New Year’s Resolutions for Your Feet

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

Over these last days of 2006 and the first days of 2007, many people will be making New Year’s resolutions. They will take many forms. Exercise more, eat less, work less, play more, spend more time with family, quit smoking, eat healthier, and more. Some are tied to what we like to do for fun. Hike more, run more, bike more, spend more time adventure racing, participate in more events, and become better at our sports.
Feet     I would challenge you to make a fairly easy New Year’s resolution. It has two parts that can be said in 12 words – “Take better care of your feet and learn new foot care techniques.” In a short amount of time, you can become better educated about foot care and a few new techniques.
     My book, Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes, has more than 350 pages of information about all forms of foot care and techniques. The 4th edition can be read in sections, or you can read about whatever problems you are having or whatever you want to learn. Learn about fit, insoles, lubricants, socks, ways to lace, gaiters, toenail care, blister prevention, taping techniques, and a host of prevention and treatment techniques.
     Take it from me, you will do better at your sports, perform better and have more fun IF you know how to take care of your feet. I have run marathons and ultras, fastpacked and backpacked—and patched thousands of feet at a number of events. I have seen the signs of discomfort and grimaces of pain on the faces of many athletes suffering from foot pain. It doesn’t have to be. It’s simple.
     Make a New Year’s resolution to “Take better care of your feet and learn new foot care techniques.” Then drop me a line and let me know how it goes.

Make Sure Your New Footwear Fits

December 26, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Many readers of this blog received some sort of footwear for Christmas. Whether socks or shoes, it’s smart to make sure your gift fits well.
     Socks should fit snuggly but not too tight. You need room to wiggle your toes and then need to breathe. If you have trouble pulling them on your feet, exchange them for a size larger. If you Incountry_1401_regreceived socks for sports, and they are not moisture wicking, exchange them for some that are. Your new socks may be thicker, or thinner, than your old pairs so be sure they fit inside your shoes without constricting circulation. For more, read these two article on socks: My Favorite Socks and Put Your Socks First.
     Shoes should fit well and provide plenty of toe box space both up and down and side-to-side. There is a lot of information on making sure your shoes fit. If you are unsure how to determine a good fit, check out my article, Getting a Good Fit With Your Shoes, which I wrote this past August.
     If you received some new footwear, drop me a line and comment on what you received.

FIXING YOUR FEET E-zine – A Blister Patch, Duct Tape, a Foot Care Tip, and more

December 20, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 


Volume 6, Issue 12, December 2006
John Vonhof, Footwork Publications
Copyright, December 2006, All rights reserved


This issue has an editorial about a small but important blister
patch. There is information on a new duct tape, a foot care tip, a bad
feet photo, and more.


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

Happy Feet – Any Sport

December 18, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Over the past 10 years, I have written extensively about foot care and footwear—but it has been in the context of running, triathlons, hiking, backpacking, adventure racing, and fastpacking. Feedback from readers of my book Fixing Your Feet, my Fixing Your Feet newsletter, and this Happy Feet blog has shown me that many readers are not athletes in those sports. They may be walkers, soldiers, dancers, climbers, golfers, or play field or court sports. The one common denominator is they too rely heavily on their feet.
     A few years ago I played soccer and found that today’s soccer shoes are very uncomfortable. They have poor and almost useless insoles. I changed them immediately. Then two months ago, I started to play golf. Many of the golf shoes I tried on were the same way. Poor insoles. I ended up buying a pair of Nike golf shoes, which have a great insole that is molded to the shape of the average foot. It cups the heel and arch, and offers support and padding. I bought the shoes because they felt comfortable and they fit well. Many other pairs I tried on but discarded because they were uncomfortable and did not fit well. I preach comfort and fit—so that’s what I choose when shopping for personal shoes.
Images_7     Whatever your sport, you are entitled to comfortable shoes that fit well. When you shop for your next pair of shoes, remember that comfort and fit are key. Here is a suggestion. When you shop for your next pair of shoes—regardless of the sport, take along a pair of your favorite insoles. Try on shoes like you normally do. Then swap out the insoles and see how they feel. You may be surprised at how much better they feel.
     And if you have ill-fitting shoes, or buy a pair that when you get home become uncomfortable, swap out the insoles. If you don’t have good insoles, your favorite runing, walking, camping or sport store usually carries a good assortment. Keeping your feet happy is important—whatever your sport.

GoFAR Interviews me about Foot Care

December 13, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Whether you have an iPod or not, you can benefit from listening to an hour interview (a podcast) where I am asked about foot care and the birth of Fixing Your Feet. Listen on your computer or download it to your iPod. The interview is available on GoFAR.
     GoFAR stands for “Go For Adventure Racing World Class Adventure Podcast”. The web site revolutionizes adventure audio through podcasted interviews with the world’s elite adventure racers, mountaineers, climbers, triathletes, runners, expeditionaries, and industry leaders.
     Afterwards, check out the rest of the interviews on the GoFAR web site. Even if you don’t adventure race, the interviews of world class athletes will amaze you with their training tips and stories of adventure. We can all dream and be armchair adventurers.
     GoFAR is run by Fred Abaroa and Travis Macy. Fred has 22 years of experience in computer technology and software design, and in his spare time is the captain of the Costa Vida Adventure Racing Team. Travis is a professional adventure racer, freelance journalist, and coach. He races with Team Spyder and has written for Adventure Sports Magazine,, ONE Magazine, and other local and national publications. Travis thrives on bringing useful information to the AR community and connecting pros with amateurs through audio interviews. Go to GoFAR to download the interview. Fred and Travis also offer professional coaching and training tips in adventure racing, running, triathlon, and snowshoeing.
     If what you hear sounds interesting, bookmark the GoFAR web site and check it out for future interviews. Then go over to my web site, and check out the most indepth book on foot care for athletes.

Footwear – Do You Buy by Look or Feel?

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

In a surprising study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 42 percent of women said they’d wear shoes that are uncomfortable in order to look more stylish. That’s scary.
     I hope that doesn’t carry over to women involved in sports. Footwear is too important to overall foot heath—and success in the sport to be left to the whim of style. Imagine the following scene. It happens more than we like to admit—but I’d bet money that athletic shoe sales people could tell stories.
     You are casually looking over the running shoes in your local shoe store. In walks a women who spends a few minutes looking over the shoes on the wall—and then asks to see several shoes. As she tries on the shoes, she seems more interested in the style and color of the shoes then their features. You overhear her saying she is a beginning runner who wants to run a few road races with her friends. In the end, she selects a pair because. “I like their color and how they’ll look with my running shorts.”
     Is this wrong? Generally, yes, it is wrong to buy shoes based on anything but fit and whether the shoe is a match for your sport. Whether walking or running, the sport requires very little – shoes and socks, and shorts and a top. Of these, the shoes are the most important choice. Do yourself a favor and keep your feet happy by buying shoes based on fit and function—not on color and style.

Those Pesky Ingrown Toenails

December 4, 2006 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

This past weekend I listed intently as a friend told a group of us how he had hated anyone touching his feet. He was kidded a bit and then told how us how he experiences repeated ingrown toenails and how that had made him not allow anyone to touch his feet.
     His story was fascinating as he told of using a cuticle scissors to dig out the ingrown nail. People cringed when he told how he could feel the little bits of sharp nail, which he could not dig out, grow until they poked through the skin on the side of his big toe—and how he had to dig into his skin to pull them out.
     I asked him why he didn’t just have his problem toenails removed. Honestly, he said, he had never thought of the option. I told him how many ultrarunners and adventure racers have their bad toenails removed to save them the pain and trauma of both ingrown toenails and black toenails.
    I wonder how many people have suffered with ingrown and black toenails and never consider this 39481490work018option. For many, toenails can be pesky. Some people are prone to ingrown toenails. No matter how carefully they trim and file their nails, they become ingrown. If this fits you, please talk to your doctor or podiatrist about toenail removal. The procedure is short and done on an outpatient basis. I have never met someone who had one or more toenails removed and was sorry they had done so.
     The photo shows a healed nail bed four weeks after toenail removal. The photo is credited to Lisa Bliss, an MD who documented a series of photos when she had a problematic ingrown toenail removed.

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