Blog - Dr. Tammy Gracen BSc. DPM

How To Make Frye Boots More Comfortable

I love Frye boots! They’re sturdy, well made and generally very comfortable…except for at the back of the heel. Frye boots are designed for riding horses, not walking in the mall so there is some slippage in the heel area. This does not apply to all Frye boots, but generally to all of the standard styles. This pistoning up and down of the heel in the boot can lead to chafing, blistering and PAIN!

A simple way to avoid this problem is by using a gel pad. My favourite ones are visco-gel scar management sheets. These are 2 1/2” X 3” sheets of clear silicone gel. I cut these in half and place them on the back of my heel right against the skin in the area of friction. I can just pull on my socks and Frye boot and off I go.

You can use this technique to protect most areas of your feet from friction. If you prefer something with a fabric backing on the outside, you might want to try visco-gel moleskin in the same 2 1/2” X 3” size. Just a final note…save the backing because both of these pads are washable and reusable.

Shopping For Pumps – Again (Part 3)

Pictures taken at Gravity Pope -Vancouver, BC


Made in Spain.
About 2” block heel
Shallow toe box and instep. Does not stay on heel. Nice leather and nice looking shoe.

Zinda – 1800

3” spike heel
Dying just a little bit inside this shoe…ouch!

Audley – Martina 18503

Made in Spain. Designed in Italy. (I e-mailed the company and received this information in Spanish. Hopefully, I have translated correctly!)
2” block heel
Nice heel height, toe and arch coverage. A bit of heel slippage. The crepe sole is comfortable. A bit chunky looking.

Camper – Alright K200487

1” wide kitten heel
Low heel and very comfortable foot bed (removable) but shallow. I found I was sliding at heel and gapping at the instep.

Camper – Kara K200557

2 3/4” block heel.
I felt this shoe should be a lot more comfortable for this level of ugly! These were quite chunky looking and my heel was slipping right out.
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 Hispanitas – MH175697

Made in Spain
2” block heel
I loved everything about the fit and heel height. I tried on the 37 which was too big. There was no 36 in the black or I would have likely ended my search and brought this one home!

Michael Kors – Lucy

3” stacked heel
Comfortable foot bed. I was surprised to feel a little squished in what appears to be a nice rounded toe box. The heel fit was quite sloppy so I think the squeeze up front was caused by my foot sliding forward.

Slack London – 16856

1” block heel.
Made in Spain.
I couldn’t last a day in these despite the low heel!

Fluevog – Gracias

1 1/2” hell height.
Ridiculously comfortable, but alas, really weird look:(. The heel height is perfect and I felt very stable. The strap make the fit very secure and the foot bed is comfortable….maybe these would look good with pants??
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Coclico – Jung

2 1/2” stacked heel
Made in Spain
Pointy toe with ankle strap
I don’t know why I didn’t expect to like this one, but it was a very pleasant surprise!
You could easily tuck a small arch pad in this one. The heel was stable and I felt very secure in this shoe. This is also a strong contender!
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In case you missed it, read my pump reviews while at J Walk Shoes

Shopping For Pump – Next! Part 2

Pictures taken at J walk Shoes – Oakridge Mall, Vancouver

International (Made in Japan)

Reasonably good grip on heel and not too much squeeze in toe box. Nice heel height (1 1/2”).

2” heel. Nice fit and really good for bunions. The fabric over the bunion area gives to allow extra room.

Vaneli Dank Cap Toe Pump

I was not able to find where these shoes are made but they are distributed by Wolff Shoe Co. These also have a nice fit in the heel and toe box. The heel is about 2 1/4” high and the shoe nicely padded. They were just slightly shallow for my high arched foot but would work well for a mild flat foot,

Also available at:


Beautifeel (Made in Israel)

These may be my new favourite brand of pumps! They have an all around good fit and comfortable foot bed. The heels all feel stable.


I love these!! The heel fits snugly. The toe box is adequate. The heel is very stable and measures 2 1/2”. The foot bed is comfortably cushioned. These are definitely my number one contender. These would likely fit well for bunions.

Also available at:

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These were also surprisingly comfortable. The heel height is 2 3/4”, slightly higher than I would normally wear, but they really didn’t feel that high nor did I feel unstable, even with the narrower heel. I didn’t like the fit quite as much as I liked the Calla, but it was still worth considering and a strong second choice. These would probably work well with bunions.

Best available price at Amazon



Fizz Reen (Made in Japan)

This a brand I had never heard of and could find little information on other than it comes from Japan. The heel height was 1 1/2” and was stable the straps were not binding and I felt secure in the shoe. I would have liked slightly more coverage on the sides. These may be a problem for bunions but would be good for a dorsal bunion (bump at the top of the big toe joint.

Shoe Adventures in New Orleans

Shoe Adventures in New Orleans

I was at a conference in New Orleans recently and couldn’t resist a little shoe shopping. (Window shopping…my husband will be glad to know!) I stumbled across a really fun shoe store in the French Quarter call ShoeBeeDo. They had a couple of interesting brands which I had not come across before.

United Nude is a shoe company out of Amsterdam. Above are some examples. In general, the shoes are well thought out and structurally sound. There are many with heel heights just below 2 1/2 “ (my happy zone). Many have enough coverage of the instep that you could add an arch pad or a slim orthotic if necessary. They make both leather and vegan options in the same styles.

The Zink Pump Mid was one of my favourites!

The other interesting one I found was by Julian Hakes of London , architect and shoe designer. These crazy pumps are made of carbon fibre and lined with polyurethane. I tried them on for sport and was surprised. They weren’t as uncomfortable as I expected. Actually, the heel felt comfortable and stable. However, my rigid high arched foot did not do well against the rigid upper. I think a neutral foot might be able to pull these off! I did have to size down a bit in these (1/2 to 1 full size).

If you’re in New Orleans, ShoeBeeDo is well worth a visit.


United Nude

Julian Hakes
available at ShoeBeeDo or on Amazon

Women’s Summer Sandal Podiatrist Recommendations

I was at The Bay in downtown Vancouver and shot a video of what to look for when buying Women’s summer sandals.

Here are some higher-end options I found while at Nordstrom in Vancouver.

Custom Orthotics

We also offer quality custom orthotics

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Contact Info

Dr. Tammy Gracen BSc. DPM
Phone: (604) 734-7331
Fax: (604) 737-1146
#530-943 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4E1

Online Foot Pads

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Providing Laser Toe Fungus treatment in the Vancouver Lower Mainland