“What happens when the socks come off? Dr. Suzanne Levine tells all.
July 01, 2015
It was a bright, sunny Friday morning.
Suzanne Levine, D.P.M., in her white lab coat, half-eyes pushed up high onto her expensively highlighted locks, looks down at what I had always considered quite nice feet. “Oh my god!” she says, backing away from me like she might from a burning house. “Those feet do not belong to you!”
Excuse me, I thought.
“Look at you—handsome [now that was nice], well dressed, and...who cuts your hair, incidentally? But those feet.”
And so began the love affair. And the rebirth of my feet.
Ever since I bought a pair of hippie sandals in questionable-country-of-origin leather 20 years ago, I’ve been plagued by foot and toe problems. Not that I blame this entirely on that pair of shoes. There was my pointy-toed cowboy-boot phase. There was the “marathon runners don’t ever die, their feet just smell that way” period. Then there were the twisted ankles, the neuroma in one toe, not to mention my aversion to moisturizing my feet on a regular basis. Finally it all caught up with me, and I ended up in the offices of one Dr. Suzanne Levine of 885 Park Avenue, entrance on 78th Street. She’s the Hermès of foot doctors, but with nary a trace of hauteur anything. She’s easy, down-to-earth, both aesthetician and practitioner of the sometimes-lost art of the doctor-patient relationship. She’s funny, wise, and I don’t know that she’s ever met a foot that she didn’t try to improve.”
My own tale of enlightenment is boring and too detailed to go into. Instead, we asked Dr. Levine for the final word or two on commonly asked questions about foot problems among people on the go. By the way, a year later, my feet, according to Dr. Levine, do in fact look like they belong to me rather than to one of the creatures in Jurassic Park.
What is the most common ailment among your patients? For women, bunions. But 25 percent of my patients are men who come in for nail fungus, heel pain, ingrown toenails, dropped metatarsals from jogging a lot, sprains, and stress factors. Few come in for a bunionectomy. Men have a stronger bone structure—and don’t wear Manolos.