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Footwear Advice & Moon Boot Fittings
The complexity of footwear. In some cases shoes can help reduce pain, in other cases shoes may be the reason we developed pain in the first place!
As a Podiatrist I hear these comments around footwear often:
- Is barefoot bad for you?
- What is the best shoe to stop shin splints?
- I spent $200 on these shoes and I’m still having foot pain!!
- What is the best running shoe brand?
- I must wear shoes all the time so that my heel pain does not come back!
- I love my Frankie4’s!
- Are Frankie’s all they’re cranked up to be?
Our feet are AMAZING! Each foot contains 33 joints and 20 muscles designed to feel, cushion and spring our way through life. When our feet work properly we can be barefoot for longer periods without resulting in pain, and we can be less reliant on heavily cushioned and supportive footwear.
But unfortunately, many adults’ feet do not work properly. Years of wearing stiff soles, pointy toes &/or heel pitch shoes (even blokes shoes have a significant heel pitch) can cause our feet to become stiff, weak and therefore function poorly and be more prone to injury.
Factors to consider regarding footwear:
> What you put on your feet every day to go to work/school is important – what you put on once in a blue moon to got to a party does not matter!
> Avoid tight/narrow toe box - Our toes are designed to spread and move and grip. They are not supposed to be squished inside shoes all day weakening our intrinsic foot muscles.
> Reduce heel pitch height – regularly wearing a shoe with a heel pitch will chronically shorten your calf muscles, tilt your pelvis forwards, switch your glutes off and place unnecessary stress on our knees, hip, back and neck.
> Replace shoes regularly – shoes are not designed to last forever. The midsole will compress, heel counter may wear unevenly. Wearing worn out shoes is often a risk factor for injury.
> Keep work shoes and exercise shoes separate – particularly for hygiene reasons.
> If you do have not have significant foot or ankle pain – spend some time each day barefoot. We are supposed to be barefoot, just not on hard man-made surfaces. So spend small increments barefoot inside the home – but also get out in nature. Always wearing shoes in not recommended; conversely always being barefoot on hard surfaces is not recommended. Mix it up!
> Just because your work colleague loves her Frankie 4’s – this does not mean you will too. Footwear can be quite tricky. There is not 1 best brand or 1 best shoe for everybody. Sometimes a certain shoe may be wonderful in helping one condition but exacerbate another.
At Foundation Podiatry we understand the benefits and pitfalls of footwear. We can recommend suitable footwear for your occupation, activity &/or foot and ankle pain.
We can recommend whether barefoot is suitable for you and if so, how long you should be barefoot for. If you have terrible heel pain for example, we are likely to recommend cushioning footwear all the time, with the goal of slowly introducing some barefoot time as your pain improves.
So, we certainly use footwear as part of our treatment process – but it is super important to also acknowledge what’s inside the shoe! Your feet! Partly due to poor footwear choices our feet have become stiff and weak, our calf muscles shortened. The best thing you can do for your feet is to reconsider your footwear and to train your feet to become the awesome structures they were designed to be.
Over the years we have developed our ACTIVE FOOT FORMULA to help people reap the benefits of healthy, strong feet. Focusing on 3 main areas – mobility, proprioception/balance & strength.
Talk to us today about healthy footwear choices and our ACTIVE FOOT FORMULA!
Moon Boot Fittings
A Moon Boot is a carefully designed footwear device which serves to secure the foot and ankle and aid in rehabilitating certain injuries. The Moon Boot (also known as a CAM boot) immobilises the foot and ankle which greatly reduces load and pressure on the foot, ankle and lower leg when walking, allowing injuries to heal.
Where possible, a Moon Boot is often used in replace of a plaster cast.
Foot, ankle and lower leg injuries requiring a moon boot:
- Plantar fascia tears
- Achilles tendon tears and strains
- Muscle and tendon tears
- Bone stress reactions and stress fractures
- Acute bone fractures
- Ankle injuries and sprains
Sometimes when foot, ankle and lower leg pain does not respond to conservative treatment you may be advised to try a moon boot for a period:
- Non-resolving foot pain
- Persistent Plantar Fasciitis
- Extreme pain that is making walking too difficult
Do I Need To Be Fitted by a Podiatrist for a Moon Boot?
If you have been advised to wear a moon boot (cam walker) it is because of a serious foot or leg injury. For such injuries, it is important that you are fitted by a trained Podiatrist.
When fitting a moon boot we assist with the following:
> Correct size boot
> Decide whether you need a pneumatic or non-pneumatic boot
> Advise what height shoe you need to be wearing on the other foot so as not to create a leg length difference (really important and often overlooked!)
> Give exercises to maintain blood flow
> Give exercises to be done whilst wearing boot (if possible)
> Advise how long you will need to be in the boot for and how to wean out of the boot
> Provide a plan to regain mobility, flexibility, balance and strength once out of the boot to return to your full activity levels again
Getting the right fitting and advice when it comes to moon boots can help avoid serious consequences like Deep Vein thrombosis, pain in other parts of the body such as hip or knees, and ongoing pain once the boot comes off.
Don’t take shortcuts with your health – allow Foundation Podiatry to guide your recovery.