Category Archives: Footwear

How to Avoid Winter Foot Conditions

Even though the holidays are officially over and temperatures have been normalizing a bit, be mindful that sudden temperature drops may happen anytime and cause uncomfortable foot conditions. This is even more relevant for those who participate in winter sports.  So, here are the top five winter foot conditions:

1. Chilblains

Chilblains occur when the blood vessels in your skin do not respond in time to sudden temperature changes. Symptoms may include small, itchy red spots, blistering or skin ulcers, and swollen burning skin. In order to avoid chilblains, limit your exposure to cold, cover all exposed skin as much as possible, bundle up to keep your body warm and do not smoke.

2. Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon occurs when your blood circulation is limited in certain areas of your body, especially your fingers and toes.  This low blood circulation causes these areas of your body to feel numb and cold. This often happens due to cold temperatures or stress. Prevent Raynaud’s Phenomenon by keeping your house and office warm and by being cautious when you are outdoors.

3. Skier’s Toe

Are you a fan of skiing? While it is certainly fun, please keep in mind your toes. If you notice your toenail has become black, it is likely you have bleeding under your nail, or “subungual hematoma”. This condition can be caused by trauma or continuous use of tight shoes. Make sure your socks fit and your boots have enough room for your toes to avoid this condition.

4. Morton’s Neuroma

Did you know winter boots may cause Morton’s Neuroma if they don’t fit properly?  With this condition, you can feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoes, experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot, as well as tingling or general numbness. Morton’s Neuroma may lead to foot deformities, so get fitting shoes and ask your podiatrist for treatment options.

5. Blisters

Similar to Morton’s Neuroma and Skier’s toe, foot blisters are caused by unfit shoes. To best prevent the condition, wear well-fitting socks and shoes. Do not attempt to wear those non-returnable unfit pairs of boots you got for Christmas. If you do get a blister, avoid popping it yourself. Instead, clean it with disinfectant and cover it with a bandage for protection. If it opens, make sure you pay a visit to your trusted podiatrist as soon as possible.

 

Common Winter Foot Problems

As we make our way through these winter months, here are some tips to keep in mind on some of the most common problems we see in our office during the winter months:

Dry Cracked Skin

Dry cracked skin results from a lack of moisture frequently caused by the use of harsh soaps, improper footwear, and conditions such as eczema and even diabetes. Having sweaty feet and wearing wet socks often affects children. Frequently soaking your feet in warm water for 20 minutes and moisturizing them afterwards often does the trick.

Fractures

Factures often occur through athletic activities, but a slip on the sidewalk can cause fractures as well. Reports even mention that standing on a hard surface for an extended period of time can result in tiny fractures. Watch out for bruising, pain, swelling, and/or a change of color and contact your podiatrist if symptoms don’t disappear within a reasonable period of time.

Frostbite

We all know frostbite warnings and typically think about the effects the cold has on our ears, nose, and hands; however, frostbite affects your feet in a similar way. Kids especially might not realize the dangers of playing in the snow for an extended period of time. Check your kids’ feet for red/purple toes and make sure their shoes are both warm and waterproof. Get immediate help if a toe has turned black! Another risk group is people with diabetes.

Bathe your feet in warm water (100 degrees) after a long day in the cold, but avoid using a hair dryer or any other source of aggressively dry heat. Needless to say, regular foot exams will make sure you haven’t overlooked any problems and they can also determine whether you are more prone to particular problems and conditions than others. Prevention is still the best medicine after all.

Find more information at

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Keep your feet warm

We have already seen plenty of snow, so here are a few tips on how to keep your feet warm:

  • Keep your shoes/boots close to a heater, so they are already pre-heated any time you need them. It feels great to start your day with warm boots and your feet won’t need to burn any energy to heat them up themselves.
  • Wear appropriate clothes any time your leave your house. A cold upper body will reduce blood flow to your extremities to keep up the core body temperature and consequently cool down your feet.
  • Dress your feet appropriately! Thick socks and solid boots are great for a fall hike or to make a snow man, but they are rather counterproductive in an office environment and only result in sweaty feet. Consider changing your footwear during the day if you are facing very different temperatures during the day.
  • Don’t cut off circulation to your feet by wearing several socks or tight shoes. Your feet will thank you!
  • Consider insoles if you are spending a lot of time outside. Your feet often lose more heat through the sole than through the air around the shoe.
  • Jump! You are your owner heating system, so if you feel the cold creeping up, get moving and make your warm blood flow through your whole body.

Needless to say, getting your feet checked won’t hurt either. Call (309)762-7919 for more information.

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Protective Footwear for Physical Labor Workers

All of us know to avoid stepping on sharp objects.  Simply looking out for what (literally) lies ahead helps to prevent serious injuries. This is harder for people who work in the construction field.

Foot injuries in this kind of industry is common, the two main categories are injuries from impact, compression, and puncture, and injuries from slips, trips, and falls. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 89,000 (43%) of private industry non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses involved injuries to the ankle or foot. As a consequence, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US Department of Labor determined workers in this field must wear protective footwear in the following situations (source: OSHA):

  • When heavy objects like barrels or tools might roll onto or fall on an employee’s foot;
  • Working with sharp objects such as nails or spikes that could pierce the soles or uppers of ordinary shoes;
  • Exposure to molten metal that might splash on feet or legs;
  • Working on or around hot, wet or slippery surfaces
  • Working when electrical hazards are present

Protective measures include the use of metatarsal, toe, foot, and shin guards; safety shoes; or simply leggings. There are several kind of safety shoes, such as electrically conductive shoes, electrical hazard shoes, and foundry shoes. Appropriate equipment is available for every trade.

For more information about protective footwear have a look at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.html#footandleg and https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2016/01/01/If-the-Shoe-Fits.aspx.

As always, don’t hesitate to ask your podiatrist for further information on how to take care of your feet, whether you are involved in physical labor or not.

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Summer Sports & The Shoes That Go With Them

For active participants engaging in sports on a regular basis proper shoes are essential when it comes to avoiding injuries and to remain competitive. We collected some recommendations to help you reach your full potential.

Basketball

Unlike some sports, where there may be a sprint from one base to another or walking from one green to the next, basketball is a constant motion with lateral movements. Ankle injuries are common, but the right equipment will minimize risks…

Recommendations:

– shoes with solid support throughout the whole shoe

– lightweight, but well-built

– mid-range ankle height

– find more information at http://basketball.isport.com/basketball-guides/how-to-choose-basketball-shoes

 

Soccer

Soccer is a sport with several different game positions. Professionals even use different styles of shoes depending on these positions and respective playing styles.

Recommendations:

From a safety perspective, make sure to have proper traction and a good fit, because you’ll be spending a ton of time running. There are many different kinds of soccer cleats. Check out this site to figure out what will fit you best: http://www.soccercleats101.com/2013/07/04/complete-guide-to-picking-the-right-pair-of-soccer-cleats/.

 

Biking

Biking shoes aren’t something that can just be “window-shopped.” They are made with pedal compatibility in mind and matching the shoe’s “cleat system” with the pedals is recommended.

Recommendation:

Don’t hesitate to talk to a sales representative at a local store about which shoes fit best to your bike. With biking shoes being a niche market, we recommend checking out this website to touch up on all the information you need to know when in the market for a new pair: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/cycling-shoes.html

 

Enjoy your summer sports and stay safe!

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