The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

What Do Fashionistas and Soldiers Have in Common? Comfy Shoe Inserts

Posted by on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

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While this might not be true for everyone, for a podiatry obsessive like myself the fashion world and the American military have a whole lot in common. Both are places where feet experience all sorts of unusual and painful punishment. Both require a certain style of footwear, and in both cases that footwear can be damaging. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how awful high heels can be for the feet. They can cause all sorts of structural problems, from plantar fasciitis to stress fractures. And these problems can become chronic in the fashion forward high heel wearer. In the military, those standard issue boots don’t offer a whole lot of arch support. Many soldiers suffer from plantar fasciitis and stress fractures, just like their fancy fashion obsessed fellows. So what is to be done about these occupational/recreational hazards? One woman has some ideas.

Christina Prandini-Sanchez is a woman with a mission. As a long time high heel lover, she simply wanted some sort of insert or cushioning that would allow her to wear her favorite shoes without the constant nagging pain. But, search as she might, she couldn’t find anything that fit the bill. Then one day a friend who worked for a mattress manufacturer showed her a piece of bedding gel and she immediately thought about how great it would feel on her feet. That simple inspirational moment led her to found Body and Sole Comfort, a company that would design and manufacture a line of gel foot pads.

What started as a high heel padding business quickly expanded as members of the military started buying her products. The key: these foot pads are versatile. Rather than inserting into shoes like Dr. Scholls, they stick to the bottom of the foot. So, they work equally well in a high heel as they do in a combat boot. And they’re not limited to the bottom of the foot. You can stick the pads wherever you need cushioning: the ball of the foot, the heel, the side of the foot, or the top.

I am always advocating good shoe choices, because investing in comfortable supportive shoes is a simple way to protect your feet. But if your lifestyle or job prevent you from choosing comfortable footwear, inserts like these (or custom orthotics) provide an excellent alternative.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.