Springtime is here and it’s time to put away the winter boots and break out your springtime shoes. Whether it be a Cole Haan Gramercy Wingtip, Oxford II, Dr. Julaine Miller’s favorite dress shoe, or your favorite pair of shoes you’ve owned for years, we want to make sure you are selecting a shoe that provides enough support. Dr. Julaine Miller recommends Asics Gel Kayana 2.2’s for a good sneaker with adequate support.

Dr. Frank Oware says his favorite sneaker is anyone with an orthotic it in. “All sneakers are the same, you are just purchasing different designs whether it be Nike, Adidas or Asics. What matters to me is not what the shoe looks like but what you put inside it” says Dr. Oware. A custom orthotic can provide many benefits like arch support, pain relief from plantar fasciitis, tendinitis and foot, ankle or heel pain. A custom-made foot orthotic helps bring the ground up to the foot at predetermined angles so that the foot is supported in its optimal neutral position. By realigning the foot with the body, the rest of the joints and muscles can work more efficiently, thus helping to reduce or eliminate pain.

Dr. Miller and Dr. Oware both agree that their least favorite shoe is a flip-flop. Flip flops provide absolutely no arch support and can lead to a variety of foot and ankle conditions such as heel pain, flat feet, and tendinitis. Many of us are welcoming the warmer weather sporting flip-flop sandals, however, their popularity among teens and young adults is responsible for a growing epidemic of heel pain in this population.

“We’re seeing more heel pain than ever in patients 15 to 25 years old, a group that usually doesn’t have this problem,” says Dr. Miller. “A major contributor is wearing flip-flop sandals with paper-thin soles every day. Flip-flops have no arch support and can accentuate any abnormal biomechanics in foot motion, and this eventually brings pain and inflammation.”

Now, if you can’t resist wearing sandals, Dr. Oware recommends wearing sandals with reasonably strong soles and arch support. “Especially for girls and young women, thicker soled sandals with supportive arches might not be considered stylish, but if you want to wear sandals most of the time, you’ll avoid heel pain if you choose sturdier perhaps less fashionable styles,” he says.

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