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Healthy Pretty Feet

All too often women sacrifice fashion for comfort because choosing to wear a stylish and sexy heel can be a bittersweet experience — they may look great but your feet suffer.

These days, however, designers and manufacturers are catering to the fashionable woman on-the-go and making shoes to fit their lifestyle.

Dr. Suzanne Levine, a New York based podiatric surgeon whose shoe collection includes stilettos to pumps, believes healthy feet can be pretty feet, too.

She stopped by The Saturday Early Show to offer tips to women on buying comfortable shoes. Dr. Levine also demonstrated the latest comfortable and stylish heels.

She says the following should be present for a comfortable shoe:

  • Cushioning on the balls of your feet, which is most important when wearing heels
  • Material that is flexible and breathable such as leather is good; plastic is bad.
  • Lightweight material
  • Materials that expand or fit around the widest part of your foot
  • A thicker heel that looks thinner from the back
  • If wearing a pointy shoe, try and get one with false front

Some enhancements for shoes Dr. Levine recommends for extreme cases are:

  • Orthotics (shoe inserts that are intended to correct an abnormal, or irregular, walking pattern)
  • U-shaped pads for balls of the feet
  • Surgery using the CoolTouch II™ laser, ultrasound therapy, and injectable implant can help relieve pain

Dr. Levine demonstrated the following shoes for various occasions:

Day Shoes

  • Aerosoles Pink round-toe Mary Jane pump, 3-inch stacked heel
    Features: Extra-cushioned insole for added comfort. The flexible diamond sole is distinction of an Aerosoles shoe, which disperses tensions evenly across the foot. Available in Pink, Black, Natural Leather
    Background: In the mid 1980s, Jules Schneider (creator) found himself surrounded by a city full of stylish femme fatales walking to work in unstylish running shoes. Realized women were not willing to sacrifice themselves to pain for fashion.
    Testimonial: Sarah Jessica Parker is a fan. She was quoted in a recent New York Daily News article speaking of the Aerosoles Spring '03 Dollyanna saying, "They are terrific!"
    Cost: $59
    Location: Aerosoles Stores (over 90 nationwide) and department stores
  • Easy Spirit black loafer, 1 1/2-inch stacked heel
    Features: Has a croco plug with a soft leather upper. A cushioned insole and with a flexible lightweight bottom makes this a excellent choice for your career wear.
    Cost: $69
    Locations: Macy's, Lord & Taylor, JC Penny, Nordstrom, Easy Spirit retail stores and online store.
  • Linea Paolo, Wine-colored suede pump
    Features: Higher rubber content to provide more cushion and better non-slip; padded sock with foam padding that retains its density for life; soft upper; and flexible lightweight sole
    Cost: $89
    Location: Nordstrom
  • Naturalizer brown and black pump
    Features: cushy padding; flexibility; soft linings are breathable and upper surrounds foot with cushioned comfort; shoe crafted to fit the natural shape of a woman's foot. Uses a combination "last" which assures more toe room and a snug fit around the heel. Each style is available in a wide variety of sizes and widths.
    Cost: $65.99
    Location: Naturalizer retail stores
  • Linea Paolo Black sling-back
    Features: Higher rubber content to provide more cushion and better non-slip; padded sock with foam padding that retains its density for life; soft upper; flexible sole and lightweight
    Cost: $79
    Location: Nordstrom

Boot

  • Taryn Rose black leather boot with adjustable calf-strap, "Lenore" Boot
    Features: The leg of the boot is elastic and adjustable for wider calf area.
    Background: All Taryn Rose shoes are hand made in Italy with over three hours of labor in each pair. The designer of the boot is an orthopedic surgeon who started her own collection five years ago. It is made with butter soft nappa and padded with Poron, which does not collapse like foam. The boot's patented arch support, lightweight construction reduces fatigue and gives more room in the toe area.
    Cost: $695
    Location: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Taryn Rose retail stores
  • Cole Hahn "G Series" (Nike sneaker collaboration), black calfskin, 4-inch heel boot
    Features: This boot has Nike ZOOM Air in a cupped lug sole; it is molded with a thermoplastic shank, which is ultra-light; it sports mesh lining; and it has "bamboo" tread
    Cost: $245.00
    Location: Nordstrom and Cole Hahn stores
  • Aerosoles Pink suede ankle boot, 3-inch covered heel ("Smartistic")
    Features: (See above)
    Cost: $89
    Location: Aerosoles Stores and department stores

Evening Shoes

  • Stuart Weitzman Strapy silver sandal
    Features: Has a lining designed to gently caress ball of the foot. The sole's fibers are softened for the utmost flex and bend when walking. Stuart Weitzman says the design encompasses to fit as well as to look fashionable with soft soles, soft sides and soft linings.
    Cost: $185
    Location: Stuart Weitzman stores, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom
  • Jean-Michel Cazabat Orange suede high heel
    Features: The Jean-Michel Cazabat claims to be comfortable, feminine and fun. The arch is aligned perfectly to the height of the heel to provide comfort.
    Cost: $350
    Location: Bergdorf Goodman NY, Fred Segal LA, Josephine Chicago
  • Jimmy Choo, Black suede stilettos
    Features: Made of suede with cushion at balls of the feet.
    Cost: $575
    Location: Jimmy Choo retail stores and department stores
  • Naturalizer
    Features: Cushy padding; flexibility; soft linings are breathable and upper surrounds foot with cushioned comfort; shoe crafted to fit the natural shape of a woman's foot. Uses a combination "last" which assures more toe room and a snug fit around the heel. Each style is available in a wide variety of sizes and widths.
    Cost: $89
    Location: Macy's East
  • Taryn Rose Black satin slip-on with suede flower (Lilly)
    Features: All Taryn Rose shoes are hand made in Italy. Over three hours of labor are put into each pair. Cost: $399
    Location: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Taryn Rose retail stores