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Posts for tag: shoe facts

Exercising and maintaining an active lifestyle means always wearing the right shoes. Proper footwear is critical to preventing and treating common foot ailments. With such a variety of exercise shoes out there, how do we know what to choose?

Exercise shoes fall into three basic categories: walking, running, and cross-training. Walkers strike the ground with their heel and roll forward to push off their toes. Shoes designed for this movement will be flexible at the forefoot for optimal toe mobility and have moderate to minimal cushioning. The heel of the shoe is not built up so that the foot remains parallel to the ground.

Depending on their stride, runners may strike the ground with their heel or mid-foot and roll in an S pattern to push off their big toe. With each stride, a runner’s feet and ankles must withstand 2 to 4X their bodyweight. For this reason, running shoes have increased cushion in the heel and forefoot. Running shoes also tend to have large mesh panels for breathability.

READ MORE: What Happens to Feet During a Marathon

Cross training shoes are designed for lateral (side to side) movement. Quick turns and sudden direction changes can mean disaster for your ankles if not properly supported. Cross training shoes have little to no bend and should be used primarily for aerobics, weightlifting, kickboxing, and sports like basketball, racquetball, tennis and more.

Using the wrong shoe for any activity can lead to a variety of issues. Lack of cushion on hard surfaces can put you at risk for stress fractures, heel pain, and tendonitis. Lack of arch support can cause put excess strain on the plantar fascia. Wearing the wrong size shoe can squeeze toes together, forming bunions and corns, or backward, creating hammertoes.

READ MORE: Shoes for Every Activity

No matter what sort of activity you perform, the right shoes are paramount to safety and fun. When trying on exercise shoes, use these handy tips:

  • Try on shoes later in the day
  • Try them on with the same socks, inserts, or braces that you will wear when exercising
  • Get your feet measured every time; they change through the years
  • Replace shoes every 300-500 miles (1 or 2x yearly)
  • Don’t skimp on price; poor quality shoes will damage feet, necessitating costly treatments
  • Bring in your current shoes so the sales associate can find similar models
  • Look for shoe features that match the unique needs of your foot (e.g. wide toe box, lateral ankle support)

READ MORE: Tips for the Shoe Store

Winter is fully upon us and in the midst of all your shopping frenzy, you may have noticed all the signs for new winter boots! Buy One, Get One Free or Clearance Prices may get our attention, but what about the boots themselves? How do we know if that sweet deal is going to treat our feet right? Here is a list of practical must-haves in your next pair of winter boots.

 

Material

Winter is wet and having wet feet in cold weather is a serious risk, so we want to keep our tootsies dry. For practical boots (like snow boots or hiking boots), look for naturally waterproof materials such as neoprene or rubber. In fashion boots (such as you might wear to a office holiday party), go for a treated leather to get a nice slick surface with a high quality and trendy shine. Some boots will have waterproof layers sewn into the boot liners. These keep moisture from penetrating all the way down to your socks, but still allow for a bit of breathability. Look also at the tongue of the boot, does it connect to the sides to keep water out or is it disconnected? A cuff at the top of the boot will absorb water before it enters your boot and can be very handy for activities like playing in the snow.

 

Tread

The tread of your boot is the very bottom and determines how much grip the boot will have on slippery surfaces. There’s nothing worse than going over the river and through the woods only to slip on Grandma’s front walk and end up in the emergency room. Picking the tread may be the most important feature to get right. For outdoor activities, boots should have high treads, meaning lots of space and deep channels for good grip. Same thing for indoor boots! Tracked in ice and snow quickly melts and makes floors slippery. Even if you are only wearing your boots inside, make sure they have a good solid tread. Some boots offer removable outsoles with different levels of tread so your single pair of winter boots will be just as useful hiking in a winter wonderland as they are shoveling snow so you can get to work.

 

Warmth

I don’t think it needs saying that winter is cold, but I’m going to say it anyways. Winter is cold! So of course we want out winter boots to keep our feet warm. Socks can help, but the boot itself should have insulating materials such as wool or fleece linings. Synthetic insulators are good as well, but don’t get distracted by the fancy names they make up for it. Look at the actual tag and look for what the materials really are. You may even see a temperature rating on the tag, obviously the lower the temperature it protects you in, the more insulation it has.

 

Sizing

Once you’ve chosen all your other features, you need to make sure you get that amazing pair of boots in the correct size. One good way to do this is to bring your winter socks along when you try them on. Plain cotton socks just don’t cut it in the wintertime, not even inside. You need to have thermal socks made of breathable materials that wick moisture and perspiration away from the foot. A sweaty foot inside a boot can make you colder, so look for wool or similar synthetic materials. These socks tend to be thick so try them on with your boots to get a real idea of how much room you need inside. Walk around the store and make sure your foot isn’t sliding around inside the boot which can cause blisters. Try the wall kick test; just lightly kick the wall with the boot tip and if your toes hit the front of the boot, you may need to consider going up a size.

 

New shoes can make everything better, but not if they lead to pain, slipping, or cold and wet feet. Make sure you check each of these important features before heading to the checkout.

Did you know that the FAAWC provides complimentary shoe fittings for patients? Think about it, when was the last time you were actually measured for shoes? Most of us simply head to the shoe store and go with whatever our standard size tends to be. But surprisingly, it’s estimated that over a third of men and almost half of women buy shoes that don’t fit right. But if you don’t know your shoe size, of course you’re going to buy the wrong size!

All the way back in 1925, Charles Brannock decided that a device was necessary for measuring standard shoe sizes. Thus the Brannock Device was born and is still considered to be the standard for shoe fitting worldwide. Come by the FAAWC to stand on our Brannock device and find out what your real size is! A properly fitting shoe not only helps avoid future foot problems, but can also alleviate current foot pains. Doesn’t that sound nice? Drop by and see us!

Love is in the air! And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching there is a surge of red and pink everywhere you look. But instead of talking about love we are going to turn everything February seems to stand for on its head and talk about divorce. You may be asking yourself already, where is this going? Why such a depressing subject so close to such a happy holiday? While the term divorce is generally defined as the legal division of partners in a marriage, a simpler definition is to think of divorce as a total separation.

We at the FAAWC want you to divorce yourself from your old shoes. Everyone knows what I’m talking about here. As soon as you read that, I’m sure at least one particular pair of shoes in your closet (or maybe even the ones currently on your feet) comes to mind. We all hold onto shoes we know are past their prime. Maybe they were super comfortable and you hope to find a similar pair in the future, but until you do you figure you’ll hold onto the old ones. Perhaps they were a gift from a special person or you wore them for a memorable occasion and just can’t toss them out for these emotional reasons. Right now we need to divorce you from these feelings and bring out your practical side. Here are some very practical and objective ways you can determine which shoes will be the love of your life and which should get kicked to the curb.

  1. Look at the soles. The pattern of raised lines on the bottom of your shoes is called the tread and just like the tread on your car tires, there are some very obvious visible signs that the tread is worn out. No one walks perfectly flat on their feet so don’t justify that the tread is still good if it’s only worn out in a few places. Obviously, these are the places that take the brunt of the force as you walk so these are the places that matter the most. If you set your shoes down on a flat surface and they don’t sit evenly, it’s time to divorce those shoes.
  2. Pay attention to your comfort. The materials inside our shoes are designed to cushion us as we walk and will compress due to the weight of our body. In new shoes, when we take the off, the materials bounce back to their original position. In older shoes, the materials wont go back to their original position, but will remain compressed. This means that you will be able to feel a difference in the comfort and support of the shoe when you walk in it. If a pair of shoes that used to feel like walking on clouds now feel like walking on rocks, it’s time to divorce them.
  3. Check for rips, tears, and holes. Okay, this one should be really obvious, but I myself have been guilty in the past of continuing to wear a pair of shoes that I justified as still good even though I could see me socks through it. Any visible signs of damage, signs of wear such as thinning materials in certain spots, or obvious distortions to the shape of your shoes mean that you need to divorce that pair.
  4. Smell your shoes. This may sound a little gross, but it’s important to stay alert to the smells emanating from our footwear. Sure, if you take your shoes off after a particularly hard and sweaty workout, there may be a bit of a smell, but if the smell lingers and wont go away even after trying commercial or homemade deodorizers, it’s a good sign that you need to divorce those shoes.
  5. Keep track of your miles. You don’t have to take this one literally, but you should have a general idea of how often you wear each of your pairs of shoes and how much activity you do in them. If you wear the same pair of shoes to work everyday, it may be a good idea to have two or three pairs of the same shoe so that you can alternate between. This will help each pair last longer and avoid the tragedy of your only pair wearing out and not being able to find that particular pair again. Unlike marriage, where the longer lasting it is, the better it is generally considered, if you’ve been with the same pair of shoes for years after years, it may be time to divorce them.

Separation can be difficult and throwing away shoes we love is something everyone avoids, but wearing a worn out pair of shoes can lead to serious foot problems and lots of time spent with your Podiatrist. Do yourself a favor this Valentine’sDay and divorce the shoes you know you should. After all, abandoning and old love means opening ourselves to a whole new love affair with a great new pair of shoes.

There are some things in this world that never change. One of those is the shoelace. Shoelaces have been around since the beginning of time. Think I’m kidding? Otzi the Iceman who lived in 3300BC was found wearing shoes tied with string. The advent of modern shoelaces has been dated back to the 12th century. Like I said, they’ve been around forever. So when someone tries to change something that has remained unchanged for thousands of years, they better have a spectacular idea. In comes Hickies 2.0.

Ordinary shoelaces must be purposefully laced for maximum comfort and efficiency. Alternative lacing techniques can relieve pressure on the top of the foot, compensate for high arches, or help relieve other painful areas. But with constant tying and untying, our carefully laced shoes will need constant adjustment. Hickies has solved this problem by with a special “memory-fit performance elastomer”. They may look like flimsy rubber bands, but this material will expand and contract along with the movement of your foot allowing for maximum efficiency with every movement. Along with the unique construction, Hickies offers laces in three sizes and shows you different suggestions for lacing your shoes with Hickies.

Do you think it’s time for a shoelace revolution? Check out the freedom that could come from a #Lifewithoutlaces

www.hickies.com