Five Tidbits of Foot Care Wisdom

November 30, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

A recent article in Reader’s Digest states that one on six Americans is plagued by foot problems–caused mosty by ill-fitting shoes. The claim is made by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Here are five tips that if you listen to them, and take action, will serve you well:

1. Taking care of your feet is your job. Do not count on someone else to take care of your feet.
2. Fit is key. Shoes that are too short or are wrong for the event will make your feet hurt and lead to problems.
3. Your feet must be conditioned to endure the rigors and stresses of your chosen sport. Train in race conditions in the shoes and socks you will wear on race day. Work up to distances that you will tackle in your event.
4. A little toenail care goes a long way in preventing blisters and black toenails. Properly trimmed and filed nails will not catch on socks and will be less likely to lead to toe blisters.
5. Calluses can and usually do lead to problems with blisters or with the thickened and hardened skin folding up on itself when it becomes macerated from being wet. They will become painful.

These tips are extracted from the 4th edition of Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes.

Gifts for Christmas to Keep Your Feet Happy

November 24, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

How about being nice to your feet this Christmas and giving them a gift. In fact, be nice to a freind and give them a gift for happy feet. Here are a few suggestions. These can easily be found through a Google search—but many of the items are available at (marked with an *).

Fixingyourfeet_3A copy of the 4th edition of Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes. If you have the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition – you are out of date.

A copy of my Happy Feet booklet. A short 36 page booklet for those who don’t need the full book.

Hydropel_1   *  A tube of Hydropel  –  Hydropel is especially good at controlling moisture and maceration. Used by many adventure racers and ultrarunners.

* A tube of BodyGlide

* A container of BlisterShield Powder or Roll-On

Outdoor_quarter   *  A pair of Injinji Tetrasok socks with Nuwool – These toe socks are popular with many runners, ultrarunners and adventure racers.

    A pair of Smartwool socks

Eco_poly_quarter_sock_2x2  *  A pair of ecologically safe Teco Ecopoly or EcoMerino wool socks. These socks are made by a compamy that walks the walk of eco-friendly products.

Sub24  A pair of Dirty Girl gaiters. Lightweight gaiters made in a multiude of patterns and colors. Unisex. 

Engopackagefront  *  A pack of Engo Blister Prevention Patches


*  A pack of Spenco Blister Pads


* A pack of Spenco QuikStik Adhesive Blister Dressings

Zeasorb  *  A container of Zeasorb Super Absorbent powder. My favorite foot powder.

  A callus file from your local drug store. Use every few days to control those pasky calluses.

  A good nail file, not the throw away kind, from your local drug store

Kinesio_beige_2inch_1  *  A few rolls of Kinesio-Tex tape. This tape is quickly becoming the tape of choice for foot taping.

  A pair ShockDoctor insoles

Related_sole_ultra  *  A pair of SofSole heat moldable insoles. Pop them in the oven to heat, stand on them to mold, and they fit your feet.


*  A gift certificate from

FIXING YOUR FEET E-zine – Christmas Gifts for your Feet, a new Plantar Fasciitis Stretch, and more

November 22, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 


Volume 6, Issue 11, November 2006
John Vonhof, Footwork Publications
Copyright, November 2006, All rights reserved

This issue has a list of great Christmas gifts to keep your feet happy. A new stretch for plantar fasciitis is described. There is information on a walking blog, a what were they thinking idea of the month, reader feedback, and a continuation of a great offer for those with copies of the 4th edition of Fixing Your Feet!

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

Inexpensive Orthotics Worth Trying

November 15, 2006 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

The insoles listed below are proven alternatives to the more costly custom orthotics. Your podiatrist or pedorthist can show you other types.
Archcrafters_1900_2494617_1ArchCrafters CustomComfort Insoles are computer machined to the exact shape of your foot. Placing your feet into a specially designed “footprinter” captures the imprint of your feet. A scanned image of your feet is then made from the imprint and is used to make your custom insoles. Pictured here.
Aetrex Full-Length Anti-Shox Sports Orthotics are molded with patented heel cushion, medial posting, longitudinal arch support, and metatarsal relief. Gel protects calcaneus and metatarsal heads. An antishear top cover holds the foot in place.
EZ Runner Orthotics are a lightweight, thin-profile, fluid orthotic. Silicone fluid is sealed into a polyurethane pouch with a viscosity matching that of the foot’s fat pad. Gel flows precisely with each stride from heel strike to push off. It provides cushioning and correction at the forefoot and metatarsal heads.
34comfHapad Orthotics are either full-length or three-quarter-length insoles. Both are made from Hapad featherweight wool. The coiled, springlike wool fibers provide firm and resilient support while offering arch, metatarsal, and heel cushioning. The full-length contoured Comf-Orthotic Sports Replacement Insole is made in three layers: a moisture-wicking suede top, a ventilated Poron middle layer for shock absorption, and a bottom of Microcel “Puff,” a self-molding footbed. The insole includes a metatarsal bar to relieve pressure at the ball of the foot, a medial arch support to limit pronation, and a heel cup for stability and control of the foot and ankle. The 3/4 length insoles are pictured here.
Lynco Biomechanical Sports Orthotics, made by Aetrex, offer a “ready-made” triple-density orthotic system that comes in enough variations to accommodate 90 percent of foot disorders. After identifying your foot type as normal, high arched, or flat/over-pronated, they create a model. Each model comes with either a neutral-cupped heel or a medial posted heel, and with or without a metatarsal pad. Additional Reflex self-adhesive pads can be added to the orthotics to relieve pain from Morton’s toe, sesamoiditis, and leg-length discrepancy.
Performance Shoe Systems specializes in custom-molded orthotics and shoe conversions. The orthotics are made from a mold of your feet and can be used in any shoe. The shoe conversion turns your comfortable running shoes into professional cleats, which provide better support and comfort than off-the-shelf cleats.
Powersteps Insoles, by Dr. Les Appel, offer a unique four-phase design to relieve heel and arch pain. With a heel cradle and platform, a strong prescription-like arch support, an antibacterial top fabric, and a double layer cushion casing, they provide optimal arch and heel support and stability.
Sole_regular_softec_footbedSole Custom Footbeds, which use “heat to fit” technology, offer an excellent, inexpensive alternative to custom orthotics. They come in regular and ultra-cushioning versions. The footbeds have Poron cushioning, a deep heel cup for stability, and an aggressive arch for support. When you heat the insoles in your oven, put them into your shoes, and stand on them, they mold to your feet. Pictured here.
Spenco Arch Supports are offered in several designs. Their Orthotic Arch Support is heated in hot water and then shaped to your foot. Other designs are readymade for your foot size.

Types of Orthotics

November 9, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

So let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you meet some of the criteria we talked about in the last post about Basic Facts on Orthotics (below). You remember, pain in your feet, problems in your knees or hips, etc. You have several options:
1.    Make an appointment with a podiatrist—and possibly get orthotics, or
2.    Try a few over-the-counter orthotics first.
     Unless you are in a great deal of pain, or are in a hurry to solve your problem, you have little to lose in trying a few of the commonly available, over-the-counter orthotics.
     Let’s make a distinction between insoles found in drug stores and an orthotic arch support made to correct alignment of your feet. The drug store insoles are typically full-length inserts made to provide a small degree of support and a larger amount of cushioning. These are fine for normal use, but if you have foot pain or symptoms as described in the earlier post, I would move on to an orthotic.
     An orthotic, as pictured here (these are WalkFit Orthotics), is often ¾ length, from the heel to Product_photomid-forefoot. These offer removable arch pads that can be changed for the best fit possible. Other orthotics are fixed, either custom made from a mold of your feet or a predetermined shape and design for specific types of feet. Custom made orthotics can run into the hundreds of dollars. Over-the-counter orthotics can be inexpensive – $20.00 and up. I found the WalkFit orthotics by a simple Google search on “inexpensive orthotic.” There are plenty more out there. Next time we will look at five or six of these orthotics.

Basic Facts about Orthotics

November 4, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Many of us wear orthotics to help maintain the foot in a functionally correct position. They can help Images3_2cure lower extremity ailments and are often prescribed for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, knee pain, shin splints, lower-back pain, Morton’s neuromas, and other conditions. Orthotics can correct gait irregularities and provide support for flat feet and pronation problems. They can also relieve pressure by providing support behind a problem area such as a callous, neuroma, or metatarsal injury. Mal-alignment problems such as leg-length inequality can also be helped.
     Typically prescribed by a podiatrist or orthopedist, orthotics are medical devices made from cast impressions of your feet. A properly fit orthotic will control arch and pressure-point problems.
     Signs that you may need an orthotic can include repeated overuse strains or injuries, excessive fatigue in your legs and feet, genetic structural problems (over- or under-pronation, bunions, Images1_4differences in leg length, arch problems, etc.), or your shoes show different wear patterns or wear out quicker than usual. The need for orthotics may begin with pain in your feet, repeated blistering in the same place on your feet from pressure, or even problems in your knees or hips as your gait is changed due to biomechanical stresses.
     An added benefit of orthotics is the way they support the body’s natural movements. This reduces the demands placed on the muscles when the body is out of alignment. The result is less work by the muscles, which translates to less fatigue, fewer injuries, and higher performance.
     Next time we will look at the difference in custom made orthotics and those available over the counter.

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