Todd B. Flitton, DPM

As an accomplished runner and cyclist, Dr. Todd B. Flitton, DPM, is able to appreciate and understand the foot and ankle conditions presented by his patients — the Kaysville-based podiatrist has completed more than 35 marathons and many cycling competitions.

A native of Davis County, Dr. Flitton received his bachelor’s degree in medical biology from the University of Utah, later earning his D.P.M. at the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco. A residency in surgery followed at Westview Hospital in Indianapolis, with focuses on forefoot, rearfoot, ankle surgery, and foot and ankle trauma.

Dr. Flitton is certified in Podiatric Surgery and Medicine by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He is also a fellow at the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.

Prior to joining Tanner Clinic in 1996, Dr. Flitton practiced podiatry in Indianapolis at the Indiana Foot Center.

Dr. Flitton lives with his wife in Kaysville, where all seven of his sons have attended or are now attending Davis High. He’s a grandfather of five. When he’s not running or cycling, you’re likely to find him involved in his sons’ sports teams. He’s also been a team doctor for Davis High sports for 13 years.

What patients are saying about Dr. Flitton

“Just wanted to say THANK YOU to Dr. Flitton. You did a great job on my foot today. I am so grateful to you and how caring you were to address my concerns and then follow up with a call this evening. You ROCK!”     — Susan on Facebook, Dec. 12, 2014

“He is an awesome doctor! Nice too; he knows I’m chicken of needles and he walks me through it and is patient!”     — Sherri on Facebook, Nov. 4, 2013

“Finally, I’ve gotten to the bottom of this dang foot problem. I have had a feeling that all along it was my plantar fasciitis. It was. Went and saw the podiatrist, Dr. Flitton at Tanner Clinic — LOVE HIM! He asked if I had any injuries.
ME: No.
DR: Have you started up any new exercise program?
ME: (Light bulb!) Why, yes I have. Just started up CrossFit again.
DR: Have you been wearing your shoe inserts, and what kind of shoes are you wearing?
ME: Minimalist shoes, and no on the insert because they won’t fit in the shoe.
DR: Well, there’s your problem.
DUH SHELLEY!!! As I have been getting into CrossFit and running the last year I am learning a lot about my feet and shoes and how important they are. Anyways, Doc gave me several steroid injections (OUCH) and new inserts. I’ll go back in a couple of weeks and hope that things will be looking up so I can get back to working out!”     — 
Shelley on Facebook, Nov. 1, 2013

Your Foot Type Determines the Right Shoe for You

running-shoesIn the world of serious running, there are four primary classes of shoes. Dr. Todd Flitton, a podiatrist and sports medicine specialist at Tanner Clinic in Kaysville, explains the best choice, depending on your foot structure and how your foot contacts the ground:

    ▸ The neutral running shoe — This runner usually has wear that is distributed evenly on the front and heel of the shoe, indicating the foot doesn’t land too heavily on the outside or inside. It contains more cushioning midsole. For high arch.

   ▸ The stability shoe — This runner usually has mild wear on the inside of the foot. This shoe is recommended for the runner with mild “overpronation” — pronation defined as when the foot flattens or rotates to the inside, causing the knee and leg to rotate to the inside. This shoe combines cushioning and support features. For medium arch.

   ▸ The motion control shoe — This runner usually has significant wear on the inside of the foot, extending from the ball to the big toe. These shoes are best for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation. Because they tend to have wider and flatter outsoles, they’re good for heavier runners. For flat arch.

   ▸ The minimalist shoe (or the barefoot shoe) — This shoe is for runners who seek a more natural and more efficient stride. According to Dr. Flitton, “The whole goal of the minimalist shoe is to help you change your stride to a more efficient stride. If you run one lap with shoes on and another without shoes, your stride will change — your body does it to protect itself. It’s not necessarily that running barefoot is better, but the stride associated with it is a more efficient way to run.”

— Tanner Clinic staff

Analyzing Runner's Gait Can Lead to Stronger, Better Performance

Dr. Todd Flitton’s training in podiatry began at age 14. That’s when he took up running as a hobby.

Second semester began with his first marathon at about age 20.

Today, after dozens of marathons and even more cycling competitions, he’s probably earned his degree in how feet function.
Well, actually, he has.

As a doctor of podiatric medicine at Tanner Clinic in Kaysville — and a runner for life — Dr. Flitton’s foot-healing skills go far beyond what he learned in medical school.

“There’s a lot I’ve learned from running 37 marathons and biking thousands of miles that you can’t learn unless you experience it,” says Dr. Flitton.

And at the base of it all is the complicated, humble foot. “It’s fascinating,” he says “to see how something so relatively small, given the size of our body, takes a beating.”

Dr. Flitton, who performs many foot-related surgical procedures, treats all types of patients for all types of conditions and trauma. But he does share that affinity with runners and other athletes.

Often, the issue is tendinitis, he says. Also common among runners are knee problems and plantar fasciitis that results from the repetitive pounding day after day.

Consider a runner who’s experiencing foot pain. Dr. Flitton can analyze the runner’s stance and stride and recommend a remedy. Often that remedy is changing the foot-to-ground contact surface — by getting a new type of shoe, for instance, or forming an orthotic, a custom arch support that fits in a shoe.

It the same with cyclists. “Cyclists come in and say, ‘The outside of my foot gives me grief when I’m on the bike at this particular point.’ I assess their bike and say, ‘OK, move your foot forward on the clip’ or ‘Move your saddle back just a little bit, and ‘Let’s do this on the inside of your shoe.’ Problem solved.”

Dr. Flitton on treating runners: A Q&A

Dr. Flitton offers an abundance of great information for runners and other athletes. He addresses some topics in the following Q&A:

How are you able to analyze foot structure in the exam room?

Usually all I need to do is have them walk or have them stand. If running is their problem, I look at their shoe wear pattern on their running shoes. I work with a physical therapist who has a gait analysis system, where they are videoed running, and then we can analyze the gait.

Is gait natural? Can you change it?

Sometimes, the gait changes because of an injury — your body will try to compensate, and that may or may not be good. We need to get them back to the more efficient gait. Sometimes the gait in and of itself is causing the injury, and by changing the gait slightly or changing the way the foot hits the ground — with shoe gear or orthotics — you can change the gait and then the effects of the injury.

Do runners come to you because they have a problem with pain or because they hear they can improve their performance?

No, most runners come in here because they have a problem that is limiting them from running. Because, unfortunately, we runners would really rather not go see a doctor, because unless the doctor is a runner or understands running, frequently the answer is “stop running,” which is the last thing that a runner wants to hear.

“Stop running” is not a solution for someone who’s addicted to running, right? So my goal is: Keep them running. I may have to limit a bit or change some things, but overall, keep them running.

How important is it to get a sports-specific type of shoe?

Absolutely key. One shoe doesn’t work for everybody. It depends on several factors: the type of foot structure you have, the type of running you’re involved in, the distances you do. My daughter- in-law talked to me about pain on the outside of her foot as she did aerobics. Unfortunately, she was doing step aerobics in her running shoes. Running shoes are built for straight-ahead motion — they’re not built for side- to-side. Someone who’s doing aerobics, kickboxing, tennis, racquetball or basketball, which are side-to-side and stop-go, should not be in a running shoe.

I’m frequently asked to give patients the brand name of a shoe I recommend. That’s a difficult task. I can tell them what works for me over 40 years of running. But I can’t tell them what’s going to work for them. We have to assess and then analyze the type of shoe they need; then they can go try on multiple brands in that category of shoe.