5 Tips For Finding Comfortable Shoes

Buying shoes isn’t something most of us think too much about. We find a pair that looks good, maybe walk up and down the aisle a couple times with them onto make sure nothing rubs or pokes and that’s that. There are a few key details that can impact your visit dramatically and, if taken into consideration, can get you a shoe that will be more comfortable and healthier for your feet in the long run. Next time you love a pair of shoes, makes sure to consider these tips so you know they’ll love you back.

1. Don’t Try Shoes in the Morning

Your feet are changing throughout the day depending on your daily activities and overall health. It’s natural for your feet to expand throughout the day which means that a shoe that fits perfectly first thing in the morning might get a little snug later in the afternoon.

2. Take a Stroll in Your New Kicks

While walking up and down the aisle won’t give you a perfect representation of what it will be like to wear that pair of shoes day to day, it’s a great was to quickly see if you have a winning pair or need to try again. Don’t tell yourself that they’ll fit better as they break in, get shoes that fit well from day one.

3. No Two Feet are the Same, Get Measured!

Did you know the same person can have two different sized feet? Getting your feet measured every time you buy shoes cuts out having to guess which size or half size you are and ensures that your buying something actually made for your feet and not cramming into what ‘should’ fit. Generally, you should leave 3/8” to ½” of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Are you cool enough to have different sized feet? Seek out shoes that are the same size as the larger of your feet.

4. Shoes Come in ‘Wide’ Too

You finally found that perfect shoe. Oh so stylish, perfect length, and great support but…it’s compressing the ball of your foot. Never fear! Ask if the shoe comes in a wider size because a longer shoe likely won’t solve the problem in the long run.

5. Do Some Sole Searching

When looking at new athletic or work shoes, especially, check out the soles and the kind of tread they have. Walking on multiple kinds of surfaces like carpet, linoleum, and tile will give you a feel for how supportive they are as well as if they will be slippery on different surfaces. A good tread will give you better traction and cushioning while exerting yourself, offering better ankle, hip, and back protection.

5 Tips to Avoid Toenail Fungus this Season

Toenail fungus is becoming more common this time of year since it’s warming up. This irritating condition is a hassle to deal with, which is why we collected our top 5 tips to prevent toenail fungus:

1. Change your socks

Nail fungus loves moist and dark environments, so sweaty feet and wet socks are the perfect environment for toenail fungus. No matter whether you go hiking or have a stressful day at the office, make sure to have an extra pair of socks with you. Your colleagues will appreciate it as well!

2. Clean your toes

Just like your teeth, your toenails need to be cleaned. The more regular you clean, the lower the chance of getting toenail fungus! Once a day is probably more than enough, but twice a day makes sense when going to the gym or engaging on any other physically challenging activity.

3. Wear sandals

Talking about the gym: public showers and locker rooms are filled with bacteria and moisture, so wear sandals to protect your feet when going to the gym or local pool.

4. Use antifungal sprays or powders

Some people naturally sweat more than others, so control sweat by spraying antifungal sprays/powders inside your shoes and on your socks.

5. Wear shoes that fit

If your shoes are irritating your toes, they are most likely irritating your toenails. Any irritation increases the risk of getting toenail fungus, so make sure your shoes don’t touch your toenails. Alternate the shoes you wear so that they can air out before you wear them again.

Let’s all try to prevent toenail fungus for happier healthier feet, and keep your eyes open for upcoming blogs about toenail fungus detection and treatment options.

Toenail Fungus

Chemotherapy and the Feet

Chemotherapy has many side effects, including Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) which is caused by damage or irritation of nerves carrying feeling sensations from the limbs, hands and feet to the central nervous system.

It is either described as a numb or frozen feeling, as well as a cramped, tingling, sensitivity to temperature feeling in either direction. Numbness in the feet may result in difficulty balancing, because affected individuals can’t properly feel the ground. Even though this condition begins as a side-effect to treatment, it can persist even afterward the treatment is finished, making everyday tasks more difficult to get through.

Another condition called Hand-foot Syndrome has symptoms that can significantly reduce your quality of life:

  • Red and swollen feet
  • Blisters, rashes, or calluses on the soles of the feet and/or on the palms of the hands
  • Pain, soreness, tenderness and/or a tingling sensation

There are certain home remedies like padded foot wear, warm baths and a variety of occupational therapy techniques, but we encourage you to consult with your primary care physician and your podiatrist first, because some of the symptoms may be a cause of other conditions.

Please see below for further information and don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Buckrop if you have any further questions.

Cancer and the Feet

A Day in the Office

One of the coolest parts about working as a podiatrist is that no two days are exactly alike. There’s just enough similarity to keep things manageable but the variety in patients, diagnoses, and treatments means every day has a new challenge that I can’t wait to tackle. Typically, I tend to see a lot of diabetic foot care, heel pain and fungal nails. However, most days I get a little bit of everything from trimming nails and callouses to treating bone spurs. Most often I see people for fungal nails which is a very common condition in general. Heel pain is common too because it can be a condition on its own or an indicator of something else that needs to be addressed.

Every once in a while, I get a case that really sticks out above the rest. Like I mentioned before I do a lot of diabetic foot care and with that comes treating the neuropathy and numbness some people get in their feet. There was a patient I was treating for neuropathy who came in complaining about a strange pressure sensation in his foot.  During the examination, I noticed a strange kind of figure-eight shape pressed into the bottom of his foot. Obviously, this is very unusual, so I took a look inside his shoe and you wouldn’t believe what I found… a pair of folded up sunglasses! When I pulled them out and showed him, he went, “There they are!” Apparently, he had dropped them at some point and had been walking around on them without realizing it. There’s never a dull moment around our office!

Facebook Post: Take a peak into the daily happenings at Dr. Smith and Buckrops’ office with this month’s blog! You won’t believe some of the stories he has!

Foot Protection – Winter Edition

Don’t let the weather have control over your feet. Whether you are shoveling, sledding, or simply walking through the snow it is important to make sure your feet are properly protected. Harsh winter conditions can often have a negative effect on your feet. Here are some tips on how to keep your feet protected and healthy this winter.

Proper footwear

Although this may seem obvious, it is extremely important to wear the correct shoes for winter. No matter what type of boot you decide to wear this winter, make sure they are waterproof. Snow and slush are unavoidable, so investing in a pair of waterproof boots is essential to keep your feet dry. It is also important to get your winter boots in a slightly larger size to be able to fit thicker socks and multiple layers. However, when participating in winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding, it is important to make sure your boots fight snug and comfortably. Boots that are too big can create instability and if your boots are too tight they can cause blisters.

Warm toes are happy toes

Not only are the type of boots you wear important, but so are your socks. This winter layering is your friend. A thin sock and an outer layer of a wool sock is a perfect combination for keeping your toes warm and comfortable. Although the temperatures can become extremely frigid, your feet still sweat. Avoid wearing cotton socks and look in to getting a pair of sweat-wick socks that won’t absorb your sweat like cotton socks do. This is a great way to avoid any problems of athlete’s foot this winter. Feet play a large role in body temperature, so make your feet a priority this winter

Keep your feet moisturized

One of the most common foot complaints in winter is dry skin, specifically cracked heels. Cracked heels, also known as “heel fissures” can be very uncomfortable and possibly painful. Like most other dry skin issues, apply lotion or moisturizing cream daily. Proper socks and footwear also play a role in protecting your feet.

Get a Grip

One way to avoid any nasty falls this winter is to make sure your boots have proper traction. Many winter boots are equipped with certain soles meant for gripping cold or wet surfaces. Generally made from rubber due to its water-proof ability, rubber soles are very effective when navigating slippery surfaces. So, do your research and make sure you’re properly equipped this winter.

Finally, always keep safety in mind. Wear proper boots, layer your socks, and take breaks to warm-up inside.