Foot Pain and Other Problems Created by Diabetes

Diabetic Insole

Diabetes, a disease involving too much glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream, can unfortunately cause many serious complications with patients’ feet.  Studies show that about 30% of diabetics older than 40 eventually develop foot problems. The two main issues that diabetics experience are diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy occurs from chronically uncontrolled diabetes, which causes nerve damage. Nerves are the wiring of our bodies and transmit information to and from the brain and the rest of the body. A result of nerve damage is loss of feeling, particularly in the legs and feet.  An additional concern is that, due to the loss of feeling, the patient might not feel it when they get a cut or sore on his/her foot. If left untreated, either is vulnerable to infection. Diabetic Neuropathy can also cause burning, tingling, and/or stabbing pain sensations in addition to the numbness, which can be debilitating.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease refers to a complication wherein blood flow to the extremities (arms, legs, and feet) is compromised and weakened. Not only is this a painful condition, it will also make the healing of cuts or sores especially difficult for the diabetic patient, and can lead to even more serious complications such as gangrene.

Gangrene occurs when tissues die due to loss of blood flow. If gangrene cannot be contained, amputation may be necessary to prevent it from spreading further across the body.

Common Foot Problems

People with diabetes should also be aware of more common foot problems, including athlete’s foot, nail fungal infections, calluses and corns, blisters, foot ulcers and ingrown toenails. While these conditions are typically treated with ease, diabetics do not heal as well as healthy people, so even relatively minor issues should be treated with extra care. Diabetics should pay extra attention to any foot issues while healing to ensure that they don’t spread or grow into bigger, more complicated issues like infections.

How to Care for Your Feet

Proper foot care can help minimize the risk of these types of problems. To ensure positive foot health, diabetic individuals should actively:

  • Examine feet daily for signs of cuts, sores, blisters, and any other sign of injury
  • Wash and dry feet each day — making sure they are completely dry before dressing
  • Rub lotion onto feet daily, except between toes
  • Get early treatment for any signs of a foot problem, no matter how minor it may appear
  • Have a doctor inspect feet at routine appointments
  • Protect feet with socks and shoes
  • Prop feet up when sitting, or wiggle toes and ankles several times daily to enhance blood flow

In addition to these tips, investing in shoes for diabetic or sensitive feet is another great way to keep feet healthy. If no existing foot conditions are present, look for a shoe made of soft materials with good shock absorption. It’s also important to pay attention to size to ensure the shoe isn’t too tight, which can cause chafing and blisters, or too large, which won’t provide good support and could lead to injury.

Diabetic insoles, which can be placed inside nearly any shoe, are designed to provide resilience, shock-absorption, and comfort. If you are looking for something that provides even more cushioning, specially designed shoes for diabetics are also available, which include specialized inserts or have additional room in them for the inclusion of insoles or orthotics. These shoes are created to help prevent foot injuries and improve mobility by relieving excessive pressure, accommodating deformities and limiting the motion of joints.

Take a look at the many products available for those affected by diabetes, at footwearetc.com.

The Top Eco-Friendly Women’s Footwear Brands Inspired By Nature

Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta

Nature has inspired many innovations in the world. The Wright Brothers studied birds in flight to get a better grasp on the physics of lift for their invention of the airplane; designers have emulated the properties of shark skins as they created swimsuits for Olympians; and a Swiss engineer invented Velcro after examining the burrs that his dog would catch in his fur, and noticed that the burrs contained hooks and loops.  The efficiency, functionality and beauty of nature continues to inspire new inventions and designs across the globe, and this is especially prominent in women’s footwear.  Here’s a rundown of some of the best women’s shoe brands inspired by nature on the market today.

Taos Footwear credits its shoe designs as being inspired by the natural beauty of the American Southwest. The company prides itself on creating comfortable but stylish women’s shoes for everyday use. Crafted from leather and fabric, its footwear is often embellished with decorations like stones and rugged buckles. Taos also does its best to support the environment by recycling in its office, building its shoe boxes out of recycled material, and choosing materials and manufacturing practices that leave as small an environmental footprint as possible.

Pikolinos is a footwear company inspired by the Mediterranean region. Following the stunning vistas and laid-back vibe of this area, Pikolinos turns out unique, thoughtful designs season after season. The respect for nature has translated into its manufacturing processes: all leather used is chromium-free, and vegetable dyes contain no toxic components.

On the other side of the world, Olukai has deep connections to the Hawaiian islands. Olukai creates shoes fit for an island lifestyle, meaning to be able to go from the beach to the forest while maintaining durability. Comfort is another priority of Olukai footwear. Olukai has coined the term, “Wet Sand Principle,” to indicate that as users walk on wet sand, their heels touch the sand first and the sand quickly fills in under the arch while their toes splay out in front. Every pair of Olukai shoes uses a footbed that adheres to this principle, providing long-lasting, anatomically-aligned comfort.

Earthies is another fabulous shoe line inspired by nature. Part of the umbrella company of Earth Brands, Inc., Earthies evolved from a company that focused on the whole-body wellness experience to that which presents a hip collection of holistic-inspired designs in earth-friendly hues, including sky blues, rich browns and vibrant reds. Earthies also takes part in Trees for the Future, whose slogan is “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree on Earth”. Its goal is to plant as many trees as possible to offset deforestation around the globe.

Born platform sandals are handcrafted using either full-grain or veg leather to create ultra-comfortable, feminine footwear. Practicality aside, these open-toe creations are works of art. Each sandal design is inspired by nature from all corners of the world, and aims to convey a youthful sense of adventure.

Lastly Birkenstock, a hugely popular company, has been creating earth-friendly and nature-inspired shoes for over a century! It’s not enough that their products are comfortable, unique and timeless; Birkenstock also strives to make sure their assembly is eco-friendly by constructing quality shoes with low waste production.  They recycle all leftover and scrap material when manufacturing, and use boxes made only with recycled paper and printed with environmentally-friendly inks.

What is your favorite line of nature-inspired, eco-friendly footwear?

Water-resistant vs. Waterproof shoes: Which Should You Purchase?

Arcopedico L19

There are many considerations you should think about when you purchase waterproof or water-resistant footwear. The distinction, and which feature to pursue, can be confusing.  In addition to selecting a style that suits you best, you need to factor in elements such as climate and weather, activities in which you’ll engage, safety, and comfort. Whether you require hiking boots for a long trek, rain boots for strolling about in springtime, or running sneakers to train for an upcoming marathon, there are many options available to you. For starters, should you opt for water-resistant or waterproof shoes?

Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof

Manufacturers use a test called a “hydrostatic head test” to determine the water resistance of footwear. This procedure determines how many millimeters of water pressure the shoe’s materials can withstand before being permeated. The properties of water resistant shoes differ from those of waterproof shoes; do not automatically assume that you need a waterproof shoe. Sometimes water-resistant shoes are better for your application.

When to Choose Water-Resistant Shoes

For any activity that occurs in a humid or damp environment, a breathable, water-resistant shoe may be the better choice. Water-resistant footwear offers more versatility in terms of style and material, where typical textiles include leather, treated canvas, vinyl and nylon. Options like Merrell’s walking shoes are crafted to keep your feet cool and dry both inside and out, as cooling air passes through the shoe to prevent the buildup of perspiration.

The increased number of available fabrics and materials can make water-resistant footwear more fashion-oriented as well. For example, many of the Arcopedico boots feature metallic, snakeskin, and bright motifs while offering water-resistant properties.

You can also add water resistance to footwear by using a spray like Cadillac All Weather Shield Water Repellent. This is an easy to provide extra protection if you have a favorite pair of hiking or running shoes that you’d like to wear in wet weather. Suede shoes can also gain protection by the use of water repellent sprays.

When to Choose Waterproof Shoes

Waterproof shoes aren’t just clunky rain boots. You can find them in a wide variety of styles, from business casual to athletic. You can waterproof some styles at the expense of breathability. However, due to the use of synthetic materials, many brands at Footwear etc. have utilize the waterproof material, GORE-TEX ™. This lightweight, breathable material is highly effective at at keeping your feet dry.

The Women’s MBT Chakula GTX GORE-TEX® is a great example of an athletic shoe that allows for the evaporization of foot moisture, and it is light and versatile enough to be used for most any sport or activity. Conversely, the Ecco Sculptured GTX is a casual women’s slip-on that is ideal for activities like shopping and moderate walking. The great thing about these two models is that they contain ergonomic features that can help provide extra comfort and reduce the chance of injuries.

Check out the wide variety of waterproof and water resistant products at Footwearetc.com!

 

 

 

How to Treat and Prevent Foot Odor

Four Seasons Odor Away

Foot odor is annoying and embarrassing regardless of the climate you live in. Since odor is more prevalent during warm weather, your usual foot-washing routine may not be enough to clear up the problematic aroma. Fortunately, the problem can be treated with good hygiene and the proper footwear. By following these few simple suggestions, you can successfully keep your feet cooler, drier and less pungent.

Tips for Keeping Your Feet Clean

To start, get into the habit of exfoliating to remove excess dead skin cells once or twice per week; this will keep your feet from harboring bacteria, which is the generator of odor. Wash your feet with an antibacterial soap, tea-tree-oil based soap, or any mild soap of your choice daily.

Many items you can find around your kitchen will also help to clean and deodorize your feet. Cornstarch, baking soda, vinegar, salt and tea are cheap, easy and effective solutions that you likely already own. Try a few of the following to see which works best for you:

  • Two tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in warm water
  • Two tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in warm water
  • Half cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Half cup table salt or Epsom salt dissolved in water
  • Five bags of tea, brewed (can be soaked using warm or cold tea)

After one of these relaxing soaks, dry your feet thoroughly, paying attention to the area between your toes, as moisture is the main culprit that creates the unpleasant smell. You can also give your feet a quick swipe with the deodorant you use under your arms. Note: apply deodorant to your feet at night before you go to sleep so that it has a chance to absorb into your skin and not create a slippery situation.

Sandals can help keep your feet cool and dry, but if your feet need to be covered, remember that leather and canvas are optimal materials for breathability. If you wear shoes with socks, try cotton or any socks that excel in moisture-wicking properties.

Give your shoes a break between wearings. Instead of wearing the same pair two days in a row, leave them at home with a few sprinkles of cornstarch, baking soda, talcum or medicated (such as antifungal) foot powder until you wear them again. Cedar chips, cedar balls, or dried sage leaves can also help deodorize your shoes.

Footwear etc. carries a variety of foot odor removal products, including sandal cleaners and deodorizers, Odor Away spray, shoe fresheners, and specialized insoles and shoe and foot odor removal products. Customers have found these to greatly aid in abating foot odor.

You don’t have to suffer with foot odor! If the problems persist after you try the aforementioned suggestions, speak with your doctor for further recommendations.

New Balance 980 Shoes: A Brand New Running Experience!

New Balance 980

If you’re looking for a new experience in running shoes, check out the New Balance 980. It contains a brand new technology called Fresh Foam, which is created from a single piece of foam. Why does this make a difference in your running experience? Read on….

New Balance had the sense to take actual runners’ data and incorporate that into a shoe that could suit their needs. Answering the calls for lightweight, stable, high performance running shoes, the 980 has shown it has what runners want.

The 980s have a lower midsole, to give you a more natural feel under your feet. Yet the Fresh Foam is very soft and stable. It has an approximately 4 mm drop as you run, and the outsole is made from blown rubber. The cushioning really sets this model apart from the rest. Some users have reported that it feels like you’re running on a cloud, or even cotton balls!

The breathable mesh definitely helps keep your feet cool and dry, a necessity in a high performance shoe. This is in keeping with a minimal upper, so the performance features really occur in the rest of the shoe.

Not only does the cushioning make a huge difference, there are no sew overlays on the mesh upper. This is important because there are no seams to potentially rub your feet and potentially irritate them.

There have been a lot of positive reviews in an assortment of running magazines, such as:

Awarded “Best Ride” in the Competitor Magazine Spring Shoe Guide (March 2014)
Awarded “Best Neutral Running Shoe” by Running Network (March 2014)
Featured in Prevention Magazine’s “2014 Awards, Sneaker Buying Guide” (April 2014)

Interested in a great new running shoe? Try out the New Balance 980s. See if they can help improve your performance as you enjoy the fabulous new technology. See them at footwearetc.com today!