Category: Foot Health
28Apr

by Jess Harms
We have seen some ugly feet.  And we are referring, of course, to our own. Calluses, blisters, black toenails…as runners we have had our fair share of all of those. As people who spend their living working with feet, we are not immune to the issues we see walk into our store. But allow us to share with you one of our favorite remedies to sore feet: socks. 

That’s right, socks. You may have heard us utter the phrase “cotton is rotten” and when it comes to socks, we really mean it.  Whether you’re a runner, hiker, walker or someone who just really likes wearing shoes, socks are just as important when it comes to your foot health.  A good, moisture-wicking, well fitting pair of socks will do wonders.  

Take stock of your sock drawer and think about parting ways with your old, baggy, holey socks; they aren’t doing you any favors. A good pair of socks should hug your feet. The heel shouldn’t be wrapped somewhere around your ankle. Ideally, your socks also shouldn’t have any seams. Think about it, seams are just another place for a blister to occur. Also make sure that your sock comes higher than the collar of your shoe, otherwise you risk it slipping down into the shoe and causing more of the issues we are trying to prevent. 

A good pair of socks should be made up of a moisture wicking material. That could be a poly-nylon blend or it could be a nice merino wool or mohair. We are particular fans of the latter two because they will keep your feet moisture free year round. Yes, wool is even good in the summer (let’s break down some stereotypes!). Not to mention that wool is anti-microbial so it will keep the stink away too! The synthetic blends work really well too so if that makes you more comfortable, go for it! Good socks can change the game, we promise. We can’t promise they will make you run, walk, hike or work faster but we have faith that your feet will thank you all the same. 

29Jan

We are conducting free pressure point analysis (a $30 value).

You perform best when your shoes fit perfectly, you feel comfortable, and balanced. Your footwear becomes an extension of your body. Converting your shoes to a complete three-dimensional match of your foot is going to move you forward.

This pressure analysis enables us to find high pressure and unbalanced areas on your feet which can lead to a plethora of issues up the chain.

We’re able to use the data we collect to offload pressure areas and create better alignment from ankle to knee to hip.

It also allows us to evaluate the shoes you’re currently wearing to make sure these high pressure areas are eliminated.

23Jan

We get asked this question a lot. It is best to replace your running sneakers every 6 month (we will even remind you when it is time, click here for our 6 month reminder).

Um, Every Six Months, Really? Yes, Really.

As a general rule, most running shoes will provide cushioning up to 500 miles, though many runners report a breakdown in cushioning after as few as 350 miles. If you run around 15 miles a week, you’ll cross that threshold before six months.

Technical Geek Out: Shoes with compression molded EVA midsoles can vary in durometer or density from the moment they come off the factory line. This means that the relative cushioning properties and life span of each midsole can vary from shoe to shoe. Most shoes with polyurethane midsoles will break down at a slower rate keeping their “feel” for a longer period of time.

Here’s how to tell if your shoes are dead.

Try the press test. When an EVA midsole is compressed, it creates visible lines or wrinkles in the midsole material that you can see from the sidewall of the shoe. When these lines first appear it means that the midsole is compressing normally. As the midsole is further compressed, the compression lines increase and get closer together.

A simple pressure test can determine if your midsole is compacted. Using the broad part of your thumb, push on the outsole, upward into the midsole. It should be easy to see the midsole compress into these lines.

As the shoe breaks down, the midsole will compress less, with the same amount of pressure applied. When the midsole shows heavy compression lines and the press-test reveals a minimum amount or “lack” of compression, you can be sure that the midsole of the shoe has been compacted to a point where little to no cushioning remains.

Rotate your shoes. Most runners have their own way of telling when their shoes are broken down, most of which have to do with aches and pains in the specific areas of their legs, knees and hips. To avoid injuries and other problems, it’s a good idea to rotate your shoes every 250 miles so that you have 2 pairs of shoes to wear at all times.

The first pair should be the newest pair, the one that you will wear on the majority of your runs, especially the longer runs. The second, the older pair should be used for shorter runs and inclement weather days, when you want to keep your new shoes clean.

Wear the second pair until you have compressed the midsole, and then retire them for gardening shoes. Once this occurs, the first becomes the second pair and it’s time to get a new first pair. (Yay!) If you use two pairs of shoes of the same model, be sure to mark them with some easy to identify reference mark, so that you don’t confuse the older pair with the newer pair.

Donate used shoes. If you have an abundance of excess running shoes that you won’t ever wear, come on down! We have a recycling program at the store, organized by Ecosmith Recyclers. They are a sustainable, locally owned, for-profit family textile recycling business serving New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine since 1991.

 

13Aug

You have a NORMAL FOOT if… 

  • Your footprint has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band.
  • Your foot lands on the outside of the heel, then rolls inward (pronates) to absorb shock. Runners and walkers with a normal foot usually have a semi-flexible arch that requires shoes  with varied degrees of support.

Best Shoes for you. Stability shoes with moderate control features such as a two density midsole.

You have a HIGH-ARCHED FOOT if…

  • Your footprint shows a very narrow band connecting the forefoot and heel.
  • Your foot usually doesn’t pronate enough, so it’s not an effective shock absorber.

Best Shoes for you. Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Stay away from motion control or stability shoes which reduce foot mobility.

You have a FLAT FOOT if…

  • You have a low arch and leave a nearly complete imprint. That is, the imprint looks like the whole sole of the foot.
  • This imprint usually indicates an overpronated foot that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inward (pronates) excessively. Over time, this can cause many different kinds of overuse injuries.

Best Shoes for you. Motion control shoes, or stability shoes with firm midsoles and control features that reduce the rate of pronation. Stay away from highly cushioned curved-lasted shoes that lack stability and control.

13Aug

You take anywhere from 8,000 to 13,000 steps per day. And every step puts more than 3 to 5 times your bodyweight on your foot!

If your feet don’t have correct support, all that unstable force leads to foot health issues you simply don’t have time for. That’s why our customers love our Custom Footbeds.

We study this stuff (our Fit Specialists spend about 300 hours learning about feet!) and love every second of it. Why? The facts show just how effective custom footbeds are for stabilizing your feet.

  1. The structured heel cup encapsulates and positions the soft tissue under the heel, maximizing natural shock absorption.
  2. Rearfoot support centers on the back of your arch and the front of your heel to stabilize the rearfoot.
  3. A firm foam layer and a stabilizer cap combine to create the supportive shape that our custom footbeds are famous for.