Healthcare professional - Jessica Southon



My name is Jessica Southon, and I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Health Science and a Master of Podiatry with honours. I work in a small private practice (Active Podiatry) with 2 locations in Central Victoria. As part of my role, I also work within GP clinics, service nursing homes, and in-patient rehab. I have a special interest in diabetes, and have completed further research in this area. I was part of a randomised control trial in 2014 investigating the effects of exercise on diabetic peripheral neuropathy - we are due to publish a paper later this year with our findings!

What was it that made you want to be a podiatrist?
I wasn't sure what a podiatrist did, until I went to a university open day in 2009. It was the first year La Trobe Bendigo were delivering the podiatry degree, and I thought it would be a rewarding career.

What are the most common foot problems you see in your female patients?
Most commonly I see a lot of issues relating or developing from unsupportive footwear in female patients - these are not limited to:

- Heel pain (plantar fasciitis)
- Plantar plate tears
- Painful bunions and associated osteoarthritis
- Morton's neuroma
- Metatarsal bursitis
- Corns and calluses from poorly fitting or cushioned footwear

How do orthotics help patients?
In combination with an orthotic friendly shoe, orthotics can provide valuable long-term solutions in the treatment and prevention of corns, calluses and ulceration by redistributing the pressure of the body’s weight on the feet.

More commonly, orthotics can also help with the management of acute and chronic foot conditions such as tendonitis, recurrent ankle sprains, arch pain and stress fractures by providing consistent postural control.

What are the features of Ziera shoes that you think benefit your female patients?
Not only are Ziera shoes orthotic friendly - for those without orthotics there is great arch support and cushion for all day comfort! They also offer enough depth and width, and the style range appeals to a wide demographic. I think the old Kumfs were once seen as an “orthopedic” style shoe, and now they appeal to a younger demographic and look fantastic.

How did you enjoy your Ziera shoes?
I road tested the lace up Oracle in the black. They were perfect for work, and my own custom-made shell length (so 1/2 length) orthotics which I recently got from Footwork fitted perfectly. I could make up the forefoot room with the included padding in the box. Optionally those with custom made orthotics could also go with a full-length cover and not need to modify the padding at all! They were of adequate width and I had no issues whatsoever. I am so in love, they make my tired feet feel great at the end of the day and I dread taking them off!! I received so many comments on my lovely shoes from patients and friends alike – so it was a great advertisement!