Why Your Boots May Be Changing Your Feet & Causing Foot Problems

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Mar 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM

black_work_bootsHigh-heeled shoes are often to blame for foot problems, but what about boots? If you wear boots daily – maybe you’re a construction worker, public safety employee, or in another job that needs extra foot protection, you are at risk for experiencing problems that could ultimately cause you chronic foot pain.

We get a lot of questions here at Adler Footcare, and the one below is as an actual question we received that warrants a decent response. Maybe you can relate.

Real Question:

I have worked for the city fire department as a medic for the past ten years & wear work boots daily. In that time, I have seen the shape of my feet & toes change. They're getting crooked! I'm wondering if there is anything I can do.

Expert Answer:

Yes! There is something that this medic can do – and you can too – if you’re experiencing a similar problem. To understand the solution, you first have to understand what the actual problem may be.

The underlying problem that many people – approximately 40% of the population – don’t realize they have is misaligned feet. When the ankle bone slips off the heel bone it causes an inward rotation of the ankle and outward rotation of the foot, also known as over-pronation. This can lead to problems that change the shape of your feet and toes, as well as cause a painful chain reaction throughout your body in your knees, hips, back and neck.

Common foot problems that change the way your feet look

If you’re noticing the shape of your feet and toes changing, you may be in the beginning stages of one of the following issues, which can also act as symptoms of foot misalignment:

Bunions – a bone deformity that shows up as a bump on your big toe. It forms on the joint at the base of your big toe, and is caused by your big toe pushing up against your other toes, forcing the big toe joint in the opposite direction.

Flat feet – Several tendons in your foot and lower leg work together to form the arches in your foot. When the tendons in your feet all pull the proper amount, then your foot forms a moderate, normal arch. When tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch. People with flat feet have an arch that is very low. Flat feet are hereditary and a result of a faulty foot structure. Sometimes the foot problem won’t show up until adulthood.

Hammertoes – an abnormal bend in the toe that causes the toe to resemble a hammer, mallet or claw. The pain or pressure caused by these conditions can often be felt just by moving your toe and is often related to improper footwear that causes your toes to be forced against the front of your shoe.

When you wear boots that don’t fit your feet properly, a few different things can be happening:

  • You’re putting extra pressure on areas of your foot and your footwear is causing friction, aggravating your bunion.
  • You aren’t getting the proper support your feet need if you have flat feet.
  • Your boots are too small, forcing your toes against the front of your shoes, causing your toes to curl like a hammertoe.

The Solution

There is a device called the HyProCure® stent that can help these issues caused by misaligned feet. A minimally invasive technique is used to place a small titanium stent into the naturally occurring space between the ankle bone and heel bone. This stabilizes the ankle and keeps it from rolling inward, correcting the misalignment, which in turn will help correct the issues changing the way your feet and toes look.

HyProCure® is an outpatient procedure safe for children and adults. After the procedure, you’ll leave the office in a walking boot and be back walking in your own closed shoes within 3 to 5 days. The device rarely needs to be replaced.

If you’d like to see if you’re a candidate for HyProCure®, contact a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare.

Most people are great candidates, but if you aren’t, there are still other alternatives such as custom orthotics that can help manage the pain. Schedule your free consultation today.

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. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.

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Topics: foot problems, foot pain