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How to have healthy feet this winter

Winter is officially here and there a few things that you can do to keep your feet healthy this winter!

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Remember to make sure that you are wearing the correct footwear. In the colder months we are usually wearing more enclosed footwear so making sure that they fit correctly in key.

If your toes are being pushed together or out of position in shoes, then your shoes are too narrow for your feet.  Wearing narrow shoes can cause ingrown toenails, corns and calluses

Try to keep your footwear and socks dry. Damp footwear can increase the risk of skin infections as the moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for an infection to spread.


The winter season also brings dryness, especially for the heel areas. Moisturising daily with a thick moisturiser can help prevent heel fissures and dryness.

Warm Feet are Happy Feet

It is very important to keep your feet warm in the colder months. The drop in temperature can also bring with it extra foot conditions, one of these are Chilblains.

Chilblains are itchy and/or tender red or purple bumps that occur as a reaction to cold. The condition is also known as pernio or perniosis, and is a localised form of vasculitis.

Chilblains are caused due to blood vessel shut-down in cold conditions and humidity. The cold exposure damages capillary beds in the skin, which in turn can cause redness, itching, blisters and inflammation. The cold causes constriction of the small arteries and veins in the skin. When these areas are warmed up again, it can result in leakage of blood into the tissue and swelling of the skin. This “bruising” is called a chilblain.

If you are prone to develop chilblains then you should keep warm in cold weather and avoid excessive exposure to the elements.

Diabetic Patients

Winter months require a little extra foot care for everyone, but diabetics especially need to keep feet healthy. Decreased circulation, dry skin, and spending time exposed to cold and wet conditions put diabetic feet at a higher risk for developing an infection or foot condition.

Regular visits to your podiatrist will keep on top of any problems that may occur. Call Quay Health today to arrange an appointment.

Sam Towers Podiatrist Quay Health Sydney CBD Circular Quay Sam Towers, Podiatrist

Bupa Member's First Provider Quay Health Sydney CBD Chiropractic Podiatry Bupa Members First Podiatry Provider

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To book a podiatry appointment with Sam Towers call 9252 2825

Custom Orthotics Vs Store Bought

Unlike store bought inserts, custom orthotics are developed professionally with a personalised fit.

orthotics moulding at quay health  podiatrist sam towers sydney cbd
Often, patients experience quicker pain relief and recovery with a custom product for their unique concern. Additionally, materials and in-shoe fit can be determined within your preferred shoes.

Activity levels and body mass are also  taken into account when ordering custom orthotics, as is asymmetry and unusual anatomy. Plus, necessary modifications are also included.


There are a number of benefits to ordering custom orthotics, but pain relief is the primary one. Knee and back pain particularly can be greatly improved when orthotic devices are used. 


Plus, you’ll be able to perform daily activities like standing and walking with minimal to no complaints of pain.


Custom orthotics are also designed to support the spine and help efficiently realign it. Ultimately, the daily use of orthotics helps to reduce symptoms in the long term and may assist in the reduction back pain.


Additionally, minor foot deformities such as bunions can be managed by using foot orthotic devices. 


Rigid orthotics are used to control the function of the foot and to reduce or altogether eliminate pain in the feet, legs and back. As the name suggests, rigid orthotic devices are made of firm materials such as plastic and are most commonly fitted tightly to the affected region.


If you don’t suffer from a medical condition, injury or deformity, you can still use orthotics to help with shock while performing high-impact activities like jogging, walking and running.


Ultimately, custom orthotics can help you get a personalised fit, eliminate pain, support your spine, aid foot deformities and improve your active lifestyle. 


Sam Towers


Sam Towers Podiatrist Quay Health Sydney CBD

Thongs – the ultimate Aussie footwear, friend or foe

We have to admit, the majority of Australian’s live in thongs for most of the year.


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In Sydney’s Circular Quay you can always see a well dress professionals walking down to the ferry in thongs.  Most of us would have more than one pair.  But, is walking in them all day every day a good thing or are we not doing our feet and bodies any favours.


Quay Health’s Podiatrist Sam Towers is asked all the time about thongs, are they good for your feet?   Sam has taken the time to talk about thongs and their effect on your feet.


Watch the youtube clip to learn all about it.

Orthotics and High Heels, look sexy but still be comfortable

Orthotics technology has improved so much in the last few years.  No longer are they bit chunky applicances.  Quay Health’s Podiatrist Sam Towers manufacturers his own orthotics through Candence Orthotics.  He is able to produce an orthotic only 2mm think that will flex to your foot and your shoe.  Wearing an orthotic will help to support your foot and your entire body while helping to prevent problems such as bunions.

To learn more about how orthotics can help while you are wearing your sexy high heels watch Sam’s video



High Heels, what a podiatrist really thinks…

Is wearing high heels really that bad is a question often put to Quay Health’s Podiatrist, Sam Towers, from the concerned female professional patient. Well ladies lets quickly summarise some of the factors contributing to their ‘Badness’.



high heels and podiatry quay health sydney cbdHeel Height

If the heel height is greater than 5cm, then 100% of your body weight is being forced forward onto the front of the foot. These bones are called metatarsals. The metatarsals are not designed to accommodate the entire weight of the human body. Coupled with the fact that most high heels are designed for 3 toes and most people, since I last checked have 5 this effectively acts as a vice.


The long term effects of daily wearing and walking in this type of footwear are literally crippling. Bunions, hammer toes, premature arthritis, calf tightening and lower back issues are just some of the conditions you can look forward to acquiring in the future. So less than 5cm please. Less is more!


Heel Type

A sling back heel made of synthetic material with a thin forefoot and synthetic straps would probably rate as the worst footwear on planet earth (apart from thongs) but that’s one for another day. Not only do they provide no support to the heel of your foot but the front of the foot tends to slide off, creating friction on the skin and nerves of the foot. This can cause a burning/aching pain in the balls of the feet.


A backed heel provides more support to the foot and provides stability to the major stabilisation joint of the foot. A wedge sole evenly distributes forces from front to back. Look for some cushioning and thickness in the front of your “heel” (so to speak) even do a test twist in the shoe. A thicker front in the shoe will decrease the inclination angle from front to back and effectively decrease the heel height. A thicker front should also provide some cushioning to the metatarsal (or balls of your feet). The quality of the material used in this area of the shoe is crucial in determining how good or bad this shoe is for your foot. Look for leather coverings with cushioning under the cover. This can be difficult to find, but will have a major effect on the comfort levels for the “balls of your feet” (Believe me, your day at the races will be much more pleasant and you may even make it to race 7 before  you take them off for the “walk of shame” home!)


Also look for quality rubber under soles. The better the quality of the rubber the longer the shoe will last and better the comfort for your foot. If they are leather underneath go and get them rubber soled from a good boot maker or cobbler. Even a thin addition will make a difference (2mm)

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Sam Towers – Podiatrist


To Run or Not to Run

To Run or Not to Run?

How often have you walked past a runner and wondered whether they should be running or not? I often see parks full of runners and wonder why these people are running themselves towards a premature knee or hip replacement. Quite frankly, some of these people should have sought professional advice from a podiatrist before embarking on their personal crusade.

Running to run or not to run

Running to run or not to run

Certain predisposing factors can determine the ease of which someone can run. I will quickly discuss these factors and some of their ramifications.

Leg Angulation

Leg angulation is the major influencing factor on the feet of an individual. Your parents have a ‘big say in this’. Your leg angulation is something you can’t do anything about, but too often I will see a personal trainer “flogging” someone with running drills not understanding why this client is finding the activity difficult. For example, let’s take a thirty something male/female, with “knock knees” or genu valgum, wanting to complete the city to surf. Because the major stabilisation joint of the foot doesn’t possess any muscle attachments, this joint is extremely susceptible to leg angulation. Hence the knock kneed runner forces the foot to ‘pronate’ or ‘roll in’ to end range every step he/she takes. This not only places rotational forces through the foot, knee and hip but excessive ‘shock’ forces up into knees, hips and back. If footwear is inappropriate ( say a pair of Nike Frees) then this person will be paying the school fees of the local orthopaedic surgeon in 10 years’ time.

This person has two choices, change your foot to suit your activity or change your activity to suit your foot type. A change of activity might involve short distance running, X-trainer, cycling, swimming or circuit training. Too often this person will be ill-advised and literally run themselves towards the operating table.

Treatment for this person involves biomechanical video assessment, correct footwear and custom foot orthotics.

Ground Surface

As primitive human beings we were designed to be walking on soft forest floors i.e. mulch leaves. When I walk out of my Surry Hills Practice, I fail to see an abundance of this ‘stuff’. Concrete footpaths, asphalt roads, tiles and floor boards greet my every step. These surfaces fail to ‘push up’ into your foot and cushion the impact. Flexible custom foot orthotics can provide the necessary cushioning and support your feet need.

feet working hard

I prefer to run on soft grass. As boring as running around an oval is, it might save your knees and the need for top cover private health insurance! Treadmill, soft sand and track running also have advantages, with soft sand running best suited to certain foot types.

These are just two factors influencing the decision to run or “not to run?” I look forward to discussing other issues with you in the near future.