LER: Foot Health – October 2015

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From the editor – Survey says: Minimalist risks persist


A survey isn’t the most rigorous of scientific methodologies, but survey-based studies can provide the kind of real-world perspective that’s missing from research done in a controlled laboratory environment. And, when biomechanists are as divided on a topic as they are on minimalist running shoes, a fresh perspective can be a very good thing.

One such recent study, which surveyed 566 Chicago-based runners about their experience with minimally shod running (see “Survey finds 31% of runners have tried minimalist footwear,” page 9), revealed a number of clinically useful findings.

First, despite signs of a backlash in recent years amid false advertising claims and scientific skepticism, minimalist running shoes have not gone away. Nearly one third of runners surveyed said they had tried minimalist shoes, and two thirds of those runners were still using them; another 25% of survey respondents said they hadn’t yet tried minimalist shoes but were interested in doing so. And if these runners are still interested in minimalist shoes, your patients probably are too.

Of even greater concern, the survey found that only one third of the minimalist shoe users transitioned gradually to the new shoes–something that even the most avid minimalist shoe advocates say is essential to avoid injury. And fewer than half of the minimalist shoe users had consciously focused on changing their foot strike pattern when switching shoes, even though a forefoot strike pattern to reduce impacts and loading rates is one of the stated goals of both barefoot and minimally shod running.

So, runners are still interested in minimalist running, but many of them are unlikely to do it safely. These findings are valuable to clinicians, both for treating the injuries that result and for educating runners who haven’t yet made the switch. And they’re things we would never have learned in a laboratory.

By Jordana Bieze Foster


Shoes, orthoses improve muscle activation onset in unstable ankles

Custom insoles have greatest effect – A study of patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) suggests the onset of knee and ankle muscle activity occurs significantly earlier when shoes and orthoses are worn than when the patients are barefoot.

By John C. Hayes

Survey finds 31% of runners have tried minimalist footwear

Some report more pain, some less – A significant percentage of avid runners have tried running in minimalist shoes, according to a recent survey-based study in which runners reported both positive and negative responses to making the switch in terms of pain and injury.

By Chris Klingenberg


Althea’s Footwear Solutions

Collaborative staff provides stable foothold for growing company – At Althea’s Footwear Solutions in Everett, WA, teamwork is key to building loyal customers and an expanding company.

By Catherine M. Koetters

Central Florida Foot and Ankle Center

Podiatry practice adds retail component for one-stop service – Like most podiatrists and podiatric surgeons, Tatiana Wellens-Bruschayt, DPM, and Maria Jaramillo-Dolan, DPM, of the Central Florida Foot and Ankle Center in Winter Haven spend a lot of time counseling patients with diabetes on proper foot care.

By Nancy Shohet West | Photos by Denise Budde


Seeking shoe closure: Laces vs alternatives

The footwear industry is teeming with alternatives to traditional shoelaces—including Velcro, no-tie elastic systems, and clutch reel technology—that may offer advantages for certain individuals. But for many people, experts say, laces will work just as well.

By Shalmali Pal

Bunion surgery: Evolution of postoperative protocols

Research is starting to reveal that early weightbearing, physical therapy, or both after hallux valgus surgery is not as risky as some practitioners once thought, and such new postoperative protocols appear to be associated with improved outcomes.

By Barbara Boughton

Shoe Showcase

Help your patients step out in style

Dr. Comfort Athletic Shoes

Dr. Comfort’s newest athletic shoes for men and women with diabetes feature bold colors, a virtually seamless design, breathable mesh uppers, and lightweight construction. Men’s styles Jason and Chris come in an array of colors, including red, green, blue, black, and grey.

Ped-Lite Megan

Ped-Lite’s newest shoe, Megan, is an all-leather dress sandal that brings the latest unique look to an industry thirsty for style. Offered in black, the Megan’s high quality leather and contrasting stitching will have a fashionable appeal for any woman.

Apex Men’s Classic Moc – Open to Toe

The Men’s Classic Moc, the newest Biomechanical Ambulator from Apex, has ½” removable depth in three layers for easy adjustment when patients need more room to accommodate edema or ankle foot orthoses. The fully functional vamp opens to the toe and…

Mephisto Hawai

The Hawai casual oxford for women offers the features that customers have come to expect from the Mobils by Mephisto collection, but adds contemporary design features and styling, including a trendy zipper accent. A key feature of Mobils footwear is the all-over soft padding…

Arcopédico’s L19 Bootie

Suitable for work, travel, and everywhere in between, Arcopédico’s top-selling L19 bootie offers comfort, support, and style in one great daily wear boot.  Made with the company’s Lytech fabric, these boots offer a flexible fit, conform to the foot’s natural shape…

Vionic Cozy Juniper

Vionic is excited to announce the arrival of its new autumn/winter line of shoes with refreshing arch support in the warm colors of fall. Vionic’s top seller is the company’s newest addition, the Cozy Juniper for women, a luxurious option for the patient/consumer who desires…

Branier BR-4 Athletic Shoe

Branier’s BR-4 is a custom low-top athletic-style shoe that is tailor-made to address the needs of individual patients. Designed with a cosmetic semisurgical opening and padded tongues and collars, the BR-4 has been engineered to mitigate issues with bulky fit that are…

Anodyne Men’s Casual Dress Shoe

The No. 52 men’s casual dress shoe from Anodyne is designed to embody the definition of an anodyne, bringing customers a sense of soothing and comfort. This lightweight (8.8 oz) shoe features an oiled leather upper, a microfiber lining treated with an…

Birkenstock Arran

Birkenstock is no longer just sandals and clogs. The Arran leather sneaker, available in white (pictured) or black, updates the original iconic Birkenstock footbed with a genuine leather upper, an ethylene vinyl acetate outsole, and traditional lacing for a secure fit.