Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

In decades, I have not seen a type or brand of shoes cause such problems.  I am referring to the new breed of athletic shoe with soft flexible soles and fabric uppers.  The brands include Skecher's, Champion, Underarmor and other lesser marketed brands. 

Over the past few weeks, patients are complaining of heel spur syndrome (aka plantar fascitis), sustaining stress fractures of their bones and developing overuse injuries like tendonitis due to the poor support and shock absorption offered by these shoes. 

Naturally, there are an abundance of advertisements both on TV and in print media recommending these shoes.  The price is attractive as well.  But...buyer beware...you get what you pay for!

For walking and athletic activities, especially on hard surfaces, a strong, durable outer sole is necessary.  Quality sport shoes also have a shock absorbing midsole layer.  Check the heel counter.  It should be stiff to keep the heel erect.  Shoes should bend at the ball of the foot and have enough extra toe room to allow the foot to glide forward with each step.

Podiatrists favor New Balance shoes.  They are available in multiple widths and styles.  Look for model numbers exceeding #800 to get maximum support and durability.

Softer sport shoes are best worn as house slippers...for brief periods of time, on carpetted surfaces.