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News Room: Press Releases

Comfy shoes could cause major health problems

Everyone likes fashionable shoes, but wearing the wrong pair could have serious affects on your health. For once, trendy is ugly and comfy. “I love them,” said Sarika Parikh, who goes to school in Philadelphia. And they’re furry, and oh so warm.

“I wear them every single day in the winter,” said Shibani Chandhok, from Philadelphia.

It’s a love affair that’s swept the nation. Uggs may have started the fashion trend, but now there’s a stampede of copy cats.

“They’re cute, and you can wear them with anything,” said Joanna Marroquin, from Philadelphia.

“It’s like a coat on your feet,” said Toni Needham, a 41-year-old from Lumberton. She says her love affair with Ugg boots is cooling off. “I started getting a pain shooting through the bottom of my foot, and the more I wore them the worse it got,” said Toni.

Virtua Orthopaedic Surgeon Rick Raimondo diagnosed tendonitis. The tendons in Toni’s foot are inflamed, he says from wearing her Uggs too much. Some doctors say these types of Ugg boots, and others like them, can cause foot pain because they’re flat and stiff, and have no support.

“So the foot has to work harder or it falls or drops down into a position that causes more stress on the foot and then that would lead to a tendonitis or an inflammation of a ligament,” said Dr. Raimondo.

Dr. Raimondo says he’s even seen stress fractures, and he says the boots can be especially problematic for people with flat feet.

One solution includes using an orthotic insert or arch support. And it’s not just pain. Doctors say the warm boots often cause feet to sweat excessively, causing fungal infections. They can be treated with a medicated spray.

The best way to avoid that problem altogether is to not wear them everyday, and let the boots air out, which will help with pain too. “I do find myself wearing them less often,” said Toni. She also used ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs for her tendonitis.

The maker of Ugg boots says their boots do offer substantial support. And the sheepskin used in many of their boots wicks moisture away, allowing air to circulate, keeping feet dry. They also say the Ugg Classic boot is not performance footwear, and it’s designed for comfort and warmth.

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS TV-3
(2/7/11)