My Fixing Your Feet Ezine – a story about feet at PQ

October 31, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Many of you readers of this Happy Feet blog might be interested in the other newsletter I publish. It’s 101_330_1called the Fixing Your Feet E-zine and it covers foot care skill, tips, techniques, and products. I usually publish it once a month because it is longer in length and usually contains many different parts.
     The latest issue of the Fixing Your Feet Ezine was just released and can be found by clicking on the links here. It contains a most interesting read of an adventurer racer’s experience at this summer’s Primal Quest Expedition Adventure Race. It is a great example of what can happen, even after careful planning. The great part is that it also includes reflections after the race about what went wrong. I encourage you to check it out. If you like the ezine, there is a subscribe button at the top of the page.

FIXING YOUR FEET E-zine – A story about feet at PQ

October 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 


Volume 6, Issue 10, October 2006
John Vonhof, Footwork Publications
Copyright, October 2006, All rights reserved


This newsletter is a bit different. The focus is on one adventure
racer’s story of her feet at this summer’s Primal Quest – and then reflection on what happened in my editorial. We
can all learn by taking time to listen and learn from what happened.


The Fixing Your Feet E-zine is published monthly to inform and educate
athletes and non-athletes about proper foot care skills and techniques,
provide tips on foot care, review foot care products, and highlight
problems people have with their feet.

Read more

Foot Injuries – a New Chapter in a New Book

October 27, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Next week we will get back to a regular posting routine and a continuation on the insoles – but for now, an explanation is in order. My ability to post has been interrupted by a writing project. Well, I am happy to report, the project is complete. But it may be of interest to you if you like adventure. Let me explain.

     Over the past years, I have had the unique opportunity to provide foot care at many events. Western States 100 has been a great event to work and I have patched a great number of feet for more than eight years. I have also patched feet at three of the Primal Quest Expedition Adventure races. Then in 2004 I traveled to Chile to work the Atacama Crossing, and in 2006, to Costa Rica for the Coastal Challenge, both running stage races, of seven and six days respectively. These events have been fun but I saw firsthand how limited the foot care experience is. Many are eager to learn but few have any degree of knowledge. I have taught podiatrists, doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, and even regular people, how to patch feet. It has been rewarding and fun.

     Then came an opportunity to be a contributing author to a book on expedition medicine. Dr. David Townes, a good friend and ER doctor, was one of those charged with compiling content. I knew David from Primal Quest and Costa Rica. He had seen my work and asked me to take the lead on a chapter about foot injuries. My co-author is Zak Weis, a podiatrist from Texas. We had worked side-by-side at several events and through our weird sense of humor (necessary when patching feet for hours on end), we became good friends. It has been a good match.

     So, over the past months, Zak and I have been emailing files back and forth until, finally, we have a finished chapter. It may not sound like much, but the chapter ended up 42 pages in length, with 17 footnotes and 37 photos. We cover foot injuries common to those involved in extreme sports as well as average athletes—and those who walk. The chapter is in the mail to the folks in charge of the book project. Now we sit back and wait to see what has to be rewritten.

     I am excited about this book. There is definitely a need for an exhaustive volume about expedition medicine. When things go wrong at some of these events, there is little room for error. Lives are dependent on quality and efficient medical care. I understand your comment that no one has ever died of a blister or black toenail. But, many do get infected and have the potential to be problematic—even to the point of death in a remote setting without the right medical equipment and knowledge. The book will cover important topics like trauma, water disinfection, dental, orthopedic, soft tissue, cardiac, internal injuries, and other medical emergencies.

     Maybe some day, when you are on an adventure, you will be helped by this book. Maybe the medical person patching your feet read the Foot Injuries chapter that Zak and I wrote. So, that’s why, for the past few months, my postings on this Happy feet blog and my Fixing Your Feet e-zine, have had to take the back burner. I apologize for the long pauses between postings. Hopefully, things will quickly get back to normal. In the meantime, I hope your feet have been happy.

Insoles and Orthotics

October 18, 2006 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Sports, Travel 

Most of us take our shoes out of the closet and put them on, without a second thought.  For a large percentage of us, that works. Other though, need more that their insoles offers. No matter what shoes they wear, their feet hurt. They constantly have problems with blisters, arch pain, forefoot pain, and more. What can they, and you, do?
Xactive_r     Shoes and boots come with a removable insole. These insoles are getting better—many are more supportive than those of a few years ago. An easy way to tell is to remove the insole and see how easily it bends. If it bends like cardboard, toss it out and invest in a good replacement.
     Replacement insoles, like those made by Spenco, Sof Sole, ShockDoctor (shown here), ShockBlocker, and Superfeet, are commonly found at your local running and outdoors store. For most of us, these will work wonders and help our feet work effectively.
     Some people need more then the typical insole offers. They need an orthotic. Foot, knee and shin pain can be eased by orthotics. A good orthotic will distribute weight evenly, off weight certain parts of the foot, or re-align the foot. Here is where a podiatrist or certified pedorthists can help. They will listen to your history, make a mold of your feet, watch you walk and/or run, and make a custom orthotic.
     Next time we will look at different types of orthotics and how to make wise choices when buying them.

Buying by Brand or Fit

October 12, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

If you are a serious walker or runner, you are probably buying new shoes every four to five months—depending on your miles. I’d bet you have your favorite shoes and when you need new shoes, Runningshoefit_150you tend to stay with that brand—even with the same shoe. The question is, “Is that wise?”
     Relying on a brand, on a particular shoe that has given you no problems, is a pretty good choice. If the shoes fit well and you are generally blister free, if they feel comfortable, and if they offer good support, stick with those shoes.
     If, however, you have been experiencing blisters, especially more than normal, and they don’t feel right in the toes, forefoot, arch or heels, you would be wise to look at another shoe.
     Generally, you are Ok trying another shoe from the same brand. But, if the shoe is not comfortable or doesn’t feel right, try another brand. Use one of the shoe buying guides from Runner’s World, Running Times, Trail Runner, Backpacker, Outside, Ultrarunning, etc. Read lots of reviews and then read a few more. Do Google searches.
Cons1_10_7     Then visit your local running, walking, or hiking store. Talk to the sales people. Avoid the chain stores in malls and the discount stores.
     Put on a few pairs and give them the walking or running test. Spend some time in them. When you buy a pair, wear the around the house for a while to be sure they are the right shoes for your feet. After all, you want your feet to be happy.

Ugly Feet – What’s on the Inside?

October 2, 2006 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports 

Last week I gave a few interesting statistics about feet. I saved the last one for today. It’s good. To refresh your memory, here is the source. Back in July, Business Wire, a source of news on the Internet, ran a study done by BizRate Research study this past summer. Responses by 997 online buyers answered questions about their feet.
     The majority of people, 85%, think that the appearance of someone’s feet is not representative of their personality. Between men and women, the women were more likely, 17% vs. 12%, to compare the aesthetics of one’s feet with their personality.
     That amazes me. How can 17 out of 100 women (and 12 of 100 guys) believe that when they look at someone’s feet they can see the person inside? Is the pedicure that important? Does the color of 64197815gdsrxjwdthe toenails really say that much about a person? How important are perfect toes, bunions, Morton’s foot, perfect skin rather than calluses? Those 17 women must be very superficial.
     I’d like to think that athletes and active people would be different. Whether man or women, athletes are different. When I see athlete’s feet, some things stand out. Black toenails, healing blisters, a few calluses, tightly clipped toenails, white feet with a tan line at the line of a crew sock—these all show me an active person. I see someone who loves the outdoors, who pushes their limits, who loves being a participant rather than watch from the couch. They show character.
     Feet like that are never ugly. They are “lived in” and their owners should be proud of them. I hope that’s your feeling.

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