Oprah Winfrey goes shopping in fluffy frog slippers (photo courtesy of DailyMail.co.ukIf it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for Bunion Survivors! When I saw these photos of Oprah wearing these “fluffy frog slippers,” had made it to the Daily Mail, I knew I had to share this article with you to remind you to honor your bunioned feet and when they hurt, try slippers that make you smile.

She may be worth billions of dollars but even Oprah Winfrey opts for comfort over style occasionally.

The 58-year-old hit a designer clothes store in New York City today sporting a pair of fluffy frog slippers.

Below are a pair of fluffy froggy slippers similar to the ones that Oprah is wearing shopping.  The holidays are coming. Treat yourself to a pair and give them as a gift to a friend who you want to smile when she thinks of you.

If you’re getting ready to have bunion surgery or are in recovery, these slippers will be comfortable and fun to wear once you’re out of your protective boot.

If you have a pair of beloved slippers, email me a photo of you wearing them and I’ll post. In the meantime, I’m going to get myself a new pair of slippers!

 

Mary, your book is a life saver.
Can’t imagine how I would have had courage
to go forward with surgery without your book.”
~ Virginia R. ~

Bunion Survivor's Guide to Bunion Surgery & Recovery

Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery ebook includes:

* Preparation checklists for before and after bunion surgery to reduce stress and make life easier for you

* Guidelines to select the right surgeon for you

* 3 critical questions to ask your doctor that most people won’t think to ask or are too afraid to ask, but make all the difference in a successful surgeon and surgery (this alone is worth the price of the book and your insurance premium and deductible combined!)

* Over 100 recovery tips, shoes brands and styles, and bunion relief resources with website links

* An instantly downloadable ebook that you can read online or print out and read at your convenience on the couch, in bed, while you’re waiting at your doctor’s office.

Learn more at Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery.

Mary

PS. If you’re still living with bunion pain and are still afraid of surgery, this ebook can help you make the right decision for you at the right time with the right doctor. Be good to yourself. You and your feet are worth it.

“Oh, Mary, thanks for being such a delight.
I have passed word around to others to purchase your ebook before surgery. My new left foot is a miracle. Sept. 24 was surgery, and having such a successful surgery is a dream that came true.”
~ Virginia R. ~

Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery

This site does not offer personal medical advice and is solely informational in nature.

Perfect timing! It’s the end of the day and now you can try on new shoes.

This morning’s post reminded me of a great article on finding good shoes written by a world champion disc golfer who is also a speaker and trainer on her feet all day and who has bunions.

Along with a great sense of humor Leslie Charles also has a great sense of the practical. We’ve been friends for a long time and I find her wisdom and energy a real gift. I know you will too. Enjoy her article and after you’re done reading, check out her website.

AVOIDING THE AGONY OF DE FEET
by Leslie Charles

Cache or comfort? Style or sensibility? Bunions, hammertoes, and calluses are just a few of the insults we women suffer for the sake of fashion. Study a typical high heel shoe and there seems to be an assumption that women’s feet are not only unnaturally narrow, but our feet are symmetrical, with our middle toes being the longest. Give me a break!

As an orthotics wearer for thirty years, I long ago gave up the idea of sexy shoes and opted instead for sensible ones. When I met Terri Lammers, an excellent orthotist and prosthetist in East Lansing, Michigan, she told me I had the “best” collection of shoes of any of her clients. Terri helped me take the next steps in knowing exactly what to look for in a shoe.

Here’s what Terri says about shoes: “Look for a straight mid line.” Hold the shoe upside down (sole facing you) and put a ruler or thread in the middle of the heel. Now extend that line through the toe section of the shoe. Does the line pretty much divide the shoe in half or does the front of the shoe lean off toward the toe side? If the line is straight, your feet will be happier. If there’s a noticeable curve, don’t buy it.

As Terri would say, “Don’t buy a shoe that’s shaped like a banana! The best shoes all have a straight mid line, firm soles and low heels.”

For everyday comfort, here are some good brands to consider:

Birkenstock (your best bet is to buy the traditional foot bed).

Finn Comfort (these are handmade and expensive but they will last forever and you can send them back for resoling. If you like clogs, compare the straightness of the Finn Comfort sole with a Dansko and you might be surprised).

Keen – (a popular shoe for younger women, these make for great sport shoes with a wide toe bed and great lateral support. I own several pairs of Keens).

Naot (this brand works well for narrow feet).

Merrells (from sport shoe to a slightly dressy look, some of their styles look great with slacks).

For a dressier look, try Aravon (made by New Balance, another good shoe manufacturer). I own two nice looking pairs of Aravon sandals and I really like them.

For the dressiest look and surprising comfort, check out Beautifeel. This is a stylish AND comfortable shoe I introduced to Terri and she loved them! They are dressy, trendy, and some are even a little sexy; Beautifeel shoes come in a variety of styles and heel heights.

The prices are reasonable and they have such a realistic width, I can wear my orthotics in these heels. What a find! If your local quality shoe store doesn’t carry Beautifeel look for them on the Internet. I can wear my Beautifeel heels all day and my feet stay happy.

Good web sites for view shoes include:
zappos.com (multi view)
comfortableshoes.com
keenfootwear.com
trackntrail.com
aravonshoes.com
footwise.com

As a professional speaker, facilitator and trainer, I spend a lot of time on my feet. Finding a comfortable, good-looking work shoe has taken a lot time, energy, and sometimes wasted money. I hope my discoveries will help you make better choices so you can prevent the agony of de feet.

Leslie Charles
is the author of seven books, including the fun, light hearted and practical “Bless Your Stress: It Means You’re Still Alive!” As an active, vital woman in her mid sixties, Leslie’s book offers some excellent anti-aging advice. In fact, Leslie just broke a world distance record for women in her age group in a popular but little known international sport, disc golf. She is listed on the world flying disc federation site, wfdf.org, along with other world record holders from ages 1 to 101. Read more about Leslie…

 

I know I’ve worn shoes that are too narrow, but what I didn’t know and just learned is that shoes should have an INCH of extra space at the tip of the toe. I always thought it was a half-inch for extra comfort and an inch made them too big.

Here are some other interesting facts pointed out in an article “If the Shoe Fits” in the October 3 issue Aurora Healthcare’s Women’s Health Newsletter.”

* 90% of us are wearing shoes that are too narrow, according to physicians at UCLA who examined 356 women. Ill-fitting shoes had created bunions, hammer toes, pinched nerves, heel pain, or ingrown toenails in 70% of the study group.

* Even with normal aging, feet widen and flatten, the fat padding on the sole of the foot wears down, and skin gets dryer.

They offer 5 excellent tips for buying shoes for bunion relief and all-around foot comfort.

  • Replace or repair shoes as soon as the heel starts to show wear.[My father always had metal cleats added to our new shoes when we were kids. A common phrase in our house was “stop dragging your feet, you’ll wear out your shoes too soon.”]
  • Buy new shoes at the end of the day (your feet are larger) and have your feet measured first – don’t assume you wear the same size shoe you did when you were younger. Always try on both shoes and buy for the larger foot (they’re rarely the same size).
  • Don’t buy shoes that need a break-in period; shoes should be comfortable immediately.[Makes so much sense, but I’ve been fooled by this one. I’m so grateful for Nordstrom’s return policy.]
  • Don’t wear the same shoes every day; if you’re diabetic, change several times a day.
  • In general, the best shoes are well cushioned with a firm sole and soft upper. They should be flexible at the front and at the ball of the foot, and strong and supportive but not too stiff in the heel area.
  • There should be an inch of space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe, and you should be able to wiggle your toes. (I’ll be wearing women’s size 13’s if I do this!!! I wonder if they’ll start making bigger shoes with smaller sizes like they do clothing?)

A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association, reported by The Clarion-Ledger, found that 73 percent of women have a shoe-related foot problem. Forty-two percent of women admitted they would wear a shoe that was uncomfortable. Okay, so the report was done by people in the business of fixing feet, but that’s still a lot of women!

It’s been nine months since my bunion surgery and I just bought three new pairs of shoes – all sandals, two pair with 1 1/2 inch heels and one pair with 2 1/2 inch heels, a heel height I haven’t worn in over a decade.

All the shoes have slight annoyances that border on almost uncomfortable enough to take back, but I’m hoping that a few more wearings will break them in and the leather will stretch enough to accommodate my feet, not the other way around.

Thank goodness I was smart enough to look for 1/4 inch rubber bottomed soles, which Naturalizer and Lifestride make, and add an adhesive gel padding to the insole for more comfort.

The extra padding is better than nothing, but the gel rolls up at the edges and becomes sticky on your feet, which requires reflattening every time you wear the shoes, and which my toes try to adjust when I’m sitting in meetings. Ten dollars at Famous Footwear.

Save your money and buy thicker soled shoes or use the gel-rolling as exercise for nervous toes that are hoping you’ll choose shoes with arch support, a lower heel, and a wide toe box.

I just got next week’s issue of U.S. News and World Report. There’s a great article on “50 Ways to Improve Your Life.” I couldn’t help but notice #3: Lose the shoes.

Everywhere I go now that I’ve come out of the shoe closet about my bunion and hammertoe surgery, I meet women who share their bunion stories, and are still wearing shoes “to die for.”

Cameron Diaz was on “Ellen” and came out wearing heels that were were as tall as the ten story buildings she jumped over in Charlie’s Angels. Six-inch heels! It doesn’t look like Cameron has bunions, and I’m not sure if Ellen does, but I can tell you that no matter how cute those shoes were, there is no way anyone who has had bunion surgery (at least my kind of bunion surgery) would ever get near those shoes for more than a minute.

Ellen asked to try the shoes on, shuffled precariously a few inches and said, “Um, tell me why you want to wear these again?” Cameron laughed and said, “Because they’re fun.” “Yeah, right,” Ellen said, “Fun for who?”

Oprah shared one of her most painful secrets (I posted on this November 1, 2006) — she wears her beautifully stylish high heeled shoes only on the set because they hurt so much. She takes the elevator down to the studio in bare feet, put on the shoes just before she walks out, and then takes them off again immediately after.

I’ve “been there, done that,” but now after B.S. (bunion surgery), my body actually begins to shudder, my teeth clench, and my eyes wince when I even think about wearing anything other than my athletic shoes. I accidentally left my dress shoes at a Christmas party last Saturday night. Fifteen minutes into the party I switched from the Donald Pliner stretchy-fabric, low-heeled pumps, which are as comfortable as they come, at least pre-surgery, into my sturdy leather J. Crew sandals I brought along “just in case.”

Ahhhhh. How do you spell relief? “Lose the shoes.”

“The good news” Dr. Robin Ross, a podiatrist in NY is quoted as saying, “is that the pointy shoe is heading more toward the rounded toe box.”For a list of bunion shoe brands and styles, check out:

Bunion Survivor’s Ebook Guide to
Successful Bunion Surgery & Recovery

As reported on Oprah.com: For 21 years, Oprah has been keeping a painful secret. Until now, few have known this very private truth…her feet hurt! After years of complaining—and a trip to the emergency room—Oprah’s staff finally said “enough!”  They searched high and low to find the ever elusive comfortable—and cute—high heel shoe.

Do you wear Cole Haan shoes? I wonder if they make them in a size 12? I’ll find out. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts. Have you tried these “air bag” shoes?

“Today is a new day!” Oprah says. After years of living in pain, Oprah has finally found a comfortable shoe. “I have to tell you, no exaggeration. I complain about it every day,” Oprah says. “I did not think that there could be a high heeled shoe or a high heeled boot created that wouldn’t cause you pain!”

The man behind the comfy heel is Gordon Thompson. Trained as an architect, Gordon spent a decade developing high powered state of the art footwear for Nike before becoming the creative director of Cole Haan shoes. “In the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘Here’s a really sort of interesting idea of taking two worlds that traditionally don’t go together and ramming them together,'” Gordon says.

By engineering an “air bag” that goes in the fore part and heel of the shoe, Gordon was able to provide a cushion for the feet. And they’re cute too! No Aunt Esther shoes here. “This is life changing,” Oprah says. “It’s not a cure for cancer, but it is a cure for your feet!”

Do you wear Cole Haan shoes? I wonder if they make them in a size 12? I’ll find out. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts. Have you tried these “air bag” shoes?

My sister is an Ironman Triathlete. We both inherited bunions. She says that she couldn’t run without her orthotics.

Christine Dobrowolski, DPM says, “Orthotics can help slow the progression of bunions and hammertoes, but they will not prevent this process. Orthotics may help with some pain at a bunion, but they will not “cure” the bunion.

When the motion in the foot is contributing to the problem, orthotics are generally recommended. If the foot is stable and does not require support, the bunion, hammertoe, neuroma, tendonitis or even plantar fascitis may not require custom made orthotics for treatment. These individuals may do well with a pre-fabricated orthotic.” Read more.
___________________

The article also defines very clearly and in more detail the difference between functional orthotics (structured and more rigid), which are best for managing bunions and accommodative orthotics (padded and soft), which work for people with diabetes.

I asked my podiatrist for orthotics following my bunion surgery and received them about three weeks ago. I’ve gone through four pairs of shoes at Road Runner Sports (They’ve been great to work with, especially Ron and Matt) to find a good fit with the orthotics in my shoes. It seems that while it has lessened the pain on the sole of my right foot (bunion/hammertoe surgery w/ 3rd metatarsal protuding into sole of foot), unless I have a wide enough shoe (men’s in this case), the “Taylor’s Bunion” just below my baby toe is irritated.

The good news is that my left foot is really happy with the orthotic.

Check with your podiatrist to see if an orthotic is right for your bunions. If you wear orthotics, please share your experience using the comment link below.

Learn more about orthotics and other bunion resources at:

Bunion Survivor’s Ebook Guide to Bunion Surgery & Recovery

This is a fascinating opinion report conducted by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society:

  • What height heels do you wear most often?
    • 10% 3-inch
    • 20% 2-inch
    • 23% 1-inch
    • 46% Flat
  • Do you ever experience foot pain while wearing high heels?
    • 19% No
    • 25% Yes, with pain after
    • 52% Yes, but only while wearing them
  • If your doctor told you that wearing ANY high heel would lead you to foot surgery in the future would you give up high heels?
    • 41% No
    • 59% Yes
  • Would you have foot surgery if it were the only way you could wear high heels?
    • 9% Yes, for heels
    • 20% Yes, for appearances
    • 71% No

Read more.
______________

Well, it appears orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists will always have a job based on this research.

With the exception now of one pair of 2-inch heels for dressy occasions, all my shoes are flat, and the stretchier and more padded they are, the better. But even at 5’10” with a size 12 foot, I wore 2 1/2-3 inch heels (whenever I could find them) in my late teens and did so until my feet just hurt too much to walk in high heels in my late 30’s. I am paying the price today.

Be smart. Take care of your feet. If the shoe hurts, stop wearing it.

Trust me. Unless you inherited bunions and are in pain, you don’t want bunion surgery.

Bunion Survivor’s Ebook Guide to
Successful Bunion Surgery & Recovery

Day 30: Amazing to think it’s been a month since my surgery! I’m walking, albeit slowly still, but am able to wear my new walking shoes without pain. But forget my pearlized square toed 2 inch heels! My foot is still too swollen.

 

I look at the comparison of my two feet and still can’t believe at times that my right foot is mine. I wish I could have waved a magic wand and healed without surgery. At the same time I’m grateful we have the technology to do such miraculous work. Yet, I do wonder if this foot will ever move as easily as it did before.