Shoe Reviews

  • A Word About Sandals

    June 4, 2014

    Ahhh…the elusive comfortable summer sandal…You know the one…It’s cute and you can wear it all day long and not be dying to take them off at the end of the day! Sandals can be difficult so I’ll be breaking this subject into categories. Firstly, what are the elements of a good summer sandal, the everyday variety?
    Heel height is a big issue. Look for something in around the ½ to 1 inch heel height. Flat shoes accentuate abnormal pronation (beware my flat footed friends!) and can put undue strain on the Achilles tendon for those with rigid high arches. Often, they are poorly padded.
    The next thing you need to look at is where the straps are. You should have a fairly substantial strap over the instep (or several narrower ones) as well as some form of backing. The more flexible (flatfoot) the foot, the more important this element becomes. Watch straps over bony prominences. I will address how to fix the nasty strap in the wrong place in a later post (How to Make Your Sandals Perfect).
    If you require some arch support and the sandal is lacking in this department, you can always purchase an arch pad (often referred to as an arch cookie) from a shoe repair and attach it to the sandal. The straps around the arch should hide it!
    Some examples:
    sandal 1

    sandal 2

    sandal 3


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  • Finally, Spring!

    March 29, 2014

    Spring is in the air…at least that’s what my allergies tell me! So, what to wear on your feet during this difficult to figure out in between “I’m tired of my black boots but it’s too cold for sandal “ season??? Well, to get the feel of the season, perhaps something floral. This seems to be a definite trend this spring. I found these beautiful floral ankle boots at the John Fluevog Store and at Gravity Pope. These are not as heavy as the similar looking Dr. Marten’s, so any easy look for many ages (ie. Cute with a skirt on my 22 year old daughter, but for my crowd, would work with light solid coloured pants). My orthotics fit in easily. There is adequate toe clearance and no seams on the toe box. It does come in some other fun colours (at Fleuvog), but for whatever reason, there seems to be slightly less toe clearance in the solid colours for those with hammer toes.
    “Radios” $285


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  • Cute meets Comfortable – Naot Lako Brogue

    October 29, 2013

    naotIf you’re looking for something to wear with pants or jeans, I found an adorable brogue style shoe by Naot (Naot Lako Brogue). The leather is soft. The seams are not heavy and the foot bed is removable for those who wear a full length orthotic. The heel height is about 1 “ (sorry…didn’t have my ruler with me). The shoe is light weight compared to other similar styles and at a fairly reasonable price point ($199 at Ronsons).

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  • Pump pick of the season: Audley Forin

    October 29, 2013

    Fortunately, this shoe has not changed a bit since last season! The heel is solid, well placed and stable. It measures 3 ½ “ at the back, but has a 1” platform at the front to give an overall heel height of 2 ½”…so it just squeaks into the wearable heel height category. The upper is a soft leather with no stitching so there will be some give to accommodate lumps and bumps. It hugs quite high onto the foot so it works quite well whether you have a flat foot or a high arch. My friend and I both tried this one on and fell in lust. I found this gem at Gravitypope in Vancouver and it retails for $255. It did not go on sale at the end of last season. (I did patiently try to wait it out!)

    If you’re looking for a “go to” black pump, this is your baby!

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  • Do I have to wear ugly shoes if I need orthotics?

    October 3, 2013

    I am a shoe lover, but I’m a podiatrist, too. The question I get asked most often is, “Do I have to wear ugly shoes if I need orthotics?” The quick answer to that is, NO! I hate ugly shoes and I don’t expect my patients to wear them. So….what to wear?


    One of my favourite shoes for fall is actually a dress boot. It’s quite easy to find one with a heel that is 1 1/2 inches or less and with a zipper (as opposed to a pull on). A zipper makes it easy to pull the boot on without displacing the orthotic (and without swearing).

    An orthotic can be debulked to fit into a dress boot by using a thin topcover ( my favourite is 1/16 inch nylene). The orthotic will need to be narrowed slightly and any block style heel removed. I like to use an old orthotic for this since you will lose a little bit of the correction. So, if you get a new orthotic for your runners, your old running shoe orthotic can be used for this purpose.


    What I really like about boots is that they can be worn with a dress or skirt. Since the heel is not high, you actually walk around comfortably.

    By tammy gracen


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