Keeping Your Feet Soft and Smooth

Gilden Tree Crystals

It’s easy to ignore how your feet look during the cold-weather months when you hide your feet in your shoes. But during warm weather, sandals keep your feet visible. If you want to keep your feet looking their best, you don’t have to have weekly pedicures. There are some procedures you can do at home to keep your feet looking and feeling their best, while spending minimal amounts of money on products. With a little care, you can greatly improve the health of your skin!

First, keep your feet clean. Wash your feet daily with a gentle soap, and dry them carefully. This is especially important for diabetics, or anyone with sensitive feet. One product that is great for diabetics as well as anyone else is the PediFix Diabetic Defense Daily Therapy Foot Wash. This outstanding product can be used every day, is gentle on the skin, and helps protect the skin from skin infections. If you have Athlete’s Foot, a product that can be very helpful is PediFix’s Funga Soap. Using this soap can help relieve itching and discomfort from Athlete’s foot, and helps soothe the skin.

It is easy to build up skin cells on your heels, and areas of your feet that rub against your shoes. Soaking your feet in a product such as Gilden Tree’s Revitalizing Foot Soak Crystals can help soften and moisturize your feet. This product contains sea salt as well as epsom salts, which are known to be helpful ingredients for your feet. It even helps detoxify your body!

Once you soak your feet, exfoliate that old, dry skin. You can use a pumice stone, or the Silk Feet Foot Exfoliator from PediFix. Get rid of that rough skin that looks unsightly, and can even catch on socks!

Once you have your feet smooth and exfoliated (or even if you haven’t exfoliated them), you need to moisturize them. There are a variety of products that can help keep your skin soft and smooth as they moisturize, such as the PediFix Deep Healing Foot Cream. This non-greasy cream adds vital nutrients to the skin, and you can feel a difference after even just one application! It can even help soften hard skin, like that which forms on your heels. The bonus perk is that it is gentle enough even for diabetics.

If you like aromatherapy, you’ll love the Foot Petals Pedi Fume Cooling Gel. It’s also designed to moisturize your feet, as well as provide cooling properties. It smells like vanilla and lavender, two scents that can help you relax. It also contains tea tree oil and cardamom, which help disinfect your feet and reduce odor. This gel goes on cool and helps your feet feel refreshed.

Sometimes wearing a sock with a moisturizer at night can be very helpful for keeping your feet hydrated and soft. You could put lotion or cream on your feet and then wear a sock to bed, or you could use a product like the Ralyn Night Care Gel Heel Sock. This product applies mineral oil directly to your heels, which softens tough skin. Use this product up to 3 times a week; it can make a huge difference in how your heels feel!

These are just a few products available to help make your feet feel soft and smooth. Check them out at footwearetc.com!

 

10 Days of Autumn FACEBOOK CONTEST OFFICIAL RULES

blog-post-contest-image-4-29-14 (2)

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

1. Eligibility:Limit one (1) entry per person per day.

Open to legal residents of the 50 United States who have reached the age of 18.  Employees of Footwear etc., its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, participating advertising and promotion agencies, and prize suppliers (and members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same of household of each such employee) are not eligible.  The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

2. Sponsor:Footwear etc. 273 N. Mathilda AveSunnyvale, CA 94086

3. Agreement to Official Rules: Participation in this Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s and Administrator’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to this Contest. Winning any prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

4. Timing:The Contest begins on September 17, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (“PST”), ends on September 26, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. PST (the “Contest Period”). Administrator’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Contest.

5. How to Enter:

To enter the Footwear etc. 10 Days of Autumn Contest, review the question of the day and provide your answer or submission of photo and or link as a posted comment during the entry times below.  Participation in this Contest is subject to, and all entrants must comply with, these Official Rules.  Entrants may enter once per day.  Limit of one (1) prize per person for the entire Contest Period.  The daily questions are as follows:

Question Start Time End Time

a. Do you have a favorite fashion trend this fall?  Share in the comments for a chance to win a $20 Footwear etc. gift card. September 17, 2014 at 9:00:00 a.m. PST- September 18, 2014 at 7:00:00 p.m. PST
b. When the weather turns cool and crisp, what activity are you most excited about?  Describe it in the comments in 100 characters or less for a chance to win a $40 Footwear etc. gift card. September 19, 2014 at 9:00:00 a.m. PST- September 20, 2014 at 7:00:00 p.m. PST
c. Pumped to wear fall footwear?  Upload a photo of you wearing your favorite pair in the comments for a chance to win $60 to Footwear etc. September 21, 2014 at 9:00:00 a.m. PST- September 22, 2014 at 7:00:00 p.m. PST
d. Share your favorite fall comfort food recipe in a link or 200 characters or less.  Dish it in the comments for a chance to win an $80 Footwear etc. gift card. September 23, 2014 at 9:00:00 a.m. PST- September 24, 2014 at 7:00:00 p.m. PST
e. Can you write a poem showing your love of autumn?  Tell us in the comments for a chance to win $100 Footwear etc. gift card! September 25, 2014 at 9:00:00 a.m. PST- September 26, 2014 at 7:00:00 p.m. PST

6. Guidelines and Restrictions:

All Entries become the property of Sponsor and none will be returned. Sponsor will not acknowledge receipt of entries. Entries must be suitable for publication in the opinion of the Sponsor.

 The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement;

 The Submission must not disparage Sponsor, Administrator or any other person or party affiliated with the Contest;

 The Submission must not contain brand names or trademarks other than those owned by Sponsor, which entrant has a limited license to use to incorporate in his/her Submission in this Contest;

 The Submission must not contain images or artwork not created by entrant;

 The Submission must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;

 The Submission must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; and

 The Submission must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where Submission is created.

7. Limit:Each entrant may upload (1) one Submission per day.  Submissions received from any person or email address in excess of the stated limit will be void. Submissions generated by script, macro or other automated means are void.

8. Permissions: Entrant must have permission from all individuals that appear in the Submission (if any) to use their name and likeness in the Submission and to grant the rights set forth herein. If requested, entrant must be able to provide such permissions in a form acceptable to

9. Grant of License: Uploading a Submission constitutes entrant’s consent to give Sponsor a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display such submissions in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes. If requested, entrant will sign any documentation that may be required for Sponsor or its designees to make use of the non-exclusive rights entrant is granting to use the Submission. Released Parties (as defined in Section 11, below) are not responsible for lost, late, stolen, damaged, incomplete, invalid, un-intelligible, garbled, delayed or misdirected Submissions; all of which will be void. In the event of a dispute as to any Submission, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Each entrant may be required to show proof of being an authorized account holder.

10. Winner Determination:(1) One $20 Footwear etc. Gift Card will be given on or around 9/18/14.  (1) One $40 Footwear etc. Gift Card will be given on or around 9/20/14.  (1) One $60 Footwear etc. Gift Card will be given on or around 9/22/14.  (1) One $80 Footwear etc. Gift Card will be given on or around 9/24/14.  (1) One $100 Footwear etc. Gift Card will be given on or around 9/26/14.  Gift cards are to be redeemed at any Footwear etc. retail store within the US and online at www.footwearetc.com.  All winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.

11. Winner Requirements:All potential winners will be notified in the comments section of the Question Post and are then required to send Footwear etc. a private message on Facebook titled “10 Days of Autumn Contest” containing your full legal name, valid email address, mailing address, and phone number.  The firstpotential winner will be notified on or around Thursday, September 18.  The second potential winner will be notified on or around Saturday, September 20.  The third potential winner will be notified on or around Monday, September 22.  The fourth potential winner will be notified on or around Wednesday, September 24.  The fifth potential winner will be notified on or around Friday, September 26.  All potential winners must respond via Facebook message within seventy-two (72) hours of receiving a win notification message in the comments section of the post.  If any potential winner of a Prize cannot be contacted within seventy-two (72) hours of win notification or provide any other requested information withinthe required time period (if applicable), or the prize is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits the prize. If a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, the prize may be awarded to a runner-up determined by the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Only two (2) alternate winners may be determined, after which the Prize will remain un-awarded.  Acceptance of any prize shall constitute and signify each winner’s agreement and consent that Sponsor and its designees may use each winner’s name, city, state, likeness, photo, Submission and/or prize information in connection with the Contest for promotional, advertising or other purposes, worldwide, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, including the Internet, without limitation and without further payment, notification, permission or other consideration, except where prohibited by law. Without limiting the generality of these Official Rules, the winners shall irrevocably grant, transfer, convey and assign to Sponsor the entirety of the rights in and to the Submission and all renewals and extensions of copyright, and the right to secure copyright registrations thereto in perpetuity including, without limitation, the rights to use the Submission for any and all purposes in any and all media whether now known or hereafter developed, on a worldwide basis, in perpetuity. The winners accept and acknowledge that Sponsor shall not be obligated to use the Submission and that Sponsor in its sole discretion shall have the right to refrain from using the Submission. Sponsor shall not incur any liability whatsoever to the extent Sponsor chooses to refrain from any exploitation of its rights hereunder. Each winner will indemnify Sponsor, Released Parties (as defined in Section 11, below) and any licensee of Sponsor against all claims, damages, liabilities, and expenses (including reasonable counsel fees and legal expenses) arising out of any breach of these terms.

12. Prizes:5 TOTAL PRIZES: (1) One $20, (1) One $40, (1) One $60, (1) One $80, (1) One $100 Footwear etc.Gift Cards.Terms and conditions of gift cards apply. Prizes are non-transferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize should become unavailable for any reason. Winner is responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. Limit: One (1) Prize per person.

13. Release: By receipt of any prize, winner agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, Administrator and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

14. General Conditions: Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, human error or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. If terminated Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, determine the winners randomly selected from all non-suspect, eligible Submissions received up to time of such action using the  procedure outlined above. Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the Submission process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of the Official Rules of this or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and void all associated Submissions. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

15. Limitations of Liability: Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrant, printing, typographical or other errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the Submission process or the Contest; (4) printing, typographical, technical, computer, network or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest, the uploading, the processing or random selection of Submissions, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials; (5) late, lost, undeliverable, damaged or stolen mail; or (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize (including any travel/activity related thereto). Released Parties are not responsible for misdirected or undeliverable Submissions or for any technical problems, malfunctions of computer systems, servers, providers, hardware/software, lost or unavailable network connections or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or any combination thereof. Released Parties are not responsible for any unauthorized third party use of any Submission.

16. Disputes: Except where prohibited, each entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Promotion or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by state or federal courts situated in California, (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) no punitive, incidental, special, consequential or other damages, including without limitation lost profits may be awarded (collectively, “Special Damages”), and (4) entrant hereby waives all rights to claim Special Damages and all rights to have such damages multiplied or increased. California State law, without reference to California’s choice of law rules, governs the Promotion and all aspects related thereto.

This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Information is being provided to Sponsor, not Facebook.

How to Choose an Insole

lynco-insole

There are hundreds of insoles out there. Trying to figure out what best suits your needs can be completely confusing. What makes an insole an orthotic, and do you need that? Or do you just need something soft in your shoe? How do you make your feet feel better? Do you need a custom orthotic made by a podiatrist, or will something over the counter do? Here are some guidelines that might help you with the decision-making process.

First off: what’s the difference between an insole and an orthotic? An insole can be defined as anything you insert into your shoe. They can be soft, they can be firm, they can be customized to your feet, etc. Insoles can range from a little spongy shoe-shaped insert that you get from the local drug store, to something that is specially contoured for your foot. There may or may not be any arch support in an insole, and the insole might be designed for a particular shoe(like a replacement insole) or shoe type (like one for athletic shoes).

An orthotic is a specialized type of insole that provides arch support (at a minimum). Some orthotics also provide metatarsal support and a deep heel cup for stability. Orthotics, particularly custom orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist, are typically intended to relieve pain from conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis. Orthotics sold by shoe stores may not be customized to you, but may provide enough support in just the right places to make a difference in your quality of life. A good rule to follow: when in doubt, consult a podiatrist.

Given the myriad of insoles out there, the choices can be overwhelming. First, determine whether you have a high arch, low arch, or have flat feet. Then consider the type of shoes in which you want to use an insole. Finally, figure out what your overall goal is: do you just need extra arch support? Do you pronate or supinate? Do you want extra support for athletic endeavors? Do you want cushioning? Then you can narrow down the available options. Always read the product descriptions for each insole so you have the best chance of ordering what will suit you best!

If you are looking for an insole to add cushioning to your shoes, consider the insoles from Spenco. Generally, they are among the most cushy insoles around.  If shock absorption is what you need most, check out the green insoles, like the Full Length Arch Cushions, or the Comfort Slip In Insole. Walkers and runners should consider the Unisex Walker/Runner insole, since there is targeted shock absorption for rear foot impact. The PolySorb Cross Trainer Insole is great if you need an insole for other athletic endeavors (that might require lateral motion). It also contains outstanding shock absorption. Other types of orthotic needs can be addressed by the Full Length Orthotic Arch Supports; this model not only helps absorb shock, it also helps control the position of your feet.

Superfeet insoles are also very popular. Most of them have orthotic properties. The green ones are the most popular, and are intended for sneakers or other shoes with removable insoles. The blue version is meant for lower-profile shoes (i.e. shoes that do not have removable insoles). The orange and berry versions contain added rubbery materials on the bottom for additional shock absorption. The Black DMP contains a memory foam coating on the top that molds to your foot and adds outstanding cushioning and shock absorption. (It is also very durable.) The copper contains memory foam and the energy-enhancing properties of copper. These are just a few of the insoles that Superfeet makes; just be sure that the arch support hits your foot in the right place so you’ll obtain all the benefits intended.

The Aetrex/Lynco brand also has a wide variety of orthotic insoles. Again, it’s very important to read the product descriptions of each of these orthotics; the type you choose should conform to whether you have a high or low arch, whether need extra metatarsal support, whether you pronate, supinate, or have a neutral gait (meaning, do you need a posted orthotic), and what type of shoes and activities you need them for. Need extra support for dress shoes? Check out the L500 series. Need an orthotic for athletic shoes? The Lynco L400 series is designed for just that. How about an all-purpose orthotic for casual shoes? Try the L600 series. If your shoes do not contain removable insoles, the L1100 series is perfect for them. If you love memory foam, consider the L2200 series. And if you truly want to customize your own insole, try the L2400 series; you can remove pieces of the insole in assorted places to provide customized fit and comfort.

Vionic with Orthaheel technology actually began producing insoles prior to creating shoes. These insoles contain very good arch support. If you like how Vionic shoes feel, you’ll love how the insoles feel in other brands of shoes. These are particularly helpful due to their extra padding under the ball of the foot. I personally love these in my hiking boots. With five types of insoles to choose from, Vionic with Orthaheel Technology insoles can also give you several options.

Cork-based insoles mold to your feet for a custom fit. This is one reason why Birkenstock shoes and insoles have been popular for so many years. Birkenstock makes several types of insoles, including: the Blue, which has firm support, a deep heel cup, and a very pronounced arch support. It is intended for shoes containing up to a 1.5″ heel. The Birko Balance, which has a deep arch support and maximum shock absorption. This insole is 3/4 length. The Birko Natural is also a 3/4 length insole but differs from the Birko Balance by having a soft, suede footbed liner.

Pedag also makes a variety of insoles. Some are strictly for cushioning (like the Soft Insoles or Gel Insoles), while others are specialized (like those for dress shoes, or those with metatarsal pads built in).

This is just the tip of the insole iceberg, as it were.  The best way to determine what you need is to try them out. Read the product descriptions, talk to your podiatrist, and then see what feels good to your feet. Many vendors have a 30-day refund policy if a particular insole doesn’t work out for you! Don’t suffer with foot pain when an insole or orthotic can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. Check out the myriad options available at footwearetc.com.

Footwear etc. and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge

Footwear etc. was recently challenged by one of the companies it works with, GoDataFeed.com, to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We are happy to be called out to help this incredibly worthwhile charity, but have a huge constraint: here in California, we are experiencing a severe drought. Therefore, we cannot in good conscience advocate the potential waste of water by having any of our employees dump buckets of water over their heads (although it would have been great fun to watch!).

But we DO want to help. Therefore, we are making a donation to the ALS Association.  We also want to contribute to local charities, so we are making a donation to Sunnyvale Community Services, which supports low income families and senior citizens here in the city of our company headquarters. And since we’re a shoe company, we’re making a donation to soles4souls.org – no individual should ever have to go without shoes because of lack of money. We feel very strongly about giving back to the community and helping support these valuable organizations.

If you’d like to donate to these worthy groups, click on the following:

als-association-logo-2sole4soulssunnyvale community services

 

 

 

And if you want to see celebrities doing the ice bucket challenge, go to www.ice-bucket-challenge.org.

How to Stretch Leather Shoes

Shoe Stretcher

We’ve all been there. You go and get some great new shoes, and after you wear them a couple of times, you realize that they are too tight. What can you do? You can stretch them out. How do you do this? You have a bunch of options.

One option is take the shoes to a professional. Any good shoemaker has a machine that will stretch your shoes. Just be sure to tell him exactly where the shoe feels tight so that the stretch can be customized for you. This generally takes a day or so and the cost is fairly minimal.

If you want to try to stretch your shoes at home, there are a variety of procedures you can follow. Try any of the following:

Invest in some shoe stretchers. This can be a cost-effective measure if your feet tend to swell and you experience this problem frequently. There are several options available at footwearetc.com, such as the Four Seasons Professional Shoe Stretcher.

Wear the shoes around the house for a few days. Gradual stretching over time can sometimes make a difference. If your feet get uncomfortable, take the shoes off. This procedure might be enough to make a difference so that you can wear the shoes more often/out of the house.

Stuff the shoes with socks, and leave the socks in the shoes for a few days, or at a minimum overnight. You may notice a difference even within a day.

Heat the shoes. That’s right, heat them. Put your feet in the shoes, and then aim a hair dryer set to high heat on the spots that feel tight. Keep the heat on for 20-30 seconds, and remove your shoes from your feet once the shoes have cooled. This will loosen up the leather. You might also want to add a leather conditioner to the shoe after you complete the process, to restore any moisture you’ve depleted in the shoe.

Freeze the shoes. For shoes made of materials like canvas, you can put the entire shoe in the freezer. Why does freezing work? Water expands as it freezes. If you get your shoe wet and then put it in the freezer, the water will cause the shoe to expand. Once you take it out of the freezer and let it dry, your shoe should fit more loosely.

For leather shoes, do *not* put the entire shoe in the freezer. Instead, partially fill baggie with water and freeze that. Then insert the baggie (I would double bag anything containing water) into your shoes. Once the water thaws, remove the bag from the shoes and try them on. Do not try this method with expensive shoes!

Of course the best way to have proper fitting shoes is to make sure you get the correct size in the first place. Allow for some foot swelling when you make your purchases, particularly if you are buying a pair of heels or a pair of athletic shoes. Also consider shoes that stretch naturally, like those with elastic goring, or are completely stretchy such as Arcopedico shoes or Rock Spring shoes. Getting the footwear to fit correctly in the first place can alleviate the hassle of trying to stretch them out later.