Updates of whats up in Podiatry

Fitting Children’s Shoes

Parents so often worry about their kid’s teeth, eyes, and most other areas of the body, but do not get worried so much over the developing feet. Plenty of adult foot conditions can have their beginnings in childhood, consideration to footwear in kids can minimize the risk of these issues in adults.

Significance of the shoe to the child:
Inadequately fitting children’s shoes can cause many conditions in adults such as hammer toes, ingrown toenails, foot corns, calluses and bunions. Considering the high level of pain and discomfort that these disorders can cause, it is obviously logical to attempt to prevent these disorders by making certain that the child’s shoe is fitted correctly. Foot conditions in children are usually preventable.

Fitting footwear for the child:
The most important factor in shoes for a child is that they fit. Preferably, this means that footwear is fitted by somebody who has had some special education in the fitting of children’s footwear.

Tips for the fitting of children’s footwear:
* Children should have their feet measured roughly every three months (thus ensuring the need for new footwear as required).
* Typically, for a shoe to be correctly fitted, there should be a thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe.
* When looking at the bottom (sole) of the footwear, it should be fairly straight (not curved in too much) – feet are straight, so the footwear should be straight.
* The fastening system (laces, velcro, buckles) need to hold the heel securely in the back of the shoe (the foot ought not to be able to slip forward in the shoe).
* the heel counter (back part of the shoe) should be strong and stable.
* the footwear ought to be flexible across the ball of the foot, since this is where the foot bends.
* Leather and canvas are a better material – these are more robust and can breathe. Artificial materials usually do not breathe as well, except if they are of the ‘open weave’ type. Avoid plastics.
* Make certain the footwear have curved toe boxes to allow the toes more room to move and grow.
* Shoes ought not have to be “broken in”. Should they do, they are either improperly designed or badly fitted.
* An absorbent insole is useful, as the feet can sweat a great deal – children are very active!
* A number of stores focus on shoes for the child – make use of them!
* Fitting shoes correctly in adults is also just as crucial

3 tips for examining the child’s footwear:
There ought to be a thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe = length is correct.
You ought to be able to pinch the upper of the footwear between your thumb and forefinger (this can depend on the character of the material) = width is proper.
Does the shoe fit snugly around the heel and arch? How stable is the footwear when trying to ‘pull off’ the footwear? = good fit.

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Footwear | | Comments Off on Fitting Children’s Shoes

Archies Arch Support Thongs

Firstly, in Australia they call flip flops “thongs”! The Archies Thongs are are proving very popular in Australia for those who do and do not need foot orthotic support and want to wear a flip flop type of footwear to to the warmer climates. The flip flop has a built in arch support that is both effective and comfortable.

A number of podiatry clinics are stocking them and you can get them online.

They were design by a phsyiotherapist in Melbourne, Australia. The amount of arch support in them is comparable to a typical ‘over-the-counter’ premade foot support, which is why they are so popular.

October 3, 2019 Posted by | Footwear | Comments Off on Archies Arch Support Thongs

Vibram Five Fingers

The Vibram Five Fingers are a favorite shoe with those who prefer barefoot or minimalist running. They are shoes that cover the foot like a glove and also have a pocket for each toe.

They are not without their controversy as they are facing legal action over the health claims that they made and Podiatrists are seeing a lot of injuries in those that use them. A recent motion to dismiss the class action was rejected.

November 26, 2012 Posted by | Footwear | , , , | Comments Off on Vibram Five Fingers

The Promise of Toning Shoes

Toning shoes came on the market a number of years ago claiming to cure everything from bad posture to cellulite. A lot of the claims have been ‘toned’ down now due to the threats of legal action as there was not much or any evidence to support the claims being made. Toning shoes are called that as they are deliberately made unstable. hence altering the posture and making the muscles work harder.

While the logic and rationale behind toning shoes could make sense, the actual science is not that good leading to legal challenges against the companies making the claims. There is on doubt that these shoes do help some people, but they also can hurt other people. There is plenty of information and misinformation on the web on these shoes, as well as a lot of testimonials.

November 16, 2012 Posted by | Footwear | Comments Off on The Promise of Toning Shoes

The MBT Footwear

The MBT footwear (Masai Barefoot Technology) have been getting a lot of attention at the first and market leader in the so-called toning shoes category. The shoes are deliberately unstable to achieve a number of different effects. Firstly, as they are unstable the muscles have to work harder which is claimed to give the body and extra workout – ie the ‘tone up’. Secondly, they alter the alignment of the posture which can help some people with postural problems.

As to if these shoes actually achieve these effects or not is debatable. Yes, they do make the muscles work harder, but do not necessarily give that much of an extra tone up. Yes, they do alter the alignment of the posture which can help some people, but can equally hurt other people. There really is a lack of clear guidelines on this class of footwear. See these discussions and videos for more. There are plenty of opinions as to if they work or not.

September 9, 2012 Posted by | Footwear | , , | Comments Off on The MBT Footwear

Chinese Foot Binding

This was a bizarre torture that was carried out in ancient China in which the feet of young girls were tightly bound to create a lotus foot, which is a significant deformity and a very small foot. A foot of this nature was considered more erotic in ancient Chinese culture. It results in significant pain and disability.

Fortunately the practice is no longer carried out. There has been some interesting research and commentary on this (link) with some suggesting the the practice continue today via female putting there feet into tightly fitting shoes for erotic reasons and ending up with deformed feet in older age! (more videos)

July 18, 2012 Posted by | Footwear | Comments Off on Chinese Foot Binding

Skechers Toning Shoes FTC Settlement

Skechers toning shoes recently became of hot topic on podiatry sites due to the settlement that they made with the FTC for $40 million:


If Skechers thought they weren’t going to possibly lose their multiple lawsuits, then they wouldn’t be shelling out $40,000,000.00. It’s always a delight to see when these shoe companies who make unsubstantiated marketing claims get hit right where it hurts them most…..in their wallets! More from Podiatry Arena

There has been a lot of interest in the blogosphere about the settlements with the Federal Trade Commission in the USA and the number of class action law suits filed against brands in the fitness or exercise shoe category of footwear. Reebok settled with the FTC for $25 million. Skechers are facing a number of class action suits and just settled with the FTC for $40 million. Vibram Five Fingers are facing a class action case. None of the class action cases have been settled yet and both Reebok and Skechers are still denying any liability but settled with the FTC to avoid protracted hearings and the uncertainty associated with that. Vibram FiveFingers have indicated that they will vigorously defend the class action. More From Professor of Life



Skechers continue to deny any liability and settled as it was a better alternative for the company to move forward. They are still facing a number of class action suits.


June 13, 2012 Posted by | Footwear, Sports Medicine | , | Comments Off on Skechers Toning Shoes FTC Settlement