The Foot Blog

October 31, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

We Need Your Shoes! Let's All Help Soles4Souls Fight Global Poverty

Shoe Drive for Soles4Souls

One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities that many in developing nations need, which is why The Foot & Ankle Center has launched a shoe drive to collect as many pairs as possible of new or gently-worn shoes. The shoes will be delivered to Soles4Souls, a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. 

BONUS: Not only will your donation make a big difference to families in need, but you could win a prize! For each pair of shoes you bring in to our clinic for Soles4Souls, we’ll give you one entry for the drawing. Drawings will be held on the last business day of each month from Nov. 2019 through Jan. 2020. So, the more pairs of shoes you donate, and the earlier you donate, the more chances you have to win! The prize is a fabulous, medical-grade pedicure in the on-site spa here in our clinic (a $52 value; see official rules).

You can make a difference. Millions of pairs of shoes lay idle in people’s closets. Give those to Soles4Souls instead, and you’ll be taking a step to help disrupt the cycle of poverty around the globe. Donate your new or gently used shoes at our Johnston-Willis office — we’re open Mon. - Thurs. 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Fridays 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Remember, we have plenty of free parking just steps from our entrance. You can find a map to our clinic on the Johnston-Willis Hospital campus here

About Soles4Souls:

Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and gently-worn shoes in 127 countries.

The World Bank estimates that approximately 767 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. Many people living in extreme poverty simply do not have access to stable employment. 

Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise programs offer a long-term solution to poverty through job creation in places like Haiti, Honduras and Sierra Leone. Revenue generated by Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise operations also funds their free distribution programs. These programs provide new shoes to people in need in the U.S. and around the world, and give a second life to unwanted shoes. 

Donated shoes are sold for an average of $1 per pair to nonprofit partners in developing countries, who provide business training to local entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs then purchase the shoes and start businesses of their own, selling the shoes in their local marketplaces. This allows entrepreneurs to earn a sustainable income and purchase necessities like food, shelter and education. For example:

  • The income generated from selling just one pair of shoes in Haiti can provide up to five meals for a family in need.
  • The income from selling 30 pairs in Honduras can provide up to a year of schooling for a child. 



By The Foot & Ankle Center
October 26, 2019
Tags: Untagged

Check out the video above of Dr. Waskin and Dr. Mount on CBS-6’s Virginia This Morning, talking with Bill Bevins about Bone & Joint Health National Awareness Week and also Pediatric Bone & Joint Health Week.


The foot is a very complicated thing, and one of the most overworked parts of the human body. 

In fact, one-quarter of all the bones in our body are in our feet, and our feet are pretty complicated structures. With all the pressure coming down onto all those little bones in our feet, and how is it that they don’t just collapse? It’s due to the intricate relationship of how those bones function, for example, cushioning the impact when you step down, and evenly distributing pressure throughout the foot and other parts of the musculoskeletal system.


What causes children’s feet to hurt? Is that growing pains?

It really depends on the situation. If you’re walking around at King’s Dominion, your feet are going to hurt, but it shouldn’t be happening all the time with normal activity. As far as growing pains, that’s kind of a hotly debated topic. Growth shouldn’t hurt, and the reason why some people’s feet hurt at night is not completely understood; it may be related to restless leg syndrome, but the jury is still out on that.


A lot of other problems are connected to foot problems.

We see a lot of people with foot problems, but they’ll also have lower problems, knee problems. I had a long-distance runner who came in for a pinched nerve in her foot, but she happened to mention she was having a shoulder problem and no one could figure out what was causing that. We made her some custom shoe inserts to balance out her feet for the nerve problem. She came back a month later and said for the first time in years, her shoulder pain was gone.


Can feet be corrected permanently, or is that something that we have to do as life goes on? 

There are a lot of surgical procedures that allow us to realign the feet. Especially in pediatrics, some children will have severe flat feet and sometimes a simple shoe insert won’t help, so we’ll sometimes do a surgical realignment, in fact that’s one of Dr. Mount’s areas of expertise.


Are people born with flat feet?

Everybody is born with flat feet, and generally you’ll get an arch as you age. The funny thing about flat feet, is they don’t have really good public relations, they get a bad rap in a lot of ways, but they’re able to adapt to uneven surfaces, but they also have a tendency to be more painful than higher arched feet. It does come to surgery sometimes, but a lot of times people can get better with shoe inserts or better shoes.


What causes children to get back pain and heel pain?

The most common cause of heel pain in children is usually at the back of the heel, and there’s a growth plate there that helps their heel expand lengthwise. What happens is the Achilles tendon attaches to that growth plate, there’s a lot of stress that goes through the Achilles tendon. Children, especially once they hit around 9 years of age, are starting to put on a little weight, they’re becoming more active, and they start stressing the Achilles tendon, so the growth plate could have pretty severe pain at the back of the heel. It’s got this horrible name called Sever’s disease, but usually with some simple treatment it will go away. Eventually, it’s pretty self-limiting; over time, if you’re willing to wait a few years, it will eventually go away on its own, but it’s usually better to get treatment for it.


Remember, The Foot & Ankle Center is Richmond’s all-in-one, total foot pain clinic for all ages. If you or your child are experiencing any kind of foot problem, we can help! Just use the button below to request an appointment.





By The Foot & Ankle Center
April 17, 2019
Category: Our Clinic
Tags: Our Clinic  


Top Docs 2019 

Our 10th Year on Richmond Magazine's Top Docs List!

We are so pleased to have made Richmond Magazine's Top Docs list again, this year. Dr. Waskin has now made the Top Docs list 10 times! He is deeply honored and wishes to thank all the doctors who voted for him. Congratulations to Dr. Waskin and all of Richmond's Top Docs.

Richmond has so many wonderful options when it comes to healthcare. How do you choose the right doctor to meet your needs? Awards and recognition such as Richmond Magazine's Top Docs list are a good place to start, as are reviews on Google, HealthGrades, and elsewhere. Referrals from family and friends can be helpful as well. Most importantly, make sure all the services you need are provided at the practice you're considering. At The Foot & Ankle Center, we offer the most comprehensive foot care under one roof that you'll find in the area — everything from foot surgery to diabetic foot care to specialty shoes and custom orthotics, full-service physical therapy, and even an on-site medical-grade spa for clean, healthy manicures and pedicures. As part of Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic, LLC, we have access to one of the largest networks of podiatric specialists anywhere.

Our podiatrists are always welcoming new patients. If you have a foot problem, we can help! Just use the button below to request an appointment.





By The Foot & Ankle Center
August 19, 2018
Category: Our Clinic
Tags: Shoes   Our Clinic  

Dr. Waskin joined Bill Bevins on Virginia This Morning on CBS 6, to talk about the role of proper foot care and shoe fitting when preparing for a race. In honor of the upcoming SpeakUp 5K (which we’re helping to sponsor), we’re offering free foot and shoe screenings at our clinic on 8/21/18 and 8/23/18 — no need to make an appointment, just drop by between 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. to see a podiatrist, physical therapist and get your feet and shoes looked at. The SpeakUp 5K is an annual event to help the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation in their work to raise awareness and end the stigma of teen mental illness. Video courtesy of CBS 6. 


Bill Bevins: One of the first steps of healthy running or walking is wearing proper shoes, so whether you run for fun or for a great cause, you want to make sure that your feet are in good shape. We’ll talk about the Cameron K. Gallagher SpeakUp 5K in just a few minutes, but first — Richmond podiatrist Dr. Mitchell Waskin is offering a free pre-race clinic! And we’re glad you’re here with us, because it is important. We kind of take for granted our feet, I think a lot of the time, don't we? 

Dr. Waskin: We do. Until until they bother you, you never think about it.

Bill Bevins: It’s one of those things, exactly right — you never pay any attention to them until there's a problem, and then — 

Dr. Waskin: That's all you think about!

Bill Bevins: So, when you do these clinics, I’m guessing you give some basic info about feet, which — can we get into a little science here? I got a note here from you, that a person who weighs 150 pounds, running three miles, it says 150 tons of pressure is put on those feet!

Dr. Waskin: It’s really amazing; when you walk and run, you put between three to five times the amount of pressure on your feet as your weight, so with every step you take when running, you’re putting somewhere between 500 to 700 pounds of pressure going through your feet — if you're an average person who maybe weighs a hundred and fifty pounds. When you think about it, and you see this picture that's up on the screen, the bones of the foot are really tiny bones. So, how is it that all this stress can go through the foot without it collapsing? It’s just through proper mechanics of the foot, and when you don't have the proper mechanics, that's when you end up having problems.

Bill Bevins: You and I were talking before you before we came on, you were talking about when you were young, you actually ran a race in Rome — on cobblestones! 

Dr. Waskin: I was miserable.

Bill Bevins: You didn't go to one of those clinics!

Dr. Waskin: I didn’t, I should have! 

Bill Bevins: Yeah, because you have to prepare! Now, the 5K that’s coming up, obviously I don't think it's on cobblestones, but you never know exactly what conditions you’re going to run into, so you have to get your feet ready, you have to have proper shoes, and if people come to this clinic, that’s one of things they’ll find out.

Dr. Waskin: Yeah, next next week on Tuesday and Thursday (8/21/18 and 8/23/18), there is a clinic in the evening at The Foot & Ankle Center, which is on the campus of Johnston-Willis Hospital. You can give us advanced notice, or you can just show up. You’re going to have a podiatrist there, you're going to have a physical therapist and you're going to have a pedorthist. A pedorthist is a shoe expert and bracing expert, they’ll do a quick evaluation of your feet, and be happy to look at your shoes and give you advice.

Bill Bevins: Yeah, and you know shoes — obviously you wouldn't want a brand new pair of shoes to go on a race, but you can't use old, old shoes either, you kind of have to find that sweet spot.

Dr. Waskin: You do. You want to have that right shoe. You want to have it broken in — you don’t want it to be old and broken down, but you also don't want to run out the day before the race and get your brand new pair of nice bright green shoes so everyone will see you running, either — 

Bill Bevins: We’ll be able to spot you on the side of the road, if you race in brand new shoes. If you bring your shoes with you, to these free clinics, how does that work? Do you take your shoe off and hand it to somebody there?

Dr. Waskin: Yeah, we have a shoe expert there that can look at your overall foot structure, look at your shoes, and see if the two match. Not all feet are the same. I get people all the time asking what's the best shoe? Well, it has to do with your foot structure. I brought two models of foot samples here, and one of them shows a really flat foot — this one over here, and then one of them shows a foot with a high arch. Well, these two feet function completely differently, so there is no right shoe for both of these feet, and some people need to get special shoe inserts or orthotics to compensate for it. So, when you come to the clinic, they’ll look at your shoes, look at your feet, and give you advice on that.

Bill Bevins: These examples that you brought, you know, you don't have to be a senior citizen to have flat feet — one of my kids had flat feet, right from the get-go, almost.

Dr. Waskin: Oh yes, it's very common. In fact, in really severe flat feet, at our clinic we do reconstructive surgery to actually build arches into the feet of children.

Bill Bevins: And, I imagine getting the arch supports and things that you put in your shoe, not a good idea right before a race, either?

Dr. Waskin: You don't want to change anything dramatically right before the race. You know a couple of key important things: flexibility exercises, you should constantly be stretching to maintain flexibility before and after your run. Another thing is, don't go beyond your limits. Perhaps your plan was to walk the 5K race, and that's what your training entails. Well, then you get there and all your friends are there, and everyone wants to run, so don't decide now you're going to just sprint the 5K.

Bill Bevins: Yeah. Definitely. Work out, and get ready, make sure the shoes are right, and then when you get there that day, stick to the plan.

Dr. Waskin: Absolutely, and that’s how you prevent injuries.

Bill Bevins: We’re almost to NFL season, and one of the things we always say about football is, it’s a process. You have to work, plan, and stay with the program. 

Dr. Waskin: Yeah.

Bill Bevins: What is the number one mistake people make in buying shoes, is it not considering their individual feet?

Dr. Waskin: It’s not getting them fitted properly. Years back, you would go to a shoe store, and all shoe stores had professional shoe fitters who worked there. Unfortunately, today that’s not the case, it’s very rare that you can go to a store that has professional shoe fitters.

Bill Bevins: That metal thing they had that your Mom had you put your foot in and they measured it, is that still around?

Dr. Waskin: They still have the device, they still have that; we use it all the time at our clinic — our shoe fitters do.

Bill Bevins: But not so much in the shoe store?

Dr. Waskin: Not so much in the shoe store. Now it’s like, what’s your size, and they hand you the box. There are still are a few places around, where they do have professional shoe fitters. So if you’re serious about running and doing sports, you should go to a shoe store that is a specialty store. 

Bill Bevins: And make sure you got the right shoes for your feet.

Dr. Waskin: Absolutely.

Bill Bevins: Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.


Learn more about the SpeakUp 5K and sign up for the race on their registration page: SpeakUp 5K Sign-up page

Our free Foot and Shoe Screenings are open to everyone -- whether you're participating in the 5K or not! No appointments are required -- but it will help us plan if you let us know you're planning to come. To indicate your interest, just click the button below to visit our Facebook event. Thank you!

Sign Up




By The Foot & Ankle Center
July 28, 2018
Category: Our Clinic
Tags: Our Clinic  

Free Pre-Race Foot and Shoe Screenings

Get ready for the SpeakUp 5K at our FREE Foot & Shoe Screening! Here’s a rare opportunity to meet with a podiatrist, physical therapist, and shoe specialist — all for FREE. No appointment needed, just stop by our clinic between 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Tues., Aug. 21 or Thurs., Aug. 23, 2018. Our clinic is at Johnston-Willis Hospital, in Medical Building II with plenty of parking near our entrance. 

What is the SpeakUp 5K? This annual race helps the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation in their work to raise awareness and end the stigma of teen mental illness. More than 2.8 million teens suffer from mental illness, which is one out of every five teens. And while 80 percent can be successfully treated, less than 33 percent get help. This year's SpeakUp 5K will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. in Byrd Park. Whether you walk, jog or run, the CKG Foundation would like you to join them in the fight to end the stigma of teen mental illness. You can register for the race on the SpeakUp 5K Sign-up pageWe hope you'll join us at the race on Sept. 8, and stop by our clinic on Aug. 21 or Aug. 23 to get your free pre-race foot screening, and have your running or walking shoes examined.

What You'll Get at Our Free Pre-Race Screening:

  • Meet with one of our clinic’s podiatrists, a physical therapist, and a certified pedorthist (professional shoe and insole specialist).
  • Get a free foot screening and learn how to reduce your chance of a running-related foot or ankle injury.
  • Meet with a physical therapist for an assessment of your overall musculoskeletal structure, and discuss any risk factors.
  • Bring your favorite pair of running or walking shoes, and our pedorthist will check them for proper fit based on your foot structure and provide shoe and insole advice. We’ll also sanitize your shoes with our ShoeZap, to get rid of any bacteria that may be lurking inside!
  • Enter our drawing for a chance to win a free Spa Pedicure in our on-site medical-grade spa, a $65 value!

Our free Foot and Shoe Screenings are open to everyone -- whether you're participating in the 5K or not!  


No appointments are required -- but it will help us plan if you let us know you're planning to come. To indicate your interest, just click the button below to visit our Facebook event. Thank you!


Sign Up



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