Here it Comes – Fixing Your Feet, 5th Edition!

January 21, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Books 

My publisher informed me this week that boxes of the 5th edition of Fixing Your Feet are on their way to the warehouses. That means to the publisher’s warehouses where they will immediately start filling orders from Amazon and Barnes & Nobel, and distributors, and stores.

I am excited because this is the best edition yet. With each edition, I make changes, add new chapters, and tighten up the content. This edition has a new chapter on Barefoot & Minimalist Footwear, and another on Getting the Most out of Fixing Your Feet. Every chapter has been updated and most have new content. All products and their websites have been verified. The Taping chapter has been extensively reworked and includes a series of photos that show taping. It’s 369 pages in length.

Fixing Your Feet, 5th edition

Fixing Your Feet, 5th edition

I am especially happy with the cover. Truth be told, I never liked the old photo. It looked staged and was wrong in many ways. My search for the perfect photo ended with success. I found a photo taken at the Utah Primal Quest a few years ago and recognizing world-renowned adventure racer Ian Adamson in the photo, contacted him. He put me in touch with Dan Campbell, the photographer. The new photo is great. It shows Ian having his feet patched. The photo is true to life – foot care in the field. Dirty feet. An adventure racer interrupting his race to mend his feet, a grimace on his face as the tape is applied.

The new Foreword is by Brian Krabak, a sports medicine physician In Washington and the medical director of the Racing the Planet 4 Desert Series. He writes, “Take care of your feet and the world is yours to enjoy. Ignore your feet and life can be a miserable experience.” So true – as many athletes have learned.

So here is my offer.

Send me an email and tell me about your most terrible, horrible, very bad feet experience. Try and keep it to 300 words. I will ask Denise Jones, the Badwater Blister Queen, to pick the best story. The winner will win a free, autographed copy of the 5th edition. Entries must be submitted by January 31. If you submit a story, you might see it in print. Photos are always welcome as long as they go with the story.

If you want to order copies of Fixing Your Feet, 5th edition, here is the Amazon link. Amazon will have it by February 1.

Please share the news of the 5th edition with your friends, and invite them to subscribe to this blog.

Disclaimer: Purchasing Fixing Your Feet through the above link or the link on my Fixing Your website will add a few pennies to my Amazon account.

Are Your Feet Prepared?

January 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Sports 
Krissy Moehl showing off her taped feet at the Gore-Tex TransRockies

Krissy Moehl showing off her taped feet at the Gore-Tex TransRockies

When I talk to runners preparing for a race, some seem to be well prepared. They know about blisters and what kind of socks to wear. They either have experience or are smart enough to want to learn more. Others seem unconcerned or unprepared.

The main question I ask is, “Are your feet prepared?” I give them a half page of tips. Here are the tips. They easily can be applied to anyone running or walking a marathon, or doing any similar event. Are they magic? No. But many people, even athletes, seem to forget the common sense tips that can make their marathon a better experience.

Before the Race

  • Toenails too long catches on socks – trim them short.
  • Then file toenails smooth.
  • Use a nail file to smooth calluses.
  • Clean out lint and junk from inside shoes.
  • Check your shoelaces and replace if frayed.

Race Morning

  • Apply a layer of your favorite lubricant or powder.
  • Smooth your socks around your feet.
  • Avoid tying laces too tight.

During the Race

  • If you feel a hot spot: apply a pad, a bit of tape, a dab of lubricant, or an energy wrapper between your sock and shoe.
  • Loosen shoelaces if you have pain on the top of your foot.

After the Race

  • Drain blisters only if they are in a pressure area.
  • If you have blisters, soak your feet in Epson salts and warm water three times a day.
  • Trim edges of loose skin around blisters.
  • If feet are swollen, elevate and ice.

Many of you know these tips – and practice them. However it is easy to become complacent and forget good foot care. Too many other things seem to be more important. Once you experience the pain of blisters, bloody toenails, or some other common ailment, you will again want to know the basics. The tips above will always be worth knowing.

The Barefoot Book – a Review

January 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books, Footwear, Health 

My library includes most of the books about feet and foot care. Many are old and are no longer in print. Every so often a new one is released.

The Barefoot Book

The Barefoot Book

I was recently sent a copy of The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes by L. Daniel Howell. Mr. Howell, PhD, has a doctoral degree in biochemistry and teaches human anatomy and physiology at Liberty University in Virginia. His bio states that he is an avid barefoot runner with more than 2000 shoeless miles on his feet, and leads a barefoot hiking group. All this gives him credibility to write the book.  Hunter House Publishers published the book in 2010.

The premise of The Barefoot Book is that feet and shoes are at odds with each other. The author promotes a barefoot lifestyle and the subtitle, 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes, supports his cause – to get readers to shed their shoes.

The book starts with a chapter that covers a short history of how shoes came to be.  Chapter 2, “Living Barefoot,” shares the stories of 10 people who have to live a life barefoot. I liked how chapter 3 went into detail about the foot and how it works. It was very informative and helpful, especially if the reader has little knowledge of the structure, form, and function of the foot.

The title, of chapter 4, What Your Shoes are Doing to You, carries forward the author’s premise that shoes are bad for you. Readers learn a bit about the history of shoes and their construction and purpose; a lot about how shoes change the way stand, walk, run and feel the ground; followed by a discussion of negative conditions and injuries common to feet.

I found it interesting that the Howell would devote almost all of chapter 5 to the effects of high-heeled shoes, and a short bit of dress and work shoes. Chapter 6 is informative as we learn about the ways shoes affect children. All parents should read this chapter.

I loved chapter 7 where time was spent on walking, running, and hiking barefoot. This is a worthwhile subject given today’s interest in going minimalist or shoeless. People wanting to try running and hiking barefoot, especially, need information on how to start out (slowly) and what to pay attention to. Howell does a good job of imparting this important information. Too many people want to try barefoot and do too much too soon, and become injured – so this is an important chapter.

Chapter 9 offers alternatives in footwear for the times when one cannot go barefoot but want to be as minimalist as possible.

Chapter 10, Getting Out There, starts with 11 ways you can start towards a barefoot lifestyle. The second half of the chapter deals with common hurdles, working barefoot, businesses, cold conditions, and social pressure. All helpful information.

I loved chapter 11, Mythbusters, where Howell debunks seven common myths about going barefoot. A few include driving barefoot, OSHA and the “bare feet prohibited” warnings, barefoot dangers, and barefoot liability. It was fun reading.

For those interested in liabilities, the appendix lists five pages of a sampling of lawsuits where shoes were essential to the cause of the lawsuit.

So, were there actually 50 reasons to kick off your shoes and go barefoot? Yes. For a while, I kept paging through the book looking for an organized list. There was none. Then I discovered that throuought the book, on the outside of the page, there was an outline of a barefoot. In the big toe outline was a number, 1 -50, and then inside the foot was a reason. Very cleverly done.

At 156 pages, this is a fairly quick read. Listed at $12.95, the book is inexpensive. Amazon has it even cheaper.

I recommend The Barefoot Book for those interested in trying the barefoot lifestyle. One could argue that we all need to try it – and Howell does just that – and does it well. My only reservation is that there is an obvious bias that shoes are bad for your feet. That said, Howell backs up his statements with facts that are hard to argue with. Read the book in the context of your lifestyle and make your own choices. Me? I love going barefoot – at times. In fact, I think I’ll try hiking barefoot this summer.

Here is a link to buy the book through Amazon. Amazon also has a “Click to Look Inside” the book feature so you can take a peak.

The book also has its own website, The Barefoot Book.

Disclosure, buying through the above link will credit me a few pennies.

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