13 Christmas Gifts for Your Feet

December 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Foot Care Products, Footwear Products 

What better time of the year to pamper your feet than Christmas. Our feet are encased in heavy socks and footwear. We take them for granted. Here’s a look at my favorite things for your feet this year. My suggestion is to check out these items at Zombierunner.com. Don and Gillian support athletes with great service. You can click on their link and at their website, click on Foot Care or any other items. Zombierunner has everyone of these items, except a callus file.

Engo Footwear Patches – these slick patches go in your shoes to reduce friction. A must for any foot care first aid kit.

Drymax Socks – my favorite socks that hate moisture. Their micro-fiber technology is a sweat removal system to keep your feet dry.

Injinji Socks – the original toesocks that are perfect for many sports, and a must for those who are prone to toe blisters.

Sportslick Lubricant - Prevents blisters, chafing and skin rash during sporting activities. This skin care product also cures jock itch, athlete’s foot, and other skin conditions.

Stuffitts Portable Drying Solutions – for shoes, gloves, helmets to defeat wet and stinky gear. Their soft, lightweight forms combat moisture and kills odor in personal wearable gear.

BlisterShield Powder – a great powder, especially for those who prefer powder over a lubricant.

Kinesio Tex Tape – a great tape that breathes and conforms to the shape of any part of your feet. 1, 2, and 3 inch widths.

Leukotape – one of the stickiest tapes available. 1 ½ inches wide.

Superfeet Insoles – one of the best insoles for support. They are available in a number of options.

Toenail Clippers – everyone needs a good clipper to tame their toenails.

Callus File – a callus build-up can lead to problems that can result in blisters underneath this hard layer of skin.

Natural Running – this is a great book that teaches you to run the way nature intended, mimicking the healthy, efficient barefoot style you were born with, while keeping feet safe from rough modern surfaces.

Fixing Your Feet, 5th edition – my best-selling book that covers all aspects of footwear and foot care.
Here’s the Amazon link for the Fixing Your Feet print edition.
Here’s the Amazon link for a Fixing Your Feet Kindle edition.

I hope you’ll consider one or more of these as gifts either to yourself or a friend.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Zombierunner and make a few pennies when you buy through my link.

Foot Care Expectations

June 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Sports 

Lets talk about expectations for foot care at races. I like this subject because being prepared is important. It can make my work easier and likewise that of everyone helping with medical and foot care at races. This coming weekend is Western States and there will be a lot of runners needing help with their feet.

Over the years I have seen everything at 100-mile races. Runners with holes in their socks or socks so worn you can see through the material, severe Athlete’s Foot, long and untrimmed toenails, huge calluses, no gaiters, the use of Vaseline as a lubricant, the use of Band-Aids on blisters, existing injuries that have not healed, shoes that should have been tossed out, huge blisters caused by not treating hot spots, and lots more.

I see runners with crews that manage everything for them – including foot care. These are typically runners who have experience in longer races. They also seem to have some degree of foot care expertise. They will come through an aid station and meet their crew and all is well. If they need foot care, they have the supplies and they or their crew knows how to use the materials. They are prepared.

Other runners are less prepared. They might have crews, but they don’t have the foot care supplies, much less the expertise in how to do what they needed. They count on someone being there to fix their feet.

Many of these runners expect a lot from the podiatrity staff – sometimes, they want a miracle. There are four issues to get past. First, many times there are no “official” podiatrity people at the aid station. No podiatrist anyway. Second, what they get is someone who is maybe a nurse, paramedic, EMT, or even a full-fledged MD, who is volunteering as the aid station’s medical person. Third, often this person(s) has limited skills in fixing feet. And finally, fourth, often they have limited supplies.

So what do you get? You get a person who really wants to help but may be hindered by their limited skills and resources. Don’t fault them if the patch doesn’t work or it feels wrong. You might try and give them directions on what to do – with limited success.

What’s wrong here? Your expectations are wrong. You cannot expect every race to have podiatrity people at every aid station, with supplies to fix hundreds of feet. Some races have medical staff while other races have none. A majority of races do not have podiatrist on hand. Is it their job to provide it? Only if they advertise such aid.

This means you should be prepared at any race you enter, to have the foot care supplies and knowledge to patch your own feet – or have crew that knows how. Does that sounds harsh? Maybe so, but you entered the race. You spent money on travel, a crew, food, new shoes, lodging, new shorts and a top, water bottles, and more. But did you spend a few bucks on preparing a good foot care kit?

Why take a chance that I or anyone else is there to fix your feet? I find lots of runners who have my book (Fixing Your Feet) but I am amazed at the large numbers who haven’t heard of it.

Many of us don’t mind fixing your feet. In fact I love to do it. But we can’t be everywhere – at all aid stations, at all hours, and at all races. Can you do me a favor? Tell some else about Fixing Your Feet and this blog. Make their life a bit easier and help them finish their race with happy feet.

I’ll be in the medical area at the Michigan Bluff aid station. In back of the scales and food tables. If you need me, I’ll be there.

Bag Balm: Problem-salving for all – Especially our Feet

January 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Foot Care Products 

If you have been a runner for long, odds are you have heard of Bag Balm. I used Bag Balm in my first ultras, after tiring of the greasy, stickiness of Vaseline. Bag Balm worked on my feet.

Lyndonville, Vermont is a long way from almost everything. Tucked in the northern corner of Vermont, is a one-room “plant” by the family owned Dairy Association Co., Inc. – six employees, two officers and no sales force – operating in a cluster of converted railroad buildings in this small (pop. 1,215) town.

The familiar Bag Balm containerPetrolatum is shoveled from 50-gallon drums into a large vat and blended with lanolin from Uruguay, then heated to 95 degrees. A machine quickly squirts the goop into metal cans that are cooled, capped and packaged. The familiar green can.

The Associated Press ran a story about Bag Balm. They wrote: The phones are ringing at Bag Balm headquarters. Everyone wants a new tub of the gooey, yellow-green ointment.  And all have a story about its problem-salving – they use it on squeaky bed springs, psoriasis, dry facial skin, cracked fingers, burns, zits, diaper rash, saddle sores, sunburn, pruned trees, rifles, shell casings, bed sores and radiation burns. Everything, it seems, except for cows.

Developed in 1899 to soothe the irritated udders of milking cows, the substance with the mild medicinal odor has evolved into a medicine chest must-have, with as many uses as Elmer’s glue.

Athletes have used Bag Balm everywhere. Literally. On feet as a lubricant, on underarms and inner thighs for chafing, under shorts for chafing from front to back, for chapped lips, under waist or shoulder straps of fanny and back packs – anywhere there is rubbing and chafing.

As usual, the a bit of common sense is encouraged. Clean off any old lube before applying a new coating. Be watchful of sand or grit picked up in the lube.

Sold off pet care shelves and at farm stores for $8.99 per 10-oz. green tub (with cow’s head on the lid), it’s made of petrolatum, lanolin and an antiseptic, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate – substantially the same formula used since John L. Norris bought it from a Wells River druggist before the turn of the century.

Distributed by wholesalers and sold retail in farm stores, national drugstore chains and general stores, its popularity has grown largely with word-of-mouth advertising as converts becomes users and then devotees.

For all its myriad uses, there’s one place its makers say never to use it. “Never put Bag Balm in your hair, because you will not get it out.”

Never used it? Pick up a small tin to keep in your field bag. You’ll be glad you did. You can typically find it in your local drug store or feed and tack shop.