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Saturday, April 11, 2009

What have the foot police to do?: Now it’s the UGG

As if there was not enough to worry in this world.

According to a recent abc report podiatrists are expressing concerns at the wearing of the UGG boots claiming they do not give the foot support and forecasting all manner of nasties to everyone who dares wear them. What a load of toss!
To the very best of my knowledge there is no independent evidence to support shoes of any kind i.e. heels, UGGs, flatties, plastic clogs etc., are detrimental to foot function. Provided the footwear fits and is appropriate to the activity they are put to, then no long term harm is likely. The foot police do at times have a skewed view of the public and certainly see clients with shoe related pathologies but then only people with sore feet go to their podiatrist. The vast majority of people never cross the threshold. So trying to extrapolate their anecdotal experiences to the great unwashed is misleading and unnecessarily alarming (in my humble opinion). Supporting the structure of the foot can become habit forming and lead to dependency on arch supports etc., but thankfully for the majority of bipeds the arch can well support itself in healthy individuals. Foot strain has always been a focal point for medics partly because there is no known cause in at least half the cases and the temptation is there to demonise the footwear. It is an easy cop out. In truth many musculo-skeletal problems of the foot involve repetitive stress injury which is built up over a long period of time and in many cases, sub clinical until a traumatic event. This may include being on your feet for long periods of time which is commonly referred to in foot police speak as “over use.” I suggest much of the contemporary condemnation of shoes like UGGs and flip flops etc., have less to do with a real epidemic in foot strain and more to do with promoting dependency on medical expert opinion and their services. These are hard times we live in.

Footnote
During the Second World War when most GPs in the UK were in the services and overseas, the health of the general population improved.

1 comment:

Chicago Podiatric Surgeons said...

interesting article and views