I know I’m a podiatrist so buying shoes for my kids is probably easier for me than most mums but I was surprised at the recent fuss made over school shoes for girls. Are Clarks really being discriminatory? Or are they just like any business that needs to make a profit and therefore selling what is most sought after?
I myself went to Clarks early August for the annual school shoe shop, first one for my youngest! I chose one of their outlet stores due to buying 2 pairs this year. I think its become a bit of a tradition really with most families and even I am caught in the ‘must go to Clarks’ trap.
I have to admit buying for my 6 year old boy was a lot easier than my 4 year old girl, despite the fact they have similar feet and both wear some insoles for a bit of extra support.
A nice pair of black robust shoes with triple velcro strapping, tested the length, checked the width, quick check around the heels, all with him standing then tested his balance in them and got him to walk and run up and down in the shop. Perfect! jobs a good’n….
Now, when it came to looking at the girls selection on offer it was ok I suppose, not brilliant and initially lady Lois did try to point out the forbidden ‘dolly’ style shoes with no straps, far too low cut and too flimsy. They have very thin soles and just don’t look like they’d offer much in the way of support or protection. In fact they could have been folded up and put in a pocket….
Now I know my daughter and I know she will be wanting to run around that playground, jump, climb and hop as much as her older brother so they just weren’t an option. We did get sorted and £48 for both pairs was a result for me.
In all honesty I would have preferred a t-bar pair for her though. She has quite a high instep and I know they suit her foot type. They also offer much more support and if you test your child balancing in their shoes a t-bar with a buckle performs much better than a horizontal velcro strap. They did have lace ups but we just haven’t mastered that one yet.
Then there was the post from a mum ‘Shame on you Clarks’ which went viral…… So I decided to do my own little bit of retail research – ‘any excuse’.
There is actually loads of choice if you shop around and in fact a lot of the shops are selling really quite robust, well made girls shoes that don’t look like boys shoes if that’s the issue.
I looked at specialist shoe shops that can give you that personalised experience such as Little Wanderers or Whittakers in Bolton who sell a range of popular and less well known brands. This gives you the choice of different fittings, meaning you’re choice is not limited. I also looked at high street shops and was pleasantly surprised by the choice in Schuh, especially for the fussier teenage shopper and unless you have the snob factor to consider I would highly recommend you look in Wynsors. What a great choice of back to school shoes they had. They had a full range of Kickers in stock and I purchased the desired chunkier shoe with a T-bar for my 4 year old that I had wanted all along, and bonus, they had the flashing lights so she was happy too.
In summary as long as you’re prepared to shop around there is more choice now than there has ever been. If you don’t like the selection on offer then shop elsewhere.
The one thing the retailers can’t help you with is what your daughter would prefer to chose and for that I would advise you say “no, not for school”, especially if they head towards the dolly shoes that are just not appropriate for 7 hours a day for 9 months of the year.
Dr. Lindsay Hill @ Axis Podiatry
Categories: Kid’s Foot Care, News, School Shoes
It has now been confirmed and is official on the HCPC register that I can sell and/or supply a number of prescription only medicines.
This means avoiding delay in patient care or prolonging symptoms because I will be able to provide them direct to the patient without unnecessary GP appointments.
This is obviously based on clinical need and is limited to a select few medicines but it means I can provide pain relief, anti-fungal medicines and antibiotics.
It also means I am now able to administer steroid injections within my private practice as well as my NHS role which I have been able to do for almost 10 years now.
I'm looking forward to being able to offer an even more holistic service to the musculoskeletal and orthopaedic patients I see at Axis Podiatry.
Dr Lindsay Hill
So tomorrow morning, Saturday the 22nd of April I will be chatting to the lovely Ruth Hoyle on the Chorley fm breakfast show at 8am.
Ruth has invited me to talk about all things feet. The good, the bad and the ugly….. yep, that’s the life of a podiatrist for you.
If you want to tune in it’s 102.8fm
I’m often asked what makes me different to other podiatrists? and what is this gaitscan thing you use???
Why is this important or even relevant???
Well, my work in the NHS has given me so much experience and so many patient contacts that I would never have gained in private practice alone. The learning I have gained from my NHS experience working with orthopaedic consultants and physiotherapists up to consultant level has been phenomenal. I still see things every week that I’ve never seen before and I’m constantly learning.
I get to request and view x-rays, ultrasound scans, MRI scans and blood tests and I update my cpd regularly. My knowledge is only what it is because of my combined NHS and private practice experience so this should never be underestimated.
I have also completed my PhD research which looked at the patient experience of orthotics for back pain. This means I understand and value the importance of the patients voice and their experience. The findings have improved my clinical skills in that I now make more time to listen to my patients and involve them a lot more in their treatment.
In 2004 I purchased my first gaitscan when I established Axis Podiatry, and it was the best thing I ever did.
It is not an ‘essential’ piece of kit and a lot of podiatrists treat patients perfectly adequately without one but for me it adds to the patient experience. It is invaluable in its educational application. As they say ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’.
Patients still find the technology and images fascinating and even more so since I upgraded my system last year.
The gaitscan also provides information and detail that even with my 20 years experience I couldn’t see with the naked eye watching a patient walk up and down in clinic or even on a treadmill with slowed down video gait analysis.
For me as a podiatrist it is most importantly a means to prescribing what I have found to be the best orthotics on the market. I prescribe TOG orthotics that can be specialised to the prescription you need, your footwear and the sport you chose to partake in. They also come with a manufacturers lifetime warranty against breaking or cracking which is fantastic. I still see patients now that I first assessed over 10 years ago and we can either modify their prescription or just get their orthotics refurbished.
I hope this blog has gone some way to explain why i might be different to other podiatrists you have seen or why I am different to gait analysis in a running shop which is by the way perfectly adequate for advice on running shoes but not for treating an injury…..
Thanks for reading!
So, over the weekend I’ve experienced my first expo!!!
I was privileged to be invited to take part in the inaugural Chorley Health Expo at Chorley town hall.
I’ve only lived in Chorley for 4 and 1/2 years so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to showcase Axis Podiatry to the population of Chorley and other health practitioners and experts who practice in the Chorley area.
The Friday was ‘business’ day and allowed local businesses to explore occupational health experts and the support available to them. It also enabled us as the health practitioners to network with each other.
The Saturday was ‘public’ day and was open to anyone interested to attend the expo and explore the stalls, taster sessions and education sessions.
Although we weren’t inundated with attendees, for me as someone new to the area it was a brilliant event and experience. It gave me the opportunity to show what makes me different to other podiatrists. I have specialised in sports injuries and biomechanics and have a gaitscan pressure plate system.
Let’s hope it’s an annual event and it grows year on year.
Thanks for reading
This is the exercise I prescribe to almost every patient that walks into my clinic.
I advise it for children, teens, adults and pensioners alike.
Whether you are pretty sedentary, on your feet all day as a housewife and busy mum, stand all day as part of your job or keep yourself fit and partake in lots of sport these muscles become tight!
Evidence has shown that 80% of foot and ankle problems are caused or made worse by tightness in this muscle group.
So….. what is this miracle stretching regime????
The good old calf stretch!!!!
The routine I recommend based on the literature, my clinical experience and patient outcomes is a long static stretch as demonstrated in the picture above, no need to bounce, and just hold for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3 times on each leg and carry out this routine 3 times each day.
This exercise alone can work wonders and I won’t fit orthotics until the tightness has been addressed. Sometimes orthotics are not required once the patient has regained the minimum range of movement required for normal function.
So there you go, a really simple thing you can all do to prevent problems or treat yourself before you contact me.
Thanks for reading, Lindsay
So today I held my last Chorley clinic for 2016 and on Wednesday evening it will be my last 2016 clinic at The Wilmslow Hospital, 52 Alderley Road.
I will be back in Chorley on Sunday the 8th January and then alternate Sundays throughout 2017.
Back in Wilmslow on Wednesday evening the 4th January and then alternate Wednesday evenings throughout 2017.
I hope all of my patients past and present have had a healthy 2016, enjoy the Christmas holidays and are back fighting fit ready for 2017.
You may not realise the damage your high heels are doing to your feet until it’s too late.
Wearing high heels on a regular basis over a long period of time can gradually damage the bones and soft tissues of your feet and lower legs. They can result in the dreaded osteoarthritis at a much younger age than you might expect. Wearing high heels regularly can also cause shortening of your Achilles tendons as well as tight calf muscles.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a pair of nice high heels for a night out but you will never catch me wearing heels for an 8 hour day at work, a shopping trip or a day out with the kids. High heels make you feel taller, slimmer and more dressed up but they just aren’t good for your feet.
These images are of the right foot of a recent patient of mine. A 76 year old female who has worn heels almost every day of her life and doesn’t want to stop now.
Do you think she might have osteoarthritis of her 1st mtp joint (big toe) ??????
Take care of your feet. You only get one pair and they need to last you a long time!
Thanks for reading
Dr Lindsay A Hill