Dr. Kelley Gillroy, DPM, Glendale, AZ, talks about proper footwear
Dr. Kelley Gillroy, DPM, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ, completed her undergraduate education at Northern Arizona University and earned her Ph.D. from Des Moines University, College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, in Iowa. She then completed a surgical residency program at three years before starting the practice. She practiced as an associate in private podiatry practice in Sun City West, Arizona for a few years before accepting her current position at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, where she serves as an assistant professor at the Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine and is a physician. at the Foot and Ankle Clinic at Midwestern University. She is also the CME director for the podiatry department at Midwestern University.
Dr. Gillroy is interested in all aspects of foot care, but has been very interested in trauma and foot and ankle surgery. We were lucky enough to take a few minutes out of Dr. Gillroy’s day to ask her about footwear and how it can make a difference in the health of her feet.
Doctor, most people don’t seem to think much about their shoe choice. What kind of long-term effects does this have on the health of your feet, and what do you recommend when it comes to shoe choice?
Dr. Gillroy: Well, as for the long-term effects of wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support, most people prone excessively when they walk, and there’s usually no proper stability or support for the foot. bow in shoes, which can lead to a lot of trouble. such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, stress fractures, and many overuse symptoms as time goes on.
Do you think it is a question of misinformation?
Dr. Gillroy: Not necessarily. You can walk into some high-end sports stores and assume that what you find there will be appropriate. You can’t trust a brand now with new trends in minimal footwear and barefoot running trends. I think if it is on the shelves of these stores, people automatically think that they are buying something that fits their feet well.
I have some tests that I generally like to tell patients to use to test the use of their shoes before buying them to assess their stability. First, you take the shoe and try to fold it in half. The only place the shoe should bend is in the toe area, where the toes will naturally bend when you walk. If it folds into the arch, you know it’s not stable enough because your foot doesn’t fold there. So your foot is going to be doing a lot of extra work trying to stay stable inside that shoe.
The second test I have is to try to wring the shoe or turn it from side to side. You shouldn’t be able to do that. The sole of the shoe should provide significant resistance to that and then the third test is trying to bring the heel together. There should be resistance. It shouldn’t just collapse. That is to make sure there is good heel support in the shoe. If the shoe passed those three tests, it is generally fine when it comes to stability and then you need to think about arch support within the shoe.
Most shoes are made flat because they don’t know what kind of person is buying the shoe. If that person has flat feet or higher arches, they will not like the fit of the insole, so you should remove the lining that comes in the shoe and complement it with something that better fits their arch, which is usually a custom device. if you have foot problems.
The next question is more aimed at women. Is it really possible for someone to keep their feet and spine healthy and still wear fancy shoes?
Dr. Gillroy: Yes. They are definitely getting better as time goes by with what is available on the market for women. There are many companies that are trying to produce different types of sandals, flip flops, and dress shoes that are less bulky and nicer that actually fit the proper guidelines for a stable shoe, but they are not that easy to find. Many of the high heels on the market, depending on the height of the heel, are very unstable for the ankle and if you wear a lot of heels, you can risk twisting your ankle or developing tension or contractions in the Achilles tendon just by being always in the toes from the feet.
You may have problems in the ball of your foot, such as a Morton’s neuroma or pain under the metatarsals. There are shoe stores available now that sell sandals and dress shoes that you can wear to work that are slightly better. Look for a wider heel or platform for more stability. There are even braces now made to fit inside dress shoes.
Do you recommend different footwear for someone who is on their feet all day in front of someone more sedentary?
Dr. Gillroy: Well, absolutely. The person who is more sedentary can get away with wearing less stable shoes because they are not constantly on their feet, whereas someone who is on their feet all day would need more shock absorption in their shoe and better arch support. All of that is transferred upward and can even lead to knee pain and back pain if you are on your feet all day.
What do you think is the biggest mistake people have about footwear?
Dr. Gillroy: I know a lot of people have brands that they try and feel that if they are spending their money on a brand like Nike or New Balance or something like that, they automatically get the right footwear, which is not the case. There are so many different brands out there and it’s kind of a whirlwind trying to decide what to buy, each brand has six or seven different types of shoes.
So just buying a Nike, for example, doesn’t mean you’re getting the right shoe for you because they have minimalist shoes, they have shoes for runners, hikers, people with overpronation, and people who have high arches. There is so much more to the anatomy of a shoe than just taking it off the shelf and a lot of people don’t get it.
Doctor, to end this, how should anyone choose a podiatrist?
Dr. Gillroy: Well that’s a tough question. Historically, podiatrists have had different levels of training, for example, in the past not all podiatrists had surgical training. Some of them specialized more in general podiatric medicine and palliative foot care and others focused on diabetic foot care and wound healing. The training is more uniform now. Every graduating podiatrist now has 3 years of surgical training in addition to general podiatric training. So now that it is more uniform, you can trust that your podiatrist can help you with your foot problem and walk you through to complete healing.
So in other words, what you are saying is that the training and curriculum is now pretty standardized. If you can find someone who is a podiatrist and has a license in the last 10 years, they will have that training. Is that correct?
Dr. Gillroy: Yes. Most importantly, I think you need to find someone that you have a good relationship with so that if you have a chronic problem, it will be someone you can trust. Find a podiatrist who has good bedside manners and takes time to explain things to you.
Sure, absolutely. When people are faced with a situation where they are going to have to go back to the doctor over and over again, you’re right, it becomes a very personal relationship. They will want someone they feel comfortable with.
Dr. Gillroy: I would just encourage people to be proactive in treating their foot pain. What I come across most often are patients who ignore their symptoms when the injury first occurs and wait 2-3 months thinking that the pain will go away on its own. Now the injury has become chronic and scarred, making treatment difficult and often leading to more compensation issues. I encourage people not to ignore the symptoms and seek treatment immediately. It is better to find out that it is minor rather than trying to reverse the 2 or 3 months of pain that often leads to surgery.
Good advice. Dr. Gillroy, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to answer a few questions about proper footwear. I certainly appreciate it.
Dr. Gillroy: You’re welcome.
Kelley Gillroy, DPM, Midwestern University, Phoenix can be reached at her office at 623-537-6160. Provides medical treatment for conditions such as bunions, heel pain, ingrown toenails, foot pain, diabetic foot problems, and correction of deformities.