How the Varus Heel Trend Went Too Far & Caused Foot Pain

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Sep 11, 2015 1:37:53 PM

close_up_heel_of_athletic_shoeUnless you’re the type of person who likes to do avid research, what you know is what’s advertised you. If trusted companies are advertising their latest and greatest shoe and how it will help your foot pain, then most people are going to take their word for it. But sometimes, it pays to be informed about the claims companies are making, especially when it comes to foot problems. Some shoes may help, but others may hinder. Learn how the varus heel did just that in the article excerpt below.

Posted by: Arbor Foot Health Center

Why are my athletic shoes twisting my ankle?

What’s a Varus Heel and Why Should I Care?

The shoe industry is driven by fads. (but you already knew that) A couple years ago the latest fad was the varus heel. It hasn’t died out yet so let me tell you a little bit about it.

When you look at a shoe from the back you can draw an imaginary line down the center of the heel. If that shoe was sitting on the ground the line made a perpendicular with the ground. That was called a neutral heel. The idea of the varus heel was to build up the side of the heel on the inside of the shoe (on the big toe side of the foot) to stop the foot from pronating or flattening out too much. So far so good — but just like every fad tends to get carried away so too did the varus heel fad. So while many people could benefit from a 4° varus heel we started to see even higher varus heels that started to cause trouble.

Even a normal varus heel for a person that does not need one can cause an ankle sprain. Even recently I had a patient who regularly walks on a sidewalk which is angled. When she wore her new varus heel shoes on this sidewalk she developed acute pain in one foot.

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The main goal of the varus heel is to stop the foot from pronating, or excessively rolling inward. While it may help as a short term solution, the root problem is actually foot misalignment caused when the ankle bone slips off of the heel bone leading to an excessive inward rotation or overpronation. Misaligned feet can cause foot pain and foot problems, but also pain in the knees, hips, back and neck.

There is a quick and easy minimally invasive outpatient procedure that inserts what’s known as the HyProCure® stent into the naturally occurring space between the ankle bone and heel bone. It’s able to stabilize the ankle and keep it from excessively rolling inward.

The HyProCure® procedure is safe for children and adults of all ages. Once you receive the HyProCure® stent, you’ll be walking in your own shoes within 3 to 5 days; and the stent rarely needs to ever be replaced.

Adler Footcare is classified as a Center of Excellence for HyProCure® implantation, by the Graham International Implant Institute, because of the safety, expertise and experience offered to patients. At Adler Footcare we believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.

Click below to contact a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare to help ease your foot pain and find out if you’re a candidate for HyProCure®:

Schedule your Free Foot Assessment-Click Here

Topics: foot problems, foot pain, HyProCure