Archive for October, 2010

Cool Weather Squeeze

Happy Feet Plus - Cool Weather Squeeze

 

Do your feet seem to hurt more in the cold weather months? It could be that with the transition from summer sandals to winter shoes and boots that you are squeezing your feet into constrictive, and painful, footwear. If you are, there is a greater chance of aggravating your bunions, or other foot pains and ailments.

All summer long your feet were happy spending a lot of time in sandals, especially if they were supportive sandals like Birkenstock or Finn Comfort. With the cooler temperatures, you’ve got to switch to closed footwear. If your feet are hurting more nowadays, take a look at the toe box width and the arch support in your everyday shoes.

A narrow toe box, especially in a pointy-toe shoe, will aggravate an existing bunion or start you on the path towards a painful bunion. Shoes or boots without any (or enough) arch support may allow plantar fasciitis pain (in your heel) to develop. You may also feel pain in the ball of your foot. This could be as a result of wearing high heels and stressing the metatarsal area, or simply because your footwear has insufficient metatarsal support.

Relief can be found. Look for footwear with a wide toe box that will not squeeze your toes. Also look for footwear with great arch support, especially in the medial and metatarsal arch areas.

Several closed shoe options exist in the Footprints line as well as in Finn Comfort, and Taos. Clogs are a great choice if you need room for your toes to move and breathe. Birkenstock, Dansko, Finn Comfort, Footprints, Tatami, and Taos offer dressy and casual clogs.

Great footwear at great prices. What a great deal! Stop by a Happy Feet Plus store near you and save.

Click Here To SHOP at Happy Feet Plus

Regards,

Dave

Jane’s Picks – Alpro A630 & A640 Clogs

They may look like twins, but there’s a big difference. Both have slip-resistant soles but the A640 has a steel toe. Although the A640′s are a bit heavier, they’re able to protect your toes from the accidental drops and bangs. Whichever you choose your feet will be comfortable – and you’ll be saving 25%.

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Collapsed Arches or Flat Feet?

Happy Feet Plus - Collapsed Arches or Flat Feet?

I recently was asked about collapsed arches, so I did some research. From what I’ve found, in the end collapsed arches and flat feet are the same. The difference is how they become flat.

Information about inherited “flat feet” is pretty slim, so I’m going to go out on a limb and make some educated guesses. Some (many) people with inherited flat feet don’t seem to have musculoskeletal problems. It looks like their bodies were “built” to a specification that included no medial arches. In the “old days” folks with flat feet received military deferments. More recent studies indicate that soldiers with flat feet do not have problems with marching long distances. If they don’t have foot aches then it seems that their bodies are dealing with flat feet just fine. But if they are experiencing foot pains (or ankle, knee, or hip pains) then some degree of arch support may be needed.

For those folks who have recently developed flat feet there is a whole different story. Typical reasons for the development of flat feet include:

  • Age
  • Disease (such as diabetes)
  • Injury
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

The normal musculoskeletal system works to support the body, beginning with the feet. Any deviation from “normal” will create problems. Since it is normal for the feet to have a noticeable medial arch the body’s muscles and skeleton are structured with that in mind. A less than normal arch will cause misalignment of bones in the feet, ankle, knees, and hips. Muscles and ligaments in the feet (such as the Plantar Fascia) will be stretched and strained. Any one of the reasons above can cause the feet to flatten and create a set of other issues.

If life were simple the solution would be easy. You’d just buy a pair of shoes with good arch support and your body would be realigned, you’d lose weight, etc. Since life isn’t that simple you do what you can in steps. Certainly a supportive pair of shoes can never be a bad thing, and it’s a great place to start. From personal experience, I know the value of getting good arch support (see blog “Plantar Fasciitis”). Relieving the knee and hip pain allowed me to return to running.

Not all feet are the same and not all “supportive” footwear are the same. Try on different brands and see how they work for you. Or you can always contact our Customer Service Department (1-800-336-6657) or click on our live chat and we can help you identify a brand or style that might work well for you.

Great footwear at great prices. What a great deal! Stop by a Happy Feet Plus store near you and save.

Click Here To SHOP at Happy Feet Plus

Regards,

Dave

Jane’s Picks – Finn Comfort Stanford & Orb

25% off two Finn Comfort clogs? Are we crazy? Not at all, we just love to provide super sales for our super customers. Save $56.25 on the Black Nappa Orb and $57.50 on the Black Nappa Stanford. Hurry, one week only.

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Are You Pregnant and Do Your Feet Hurt 2?

Happy Feet Plus - Are You Pregnant and Do Your Feet Hurt?

As you might guess, my perspective on footwear is biased. Happy Feet Plus sells footwear that emphasizes health and comfort. I look for information that reinforces our opinions on “proper footwear” when I write these blogs. In all of the research I did, as in-exhaustive as it might be, I never saw that anyone recommend that pregnant women should wear pointy-toed high heeled shoes or flip-flops. Instead, the consistent theme is flat or low-heeled shoes with a wide toe box and good support. Hey, that’s what we believe too!

So, what’s the connection to Edema? While wearing good footwear is important any time, it is especially important when you are pregnant. The added weight and altered center of gravity (see Are You Pregnant and Do Your Feet Hurt?) as well as the fluid retention create changes to a woman’s body that require a solid, stable base. Here’s where good footwear comes in.

As early as the second trimester you may find your shoes fitting a little bit tighter. They’re only going to get tighter so you might as well plan on getting new shoes. The swelling is usually caused by the increase in blood volume needed to transport oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Increasing levels of hormones also change blood vessels, joints, ligaments, and, well, your whole body. No wonder you feel swollen and bloated.

Gravity is largely responsible for fluid retention to be more pronounced in your feet, ankles, and calves. Your growing uterus also puts pressure on the veins that carry blood back from your lower body. Blood flow back from your feet is restricted and fluids stay in your feet and legs. Increases in foot size should be expected, but one foot should not swell more than another. If you do find this happening, see your doctor.

Until you give birth you’re going to have to live with Edema in your feet, but there are things you can do to minimize the impact:

  • Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy and wear the correct shoe size for your foot.
  • Elevate your feet as often as possible. Use a small stool at work while seated at your desk.
  • Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation or wear surgical stockings — with advice from your doctor.
  • Keep active, but see your doctor before starting an exercise program. Walking is usually recommended. Try lying on your back and simulating riding a bike. This will exercise the muscles in the leg and reduce swelling.vDo not stand for long periods of time. Walking gets your calf muscles working, which helps pump some of the extra fluid out of your legs and feet.
  • Take a bath or go swimming; the water puts an outside force on the swelling and helps to decrease it.
  • If you are driving for a long period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your.
  • Sleep on your side, not your back. This relieves pressure on the vena cava, the largest vein leading to the heart. Otherwise, the pressure slows the blood returning from your lower body.
  • Consider reflexology to help decrease the swelling (or buy our exclusive Kenkoh Reflexology Sandal).
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid.

Here are some shoe-buying tips:

  • Choose shoes with a broad base, and a short heel.
  • Choose shoes with a toe box that is high enough and wide enough to comfortably fit, either rounded or square shaped, not pointed.
  • Choose shoes with extra shock absorption, a supportive arch, and firm heel.
  • Look for a walking or athletic shoe with good shock absorption.
  • Visit a local Pedorthist for a shoe-fitting recommendation. Pedorthists specialize in fitting shoes and orthotics to alleviate foot problems.
  • Periodic measuring is recommended because the feet may increase in size during the pregnancy.
  • Shop late in the day. Feet tend to swell as the day goes on.
  • Be sure that the shoes fit properly before you leave the store.
  • Buy boots with room in the calf area, because your calves may swell. Also choose a boot with a side zipper — they’re easier to get on and off than a pull-on style.
  • Replace worn heels often. Uneven heels can throw you off balance.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive footwear, ideally with a strap, laces, or Velcro.

Great footwear at great prices. What a great deal! Stop by a Happy Feet Plus store near you and save.

Click Here To SHOP at Happy Feet Plus

Regards,

Dave

Jane’s Picks – Arizona Leather Soft Footbed Sandals

There’s still a lot of warm weather left this year. Enjoy it in a pair of Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed sandals. This week we’ve got three leather Arizonas on sale. Check ‘em out, save $31.25 and be cool!

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