When shoe won’t fit, there are better ways than surgery to solve problem

By Dr. Nicole G. Freels


KyForward columnist


This just in – Doctors in New York City are now offering to perform cosmetic surgeries on feet in order to help women fit into their favorite pair of shoes. Recently dubbed “toe tucks” and “toe-liposuction” by the podiatry industry, these procedures are done to help women alter their feet in order to improve the look and fit of their shoes.
Dr. Ali Sadrie, a Beverly Hills doctor, has performed so many of these surgeries that he’s created nicknames for them. He calls them:
• Perfect 10 – Toe shortening,
• Model T – Toe lengthening and
• Cinderella – Altering the foot to the shape of the shoe that the patient wants to wear, but can’t.
Described as a way of using shoes to project confidence, more and more women are signing up to get rid of what they feel to be unsightly feet, or to alter their feet in order to tolerate the pain commonly associated with wearing sky-high heels. Such a procedure is done by strategically injecting Botox on the balls of the feet.
While we don’t perform these procedures at our office, there’s no doubt that they’re becoming more mainstream and accepted.
As an alternative to surgery, here are some quick tips to making high heels comfortable:
• Try to find heels with platforms or heels that have a little extra padding in the ball of the foot area – heels with padding are much more comfortable.
• Shoes with leather and rubber soles adjust to inconsistent surfaces better than soles made from wood or plastic.
• Look for shoes where the center line of the heel falls directly under your own heel. If it doesn’t, it won’t support your weight the right way. Hint: Shoes with thicker heels do this better and wedges are the best for this.
• Look for shoes that have security. A general rule is that the easier it is for you to slip in and out of your heels, the more difficult they will be to walk in.
• Dress shoe custom orthotics are the best, non-surgical way to protect the feet in heels. They can help keep an already developing bunion from traveling out farther and keep your heel in line as you walk. Orthotics are medical devices inserted into your shoes that affect your gait. They also help fight foot fatigue at the end of the day.
While it’s far more practical to wear a shoe that is good for you (think Vionic with Orthaheel technology), I understand that by nature people don’t always do what the medical field recommends as the best option. Until then, I say, “Just be smart about it.” If you’re going to wear your cherished sky-high heels, don’t wear them when you’re going to be in them all day.
Save them for a special occasion dinner when it’s not raining or snowing. If you’re going to have to walk a long way to the restaurant for instance, pack another pair in your purse!
Trust me … that’s what the national television anchors do. Those incredibly high, high heels? They’re not stomping around New York the rest of the day in them.
If you are concerned about your shoes and what they’re doing to your feet or if you just have questions about which of your shoes are the best to wear 80 percent of the time, take the shoes into your next visit with a podiatrist. Preventive care of your feet is key!


Dr. Nicole G. Freels is a foot doctor at Lexington Podiatry and the Kentucky Heel Pain Center




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