Be Kind To Your Feet

Professional golfer Nancy Lopez is fitted for a new pair of shoes at Foot Solutions in The Villages, Spanish Springs Square.

If the first thing you want to do at the end of the day is kick off your shoes and rub your aching feet, you just may be wearing the wrong shoes!

Heel pain, metatarsal pain, hammer-toes, bunions, shin splints, fallen arches, knee pain, even back pain—these are just a few of the ailments that can be caused or exacerbated by poorly fitted shoes.

“Years ago people received personal attention and a measurement every time they purchased shoes to ensure a proper fit,” says Malcolm Barry, co-owner of Foot Solutions in The Villages. “Today people go to big box stores and serve themselves, never knowing if they’re buying the proper shoe.”

Because of this, Malcolm adds that nearly 25 percent of the population has foot problems caused by ill-fitting shoes. Dr. Cedric Tankson, a local orthopedic surgeon, agrees.

“Be kind to your feet and they will be kind to you,” he advises.

At Foot Solutions the mission is simple: ensure better health for each client, through their feet. A carefully chosen group of company doctors and sports medicine specialists determine which shoes should and should not be carried in each of Foot Solution’s 250-plus nationwide locations.

The three on-staff pedorthists then use advanced technology, combined with their complete understanding of a foot’s biomechanics and gait, to fit each client’s foot for the proper type and style of shoe.

“We are board-certified professionals,” Malcolm says. “We evaluate a person while they are standing and while they are walking. It’s very important to identify what a person’s foot is doing in different states of motion and rest.”

With more than two dozen name brand shoes and sandals available, the selection at Foot Solutions is plentiful. They even carry the popular rocker-bottom shoes designed to strengthen and tone leg muscles. If necessary, shoes can be custom made to a client’s exact foot specifications. The customer chooses the color, type of leather, and all the finishing touches.

As both a doctor who recommends Foot Solutions to his patients and as a client of Foot Solutions himself, Dr. Tankson has only good things to say about the store’s quality of work.

“They are extremely knowledgeable and accommodating,” he says. “And the selection of styles is great.”

No matter how big or small your foot complaint or issue may be, the professionals at Foot Solutions can help.

“Sometimes a customer can actually have two different sized feet or two different arches,” says Malcolm. “Once in good, quality shoes, most of our clients find that their aches and pains disappear.”

As a pedorthist, Malcolm is often an invited guest speaker for a variety of local groups who have an interest in foot and leg health, including diabetic support groups, neuropathy groups, and MS groups. He also regularly performs on-site evaluations at offices for workers.

“If we can alleviate pain and help put these people on the path to wellness,” Malcolm says, “that’s fantastic.”

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