What is Gout and How to Reduce Its Effects



(Photo copyright by uvahealth.com)

If you have Gout, you understand a thing or two about severe and relentless pain. What is it and what causes it? Read on….

What is gout?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when there is an overabundance of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is the byproduct of the metabolization of compounds called purines, a step that is necessary for our body to create energy. Purines are naturally produced by our body’s cells and can be found in certain foods as well. While the generated uric acid should effortlessly be flushed by our liver and kidneys, there are times in which the body is not able to cleanse itself as fast as the rate of production. As a result, uric acid then accumulates in the bloodstream, causing a condition called hyperuricemia.  The excess uric acid takes on a crystalline form that congregates around the joints.

How does this feel? Acute Gout is characterized by the sudden onset of pain, redness and swelling, most commonly around the base of the big toe. However, other joints such as fingers, wrist, elbows, and ankles can also be affected. The first acute attack can last between 3 to 10 days. If left untreated, subsequent flare-ups can last longer and become more frequent.

Who Does Gout Affect?

Gout can affect anyone, but more often affects middle-aged men and post-menopausal women. It is often associated with the eating of rich, fatty foods and too much alcohol, earning the label “the disease of kings.” Research shows that overconsumption of beer, being overweight, and consuming foods rich with purines can indeed increase uric acid levels. While these lifestyle choices can clearly increase risks, other factors such as heredity and thyroid issues can trigger incidences of gout.


An examination of the affected region and an overview of your medical history will give your doctor the information needed to determine the underlying cause and treatment of your joint pain. Diagnostic tests may include withdrawing fluids from the area around the inflamed body part, as well as blood and urine tests.

Are there treatments for Gout?

While Gout is a chronic disease, under most circumstances it can be managed. Flare-ups can be reduced and possibly prevented with medication and/or lifestyle changes. Early intervention during an episode medication can lead to a decline in frequency of acute attacks, and prevent permanent damage to joints and the kidneys.

Home remedies

  • Ice Packs – apply cold packs or cold compresses to the area to minimize inflammation and lessen the pain. Ice the joint for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day.
  • Rest – to hasten the healing process, rest the inflicted joint on a pillow that is raised above your heart to lessen throbbing.
  • Hydrate – when you’re dehydrated, the uric acid in your blood will be more concentrated. Therefore, drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid Purines – consumption of seafood, organ meats like liver, and sweets can contribute to your uric acid imbalance. Avoid eating too many purine-rich foods and beverages; instead, focus on incorporating complex carbohydrates and fruits like apples, grapes and cranberries.

 Choosing The Right Footwear

The shoes you wear can aggravate Gout-related symptoms. Women should avoid wearing heels that put unnatural pressure on the front of their feet. Both men and women should look for shoes with wide toe boxes, so that their toes have as much room to move as possible. The outsoles should also be designed to absorb shock. Luckily, brands like Dansko,  Vionic by Orthaheel, New Balance, and Drew manufacture wellness shoes for men and women that meet all of these qualifications to provide the utmost comfort possible.

Need Slip Resistant Shoes? Try Genuine Grip!

Genuine Grip Dress

Here at Footwear etc., we get a lot of phone calls from people who need to have slip resistant shoes for work. These folks include restaurant workers, medical professionals, and even factory workers. When you need slip resistant shoes, it can mean the difference between being able to tackle your job without having to worry about safety, or falling and potentially injuring yourself on the job. No company takes this concept lightly; it can cost a tremendous amount in terms of dollars, wasted time, medical expenses, etc. If you need slip resistant shoes, GET slip resistant shoes!

A great new brand for us is Genuine Grip Footwear. They’re available for both men and women, and come in a variety of styles.  You can get them dressy, you can get them sporty, you can get them utilitarian; there’s a style for every situation. Genuine Grip’s mission is to help ensure that people avoid injuries due to falling, and their products set out to do just that.

How do they help you stay safe? It’s all in the rubber outsole. The diamond pattern and texture of the outsole is specially made to help reduce slippage. Genuine Grip uses the latest technology to ensure that the shoes perform to industry standards. In fact, all of its footwear has been tested for slip resistance by Precision Testing Laboratories using the Brungraber Mark II Slip Tester, and certified slip resistant based on ASTM Standard F1677. If these shoes can pass testing with oil, water, and shortening on tile, they MUST be slip resistant. I can think of a bunch of restaurant workers who NEED these shoes.

These shoes are not just slip resistant, they are comfortable too! The footbeds have an ergonomic design to help reduce stress on your feet, legs, and back. They’ll help you get through a full day of work! Each shoe contains a polyurethane footbed that is specifically designed to help reduce shock, and the insole also contains Dri-Lex® fabric, which is designed to reduce moisture and help keep your feet cool and dry. You might not ever find a more comfortable work shoe!

Both men and women have a variety of styles from which to choose. Men, if you need a sporty, athletic-styled shoe, check out the 1010 Jogger. It’s a great shoe for work, or for jogging around the neighborhood. This may be the only athletic shoe you’ll ever find to help reduce slippage from the rain. The women’s version of this shoe is the 1110 Jogger. It’s perfect for casual environments.

How about a dressier shoe? Men have the 7100 Oxford, and women have the 420 Oxford. Both are available in black leather, and provide a more formal appearance yet still retain their outstanding slip resistance.

For an easy-to-wear slip-on shoe, try the Men’s 4700 Slip-On, or the Women’s 410 Slip-On. With its elastic goring, you can get this shoe on and off very easily, yet still be assured of the comfort and grip you expect from any Genuine Grip shoe.

A men’s shoe that’s merges the world of slip resistance and formal attire, there’s the 9540 Dress Oxford. This is about as dressy a shoe as you’ll ever need, and still provides comfort to get through a long day of work, while supplying outstanding slip resistance. I can easily see waiters in fine dining restaurants wearing this shoe – even with a tuxedo!

Why risk an injury on the job? Check out the slip resistant shoes from Genuine Grip today. You may just avoid a nasty fall with these shoes!


Footwear etc. ♥s Mom! Make her Mother’s Day with a gift from Footwear etc!


Why We  Mom Gift Card Giveaway starts Monday, May 5, and runs through Sunday, May 11. We’re giving away one $100 gift card to one lucky Footwear etc. fan.  It’s easy to enter.  All you have to do is “Like” Footwear etc. on Facebook and use the comment space below to answer the following question:

 “Why are you thankful for mom?  Be as specific as possible in 100 characters or less.”

You have until 11:59 PM (Pacific) on Sunday May 11, 2014, to submit your answer using the comment section on Facebook. Here are the general rules for the giveaway, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our next contest!

Why We  Mom Gift Card Giveaway General Rules:

·         You must “Like” Footwear etc. on Facebook.

·         Answers to the question will be accepted at any time between May 5 and May 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Pacific).

·         You may only submit one answer and it must be 100 characters or less and relevant to the question to be eligible. Comments on somebody else’s answer will not count, neither will just saying you like or want the prize. Off-topic or inappropriate comments may be deleted.

·         Answers must be submitted using the comment section below.

·         Winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries for the week.

·         The Winner’s name will be posted and they will be notified via personal Facebook message.  Winners not responding within seven (7) days will be disqualified. Invalid or returned messages will be disqualified and a new winner will be drawn.

·         The prize for this drawing is $100 Footwear etc. Gift Card.  No substitutions, no cash-out.

·         Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win.

Fun New Socks for Men and Women!

wacky socks

Sometimes men feel gypped because they don’t necessarily have the opportunity to wear FUN socks. What I mean by FUN socks is socks that have interesting colors or patterns. A brand that clearly fits the bill is Vannucci!

Vannucci socks are anything but dull. If you like puzzles, there’s a pattern for you! Stripes? There are several patterns to choose from. Like polka dots? No problem, there’s a style you can love! Even the ubiquitous argyle/diamond pattern is represented with some striking colors. Who needs to wear boring white crew socks (or black, or brown, for that matter) when you can wear models that are far more exciting?

With Vannucci socks, you won’t sacrifice quality and comfort for style. These socks are made with mercerized cotton, which means that the cotton was treated with sodium hydroxide. This treatment makes the fibers swell. As a result, the fibers have a more lustrous appearance, feel softer, and are stronger and accept dye better.

For truly unique socks, check out the men’s K.Bell 3D socks! Yes, that’s right, you can get a 3D effect with these socks. Each pair even comes with a pair of 3D glasses! Available for both men and women, the 3D socks are not only comfortable (with their 60% cotton, there is a lot of breathability), they are a fashion statement! Perfect for parties and novelty occasions, 3D socks by K.Bell are the novelty socks you’ll show off!

Women have loads of choices available for FUN socks. Some of my very favorite novelty socks come from Hot Sox, Davco, and K.Bell. If you love puppies, you can get socks with puppies on them. If you are a cat fanatic, there are socks just for you. Love wearing socks for particular holidays? You’ll find socks reflecting almost any holiday you can think of. There are even socks with animal prints! Some of my favorite socks contain wine glasses, Hanukkah dreidels, cupcakes, and even teacups. Another popular model has flip flops – perfect for the summer wear aficionado! These novelty socks typically come 1 pair/package, and are cotton/nylon/acrylic/polyester blends that allow for breathability, durability, and overall comfort. Look for models that wick moisture to help keep your feet dry and even MORE comfortable!

Smartwool also produces particularly comfortable, decorative socks. They come in different sizes (as opposed to one size fits most), and have all of the benefits of wool socks (warmth, breathability, durability). I particularly like the Azalea. It’s a gorgeous berry color with a floral motif, but it actually has an arch brace to keep the sock in place, and mesh zones to maximize ventilation. This particular model is available in Berry Wool or Charcoal Wool, so you have several options for your wardrobe. This is an outstanding product that is will last longer than your typical non-wool product and provides loads of soft comfort for everyday wear.

If you want to add a little FUN or pizzazz to your sock wardrobe, check out the many brands available from Footwear etc. Don’t let your socks be boring!

Enjoy International Style with Spring Step Shoes!


Spring Step DynamicEuropean styling has become increasingly popular over time, and a great new brand to showcase the style and technological innovations is Spring Footwear. This brand has been around for over 20 years, and is making a big splash in the U.S. Footwear etc. is thrilled to introduce this line to its customers, and I am excited to get my hands on some of these fabulous models myself!

The Spring Step line from Spring Footwear has models that are not only gorgeous, they are incredibly comfortable. The footbeds are leather lined, which are soft and allow for breathability. Cushioning makes walking in any of these shoes a delight! Some models have padded insoles that are even removable to accommodate a custom orthotic, and all of them provide outstanding traction. What’s not to love?

I am a sucker for Gladiator-styled sandals, and the Dynamic is a gorgeous example. Available in bronze or black leather, this stunning shoe can be dressed up with cocktail attire, or even dressed down with jeans. What a completely versatile style! Spring Step paid a lot of attention to details with this shoe, given the decorative stitching on each strap, the stacked heel, and the vertical straps that go up to the ankle. You can get this shoe on and off easily with the side zipper, and you’ll love the soft, lightweight materials. This could be your most versatile and exciting shoe this season! I can’t wait to show these off!

A really fun and yet classy-looking wedge slide is the Deandrea. It has a padded footbed and soft cushioning for outstanding comfort, whip stitching for decorative accents, painted flowers on the bands crossing the top of your foot, and a decorative strip in the wedge of the shoe. The rubber outsole provides very good traction, and this shoe just exudes high fashion! This sandal is suitable to wear with almost anything in your wardrobe, and you’ll want to wear it as often as possible!

Clogs are also very popular in the Spring Step line, and a gorgeous, embellished model is the Burbank. Available in hand painted Red, Grey, Brown, or Black leather, this shoe could easily be an everyday favorite. I absolutely love the decorative stitching all around the shoe, and the leaf and flower motif on the top of the upper. I particularly value the fabulous shock absorption in the polyurethane and rubber outsole; I can wear this shoe for hours on end in complete comfort. As always with Spring Step shoes, the leather insole is lightweight, breathable, and padded for extra comfort.

Need a Mary Jane style? How about a fisherman-style sandal? If so, check out the Streetwise. It’s a sporty and casual shoe with an adjustable hook-and-loop strap. This model combines the fabulous styles of a Mary Jane with a fisherman sandal, and produces a sporty sandal for everyday wear. The leather upper and lining are very breathable (especially since there are perforations in the leather for aesthetic value as well as temperature control. The shoe is available in Bronze, Black, or White leather, and is sure to make your feet and aesthetic senses really happy. Why not give it a try?

Check out the phenomenal shoes from Spring Step. Experience high quality comfort with a European flair!