Archive for March, 2010
|You know that summer is right around the corner and it will soon be time to wear your Birkenstock sandals all the time.|
|Summer care of your Birks begins with keeping them away from high heat situations. You don’t want to toss your Birks in the back seat of the car with the sun beating down. If it is 86 degrees outside and the sun is shining, the temperature inside the car can reach upwards of 150 degrees! Temperatures that high can cause serious damage to the Birkenstock sole.|
|You should also avoid leaving your Birks near campfires, fireplaces, and indoor radiators. If your footwear becomes wet, allow them to air dry slowly, away from direct heat.|
|The high heat from the car or other heat source will cause the EVA soles to shrink. Depending upon the amount of shrinkage and how the footwear was positioned they may warp into a funky shape. In extreme situations the sole and footbed will separate. Fortunately the heat does not affect the cork and latex footbed. Once the EVA sole is removed the footbed will pop back into its normal shape.|
|Should your Birkenstocks get exposed to high heat, we can help. Happy Feet Plus is a certified Birkenstock repair facility. We can replace just the EVA sole or do a complete refurbishment and replace both the EVA sole and the cork footbed. It costs just $35 to resole a pair of Birkenstocks and $65 to do a “refurb.”|
|Before sending your Birks to us for repair, please call us at 1-800-336-6657, extension 244 to talk with our repair shop. We’ll ensure that you get only the service necessary and provide you with a final cost, including shipping and tax, it applicable.|
|Next time I’ll talk a little about the care and cleaning of your footwear including how to kill the odor of “stinky shoes.”|
|How many of y’all know that the Birkenstock family includes ALPRO, Birki’s, Footprints, Papillio and Tatami? How many of you know that there are differences in the footbeds?
Let’s start with the similarities. First and most important, all of the cork and latex footbeds are exceptionally good at providing support. (If you want to read why we think Support is an essential part of total foot health, click here.) In addition, any of the footwear with a cork and latex footbed use the same formulation. All, except for the Birki’s vegan styles, have a suede foot liner. (The Birki’s vegan styles have a microfiber foot liner.) Finally, Two widths, Narrow (U.S. regular width) and Regular (U.S. wide width) are available in most styles.
|On to the differences. The Classic Birkenstock Footbed you know and love has very prominent lateral, metatarsal and especially medial arches. (If you want to read more about the three arches, click here.) The medial arch, in part, is so prominent because of the deep heel cup. The heel cup is deep to provide stability and control. Lastly, the footbed was designed with a unisex shape. When viewed from the bottom the Birkenstock footbed has straight sides. (The Birki’s, Papillio and ALPRO footbeds have more curviness to them. You’ll have to read on to get more information about those footbeds.) All Birkenstock sandals and clogs have a toe bar about half way between the metatarsal arch and the front of the footbed. The toe bar, like the heel cup, helps provide stability and control.|
|Birki’s, Papillio, and ALPRO footbeds also have exceptional lateral, metatarsal, and medial arch support. They are different from the Birkenstock Classic footbed in that the heel cup is not so deep and as a result the medial arch is less pronounced. The shallower heel cup makes you “sit on top” of the footbed a bit more than the Birkenstock. The Birki’s, Papillio, and ALPRO footbeds also have a toe bar for stability and control. When viewed from underneath, these footbeds have a distinct foot shape to them. The heel is narrower than the Classic Birkenstock and the toe box is wider. In between, the footbed curves in towards the medial arch area.
The footbeds used in the Tatami Oklahoma, Footprints Alton and Ashby clogs and Footprints Derby shoes are very similar to the Birkenstock Classic. They have the same lateral and metatarsal arch as Birkenstock Classic but with less pronounced medial arch. They use a less pronounced arch because the footwear is “enclosed.” They are either a shoe or clog that does not have spare head room. These footbeds also have a deep heel cup and toe bar for control & stability. All other Footprints shoes have the same features with the exception of the toe bar.
|If you want to read more about getting the proper fit for your Birkenstocks, click here.
|Do you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis (aka “heel pain”)? Do your knees or back hurt? Often times the cause of the pain starts at your feet. Last week I told y’all about my experience finding relief from Plantar Fasciitis. This week I thought I’d mention the importance of supporting your feet at all times, especially in the morning.
When you first get out of bed you may not think that going barefoot would be a problem. But over night your muscles have relaxed and have had a few hours to recover. If you are experiencing foot problems the last thing you want to do is start the day off causing your feet to be stressed. Instead of going barefoot, slide into a Birkenstock or Kenkoh sandal when you crawl out of bed.
|The Kenkoh sandal is an especially good “house slipper.” The arch is pronounced and very supportive. The massaging nodules stimulate the nerve ending in your feet and get your body’s “juices flowing.” Clinical studies have shown that wearing the Kenkoh sandal stimulates blood flow, reduces lower leg swelling, and creates a feeling of “wellbeing.” Can there be a better way to start your day?
Happy Feet Plus has been selling Kenkoh sandals since 1985. During the last 25 years thousands of people have found relief from pain wearing Kenkohs. We feel so strongly about the positive benefits of the Kenkoh sandals that we have made them one of what we call the “Foot Health Essentials.”
|The “Foot Health Essentials” consist of three parts – Strengthen, Support, and Revitalize. The Kenkoh sandals represent the Revitalize. segment. The design of the sandal is based on the concept of Reflexology where the sole of the foot has nerve endings that connect with major body parts and functions. Wearing the Kenkoh sandals stimulates the nerve endings and creates a “Revitalizing” effect.
Try a pair. Wear them around the house or when you might be tempted to wear an unsupportive flip-flop. Your feet (and back, and knees…) will be glad you did.
Plantar Fasciitis. Two words that make you sweat if you’ve ever been stricken by the dreaded arch pain. During the 2009 NFL football season even a player as carefully watched as Eli Manning developed Plantar Fasciitis.
Quite a few years ago I experienced the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. Not only did my heel hurt but I had a stabbing “sciatic” pain in my hamstring and glute. Worse it disrupted my long-distance running. Three cortisone treatments at the Orthopede didn’t work. Several months of ultrasound and electrical stimulation treatments at the Chiro didn’t work. Finally I visited a Podiatrist who said I needed orthotics. Whahoo. Two weeks later the sciatic pain was gone and I was running again.
How does this relate to Happy Feet Plus? Simple. Good arch support. When I started working for Happy Feet Plus I bought my first pair of Birkenstock sandals. Finally I found a pair of sandals with as much arch support as my orthotics. My knees and hips didn’t hurt because my arches were properly supported. It was a great discovery.
I have expanded my footwear collection to include the Finn Comfort London and the Tatami Oklahoma. Because the footbeds in both were a little less aggressive than the Birkenstock footbed I had to make a minor modification. More about that in a later blog entry. Stay tuned.
Regards – Dave