Fall Means Sock Season

Avoid Cotton Socks in the Sock Season of Fall and WinterWhen it comes to your foot health socks are usually over shadowed by the search for the best exterior footwear. However, choosing the right socks is a highly important part of keeping your feet (and general health ) in the best condition.  When the seasons are changing and the weather is turning colder it’s well worth the effort to stock up on the appropriate socks. Sock Season should not be taken lightly.

Cotton Socks Simply Don’t Work in the Sock Season

Like most people, your sock drawer is probably crowded full of a wide variety of styles and colors of cotton socks.

The reason cotton socks are absolutely terrible choices for cool weather is because they have little insulation value and because they absorb and hold moisture. Worse yet, once a cotton sock is wet, it loses all insulation value. The end result of wearing cotton socks during the winter is that as your foot perspires the sock absorbs the moisture and then holds it, thereby coating your foot with a slick film of water while losing all insulation value in the process.

Blended Wools are Best

For cold weather, a sock made of wool, IsoWool, shearling, fleece and similar type synthetic materials must be used. The reason these types socks are excellent for winter wear is because if the socks get wet (due to excessive perspiration from the foot), the socks themselves do not lose their insulating properties. Additionally, the various styles of synthetic socks are also generally far thicker than a standard thin cotton sock, allowing the sock to absorb far more moisture.  Moreover, and one of the neatest features of these types of socks, is that dry themselves out by simply being worn. The body heat of a person can actually dry out these types of socks.

Winter socks aren’t just for outdoor use, either. If you suffer from cold feet while just sitting at home, as many people do, take a look at the socks you wear. If they are made from cotton, regardless of how thick or stylish they might be, you might as well be sitting around barefoot as the sock is potentially doing more harm than good.

Remember, in cold weather, particularly if you engage in strenuous activities, avoid any socks that has any cotton content in it. Your foot will be thankful to you for it.

Reference: http://www.bigskyfishing.com/snow-boots/winter-sock.php

4 Types Of Summer Shoes To Avoid

Summer is usually the time for your feet to get that sun exposure, and feel more open. Feeling this way can lead you in acquiring summer shoes that will cause more harm than good. The Step by Step Foot Care Clinic in Toronto, Canada has prepared an excellent article with an infographic on 4 types of summer shoes to avoid for healthy feet.

Summer is a grand adventure of freedom and fun in the sun for all who choose to enjoy it. Kids wander around barefoot in the dirt, dragging their favorite toys with them while adults slip on a pair of their favorite summer shoes and go about their day.

It sounds like all it takes is a comfy pair of flip-flops or sandals to relax comfortably in the heat. However, the long-term effects of wearing what most consider summer shoes can have quite an uncomfortable effect on the body, especially the spine.

Your Feet Require Structure

Just because summer lacks structure doesn’t mean your shoes should. For some reason, many shoe manufacturers ignore the important role supportive shoes play when it comes to maintaining a healthy spine. Fashionable shoes have become a trend resulting in more foot pain and anywhere else on the body.

Here are 4 types of summer shoes you should avoid wearing:

1 – Flat Sandals

Flat shoes of any kind don’t provide shock absorption for your feet, and wearing them could result in stress fractures in your feet and toes. Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone; in this case, they are caused by the repetitive force that occurs when your feet land on the ground without proper shock absorption.

Cracked heels are also a potential danger

Wearing flat sandals regularly makes you more susceptible to stress fractures. It can also lead to cracked heels. With sandals, you lacked the heel support. You heel support holds your heel’s fat pad in place, as you walk. When there are no support surrounding it, your heel squishes outward with every step. This squishing causes your skin to stretch out and eventually crack. Given that the summer is usually hot, if your skin is dry, you’re more likely to develop heel cracks because your skin won’t be as elastic as it should be.

Heel cracks can lead to bacterial infections

Heel cracks might not seem like a big deal when they’re small, but anytime you have an open sore, no matter how small, it’s an invitation for bacteria to get inside and create illness in the body.

Bacteria that infects cracked heels can lead to cellulitis, warts, and even athlete’s foot. Having any kind of bacterial or viral infection in your feet can be extremely painful, and can make it hard to function on a daily basis. Routine tasks that require walking or standing can become painful, and if you rely on being on your feet for work, you may end up missing some hours.

Tips to Avoid Cracked Heels and Infection

If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your beloved sandals behind, look for sandals that offer some kind of heel support or straps that wrap around your ankle. This style may not be appealing to you so consider  trading in your flat sandals for a different style that provides full support for your feet. basically, you are looking for a support you’d find in a tennis shoe.

If you do end up with a fungal infection, remember that fungal infections are contagious and can spread to other parts of your body. Be sure to keep your feet dry and don’t wear shoes that will provide the dark, damp environment fungus thrives in.

Applying a soothing peppermint and lavender balm to your heels before your day starts will increase the elasticity of your skin and keep your heels moisturized. Different balms exist in spa’s and online. You don’t even need to buy an expensive balm. You can make your own with a few drops of essential oils in a carrier oil like coconut oil. Simply add some cocoa or Shea butter to your coconut oil and you will have a good supply on hand for future use.

2- Flip-Flops

There’s a reason they’re called flip flops – that’s the sound the thin strips of rubber make when they reconnect with your foot after each step. Just like flat sandals, flip-flops don’t provide any shock absorption for your feet.

If you have sciatica, avoid flip-flops completely.

When walking in flip-flops, you have to slightly curl your toes to keep them from sliding off your feet when you walk. Walking with your toes curled shortens your stride and reduces the amount of time your feet spend in contact with the ground you’re walking on. Walking this way puts more pressure on your lower spine and can increase your sciatic pain.

Tips to Avoid Flip-flop Induced Back Problems

Never run in flip-flops. Running in flip-flops should be avoided for basic safety reasons, but it’s also hard on your feet and can cause stress fractures.

If you have to wear flip flops, find a pair with a thicker, contoured sole that will prevent you from walking with your toes curled.

Step by Step Foot care Clinic on 4 types of summer shoes to avoid

3 –  Clogs

A 2010 study on the effects of footwear and osteoarthritis of the knee concluded that wearing clogs increased the load on a person’s knees by up to 15% compared to regular walking shoes and even flip-flops. This means clogs are worse than flip-flops if you have arthritis in your knees.

4 Types of summer Shoes to Avoid - Clogs

Tips for Avoiding Painful Feet with Clogs

If you’re going to wear clogs, carry a pair of sneakers in your car, just in case. You’ll be glad you did!

4 – Chucks

Who hasn’t owned a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers at some point in their life? They might be fashionable for summer but, unfortunately, they’re absolutely flat and provide no support for any part of your feet.

Tips for Increasing Support in (almost) Any Shoe

If your favorite shoes are on this list and you’re not ready to part ways, consider using custom orthotics in your Chucks or other regular shoes (even boots).

Custom orthotics are superior to over the counter supports purchased in the store. These types are more tailored to your personal needs and care. Custom orthotic foot braces are designed to control abnormal foot function while re-establishing your proper weight distribution. It is particularly important when you walk since it will improve your overall biomechanics.

Thank You to the Step by Step Clinic for their very insightful article on the 4 types Of summer shoes to avoid.

 

Dr. Alnoor Landhi

Dr. Landhi is chiropodist at the Step by Step Foot Care Clinic in Toronto. She has published many articles on foot care and is true advocate of foot care in the Toronto area.

Ways to Revitalize Your Aging Feet

What Causes Our Feet to Age?

Like any body parts our feet get old leading to other health complications resulting in physical limitations. In order to remedy the situation, you can always revitalize your aging feet utilizing different methods.

Throughout the years our feet get a lot of abuse without even noticing it. The constant pressure and weight endured can make them prone to injuries and fatigue. You might aw well add to these foot problems, the creation  of microorganisms, and infections which may spread through your whole body.

Since our feet are often taken for granted, finding the required preventive care can be cumbersome. On many occasions, it is up to us to find the solutions addressing the required preventive care. As we go along through life, this preventive care must focus on issues such as: poor circulation, muscle and bone aches, and  infections originating bacteria’s and fungi.

Composition of our Feet

When we age, our feet have a tendency to lose this fatty protection, we’ve come accustomed to. Coupled with photo-aging, your skin on your feet becomes wrinkled and lose its natural elasticity. Your soft skin you felt when you were rubbing your feet at 20, is much more leathery and rough. This process give your feet an undesirable appearance while depreciating your health overall.

Scientists and doctors have experimented and discovered natural agents to revitalize aging feet. They emanate from essential oils and extracts from various plants. Eucalyptus is a perfect example. These agents contribute greatly in energizing and protecting our older feet.  With protected healthy feet comes a better sense of well-being and the need to be more active even happy. As you get older, it turns out to be more important. A younger and healthier appearance will also block any potential infections and illnesses.

Exfoliating your feet can help your feet immensely while giving your feet the soft and silky skin you want. You can find this article, we published on exfoliating your feet a few months ago, which could benefit you greatly.

If you look at the structure and composition of your feet, you’ll be amazed to know it encompasses 25% of all the body’s bones. In addition, to cover these bones, the thickest layer of skin can be found on your feet.  Think of your feet as the shock absorbers, the propulsion and the wheels of your car. A lot of stress is demanded from your feet daily.

Despite the fact, your feet have a generous layer of skin and a substantial amount of padding, they are also vulnerable and sensitive. You see, the soles of your feet consist of a lot of pressure-sensitive nerves. Actually, they have the most pressure-sensitive nerves than the rest of the whole body. Finally, these tactile nerve endings also occupy more room in the sensory cortex of the brain than the entire torso.

Revitalize Your Aging Feet With This Preventive Care List

Below are some important information you will need to know in order to revitalize your aging feet.

Aging Feet Information
  • While the foot is one of the most widely utilized parts of the body, most of us neglect proper foot care.
  • The feet are not only subjected to tremendous mechanical stress, they must also resist fungal and bacterial infections, ultraviolet-light exposure, dehydration, and everyday aches and pains.
  • Natural substances such as essential oils, herbal essences, antioxidants, and plant-derived fatty acids can help your feet look and feel younger.
  • Eucalyptus oil and menthol will cool and soothe foot discomfort while promoting a clean and fresh feeling.
  • Tea-derived antioxidants fight free radical-induced damage caused by toxins and maintain youthful skin structure and appearance.
  • Squalene replenishes the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Coconut oil softens skin while fighting microbial invaders. Shea butter provides skin-healing vitamin E while lessening discoloration and healing chapped skin.
  • Essential steps in optimal foot care include gently washing the feet with mild soap, exfoliating calloused skin with a scrub or pumice, patting feet dry, and regularly applying a high-quality, skin-protective foot cream.

Conclusion

Aging is not a reversible process. But it is always possible to slow it down by taking actions. Our feet, like many other body parts need to have this preventive care so it doesn’t result in further complications later in life.

Your feet deserve the best of care especially during later life when there is are risks of infection, photoaging, dehydration, and daily aches and pain. Remember as you age, those risks increase. Do the simple things like washing them regularly and using good foot cream containing natural, health-promoting ingredients.

The use of natural agents and botanical extracts should also be considered to help revitalize your aging feet. Having healthy feet will make you happier and more active.

Terry Metzger

Terry is podiatrist in the United States and is regular contributor to Foot Revitalize. His vast expertise in the foot care industry is a valuable asset to Foot Revitalize. He has been a podiatrist for the last 6 years.