FAQs

FREQUENTLY
ASKED QUESTIONS

Foot Solutions has certified pedorthists on staff. What does a certified pedorthist do?

A certified pedorthist is a specialist in preventing, treating and reducing a variety of conditions that impact an individual’s mobility and quality of life. Comprehensive patient assessments, including state-of-the-art diagnostics and gait analysis, enable our pedorthists to address impairment of human mobility, musculoskeletal abnormalities and medical conditions that can result in foot, ankle, knee, hip and back pain with shoes, shoe modifications, foot orthotics (arch supports) and other pedorthic devices.

A certified pedorthist selects and modifies footwear (or makes it, if necessary) to help people maintain or regain as much mobility as possible. Oftentimes, a simple change in footwear can solve a problem. However, a variety of other products, from custom orthotics or arch supports to socks, hosiery, night splints, braces, partial-foot prosthetics and other devices support or relieve specific conditions, as well as improve the foot's function.

In addition to designing and fabricating an appropriate orthotic, a certified pedorthist provides personalized attention in selecting, fitting and modifying shoes so that you can wear the orthotic effectively.

When a foot requires medical attention, footwear becomes a factor in the patient's treatment, recovery or rehabilitation. At Foot Solutions, it's a team approach. While the doctor treats your foot, the credentialed pedorthist addresses your footwear needs.

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How does Foot Solutions differ from other comfort shoe stores?

Foot Solutions is more than a shoe store. We strive to not only provide you with comfort, style and performance but also the perfect fit.

We take a unique approach to healthy feet with:

  • Highly trained professionals
  • Personalized attention
  • Advanced assessment technology
  • Custom-fitted, custom crafted orthotics
  • Onsite, same-day fit modifications
  • Foot health accessories

Our approach has helped tens of thousands of people:

  • Achieve perfect body alignment
  • Reduce foot, knee, hip and back pain
  • Increase endurance and stamina
  • Improve stability and balance

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As a result of polio, I have one foot that is size 8 and the other foot is a 10. For many years, I have had to buy two pairs of shoes to get fitted properly. Is there any way out of this?

Foot Solutions carry a few brands that can help. And, some of the brands we carry will allow you to purchase a pair of shoes with mismatched sizing, while others can custom make a pair of shoes for your feet.

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When I told my doctor my feet hurt, he told me not to go barefoot. I thought that going barefoot is natural, so it would be good for my feet. Why did he tell me this?

Feet were designed to walk barefoot, but on soft, supportive ground that filled the arches of the feet. Today, we often are walking on concrete in flat shoes. Support your arches and your feet will be happy. Leave the barefoot walking for the beach.

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What should I look for when buying shoes?

First of all, a shoe should be shaped similar to your foot. Put the shoe you want to try on next to your foot. If the shape is a lot pointier than your foot, it will be hard to fit, even in the correct size or a larger size. You should have a thumbnail’s width of room in front of your longest toe on your largest foot. Your toes should be able to wiggle around in the shoe. If the back of the shoe is enclosed, the part that supports your foot should be firm, to keep your ankles from twisting.

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We’re going to Europe and we plan to do a lot of walking. I have my eye on some cute flats with leather soles. I figure the more flexible they are, the more comfortable they will be for walking. Right?

Wrong. Feet were designed to walk barefoot on natural surfaces, not in flat shoes on unyielding surfaces. The last thing you want is to walk in thin-soled shoes over cobblestones or brick pavement. You will feel every seam and pebble. We recommend a shoe with a thicker sole and a bit of a heel lift to provide a more stable footing for your journey. Also, a shoe that has some type of closure, either laces, straps or Velcro, will provide more support.

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My right heel hurts like crazy when I get out of bed in the morning, but by mid-day it’s okay. What’s going on?

There is a stretchy ligament supporting the sole of your foot and attached at the heel called the plantar fascia. If through overuse or injury the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, every time you take a step, it pulls on your heels and really hurts. Each morning you re-injure it. The good news is that it can be treated and prevented with gentle stretching exercises and the right kind of shoes or arch supports. Foot Solutions works with plantar fasciitis every day. Come on in and let us help you get some relief.

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My mother always told me to have at least two pairs of shoes to wear alternately. Why is that?

Shoes, particularly leather shoes, regain their shape when allowed to ‘rest’ for 24 hours.  By allowing the shoes to naturally re-shape themselves, they will last longer. Also, if you have a removable insert inside of a shoe, take the inserts out and let them air dry separately. Perspiration breaks down the interior of shoes, so allowing air to circulate, can increase their lifespan.

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My feet don’t actually hurt, but at the end of the day, my whole body feels tired and strained. I wear 2” heels most of the time and I work in retail, so I am on my feet a lot. No matter what type of shoe or brand I try, I’m tired and achy when I get off. Is there something I can do?

The more you can do to support the arches of your feet, the better your posture will be and the less fatigue you will feel at the end of the day. Bring us a pair of shoes you wear to work. We will provide a complimentary foot and shoe assessment to determine the cause. We can then recommend shoes, over-the-counter arch supports or custom supports to solve the problem.

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My doctor made me orthotics. I’m supposed to wear them all the time, but I have to buy shoes a couple of sizes bigger just to be able to fit the orthotics into the shoes. Am I doing something wrong?

Orthotics should make your life easier, not more difficult. You should not have to go up in size to fit your orthotics into your shoes. However, most shoes that are found in department stores are not designed to accommodate orthotics. Go to a specialty comfort footwear store, like Foot Solutions, where we are trained in properly fitting your orthotics into your shoes. We can measure your feet properly and help you select the best size shoe for your feet. Most of the brands that we carry have removable inserts or foot beds, so you can have room for your orthotics.

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The balls of my feet hurt when I wear high heels. Is there anything I can do to make my high heels more comfortable?

High heels put a great deal of pressure on the balls of your feet. The tendency is to want to cushion that area, but that actually puts more pressure on this area. A metatarsal arch support will support the arch behind the ball of your foot and take pressure off your forefoot. Foot Solutions offers several types, so bring in your uncomfortable shoes and we can help. Many of our heels have metatarsal supports built into them.

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I’m a 60-year-old woman. In the past few years, it seems as if the bones at the ball of my foot have lost their cushioning. I feel like I am walking on pebbles.

Often, as people, particularly women, age, they lose the fat pads on the bottom of their feet. It’s natural to think that adding cushioning inside of a shoe will help, but what actually happens is that it makes your shoes too tight or the cushioning provides no relief.  What is useful in this instance is to use some sort of metatarsal support, either in a full length or ¾ length orthotic. Your metatarsal bones meet your toe bones to form the ball of your foot. Behind the ball of your foot, the metatarsal bones form the metatarsal arch. If you fill in this metatarsal arch, you will distribute pressure more evenly, and give your aching feet a break. Come into a Foot Solutions store and let us demonstrate how much better you can feel.

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I wear high heels a lot. When I try to wear flat shoes, my ankles ache. Why?

By wearing heels almost exclusively, a woman can shorten her Achilles tendons, making flat shoes an uncomfortable option. It might be preferable to go down in heel height gradually. At Foot Solutions we also can add a small heel pad to shoes that are too flat, allowing you to gently work on making your Achilles more flexible.

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I wear a size 10 in my work shoes, but that size feels tight in my athletic shoes. Why?

Athletic shoes run short. You should go up at least a half a size from your regular shoes, perhaps even more. A good rule is to have a thumbnail’s width of room in front of the longest toe on your largest foot.

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I use a walker most of the time, as I tend to ‘shuffle’ when I walk. I’ve tried wearing slippers around the house, but I tend to walk out of them, which could be dangerous. What should I look for in a pair of shoes?

Since your balance is not what it used to be, shoes with stability are a must. Stability in a shoe means that you should ideally be wearing a shoe with a back, or at least a back strap, so your shoe will be held securely on your foot. Proper sizing is important. You need room in front of the longest toe on your largest foot, but you don’t want too much room, or you might trip. Also, shoes with ‘carpet friendly’ soles are important, as you don’t want a sole that has too much ‘grab’ and could trip you. A reputable store with trained associates, like Foot Solutions, should be able to give you options and a proper fit for your feet.

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I love my six-year-old sneakers and wear them several times a week. My wife thinks I need a new pair. What do you think?

Sorry, your wife wins this time. Because athletic shoes have a softer, more cushiony mid-sole, they break down more quickly than regular shoes. You may not be able to see a lot of wear down in the tread, and the top of the shoe may not have holes in it, but the mid-sole will thin out and the shoes will not support you as well as when you first purchased them. A general rule is that athletic shoes are good for 500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Often serious runners will write the date of purchase inside of their shoes so they can keep track of when they need to be replaced. At Foot Solutions, we can arrange to phone or email you when your shoes are nearing their replacement date.

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I keep getting ingrown toenails. Could that have anything to do with my shoes?

Yes. Wearing shoes that crowd your toenails can lead to ingrown toenails, usually on the big toe. Your toes should never touch the ends of your shoes. If they do, every time you walk, you bump the toenails, putting pressure on and bruising them. The resultant injury can lead to ingrown toenails or even loss of the toenail. Make sure you have room in front of your toes in all of your shoes and that you can easily wiggle your toes in your shoes.

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I have worn a size 8 since I was 18, but now 30 years later, my shoes feel tight. Have shoe manufacturers changed how they size shoes?

Your feet are constantly changing due to body weight changes, gravity and arches that lower over time. You should have your feet measured every time you buy a pair of shoes. Make sure you have both feet measured, as you want to fit the largest foot. Make sure the shoes you are considering fit both the heel and the toe. A well-fitting shoe should feel comfortable from the moment you put it on and not require any “break-in” period.

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I have diabetes. My doctor says I should always wear shoes. He also says I should only wear seamless socks. Is he right and why?

Good fitting shoes and socks that are seamless in order not to irritate the skin are important for everyone, but particularly so for people with diabetes.
Diabetes can impact foot health in several ways. Sometimes a person with diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy, the term for damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms can include sensations in the feet such as burning, pain or numbness. With lack of sensation, it is particularly important to protect the feet from injury that might not be noticed. Since blood circulation can be poor in people with diabetes, any injury can be potentially serious.

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I have bunions. My mother did too, but my sister doesn’t. Were they caused by the years I wore high heels? If not, what is the cause

Bunions are hereditary. Poorly fitted shoes don’t cause bunions, but shoes that shove toes in an unnatural, pointy shape can increase their severity.

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Every time I get a pedicure, I make sure that my calluses are shaved off. They keep coming back. Why is that?

Calluses are caused by pressure and pressure on the foot can only be caused by shoes. If your shoes rub your foot, your foot adds extra skin to help protect it. The resultant callus is uncomfortable, so you have it shaved off. The foot still feels the pressure, so adds more skin again. It is a never-ending cycle. The solution is to eliminate pressure by having properly fit shoes. We specialize in correctly fitting all types of feet.

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Some of my friends have given up their stilettos, but I still love the way they look on me? Am I causing long-term problems?

Wearing stilettos, commonly defined as skinny heels over 3 or 4 inches in height, can put your body out of alignment and strain your back, hips, knees, ankles or feet. Fortunately, today’s comfort shoe brands offer attractive, stylish alternatives for women. However, if you insist on stilettos, be aware that you could potentially cause long-term issues if you are not careful. Moderation is the key here. Also, you can bring them into Foot Solutions and we can determine whether we can make them more comfortable. We offer special arch supports that fit many types of heels.

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I just started a running program and now I have heel pain. What should I do?

You should always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program or if you are injured. Many injuries can be prevented or solved with properly fitted footwear or arch supports. Pedorthists are experts at evaluating your feet to identify issues such as flat feet or high arches or other conditions that can lead to injury, but are easily addressed with the right footwear. Foot Solutions’ fit specialists will evaluate your feet and help you find the right solution for your needs.

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What is “perfect body alignment”?

If your foot doesn't have the proper support it can throw your body out of alignment causing poor posture, pain or balance issues that can lead to falls. Our goal is to find the solution that helps you achieve a neutral, functioning position or what we call "perfect body alignment" by aligning your joints and spine with the best weight distribution while you are on your feet.

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I hate breaking in new shoes. Is there any way to avoid the blisters and discomfort?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 9 out of 10 adults wear improperly built or improperly fitted shoes that cause most of the problems associated with “breaking in” a shoe. A properly fitted shoe doesn’t require a “break in” period. That doesn’t mean each shoe should fit out of the box. Our staff will be able to make adjustments to each shoe to help you find the perfect fit, often at no additional cost.

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If I have orthotics, do I need to wear them with orthotic shoes?

Not necessarily. At Foot Solutions, we stock many different types of stylish and fashionable shoes that can accommodate a variety of different arch supports. Of course, some foot conditions may require specific footwear.

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I’m in my 30s and my doctor suggested orthotics. I thought only older adults needed arch supports? What’s the solution?

Foot Solutions stocks arch supports for toddlers through adults. Some foot issues are inherited and we are born with them while others develop over time. Arch supports can be used as a preventative measure so problems don’t develop later in life. This is particularly true with children participating in athletics.

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How do you assess what a customer needs? Is there a charge for the service?

We offer every customer a free foot and gait assessment as part of our service. We take the time to measure each foot, watch the way you walk, and scan your feet using our advanced technology to help you find the right shoe and/or arch support for your foot type and shape.

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What is an orthotic or arch support?

An orthotic or an arch support is essentially the same. It may also be referred to as an insert. An arch support, orthotic or insert is a piece of material designed to provide support for the arch of the foot. An arch support typically works best when replacing a shoe’s insole, however depending on fit, may be placed on top of the shoe's insole, or may be part of the insole,

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What is the difference between an over-the-counter arch support and a custom-made arch support?

Many over the counter arch supports for feet are tailored for specific needs or can be optimized by a pedorthist. A custom-fitted, custom-crafted arch support insert typically lasts longer and addresses the specific needs of each customer and each foot to the optimal degree. Arch supports are frequently made from plastic so that they are flexible enough to provide comfort and rigid enough to provide support

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