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Drs Soapbox



Does a Shoe Sales Person Know More Than Your Doctor?


Many of my patients have come to me with questions or complaints after trying to find shoes in which to wear their orthotics.  A common complaint is hearing from a sales person that "you don't need to wear orthotics in this shoe..." or some variation.  

How to answer:  Drama is key here!  After giving a quizzical look, dramatically pick up the shoe and examine it.  "This shoe is made for thousands if not millions of feet...."  Put the shoe down.  Pick up your orthotic.  " This device is made for my left/right could the shoe do better than this for my biomechanical needs?"  If they persist, put your old shoes back on and back away slowly....


Another common complaint: "I went to get shoes and this sales person told me my orthotics are not as good as the orthotics from their store..."


How to Answer:  As above, a little drama may be of use.  One simple question:  "What are your credentials?  Are you a Pedorthotist?  Are you an Orthotist? I received these from a doctor.  So you know more than they do?"..  Is it a bit rude?  Perhaps, but attempting to misdirect someone who has significant health issues related to their feet is truly exposing the retailer to liability.  I have heard some very interesting tales of patients merely going in to a shoe store to obtain properly fitted shoes only to be told they can't be fitted or that the doctor that made these is....well, I have heard some very interesting comments!  The bottom line here is a physician or an orthotist or a therapist is qualified to diagnose and treat foot health issues.  A shoe sales person is not.

One of my favorites:  Home ShowGuy/Gal: My orthotics work better than those you have from the doctor!  Patient: My orthotics are doing just fine, thank you! Home Show Guy/Gal:  Does he/she have an MD after their name? 

How to answer:  "Why yes, as a matter of fact he/she does! Doctor Of Podiatric Medicine! What exactly are your credentials!?"


Finally:  " I stepped on this machine at Wal-Mart and it said I needed....."

How to answer:  Just don't waste your time or your money. 



There is a lot of misinformtion out there; educating yourself on the facts about foot health and treatments by medically trained professionals is key whether they have an MD, DPM or are physical therapists, orthotists or pedorthotists.

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