DG Recommends

V&A Shoes: Pleasure & Pain Exhibition

Famous for exhibiting some of the world’s most influential fashion pieces, the V&A museum is a must-see for any fashion enthusiast. This year the V&A have turned their attention towards our feet; more importantly, what we wear on them. June 13th saw the unveiling of the ‘Shoes: Pain & Pleasure’ exhibition showcasing 200 shoes ranging from ancient Egyptian gold leaf sandals to the Swarovski heels created for the recent Cinderella film. 

It’s almost impossible to select a star of the show as the list of extraordinary footwear included in the exhibition is unquestionably impressive. Highlights include Kate Middleton’s trusty court shoes, Christian Louboutin’s Ballerina Ultima fetish shoes, Marilyn Monroe’s heels from her private collection and 17th century slap-soled shoes that introduced the sound of clicking heels as the mark of an upper class lady. The list of inspiring stories told by each shoe showcased at the exhibition is endless. Every piece in the exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through the delicate balance of pleasure and pain experienced through wearing some of the world’s most influential shoes. 

The exhibition will be taking residence in the Victoria and Albert Museum until January 2016 and is sure to be one of the museum’s most popular instalments this year.

After the Big Race

The 26th April saw an amazing 38,000 people run the London Marathon. That’s a staggering 76,000 feet in need of some TLC! 

On average when running, you apply up to six times your own body weight onto each foot with every stride. That’s an immense amount of pressure to put onto one place. At DG Podiatrist, it’s our top priority to ensure your feet are well looked after. So if you ran the race, or are already preparing yourself for next year, read on to find out how to keep your feet in tiptop running condition.

The issue athletes and runners are most prone to is athletes foot: a fungal infection that you can pick up almost anywhere, and that loves the warm, dark home of your gym shoe that you spend so much time in! Thankfully, it can be treated as easy as it is to pick up.

Your feet need to be kept clean and moisture-free to stop the infection from progressing, and an anti-fungal cream applied to the dry areas will also help it. Your shoes also need to be completely dry - best achieved by leaving them to air for 24 hours (but if you’re itching to get to the gym, you can use the cold setting on a hairdryer to hurry them along). 

If your issues with athletes foot are ongoing, we are willing to give you the expert advice on the best treatment for you to get you back on your feet in no time. 

The bane of every runner’s life: Blisters. Caused by friction, these small but evil things can be painful and stop any runner in their tracks. To stop blisters biting at your heels, keep your feet dry and cushioned against your shoe. A good pair of socks should do the trick!

Also, as tempting as it may be, don’t pop the blister! Instead, get some foam or felt and cut it a bit bigger than your blister. Follow by cutting a smaller hole in the middle to create a doughnut shape. Tape this over your blister and allow it time to heal. 

As tired and as achy as you may be after a run, if you don’t care for your feet, they will only cause you more problems. Here’s some of the best home remedies for nursing your feet back to normal: 

  • REST! Sit with your feet up for at least ten minutes to get your circulation back to normal.
  • Get a good foot massage! But if no one is around to do it for you, a foot roller should hit the spot. 
  • Keep your legs still and move your feet in circular motions 

As a treat for all of your hard work, enjoy an hour with DG Podiatrist’s Biomechanics treatment. We examine the areas of compensation on your feet (perfect for runners), so that we can supply the best support to guide you back to health - think braces for your feet that help with gait, posture and heel pain that running can cause. 

Or, if you fancy being a little more indulgent – which you deserve – simply come for a medical pedicure to leave your feet looking and feeling gorgeous and light. No one will ever know you just ran 26.2 miles!

Diabetes UK - Putting Feet First

We understand how foot care can directly impact those who have diabetes, and that's why we strongly support the Putting Feet First campaign by Diabetes UK.

Up to 80 per cent of diabetes-related amputations in England each year are preventable. Diabetes UK is campaigning to Putting Feet First. Worldwide, diabetes-related complications result in the amputation of a lower limb every 30 seconds. It’s estimated that people living with diabetes are 30 times more likely to have an amputation compared to the general population.

Join Diabetes UK’s Putting Feet First campaign and together we can dramatically reduce the number of amputations suffered by people with diabetes. Know how to look after your feet and know what care to expect from the health service.

  • Attend your annual foot check. It’s as important as your retinal screening appointment.
  • Know your risk of developing foot problems and make sure that you are referred if necessary.
  • Make foot-care a part of your daily routine, just like managing your blood glucose and diet.
  • Be aware of any loss of sensation in your feet.
  • Ask someone to assess the feeling in your toes by doing the Touch the Toes test.
  • Avoid using corn-removing plasters or blades.
  • Keep useful numbers handy, and know who to contact at the first sign of problems with your feet.

Do you have diabetes? We offer a range of treatments that are tailored to help you maintain healthy feet. Call us today or email info@dgpodiatrist for more information.

Get Your Feet Summer Ready!

At DG Podiatrist we understand that looking beautiful and feeling healthy happens head to toe and from within.

If you’re planning a summer escape this year, then our Full Podiatry/Chiropody* treatment is perfect for you.  Designed to make your feet feel light, revived, refreshed and silky smooth, this treatment most importantly executes procedures with gentle precision that aims to be pain-free. This treatment also includes a thorough assessment of both feet for optimum health including a medical pedicure that is performed on a dry foot where hard skin, corns, nails, heels and skin conditions are professionally cared for to reveal long lasting results with a luxurious touch. Beach ready feet… what’s not to love?

Need the nails to match? We’re loving Rimmel’s #colourfest campaign with Rita Ora’s 60 Second Super Shine colour range. We love NEON FEST 322, DAISY DAYS 450 and ROLL IN THE GLASS 878!

*Dina Gohil will recommend the appropriate post-treatment cream or oil needed for the continued care of your feet. Customised props and pads will be made, if required, for future long-term relief. Strongly recommended for diabetics. Full vascular and neurological testing done.

Reach Inside Your Shoe, and End the Foot Taboo!

Feet are wonderful and complex structures. Containing a quarter of all the body’s bones, they are strong and versatile. Despite this, I used to catch myself staring at my father’s feet as a child, thinking — Why is his second toe so much longer than his first toe? Why doesn’t he just put some socks on? Get those things away from me! It makes me laugh when I think of these moments. I wonder where this (to an extent) phobia came from. Why do so many of us dislike our feet and others?

It’s hard to say when or where the foot taboo started. In Thailand and other Asian countries, feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body, because they are close to the ground. There are spiritual and religious reasons behind this idea, and showing or pointing feet in some countries is considered an insult or even an offence! Because feet (or feet in shoes) touch the ground, they are often viewed in a negative light. However, think about how often we use our hands — feet are usually remarkably cleaner than the average pair of hands!

Feet sweat just like the rest of our bodies, and if not looked after hygienically, then yes, they will smell! This is a possible contributor to our foot views, but think about it — it’s ridiculous! It’s the same as saying arms are taboo, or a person’s face. I would never turn my nose up at a face! Feet are beautiful, normal parts of us and we certainly wouldn’t get very far without them. Well, we could try, but I wouldn’t make any bets!   

Some don’t like the look of their feet, but our hands, eyes and entire bodies come in an array of shapes and sizes. Why are feet considered any different? It could have some Chinese influence. Foot binding began in the 10th century as tiny feet were favoured, and continued on until the 19th century. Girls would have their feet bound between the ages of four and six, and would occur in a ritualistic ceremony accompanied by other traditions intending to ward off bad luck. The horrific procedure entailed bending the girls' toes underneath the sole, using very long ribbons to wrap their feet all the way to the ankle. The idea was to keep breaking the foot whenever it grew too large, a process that usually took between two and three years. The feet would then be bound (and deformed) for the rest of their lives. I am incredibly grateful for my unique, strong, free-moving feet and wouldn’t trade them for anything! You can breathe now.

I don’t know why I screwed my face up at my father’s feet (sorry Dad). It was probably just because they looked different to mine! Then again, I was a child. Having come to terms with my own feet now, I have no problems with other peoples. My partner’s feet are my favourite pair in the world! You heard me. They’re perfect.

Feet are clever, too! They can’t see the future or suggest ice cream flavours, but they can mirror our general health. Arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet. It’s like your own personal alarm system! Pretty nifty, yes?

When you think about it, foot taboos are rather silly. I am grateful, happy and proud to show mine off! When cared for properly, feet are stunning to look at, soft to touch and always eager to carry you to your next destination. ‘The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.’ Love your feet! Thanks to them, you have an incredible amount of freedom and versatility in life. So reach inside your shoe, and end the foot taboo!  

Touch on the Outside, ‘Heel’ on the Inside

Touch is a vital part of relationships, especially the one we have with our other half. Studies show that it can elevate mood, maintain health and build intimacy. Surprisingly, many of us don’t utilise this form of contact in our daily lives. With the clock ticking over until Valentine’s Day, let’s make sure we incorporate this health-booster into our relationships. Grab your lover — let’s go!

Touching releases a small amount of oxytocin, the neurotransmitter that helps us bond and feel connected. Cuddling and holding eye contact are other ways of increasing the flow of this neurotransmitter, increasing the bond between two people. Sometimes failing to realise it, humans thrive on touch. The benefits include feeling connected to others and less anxious, lowered blood pressure and having a positive outlook on life. Research shows that a lack of physical contact can lead to emotional disturbance, reduced sexual interest and even a weakened immune system. Sounds miserable, doesn’t it? We may not even realise the extent to which a lack of touch is affecting our health. Do not despair! There are ways you can easily incorporate touch (or more touch) into your relationship:

  • Moisturise from head to toe. Not only will this leave you beautifully soft and smelling delicious, but will have you feeling ready to touch and be touched. A medical pedicure is an experience you can share with your other half; something you can do together to prepare for months of beautiful touch. Soft feet are glorious to move around with, and who can resist playing footsies with their partner? You’ll feel connected, playful and perhaps a little naughty!

  • Hug your partner! It’s one of the most enjoyable forms of touch. Go on, do it! Hug them when you see them, hug them when you leave them and hug them all those moments in between. It’s a special feeling. You’ll feel safe, loved and truly connected.

  • Initiate a massage. Massages are (unofficially) one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I personally couldn’t do without them from my partner, and I know he couldn’t either! Massage relaxes the muscles, feels amazing and builds intimacy. I love a good foot massage in the evening! It’s not something you automatically think of when giving a massage, but I can assure you, it’s worth it. Research suggests that pressure points on the feet can alleviate pain and stress in other parts of the body. A foot massage is a very indulgent experience, and one to be shared.

  • Hold hands. It’s a public show of affection when out, and a private show of affection when alone. Holding hands is a gesture of love and trust, and is said to reduce stress. Let’s not forget that it warms us up in winter, and is more personal than a cup of coffee! Did I mention that it’s free?

Touching, and being touched, is important not only to our relationships but to our overall health and wellbeing. It can lift mood instantly, create connections, build intimacy and trust and reduce the daily stressors we all face. After your medical pedicure experience, you won’t be able to keep your hands (and feet) off each other! When you think about it, touch is one of the most natural and enjoyable things you can do for your health. ‘Your toes, touching mine. This is how galaxies collide.

Little Feet Big Street

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to children, and this can sometimes feel overwhelming. Caring for their precious feet is one significant thing you can do for them that may prevent other health problems; now and later in life. Usually born with perfect feet, children are vulnerable to deformity while their soft cartilage is turning into bone. Your child’s foot is very different to your own, and if looked after properly, means you can worry about them a little less!

Widest across the toes, a child’s foot is softer and more pliable, rounder and plumper and narrowest at the heel. Children develop at different rates, therefore you should always let them develop walking skills and confidence at their own pace. Shoes should not be worn at all until they can walk, so try to avoid pram shoes. I remember I wore a bonnet at that age, so try that! It did look insanely adorable.

Little feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear until the bones are completely formed at around 18 years of age. Because of this, walking barefoot (where safe) is actually good for them. I remember the feeling of walking free and shoeless on beautifully soft grass – those were the days!

Typically, a child’s arch does not develop until puberty. With babies, the arch will usually not be visible or developed for the first two years, and even then it is not a fully developed arch. In the early years of childhood, there is often a ‘fat’ pad in the arch area of the foot, which gives the appearance of a flat foot, though this is not the case — it is a natural arch support. You may notice your child’s foot turning in, due to the fact that the foot arch has not yet fully developed. This is normal, but if they begin to complain about pain, they should have it looked at.

After the age of three, look for shoes that include some type of arch support or high-quality foot bed, a well-defined heel contour, padded collars and flexibility and durability. Go to a reputable shop where feet can be measured and fitted correctly. Good shoe stores will measure your children’s feet periodically; they are constantly growing, so don’t be afraid to ask for regular fittings. Quality shoes are an investment – the shape of the shoe and especially the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for tiny toes to move, spread and … twinkle!

Some footwear features are an option for adults, but having a shoe lace or buckle is important for children – without this, their toes will claw to hold the shoe on! The heel of the shoe should not be too high, or foot deformity may result. As a general rule, fitted socks made from natural materials are much better than stretch-fit socks. And don’t forget the toenails! Just like yours, your child’s toenails will grow rather quickly and should be cut regularly. The cut should be straight across and not too short, to avoid ingrown toenails.

Your child is invaluable, and so are the ever-changing vessels that carry them from A to B. You will be there for them throughout the years, watching them evolve before your eyes. Children can be complex and unpredictable, but one thing you can predict is the health of their feet. Make the effort now, and reap the long-term rewards in their health, happiness and zest for life.

Indoor Fitness - Put Your ‘Sole’ Into It!

It's cold, really cold! Let's face it — we don't want to venture outside to exercise. Most of us are seeking solace (and fitness) in health clubs, personal training and at-home suites. Zumba, step and ballroom are popular classes to build your strength whilst having great fun, and will present their powers of motivation on the chilliest of days. Importantly, you will be far happier if your feet are happy. After all, they tend to take the lead!

Aerobics is forever-increasing in popularity and is a wonderful way to gain and maintain fitness levels. It involves quick lateral movements for extended periods of time, and therefore proper care is essential in preventing injury and in keeping the entire body fit.

Just as running shoes are crucial to running, proper shoes are crucial to an injury-free workout — and this is something I never knew! Start by selecting the right style for your chosen activity — cross trainers for aerobics, tennis shoes for doubles with the girls and running shoes for beating your personal best on the treadmill. If you can twist your gym shoe easily, it is too worn and no longer offers enough support. Shoes for aerobic activities should provide enough cushioning and shock absorption to compensate for excess pressure on the foot, which is far greater than the pressure of walking. They must also have good side-to-side (medial-lateral) stability. Impact forces from aerobics can reach up to six times the force of gravity, which is transmitted to each of the 26 bones in the foot — that’s crazy!

Aerobic shoes need an arch design that will compensate for the force of side-to-side motions, and sufficiently thick upper leather or strap support. This will provide forefoot stability and prevent slippage of the foot. Make sure shoes have a toe box (the part that covers the toes) high enough to prevent irritation of toes and nails. Who has the patience for irritation during exercise? Certainly not me! Tie your shoes securely, but not too tightly — there needs to be enough room in that toe box we talked about. It is also a good idea to tie your laces in a double knot to prevent accidental slippage during your routine. There's nothing that dampens the glamour of an exciting routine quite like a tumble!

Listen to your body — if you feel pain, for heaven’s sake stop! Don't attempt to exercise through it, or an acute injury may develop into a chronic or even permanent one. It’s an easy thing to do, but don’t forget the socks!  Your feet have around 2.5 million sweat glands (I know), so ensure workout socks are made mostly of cotton and comfortable to wear — they shouldn’t be too thick, rough, tight or loose otherwise friction, abrasions and blisters can result.

Many injuries result from improper shoes (but we have that one sorted now, don’t we?), surfaces, routines and overuse of muscles. Hardwood floors, ideally with padded mats, are the best surfaces for aerobic-type exercise. If possible, start with a multi-impact class where you can work at a low-impact level until your body strengthens. Always participate in the warm up and cool down session (if you are late to a group session, do a warm up before you go in) and keep yourself adequately hydrated. Dehydration can lead to nausea, dizziness, muscle fatigue and cramping. These things can strip the joy from your workout, and to be honest, aint’ nobody got time for that!

Foot pain isn’t normal, so don't ignore it. A successful fitness regime will tone your muscles, build confidence and add a little magic to your day — similar to, but slightly more subtle than fairy dust. Listen to your feet when they speak to you; you’re the only one who understands them! They’ll move you across the health club floor, give you twinkle toes and propel you forward even further into the new year. As your foot muscles strengthen, you will strengthen, and you’ll realise that now your feet are sorted, things are quickly falling into place. You’ve put your heart and ‘sole’ into it, and you can’t wipe the smile off your feet!  

Head In The Sky, Feet In The Clouds

January is a brilliant time for a getaway. Some wallets are in lockdown after the festive period, but this means that there are great deals available– preferably in the sun! It also means that you will most likely be flying to your destination. Some people adore jumping on a plane and some rather wouldn't, but whichever you are, there are steps you can take to increase your comfort in the air.

One suggestion I've heard is to fly first class. Assuming this is not a viable option, I will let you have a laugh at that one and move on! Let's talk clothing. I love my skinny jeans, but on a plane? Probably not. It's a good idea to wear loose-fitting trousers (or just ones that aren't skin tight), so blood flow is less restricted and ankles are less likely to swell. I can't think of anything worse than wanting to rip my jeans off mid-flight, although, I've done this at an airport! Don't worry, I had a pair of leggings with me and it wasn't a public affair. Still, it would have been much more convenient to have worn suitable clothing in the first place!

Next is footwear. It is essential to wear shoes in the shape of an aeroplane. I'm joking! Whilst that would be interesting, I am definitely pulling your leg– did it work? Actually, the best shoes for flying are comfortable and soft with a closed-toe. Your feet may swell or become heated, so shoes that can easily be slipped off during your flight are best.

Get up and stretch! Ideally, get out of your seat and stretch your legs every 30 minutes or so. Point, flex and rotate your feet and ankles; have a little dance down the aisle if you please! Remember that you can do foot exercises whilst seated too. These things will promote blood circulation. Avoid cramming luggage below your seat – your legs will be more cramped. Don't cross your legs, if you can help it, because it restricts circulation. I'm a big leg-crosser, but not on a plane. Don't tempt fate – keep your legs straight!

Ever tried compression stockings? Well, now's your chance! This clever type of stocking was made to encourage blood flow from the veins at the skin's surface to the core of the leg. If thrombosis is something that concerns you on long-haul flights, they are said to reduce the risk by as much as 90 percent. Used by athletes, flyers and those with leg conditions, this is a versatile and quality item.  

Hydration is important in everyday life, but especially so when up in the air. Seek nourishment in plenty of water and also electrolytes, which can be found in coconut water, hydration tablets and fruit juices. If possible, salty foods like peanuts and alcoholic beverages should be avoided up to a day before your flight. They will cause you to retain fluid, and you may swell up more when you travel. Coffee and saturated fats should be avoided too, although, that doesn't sound very possible to me! Perhaps for a day, but I warn you, I may be on edge! Circulation-enhancing foods include dark chocolate (woohoo!), grapes, ginger, avocado, salmon, blueberries and pumpkin seeds. I'm very fond of avocado, so I think it's time to reacquaint myself!

Whether you slip away now, in a few months or in a few years, flying is sometimes the only way to reach your destination. Some love it and some fear it, but with a bit of preparation, it can be a much more relaxing experience. Happy feet, happy body, happy self. So do more than dream of your perfect escape – go get it! Your head in the sky, your feet in the clouds, a wisp and a half away from the perfect haven. Take your feet to places they've never been – let them carry you forward in your travels. After all, they're with you for life. 

The Perfect Shoe Fit: A Modern Cinderella Tale

As the clock strikes midnight, you rush down the steps of the evening venue, shoes sparkling. The stunning sapphire heels you bought the previous day fit perfectly, catching the eye of your prince charming. He watched you, a picture of beauty, dance all night. You see your taxi parked in the street and propel forward, waving to the driver. As you open the passenger door, your name is called out. You turn around, finding yourself face to face with the man of your dreams. He takes your name and number, helping you in to the vehicle. Eyes glistening in the moonlight, he holds your gaze as you disappear into the night.

If you're like me, you've been through a lot of shoes. You see something pretty (and cheap), and you buy it, without much thought other than 'wow, that's a good price or these will match my blue dress!' And fair enough; nobody wants a pair of shoes that look dowdy or ones that will break the bank. But when you start having foot problems, or go through so many shoes that you end up spending more money than if you bought just a few quality pairs, there's no choice other than to re-think your strategy.

High heels are often criticised, and I'm sure you know they aren't too good for you! If ill-fitted and worn for lengthy periods, they can be detrimental to your feet and body– but so can a completely flat ballerina-style pump. Ballerina pumps are often fitted too tightly to keep them on the foot, and on cheap shoes the insoles are not padded enough, resulting in severe pain in the sole of the foot– ouch! I've been there. Everyone has their own perfect heel height, depending on the structure of their feet. If you take this into account when buying shoes, finding comfort will be much easier. Wide heels and sufficient straps help support feet when you walk. As a general rule, a heel of between 1 and 4½ inches is fine, depending on your foot type. Anything more than that is bad for your posture and should be worn for short periods only– leave them for the catwalk!

Did you know that high heels were originally invented for men—specifically, for Persian soldiers? Women only picked up on the trend in the 1630s, and they have been a female fashion staple ever since! There is a new American procedure known as 'Cinderella surgery,' whereby doctors shave off a few centimetres of toe (if long toes make it difficult to wear heels) and some women ask for complete removal of their pinkie toes! If this sounds a little extreme for you, keep reading. You want to know how to combine fashion with comfort, beauty with health, a good look with a good fit, right? No problem!

These days, an array of quality shoes exist that are also fashionable– don't worry, your feet will be great to look at! I find it useful to browse online shoe store and footwear reviews, and then go into those stores and try them on. If you find yourself a bit lost, a professional can get you started on the right path– it's worth it. If you really, truly can't imagine a life without high heels, there are things you can do to meet your feet halfway. Specially fitted orthotics can (and should) be made for heels and any other type of shoe where needed. But what else do you need to know? What will give your feet a good existence? I've had a word with mine, and they tell me they deserve it!

Firstly, you should always have your feet properly fitted by a professional. Remember to bring socks or stockings with you (the ones you will wear with the shoe), and any orthotics. You may think you know your size, but it's always good to make sure. Don't go by the number written on them, go by how they fit your feet. If I relied solely on clothes sizes, I'd have a wardrobe full of things that don't fit me! If one foot is longer than the other, choose your size to fit the bigger foot.

When trying on footwear, there should be a gap of around half an inch (roughly the thickness of a fingertip) between the end of your shoe and the end of your longest toe when standing up– your feet lengthen when you walk. You should have enough room in the front of your shoes so that you can move your toes easily without rubbing them on the upper part of the shoe. The most comfortable shoes are foot-shaped; shoes that are pointed (they remind my aunt of poisonous darts) can put pressure on toes. When wearing open-toe shoes, they need to be wide enough to accommodate your feet, so your joints and toes don't hang over the sides of the shoe. Probably not a good look either, so leave that one to the ugly step-sisters. You're a Cinderella!

Some desirable footwear features can further assist your feet, such as adjustable fastening straps which prevent your feet from slipping around– convenient extension straps are available too. Choosing shoes with a low, deep opening allows easy access for stiff feet (perhaps due to injury or arthritis)- footwear without this access may be difficult due to bending issues. If your toes aren't perfectly straight, choose footwear without seams over the pronounced areas. This means the uppers will mould to the shape of your feet– because stitching and seams won’t! Wear and tear on the joints may cause muscles to lose elasticity, therefore wearing shoes with cushioned soles and support in the arches will help to keep your feet comfortable, especially when walking on uneven and hard surfaces. I'm not one to pass up comfort these days– I never was, really!

Now you know the important things to find the perfect shoe and achieve the perfect fit. I must warn you, it's going to be fairly wonderful. You will most likely be leaving blisters, burning heels and aching arches behind! Prepare yourself for beauty on the inside and out; a real-life Cinderella. Next time you rush down those steps, you will be a picture of elegance and wellbeing. Your taxi will take you home, you'll climb in to bed, and your fairytale will be complete. As Marilyn Monroe once said– Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.