Category Archives: Footwear

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.

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.

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.

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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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