Margot Fleming of Long Beach needed a shoe lift after her hip operation. Debbie Lundin of Glen Clove was born this way. Many people have leg length discrepancies that leave one leg literally hanging in midair while standing. The problem causes damage when walking because the short leg has to travel more distance to reach the ground. The shorter leg appears to crash down toward the earth, throwing the other hip up. The long limb deforms the joints to shorten and balance to the short leg. Even marginal cases that often go undiagnosed or treated can produce trauma to the body in gait.
Correcting for a leg length discrepancy starts with a prescription for the amount of lift to correct. Oftentimes, a clinical evaluation for correction may differ from the actual difference. Prescriptions for shoe lifts may come from should be obtained from a physician or a clinician under a physician’s supervision to order the:
1) Type of elevation (platform lift or heel raise), and
2) Height dimension of the elevation.
The height elevation may be measured in inches or millimeters. In addition, the various dimensions of the lift from the heel to the toe should be evaluated with the patient standing in the shoe. Small amounts can be made to fit as heel raises in the shoe, generally up to 1/4″ or possibly 3/8″; larger amounts must be built into the sole of the footwear, usually by splitting the sole and inserting soling material.
Sarah Jessica Parker could overcome anything New York dished out. As Carrie Bradshaw, the star of “Sex And The City,” she epitomized the fresh outlook of a young, single, thinking woman in the Big Apple – overcoming adversity head-on with heart, loyalty to her friends and an allegiance to fashion.
But it was only a matter of time before mother knew best was right. Those high heels ground her long, lean gams to a painful halt. Like many other women, Ms. Parker will need to re-invent her sense of style, when, at nearly fifty years of age she has a lot more life in her, but her feet are done.
This is someone who has invested in herself. She is a seasoned actor, her body may be Pilates-trained. Her parents probably didn’t question the wisdom of providing proper dental care for their daughter. But her feet did not go the distance. Years of abuse from pounding the pavement with her feet in a permanent, hyper flexed position, squeezed into tight shoes, has forced her to just stop.
And the damage is probably not limited to the feet. The effects of years of self-imposed distortion run up the kinetic chain, causing contraction in the calf muscles, tensor stresses in the knees, right up through the hips and spine. The Faustian bargain for Ms. Parker is a lifetime of pain management in any activity that requires standing or walking.
I only pause to wonder because of the recent dictum that beer cannot be imbibed in the Queen’s presence. If a pint of beer is considered too low-brow, might those ten little piggies wiggling free in the air also be considered too, well, plebian? Not so. According to Women’s Wear Daily, “A little known fact about Queen Elizabeth II: she has exquisite taste in shoes. In fact, Elizabeth II wore sandals, designed by Edward Rayne and made with gold duchesse satin and trimmed with silver and seed pearl buckles, on her wedding day in 1947.” For sandals that you can truly enjoy yourself in, opt for support from brands you can trust to deliver all-day-comfort. Here are some ideas for pulling your look together.
|SANDAL TREND||TRANSLATED FOR COMFORT|
|Style||Gladiator or Roman style in a low heel.Flip flops that have a back and have good support.|
|Color||With color, you are free to express your individuality.Try Nude, Silver, Gold, Pearlized White, Patent Leather.
Orange is hot for 2011. Coordinate or contrast nail polish color.
|Low Heels||Flats or wedges with good supportNot so floppy that they bend in your hand.|
|High Heels||Use a wedge heel or a platform to minimize pitch.|
|Thin||Verticals or diagonal straps are slimming.|
|Spaghetti Straps||More is better, as long as the straps fit securely.A heel strap helps by holding your feet down.|
|Bare feet||If you’re more comfortable, it’s okay to wear stockings with sandals, especially for a formal occasion. Just go with nude-toe.|
|Ankle Bracelets, Toe Rings||If it rings your bell, go for it!|
Here are some sandal pitfalls to avoid…
|WEAR THIS SANDAL TREND||AT THE RISK OF …|
|Skinny straps||Straps rubbing|
|Flexible soling||Foot pain|
|Non-adjustable closure||Rubbing, Chafing|
|Tight||Correlated with bunions|
|High Heels||You already know|
By being comfortable, you’re free to really enjoy yourself. And isn’t that what it’s all about? 🙂 Okay, gotta go, mailman’s here. Maybe it’s that wedding invitation I’ve been waiting for.
No longer made from the silky fur of a mole, today’s magic material, backed with adhesive is a humble savior. Dedicated to the task of ever-so-gently protecting our feet from the harsh realities of life in the fast lane, we can get on the right side by outfitting our summer handbags right here and now with a goodly amount of the stuff. Moleskin.
You know you’re going to need it if you feel your sandal strap moving, creating friction that could lead to a blister. Spring into action with that moleskin and line the sandal strap so the soft nappy side is against your skin. Also, see if you can also tighten the strap to reduce movement. Alternatively, you can adhere the moleskin to your skin, albeit temporarily. If you have a blister already, you can cut the moleskin into a donut shape, with your blister in the middle, giving it enough air to heal but no longer contacting the source of friction.
Where to find? Your neighborhood pharmacy or medical supply store.
Yes, it is possible to be fashion forward and be smart about our money. Here are three summer ideas to accessorize the apparel you already own:
- If your summer wardrobe plays up sheer fabrics and layering, use Nude leathers. to make you feel heavenly inspired.
- Do you rely on neutral colored apparel, like black, white, beige? Then you can add a the new fruit colors of green, melon and orange. Orange is a bold color that can update any look. It looks great on tanned legs, but works in small doses on any color complexion.
- Of course, there’s nothing that announces summer more than a WHITE sandal. And it’s color matching versatility makes good sense in an economic downturn. Keep white touch up dye available to keep it looking fresh.
If you’re not local to Boston then find the nearest comfort shoe store and be prepared to try on lots of sandals. Above all, remain calm; there are at least three challenges to the job:
- The sandals need to have a removable insole that you can replace with your custom foot orthotics.
- The shape of the footbed needs to be close to the shape of your orthotic because if it’s not perfect, it can fail to fit in places or gap in others.
- If the top cover of your orthotic clashes with your orthotics, that could be a “deal-breaker”.
If you’ve tried this, and the experience has left you with a bitter taste in your mouth, let’s ponder for a moment. In a perfect world, a custom foot orthotic would fit in all your shoes and sandals — and some ¾ length orthotics do fit in “most” shoes. But it comes at a price. If you were fitted to custom foot orthotics to address a therapeutic goal, then the best solution is a shoe that gives the orthotic enough depth and breadthe to do its work. And that usually means an athletic shoe, or what we used to call a “sensible shoe”. But don’t lose faith. If the orthotic is doing its job therapeutically but it doesn’t fit into any sandals that you can find, here are two options:
- Ask your provider if you can get a subsequent pair of orthotics discounted for your sandals.
- See if one of the pedorthic sandals on the market does a good enough job.
If you are going to invest in another pair of custom foot orthotics especially for sandals, try to identify a popular sandal that is likely to continue to be manufactured for years to come, and is available in a variety of colors and patterns. When you think of your summer attire, you may need a few categories, including warm tones, cool tones, dress up patents and/or metallics, and neutral nudes and suedes. The top cover color is an important consideration since it will be visible.
At the end of the day, no one is the wiser that you’re wearing custom foot orthotics because the footbed is deep and accommodating, burying all that custom comfort for you and you alone.