Fabulous Footwear Fashion that Doesn't Hurt!

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Do your feet hurt? Can't wear those strappy sexy heels anymore? Well, think again because I found a beautiful pair of becoming black strappy high heels with orthotics that are built right in!  I also found a better boot, socks that support and smart sneakers for your finicky feet!  Plus I interviewed a local podiatrist to get the scoop on what we can do to wear fabulous footwear that doesn't have to hurt.  Read on and stop the foot pain!

Why the Pain?

To learn more about why foot pain seems to be a part of my 40's I visited podiatrist Dr. C. John Beecroft, D.P.M at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center.  Dr. Beecroft discovered that I have plantar fasciitis in one foot and heel spurs in both heels.  And the padding on my other foot has thinned out through the years, so no wonder I've been in foot pain. 

For this, I'm doing several treatments that include stretching, weekly ultrasound treatments and more.  For now, I declined the cortisone injection, although I may change my mind and take the shot if my pain increases in the future. 

So if you are having foot pain, be sure to get checked out by a podiatrist.  I found the staff and doctors at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center to be quite good.  For more information about the center visit http://ahwatukeefootandanklecenter.com.

I also wanted to meet Dr. Beecroft so that I could get his opinion on some fashionable shoes I found at a store called Foot Solutions.  I frequent the Ahwatukee location that is housed at 48th Street and Ray Rd. in the Michael's and Fresh & Easy shopping center.  Foot Solutions has several Valley locations and that can all be found at www.footsolutions.com. 

From a very attractive high heel to boots to flip flops and tennis shoes, I've found that the shoes at this store do not hurt my feet.  However, the prices are higher, but for me, paying more for a well-made shoe with built-in orthotics and/or extra support has been worth every extra cent. 

And consider investing in a pair of orthotics that can be worn in most of your shoes, which will save your feet and save you money in the long run.  Custom-made orthotics aren't cheap, so ask your doctor if the condition of your feet justify the cost.  My friends, that have invested in a pair at the advice of a doctor, tell me that orthotics have made a world of difference.  In the meantime, check out these footwear finds, as well as some truly amazing socks that really help support your busy feet.

Fab Footwear Finds!

* Ziera Kumfs Jacklyn Sandal is a black strappy high heel with anatomical contouring that cradle your feet and provide arch support.  Plus this shoe houses a built-in orthotic that is found under the ball of the foot and under the heel, which provides premium shock absorbing material right where you need it most.  And this heel is made with a unique flexible sole that store tiny bubbles of air for maximum comfort. 

By far, this is the most comfortable high heel that I ever experienced!  Watch the segment to see these shoes because you won't believe how attractive they look on and off.  I get compliments every time I wear them!  But, at around $200 a pair, these babies are costly!  And I have never ever spent that much on a pair of shoes before in my life, however these are now my go-to high heels, replacing the numerous cheap pairs that cost me a lot less money, but a lot more pain.  That is how I justify the price of these sole-saving shoes. I bought mine at Foot Solutions and I also found them online at strideshoes.com.

***What the Doc says:  Dr. Beecroft told me that he had not seen these high heels before and he was glad to know about them.  He says that they look OK to him and he liked all of the extra support that this shoe provides because most high heels are harmful to our feet.

*Orthoheel Floral Pattern Lori flip flops.  Like flip flops?  Most of us do.  Did you know that they are really bad for your feet?  And here in the desert, they are almost a comfort necessity!  Well, this is one line that makes flip flops for feet that are comfortable and healthy.  Ortho Heel makes a podiatrist-designed flip flop with a foot bed with arch support and deep heel cup to stabilize and realign the feet back to their natural position.  Plus these shoes are lightweight with a medium-density EVA midsole to absorb shock and reduce fatigue that give your feet the relief they need.  I purchased my navy blue floral pair for $64.99 at Foot Solutions and I also found them online at zappos.com for $51.99.  I highly recommend these if you choose to wear flip flops, which we desert gals desire in the hot days of summer!

***What the Doc says:  Dr. Beecroft gives a thumbs up to the Othoheel line, so if you must wear flip flops (like me in the summer, check these out).

*Ziera Zana Boots.  Since we are still in boot season, I found a pair that offer more support than a typical pair of boots.  Made by Ziera, this boot comes in black and in brown and is made with orthopedic comfort technology that includes several layers of supportive materials that help to absorb shock and provide extra cushioning and support with every step.  I can feel a difference when I wear these, but for the $259 price tag, I feel like I paid too much when I compare this to my Ziera high heel purchase that I discussed earlier.  The black high heels that I mentioned earlier feels much better than any of my other high heels, but the boot doesn't feel that much different from some of my less expensive boots.  Now speaking of boots, let's discuss one of my all-time favorite brand of boots, the Ugg.

*Ugg Boots.  In my mind, nothing keeps my cold feet as warm and comfy as an Ugg boot, but you must know that the beloved Ugg provides little support.  That lack of support flattens the arch and puts stress on the feet.  But I found a remedy in some very unique socks that provide support like I've never seen before in a comfortable sock.  So if you must wear your Ugg boots, check out this sock...

*Experia socks.  My new favorite socks that have helped my sore feet get relief, especially when I wear my Uggs.  Experia socks sell for $13.99 a pair, which is pricy for socks, but they have truly knocked my socks off....of course, I just had to say that!  The padding that is sewn into these socks give excellent support to both the heel and the balls of my feet and the material is extremely comfortable, not too thick and not too thin.  Truly the best sock that I ever set foot in and this is my favorite fashion find of late! I bought mine at Foot Solutions and found additional pairs at Sports Authority.  They also come in all sorts of cool colors like hot pink and bright yellow.

*Brooks Tennis Shoes.  Foot Solutions told me that these were the best sneaker for your foot and Dr. Beecroft readily agreed.  That took the sting out of the $145 price tag because I truly need the best tennis shoes I can get for my aging and damaged feet!  I love these shoes and I have never felt more support in a sneaker.  The best tennis shoe award goes to Brooks!

*Fila Skele-Toes.  If you like tennis shoes with individual toe slots and I've met some professional trainers who swear by this type of shoe, then check out Fila.  I say this because they have created one with more support than some of the other five-toed sneakers.  One thing that makes this shoe different from some of the other similar brands, is the four slots (instead of five) for your toes, so your fourth toe has to share space with your pinky toe.  Plus the lightweight micro suede and air mesh upper material of the shoe provides cooling support.  I've seen articles about athletes who prefer lightweight traction and these shoes provide that type of durability.  I like the bungee lacing system because all I have to do to lace up these shoes is to squeeze the plastic button at the top, pull, and the shoe is loosened in one second.

These shoes are an option that barefoot runners may want to try out because the Fila Skele-Toes offer the cushioned heel your feet are familiar with, while allowing the natural movement your toes would experience when barefoot.  And Dr. Beecroft was intrigued by the extra support this shoe might give, but he still highly recommends the Brooks line, but the Filas are certainly interesting to consider.

*Straussbaerg Sock.  As soon as one of my gal pals heard about my plantar fasciitis condition, she told me about a miracle sock that helped her husband's feet when he suffered from the same disorder.  The straussbaerg sock is an easy to use, inexpensive device that is designed to keep tension on the tissue (plantar fascia) so it heals in a stretched position at night. Since a lot of plantar fascia sufferers experience painful first steps every morning, this sock has been shown to greatly reduce that annoying morning pain.

When worn as prescribed, it does not allow the plantar fascia to contract and the involuntary stretching of the plantar fascia over a long period of time helps to strengthen the foot's arch.

The device is a giant sock that consists of a tubular knit material that is secured over the calf with two attached adjustable straps that maintain the foot in a neutral to slightly stretched position.  To complement my doctor's treatments, I purchased mine for $38.95 at a running store called Sole Sports that is located at Warner and McClintock.

My podiatrist also has me icing my feet in a very interesting way, with water bottles.  I simply roll a cold water bottle under my feet several times a day and this has helped reduce the pain, too.  Try it!

So here's hoping that your feet will feel better with some of the above styles.  And I highly recommend both of the socks that I mentioned.  The Experia socks for everyone and the Straussbaerg sock for those of you that are battling plantar fascia, like I am.  Feel better feet!  And for more fashion finds, health and fitness news, beauty tips, recipes and more, visit my website at managedmoms.com.