Got Plantar Fasciitis?

One of the ailments we hear about the most is Plantar Fasciitis. It can hit you completely out of the blue; one morning you can just wake up with tremendous heel pain. Pain can occur at any time of the day, but it tends to be most prevalent when you first wake up – even before your feet hit the floor! Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by inadequate arch support, obesity, stress on the feet due to walking and standing, and even running. Inflammation of the Plantar Fascia sheath (which runs from the heel to to the toes) can be debilitating! This is a very common problem, and Footwear etc. carries a lot of products that address this issue.

Toning shoes like MBTs, Skechers, and Sano by Mephisto are extremely helpful in terms of keeping the plantar fascia stretched as you walk. This can alleviate the pain in your heel and arch, and can dramatically improve your quality of life. Other types of shoes that are helpful include rocker sole shoes, including Dansko, Aravon, Alegria, and FitFlop. Shoes with outstanding support (thus protecting the arch and having deep heel cups for comfort) include Orthaheel/Dr. Andrew Weil, Mephisto, and Naot. You’ve got lots of choices of styles to choose from.

 A specific product that many doctors recommend is the Strassburg Sock. This sock keeps the foot flexed, so that the plantar fascia can remain in a stretched position. The ideal time to wear this product is at night, so that pain can be alleviated first thing in the morning. Some users even report that the Strassburg Sock helps them heal faster!

The Strassburg Sock is essentially a tube sock with adjustable straps that keep your foot in a neutral (or slightly flexed) position. It’s easy to use, and over time can actually help strengthen the arch of your foot. An especially nice feature is that the Strassburg Sock does not lock your ankle in any one position so that you can move the joint around as your comfort level requires you to.

Another product that many find helpful in alleviating symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis is the Pedag Holiday ¾ Insole. Pedag products are endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association, so you can feel confident that they’re good for your feet. This particular insole is thin enough to fit into most shoes, yet has a firm longitudinal arch. The soft heel cushion relieves pressure on the heel, soft pads support the metatarsal area, and the overall design helps relieve pronation and flattening of the foot. This product is highly recommended for those with Plantar Fascia since it provides excellent support and helps keep your feet in alignment. Definitely worth a try to see if it helps you!

You don’t have to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. Consider these products to help you get back on your feet again – without pain!

A Bag for Every Season…Or Every Month…Or Every Week….

My mother always subscribes to the belief of changing your handbag seasonally. I always change my handbag based on what I need it for! Some friends of mine like having handbags in every color of the rainbow, and practically every size in existence. Fortunately, Footwear etc. carries many handbags that fit the bill!

AmeriBag has a fabulous line of bags called Healthy Back Bags. These are ergonomically designed to contour to the natural shape of your body. They reduce stress on the back , neck, and shoulders by distributing the weight throughout the length of your back instead of just in those places. They’re not only kind to your back, they are also stylish and feature lots of pockets in which you can stash your essentials. Available in a rainbow of colors, sizes, and shapes, you can’t go wrong with an AmeriBag! My “wish list” contains the AmeriBag Healthy Back Bag in espresso leather. Hm, who can I entice to get one for me?

Hobo makes a fantastic array of bags in soft leathers or microfiber. The assortment of sizes and colors give you all sorts of fashion choices! Some days I need a big bag to hold *everything*, so I particularly love the Hobo Lola in Stone Leather. The top zip closure makes it nice and secure, and the specialized pockets for cell phones and eyewear, as well as having a secure pocket for bills and such are added bonuses! Really versatile bag, great for holding everything you’d need during the day!

Need a bag for when you’re out walking, or doing sports? Amphipod makes a variety of small bags that you can attach to your clothing, or strap around your waist. I love the Amphipod Micropack Land Sport bags. They clip to the inside of your waistband, and can hold keys, your ID, and even an IPOD or small phone. This is the perfect little pouch for when you need your hands free and want something lightweight to hold just a few items. It’s also available in a variety of colors; what goes with your wardrobe?

So expand your accessories collection with AmeriBag, Hobo and Amphipod products. You can find a bag for every mood, every day, every occasion!

Birkenstock and Birki’s Shoes – They Mold to Your Feet!

Did you know that Birkenstockhas been making shoes since 1774? While there have been a few style changes, the overall design is much as it was back then. Birkenstock’s premise is that they use REAL products, like cork, jute and leather. These products allow your feet to breathe, and mold to your feet, thus providing a custom fit. And their patented footbed really sets this brand apart: there is a pronounced arch support, deep heel cup, and a roomy toe box. The footbed adapts to the shape of your feet! And the EVA sole is flexible and durable. Another great feature of Birkenstocksis that they come in narrow and regular widths. I’ve heard of many people who feel that Birkenstocks are the most supportive shoes they’ve ever owned! You can also have these shoes rebuilt once they show signs of wear!

Birkenstock’s flagship shoe is the Arizonasandal. The two buckle straps allow you to adjust the width of the shoe, and since it’s a slide the shoe is easy to get on and off. Available in smooth leathers in Hunter Brown, Cortina Brown, Antique Peat and Hunter Black, and in suedes in mocha, taupe, cocoa and black, these shoes are basic, classic, and extremely comfortable.

Clogs are also part of Birkenstock’s collection. The Boston has that great footbed that molds to your foot, but with an enclosed toe box. Yet even though it’s a clog, you can still adjust the fit with the buckle. I’ve seen people wear these shoes with dressier clothes, particularly the models that have smooth leather uppers. I like the versatility that this style brings to the collection. Available in smooth brown leather or in a variety of suede colors, there’s a clog here for everyone.

Birki’sare considered part of the Birkenstock brand, but are designed for casual family use. The cork footbed is moldable to your feet, and is replaceable when it wears out. The biggest difference in the Birki clogs is that the uppers are made from polyurethane, which makes them not only very durable but also water resistant. These are great clogs to wear out in the garden or in the kitchen!

One popular model is the Birki’s Profi. It has flexible polyurethane uppers, the moldable/washable footbed, and is lightweight and shock absorbent. It’s a great clog to help reduce fatigue if you need to stand a lot during the day. I love all the color choices of this clog: black, blue, red, white, and green! Lots of happy colors for happy activities!

Birkenstock and Birki’sare terrific sandals and clogs that mold to your feet and use natural cork in the footbed for outstanding support. Check out the shoes that have some of the most loyal customers there are!

Fantastic Easy-to-Wear Flats!

Sometimes I just don’t feel like wearing heels. Sure, heels make me look a little taller, and they can look very elegant, but they’re just not as easy to wear as flats are. I’ve discovered that you can have dressy flats as well as casual flats, so I don’t have to feel compelled to wear heels all the time. Footwear etc. carries many brands that include casual to dressy flats in their collections, and here are some that really caught my eye!

Clarks Un.Beam – the beauty of Clarks shoes is that they tend to be very cushioned, so your feet feel like you’re walking on clouds! The Un.Beam is no exception; the soft, leather lining and footbed cradle your feet in cushioned comfort. This is also a great shoe to wear from work to a night on the town; it goes great with jeans or dressier attire. I also love the available colors: black, graphite, and bronze metallic. I think they’ll go with everything I own!

Indigo by Clarks Berry Blossom – the Indigo by Clarks collection is specifically designed for those of us who love to mix and match clothing and accessories to create a look that’s all your own. The Berry Blossom is an adorable, yet dressy shoe that provides all the comfort you’d expect in a Clarks shoe. Easy to slip on, easy to wear with a lot of different types of outfits. I particularly like it with skinny jeans, or skirts. My favorite color is the purple leather, but it also comes in brown and black.

Privo by Clarks Doting – this particular collection excels in casual style. What sets it apart is its unique soleassage technology. Imagine a built-in massager in your shoes! The insole has numerous textured bumps that are intended to massage your feet and help reduce fatigue throughout the day. The Doting has all of these features along with a cute, casual leather and nubuck upper that you’ll love to sink your feet into. These could easily be my perfect “let’s go shopping” shoes. No mall could beat me in these comfy flats! I’m especially fond of the grey, but they also come in eggplant and black.

Ecco Bouillon – I LOVE these dressy flats. They can be girly, they can be dressy, they can be casual. A flat for every mood? Why not? The Bouillon comes in both a casual and a dressy form (the “Casual Bouillon” vs. the “Bouillon”). Yet even some of those called “Casual” can still work as dressy shoes. A great example of this is the Ecco Casual Bouillon. The red leather version is especially fun, and would lift anyone’s mood! Ecco is known for having very good support and cushioning in its shoes, so you can’t go wrong with this brand either.

Mephisto Kalmina – Who doesn’t love superior quality, hand-made shoes? That’s the way to truly pamper your feet! You can get this with Mephisto models like the Kalmina. This is a fabulous, easy-to-wear flat that comes in black suede, brown suede, and black nappa leather. Mephisto shoes are wonderful for walking, and are known for their stability, comfort, and durability. The high-quality materials used in Mephisto shoes include leather, cork, latex and rubber, which makes all of their shoes – including the Kalmina – feel fantastic. The Kalmina is an elegant slip-on flat that is versatile enough to wear for a variety of occasions. You won’t be disappointed in the superior quality of these shoes.

Allrounder by Mephisto Estelle – I have to admit, the first thing I noticed about this shoe is that it has the same name as my mother! But when I looked further, I really loved the style. The Allrounders differ from other Mephisto shoes only in that you can’t replace the insole, but these durable shoes will last a long time anyway. The Estelle has a breathable lining that keeps your feet cool and dry, and the caoutchouc rubber outsole provides excellent traction. The stylish cross strap helps you get a custom fit! I’d feel very comfortable wearing these shoes if I need to do a lot of walking during my day, yet I won’t be sacrificing style for comfort. The Estelle is available in black as well as off-white for your fashion choices!

Merrell Marina – here’s a happy, summery shoe! The Marina is one of those shoes you’d love to just slip into on the weekends. Merrell makes rugged shoes, and this shoe is no exception, but it doesn’t look like you need to go tromping through the woods. This cute “boat shoe” style has great cushioning and a rugged sole, with an air cushion in the heel for added comfort. The footbed is soft to the touch and treated with an antimicrobial solution to help prevent odor. And I love the sporty style! Check it out in ivory, ink, and brown leather.

So many flats, so easy to wear! Choose one of the many flats available from Footwear etc. to augment your wardrobe. One for every mood? One for every color in your wardrobe? One for every day of the week? Why not?

Keeping Your Body Realigned with Orthaheel/Dr. Andrew Weil Shoes

As I took my car in for a realignment recently, I realized that keeping our bodies realigned isn’t something we tend to pay attention to until there’s a problem! Why we are so attuned to the stuff around us rather than our own well being will forever be a mystery to me, but I digress….so many of us have pain caused by basic alignment issues. As we compensate for biomechanical problems, we can end up with all sorts of join pain in our feet, knees, ankles, etc. All too often we wear shoes that we think look great but don’t actually provide the support and alignment we really need to be healthy. That’s where Orthaheel and Dr. Andrew Weil shoes save the day!

The premise of these shoes is to ensure that your feet are properly supported so that they can function optimally. Orthaheel and Dr. Andrew Weil shoes are designed with orthotic properties to help reduce pronation, stabilize the heel, absorb shock, and reduce stress on the joints.

Orthaheel makes a bunch of models in a variety of styles that are truly kind to your feet. Dr. Andrew Weil, an internationally-recognized pioneer in the health and wellness field, endorses Orthaheel products and actually came up with his own line of Orthaheel-made shoes as well.

Within the Orthaheel and Dr. Andrew Weil lines, there are so many different styles to choose from, you can definitely find a comfortable shoe for every situation. I do have to say that the flip flops are absolutely THE most comfortable I have ever worn. They have all the perks of traditional flip flops, with outstanding support. I could walk for hours in them! And you can even get slippers with all that support. Phenomenal!

I also really love the Orthaheel walkers. They’ve got full-grain leather uppers, with mesh to allow breathability. They offer all of the fabulous properties of Orthaheel shoes, and even have a mid-foot stabilizer to control the motion of your feet as you walk. The removable orthotic even has an antibacterial top cloth to help control foot odor! These shoes make walking easy!

Help keep your body aligned properly with Orthaheel and Dr. Andrew Weil shoes. You’ll really feel the difference!