Monthly Archives: September 2007

SA podiatrists ‘bitten’ by Crocs

At the recent meeting of the Northern Branch of the South African Podiatry Association (SAPA), local podiatrists learned more about this interesting and controversial footwear. Because Crocs have been around a while, the consensus amongst SAPA members was "try them before you dismiss them". (Remember the negative UK podiatry opinion in my Post of 16th September).

Gareth Kemp of Crocs SA showed us some of the many styles available in SA, including ‘All Terrain’, ‘Georgie’ – bright gumboots – and even ‘The Hydro’ which they say can function as a flipper! (Just right for Survivor). The medical styles have an enclosed forefoot – removing previous complaints – and the concerns about static electricity build-up are being addressed. There is also one style for people with at risk feet due to diabetes.

So do yourself a favour, visit or if you can’t wait go and buy GENUINE Crocs. (I’m waiting for a free Trial pair, but not in pink!

Children’s Feet Take 18 Years to Grow!

The feet of a newborn child are usually perfectly formed and lovely to look at.  Unfortunately many parents easily forget that those feet need nurturing and protecting as they grow to maturity.

It’s going to take up to 18 years for that child’s foot to fully develop. Nevertheless, the newborn foot resembles the adult foot in every respect; it has normal contours and arches and fat padding, but when the foot bears weight it will look abnormally flat – this is one reason why all babies should be allowed to develop at their own pace and parents must resist the desire to get them up on their feet before they are ready.

A newborn foot is usually triangular in shape, broadest at the toes with a narrow heel. The shape and position is also very important, giving clues to any underlying neuromuscular or skeletal pathology. Podiatrists involved in managing children’s feet look for altered shape, restricted movements, stiffness and deviations in different parts of the feet.

For the first 6 months of life the feet are mostly cartilage, so they can be easily deformed by an ill-fitting sock or ‘babygro’ or sleepsuit. The feet and lower limbs of a baby are meant to move, stretch, kick and wriggle as part of normal growth. Freedom of movement is the keyword at this time, which means that any tight fitting devices, pram and cot blankets must be avoided.

Obviously, throughout the entire process of development and growth, correctly fitted footwear is essential for the child, as is the diagnosis and management of any disorder or anomaly, so if you are concerned about your child’s foot health, have their feet checked by a podiatrist.

You can read more about children’s feet here..

Do Crocs “bite” your feet?

The Crocs saga seems to be getting bigger every day. There are reports on various websites including the Independent Online, in Die Burger to name just a few, joining in the debate for and against this popular footwear.

Crocs are being blamed (along with other types of sandals) for injuries to people travelling on escalators in shopping centres. In Singapore a youngster lost a toe in an escalator November 2006,  a Crocs spokesperson blamed poor escalator safety. Apparently there is also a Crocs Accidents blog on the Internet!

The Independent Online article has comments from a spokesperson from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists in the UK, who agrees that Crocs "have shortcomings" and goes on to say that if a person only wears Crocs "they’re disastrous"," that they don’t give the feet enough support" and that "they are better suited to holiday wear." Read for yourself;

Despite all the current negative publicity, Crocs remain enormously popular and 20 million pairs have been sold in the past 12 months, so there are plenty of very happy wearers worldwide.

My advice is to wear the real thing. Avoid knock-offs which are cheap and wear very quickly especially if you have a walking style that causes local increases in pressure.(Look for where you have callus under your feet). If you have diabetes with no complications then you might be OK, but avoid them if you have loss of sensation or poor blood flow to the feet – this advice applies to any footwear for people with diabetes anyway.

Finally. look out for Croc Mammoths – a fur-lined shoe designed for the Northern Hemisphere winter. 

Crocs damage hospital equipment!

No monster crocodiles rising from the water, but those extraordinary – love them or hate them – funny-shaped garish coloured foot adornments. The UK tabloid newspaper The Sun reported on September 5th that in A Swedish hospital there have been incidents where a patient’s vital respirator and two other key pieces of equipment were knocked out by static electricity caused by Crocs. This resulted in a ban on the footwear. 

In Sheffield, UK the health authority also barred Crocs to avoid problems in the operating theatres. Now it seems that a ban might be applied by other players in the UK National Health System (NHS). Apparently thousands of nurses and other NHS staff wear Crocs, with nurses being quoted as saying Crocs have relieved months of suffering with painful feet. In addition it appears that there is a possible problem with Health & Safety regulations with comments about infection control and the risks of needles being dropped through the holes in the uppers.

Read th article at,,2-2007410358,00.html