Toenails – Clip with Care

February 24, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care, toenails 

I have been a Runner’s World magazine subscriber for years. I know many serious runners don’t care for the magazine, but, the article about runners are interesting, the shoe reviews are helpful, and the ads are informative.

Sometimes however, they get it wrong. In the March 2009 issue, there is an article on page 40 titled, Foot Notes. A sidebar on page 41 is labeled, The Pedi Cure – with four tips. They quote the owner of a nail spa in Massachusettes on nail care in the second tip, Clip With Care. The advice is, “Too long, and they’ll turn black. Too short and you might get ingrowns. Trim the nails straight across to just below the tip of the toe. Use a file to round the corners.”

I hesitate to comment too much on her tips because the magazine does not list her qualifications. However, she has it wrong.

Yes, too long and you stand the chance of getting a black toenail. And yes, too short and they could become ingrown. But there is more learn.


Trim toenail edges smooth

Trim toenail edges smooth

Trim your nails a bit shorter then she recommends or you will have problems with socks and shoes. Then use the file to smooth any edge until it is not felt when running your fingertip over the front edge of the toe. Any rough or sharp edge increases the odds of catching on your sock or hitting the front of top of the toe box.


She also gives wrong advice on blister care. Look it up if you have the magazine and see if you can guess where she goes wrong. I will comment on her blister advice next time.

Too bad Runner’s World can’t find a reliable foot care expert.

Duct Tape Bandages – Perfect for Quick Patches

February 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Footcare 

Many athletes have used Duct tape on their feet. Newer and better tapes have become my favorite, but I know many still patch their feet with or pretape with Duct tape. Now 3M has come out with a Nexcare 3M Duct Tape Bandages made of real duct tape with a medical grade adhesive. The heavy duty durability of duct tape is a plus. These are a bit longer length for large fingers (or toes). The bandages are latex free, sized at 1 in. x 3.60 in. – 20 to a pack. Retail price is $4.99.


3M's Duct Tape Bandage

3M's Duct Tape Bandage

I could see these as a temporary patch over a hot spot or blister. My only concern, common to all Band-aids, is that the area of the gauze is the weak point with such a small bit of tape on the outside edges. I will get a box and try them. In the meantime, I see these as a good choice to put in a baggie to carry in a fanny pack on the trail, or pin one or two your bib number in a race – just in case you need a quick blister patch. You can easily find these with a Google search.

Blog Update

Some of you may have noticed that I have been making the same post on my Happy Feet blog and my Fixing Your Feet Ezine hosted at TypePad – and on my new FixingYour Feet Blog here. I am trying to move away from the two TypePad hosted sites into one. There have been some problems uploading everyone’s emails. Please bear with me and I will keep you posted on the process.

Ever Been to a Cobbler?

February 12, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Footwear 

In the faced of recession, the tiny shoe-repair industry, which has been shrinking for decades is making a comeback. As incomes shrink, and jobs are lost, people are choosing to repair their shoes rather then spend hard earned – or non-existent money on new ones. These shoe repair experts are called cobblers – a term many younger people today have likely never heard. Have you ever been in a cobbler, a shoe repair shop?


Neon shoe repair sign

Neon shoe repair sign

Nationwide, cobblers and their suppliers report markedly higher revenues than a year ago, as newly frugal Americans opt to repair their shoes rather than replace them. According to a New Your Times article, there are just 7,000 shoe-repair shops left in the U.S., down from more than 120,000 during the Great Depression, according to the Shoe Service Institute of America, a trade group. Mr. McFarland, a third-generation cobbler in Lakeland, Florida, is riding a shoe-repair boom. Since mid-November, he has been juggling roughly 275 repair jobs a week — about 50% more than usual. “I’m so busy right now it’s unbelievable,” he says. At the Chagrin Shoe Leather & Luggage Repair in Woodmere, Ohio, sales have increased about 25% from a year ago. Ron Johnson says his Tampa Florida cobbler shop has seen sales increase nearly 50% since June.

Cobblers hope the recession will prompt first-timers and infrequent customers to become regulars, so that the profession will stay alive. Many people today, especially those under 40, don’t know about cobblers.

Some shoes today cannot be have their soles replaced because of their midsole construction. However a shoe repair shop might be able to replace the outersole. They can sew up torn uppers and stretch shoes that are too tight.

So, maybe if you have never been in a shoe repair shop, this might be a good time to find one.

Walking Shoes That Work

February 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footwear, Footwear Products 

If you are a walker, meaning a race walker or someone who walks for fun and health, you have probably tried a lot of shoes. Some are comfortable and some are not. Some seem to roll through the foot strike in a fluid and smooth motion, while others are jerkier in motion – the foot just doesn’t seem to move heel to toe in a fluid motion.

When I was doing 24-hour track runs, I learned that walking puts more friction on the forefoot than does running. I have seen this play out in many multiday events when athletes spend more time walking and blisters develop on the ball of the foot and on the toes.

An article by Wendy Bumgardner at, Reshod Shoes for Faster Walking, caught my eye. She is a walker and write about Reshod Walking Shoes, an Oregon company that resoles shoes for walkers. She had a pair of her shoes resoled and wrote: “I had a pair of my favorite walking shoes, the New Balance 825, turned into Reshod Walking Shoes. I was very pleased that the rocker sole was as lightweight and thin as the original sole. The shoes still had the great fit I need to combat bunion pain. But I could tell the difference as soon as I started walking. The rocker sole action forced me to stop being a lazy, flat-footed walker and use the muscles of my calves, thighs and buttocks to walk. Proper walking form will lead to faster speed and better body mechanics for walking.”

Wendy added, “Rocker soles have many advantages for walkers.  A common walking mistake is to wear stiff shoes and be unable to roll through a step from heel to toe.  Flexible athletic shoes solve that problem, but they do so by flexing in the forefoot, which can put pressure on the bunion area and cause pain.” 

At Reshod Walking Shoes, each midsole is hand cobbled to the length and width of the shoe. After removing the old midsole, the new midsole is attached and a new outsole is added. They spend 4-5 hours on each pair.

A Reshod Walking Shoe

A Reshod Walking Shoe

To quote their website, “The new sole assists walkers in forward motion by creating a fulcrum and a dynamic midsole technology lever (“teeter totter effect”), which changes the angle at pushoff and allows the walker to use the entire surface area of the foot with each step, creating a more powerful stride. The firm, low heel creates a stable foot plant, while the gradient forward foams cushion underfoot while transitioning the walker forward. And because the midsole pivots the foot, there is less friction, which keeps feet cooler and reduces blisters.”

You may ask, Is this just for racewalkers?” Carmen Jackinsky, the owner and patent hold of the soles, says, “This is a shoe for anyone who wants to walk fast. Pick your style of walking and enjoy!” Check out the video on the Reshod website. It explains the thought behind the shoes. I believe Reshod Walking Shoes can really enhance the walking experience.

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