Blog | Mikko Shoes

Q&A with top podiatrist, Justin Chong


Top tips from top NZ podiatrist, Justin Chong

As the official podiatrist for some of NZ’s elite sportspeople, including the NZ Breakers and the recent NZ Football Ferns, Justin Chong of Big Foot Podiatry is one of the best in the business.

Here at Mikko we are incredibly passionate about foot health. It’s why we make a concerted effort to offer a breath of quality styles that tend to different needs, such as wide feet, orthotics and sensitive soles. We have been fortunate to partner with Justin for many years and have sought his expert guidance on professional fit training for our team and greater understanding of foot health.

We sat down with Justin to discuss the cause of foot pain, some practical ways to get on top of issues, when to get help, and the importance of investing in quality made footwear.

Hi Justin, thank you for speaking with us today!  

To start off with, what are the early signs that our feet are needing some extra attention?

imageMost foot pain develops slowly, and we often neglect the pain. My advice is always to take heed of early pain, no matter how mild this may be.

Pain is a great guide - it’s the body’s way of telling you there is something wrong. Listen to your body. It’s best to get on top of any pain early and not neglect it (even the smallest pain), as this can lead to bigger issues.

Wearing a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable all day is likely to create an issue in time. If you spot redness and swelling as a result of uncomfortable shoes, seek urgent attention with a podiatrist or medical specialist, and if you develop corns, calluses, blisters or ingrown toenails, it’s also best to seek attention early and get advice on preventing future problems.

Mild aches that you might think are just ‘tight muscles’, or a small bruise on the heel are often signs the foot tissue cannot manage the load – this can develop into painful conditions later if not tended to early on.

What are some of the best ways to avoid these kinds of issues?

There are three tips:

  • Good footwear is vital, as it helps protect the foot, absorbs shock and supports the joints as we move. A well-fitting shoe goes a long way in making life more comfortable - nothing is worse than walking with a poorly fitted shoe.
  • If you have hardwood, tile or concrete floors at home, wearing a soft slide or slipper will soften the ongoing impact on tissues and joints. 
  • Regular foot exercises keep tissues loose and will strengthen the small muscles in the foot – try foot rollers or a small semi soft ball to help loosen the tissues in the foot that have tightened over the day as we walk. Try calf raises and arch roll ups, or picking up marbles with your feet to help strengthen the small muscles in the foot.

You mention that footwear is vital, what are some tips to selecting the right shoes

Observe your own foot and toe shape, and shop for shoes that reflect the shape of your foot. Shoes that suit your shape will provide comfort in the right places.

 Ensure the sole of your shoe supports all joints, that it is fitted correctly – it’s important that it’s not too firm across the foot, as that puts pressure on the joints.


Finally, when you’re shoe shopping, it’s a great idea to ask for advice from someone who is familiar with the products available and is professionally trained in fitting. Mikko Shoes is a great example where you literally walk the talk! Your customers are in good hands.

What should someone do if they start to feel pain, or notice changes in their feet?

Visit a podiatrist to get expert advice. As trained foot specialists, we are equipped to assess, diagnose, advise, treat and refer clients for appropriate specialists or imaging if required.

Most importantly, don’t delay. Once pain develops, resolving it can be challenging, because we are on our feet all day.

If someone has early signs of a foot issue, what are some ways they could look after their feet to help reduce the pain?

Avoid walking in bare feet, whether outside or at home. Instead, use a soft-soled sports shoe, or a supportive lace up sneaker to help unload joints and tissues.


Depending on the level of pain, arch massaging with a soft ball or stretches for the feet can help ease pain, and if it’s significant, try icing the area for 20 minutes every hour.

Take regular warm foot soaks and apply a foot cream afterwards to help achy feet, especially if you stand all day at work.

Can well-fitted shoes help to reduce foot pain?

A well-designed shoe that has been fitted by experienced, professional sales assistants will definitely help to reduce foot pain in the following ways 

  • Shoes with a firmer shank (inner support structure) and some arch support can help foot fatigue. Wedges with a structured and rigid ‘rocker’ type sole are also helpful, as they provide a more stable platform for balance, and don’t bend in the toe region. They also reduce pressure on the ball of the foot and the arch.
  • imageAs we get older, the padding under the heel and balls of our feet can become less cushioned, so a well-padded shoe in the heel area is helpful, as we place high loads on these areas.
  • A shoe with a slight heel in comparison to the toe height is better than a completely flat shoe, as it helps to take the load off the ankle.
  • Quality materials go a long way - especially materials that ease or stretch and can accommodate the foot shape, reducing the likelihood of blisters, calluses and corns.

Mikko Shoes are an excellent choice for buying quality shoes that support foot health, plus the in store team are trained to give fitting advice. Keep up the great work team!


Justin and his team have three Auckland clinics; Northcote, Greenlane and Howick. If you’d like to find out more, visit his helpful website, Big Foot Podiatry

And remember, at Mikko, foot comfort is our non-negotiables for every single pair that we stock. 

If you’re looking for a quality made, beautiful pair of shoes that put your feet first, pop in store to experience the Mikko difference. Our friendly, professionally trained team are here to help.


About Mikko:

In 2013 we launched Mikko Shoes to offer an extensive range of European hand selected and handcrafted quality shoes for women that want comfort and style in their footwear. More than just a stockist of stylish shoes that will go the distance, our team at Mikko are professionally trained in fitting and styling, ready to help you find your perfect pair. We have footwear that is orthotic and wide feet friendly.

Like our Facebook and Instagram page to see the latest European styles as they land in NZ and be the first to know about our regular competitions.  Visit one of our 5 stores to experience the Mikko difference or shop online.

Share this article on your own social pages by clicking the links below.

Comments are closed