside the foot. People that supinate, are prone to aching arches, knee and back pain, because shock absorption from the feet is reduced. “So, what is the big deal, I was born this way”?  30% of the people have normal feet and gait, out of the 70% left, probably only 30-40% are abnormal enough to cause pain. I personally played baseball, football, basketball and played outdoors from sunup to sundown when I was young- no pain. Looking back, when I reached my mid 40’s I started noticing ankle, knee and back pain. (Read the article – “Build Your Foundation”)   Being out of line didn’t matter before I was 40ish. I can remember my big toe aching sometimes after basketball practice, now I know it was carrying most of the weight. As I approach 60, I notice my ankles and knees kill me if I forget my orthotics on a day of walking or working in the yard. Advil and Aleve help but my orthotics have done wonders. They have actually changed my walking gait. As soon as I walk with my orthotics I can feel my outer toes bearing weight. It is so apparent I notice before I walk 20 ft.

Breaking them in: When I first received my orthotics years ago I was told to wear them a few hours a day and progress more hours every day. This was good advice. The Orthotics supported my high arches for the first time, so I could feel pressure in my arch then to my toes. The toes were fine but it took a couple weeks before my arches were pain free. Now it feels abnormal if I am not walking on them. At first you will notice the distribution of weight in your feet, then you will notice the knees feeling different, like the body weight is wearing on a different part of the knee, finally you’ll notice less back pain.

Build your Foundation

Picture your calf’s and knees resting on a foundation (your feet). If your foundation is supporting all of the weight on the outside (Supination) it throws the middle support column (Calf’s) out of kilter which then wears the cartilage towards the outside of the knee. If you can imagine leveling up the crooked foundation until all the weight is spread even (as in the first picture), the ankles and knees will rotate inward, taking pressure and applying it in the proper location . Not only does this straighten up the whole body through the hips and back. It commonly relieves pain in the knees hips and back. Even if the cartilage is worn down to bone on bone in the knees, it is common to have the knees realigned, to where a cartilage area is now absorbing the wear and tear. This is why we have so many people rave how our inserts have changed their lives. It’s usually a combination of things. My feet feel better, my knees don’t ach as much and my back pain is much better. It all starts with a good foundation!

What are Diabetic or Therapeutic Shoes?

Therapeutic shoes, often called Ultra Depth Shoes, are deeper  than traditional shoes. Typically there are less sewing seams. All of this is to reduce abrasions from foot friction, eliminating or reducing blisters and or skin tears. These can be traumatic for a diabetic or anyone with a foot condition. The extra space can help with compression stockings, many elderly people wear these, their legs tend to swell. If you need or desire a custom made insert a therapeutic shoe is needed because the insert is much thicker. When you look at our shoes they appear to be the same as any shoe purchased from a shoe store, this is not by accident, our shoes were designed to be stylish and not stick out as clunky Medical Shoe.

Depth-inlay shoes, featuring an extended toe box, lightweight design, and reinforced heel counter offer more supportive and stylish diabetic footwear. Often made from soft leather for stretch and comfort provides extra room for active diabetic patients who have a need for comfortable shoes.

Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential to managing diabetes. Excessive pressure on feet without proper diabetic footwear can make living actively difficult. Diabetics are at an extremely increased risk of developing serious foot disorders and diabetic shoes will help manage foot problems associated with diabetes. Foot problems are the most common diabetes complication leading to hospitalizations.

Stride Lite Therapeutic Shoes Now Available on is proud to announce that we now carry the Stride Lite brand therapeutic shoes and orthopedic inserts.

Stride Lite’s mission is to provide quality Diabetic Shoes, Custom Inserts, Foot Orthotics, and AFO’s at the most reasonable price possible. We believe that our commitment to exceptional customer service, products, and programs has allowed us to earn the trust of our customers.

Stride Lite sets the standard in the industry for solutions regarding ALL Lower Extremity needs. Our State-of-the-Art Central Fabrication Lab features cutting edge technology capable of meeting all of your Footwear, Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO), and Custom Foot Orthotic expectations. All products are developed under the supervision and workmanship of Orthotists and Pedorthists that signify over 50 years of experience. Stride Lite stands proudly behind the craftsmanship and quality of all our products.

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