Let’s say you had another day that dragged on forever at the office. You come home and can barely muster up the strength to do anything with your family. You’re crabby and irritable. How can you break the cycle of this happening one more day?
The answer is to think about your feet and the insoles in your shoes. Whenever you can’t pinpoint why you’re tired, you will have to think outside the box to find an answer. The bottom line is that if your feet aren’t totally supported during the day, there’s no way you are going to feel totally supported at the end of the day. The solution is truly to support your feet via the use of insoles – and especially if you’re standing most of the day or even for a few hours, it’s time to get some sturdy insoles.
You might think this is all just a marketing plot to get more sales at The Insole Store but it’s not. Think back to when your feet feel good. Your psychological state follows your feet.
Try an experiment. Get a foot massage after work one day and see what happens. If you’re like most people, you’ll have a surge of energy that is quite incredible. You may even feel that you want to go dancing. Or go somewhere special with your family.
Where did all this energy come from? It came from your feet.
But here’s the interesting part. Wearing insoles in your shoes that support your feet is like getting that foot massage after work. All you have to do is select a pair that matches your feet. For example, if you have size 10 shoes, then you get size 10 insoles. If you have flat feet, you get a pair that is designed for flat feet. If you stand a lot at work, you need a pair of insoles for standing.
When you consider what types of insoles to purchase, you can purchase them for a specific purpose. Here’s a list of different ways to determine what you need:
• Insoles by brand name
• Insoles by activity, such as walking, running, golf, hockey and winter sports, cleated sports, casual shoes, court sports, or cycling. Of course, insoles for dress shoes are also a distinct possibility here.
• Insoles for a specific type of pain. Many insoles may be recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association because they reduce pain for different conditions.
• Insoles for high heels
• Insoles for big and tall men and women
• Insoles made from leather or wool
• Industrial / work insoles
• Sandal insoles
It’s a lot to think about but best to know what is available before you get started.
Now let’s be honest. Get out your shoes from the closet and take a look at them. Is it time for a shoe makeover?
There are two things to consider to determine whether a shoe makeover is needed or not: what’s the status of the outside of the shoe and what’s the status of the insole on the inside of the shoe. Full Story
Even the name “Oofos Sandals” sounds like fun, and when you’re outside in the summertime at the beach, at a festival, on a date, or sightseeing, you want to be having fun.
There’s nothing funny about Oofos sandals themselves. The designers call them Oofos because of the special type of foam called Oofoam used in them that impacts the way your foot absorbs shock from walking. With Oofos foam in the sandal, your foot can absorb 37% more impact – without fatiguing. This makes it a perfect sandal to wear after pretty hard athletic workouts. Full Story
Watching a ballerina move gracefully on stage is an amazing thing when you realize that she is most likely affected with hammer toe, corns, calluses, bunions and a lot of pain in her feet and toes. She’ll spend at least half an hour after the performance nursing her feet out of pain by soaking them in a cold foot bath just to decrease the inflammation.
It’s the unnatural act of stuffing one’s feet into an unsupported shoe that’s usually too tight that can be a culprit in the development of hammer toe in a ballerina. And you’ll never hear a ballerina ask the question, what is hammer toe? She feels that she could probably lecture to a class at a podiatry school about the topic, and provide plenty of firsthand info.
What Is Hammer Toe Exactly?
Usually if you’re asking the question, what is hammer toe, you don’t have the condition. A hammer toe is a toe that literally becomes shaped like a hammer. The big toe and smallest 5th toe are rarely affected, but the other toes are commonly seen affected. And ballerinas aren’t the only ones at risk of developing a hammer toe.
Hammer toes develop from squeezing the toes together, which forces the muscles into a contracted position – one that looks like a hammer. The more often the squeezing is repeated, the more the toes tighten until they can’t relax anymore. Without any hammer toe treatment, toes are permanently bent into the deformed position.
Some foot experts believe that people with flexible hammer toes – ones that haven’t become permanently deformed – can be significantly relieved. They say that the answer is to strengthen the anterior tibial muscles – the shin bone muscles which allow you to bring your toes upwards towards the sky from a flat footed position. A physical therapist might do this type of strengthening exercise when the foot is supinated (when the outer part of the foot rolls to try to get the bottom of the foot to face the sky.
The experts say that this makes a big difference in the condition. It’s possible, if they are right, that hammer toes could be caused by muscle imbalances, and although squeezing the toes together hard can contribute to their formation, it’s possible that many other foot conditions are the result of muscle imbalances.
Symptoms of Hammer Toes
The obvious sign of hammer toe is the deformity itself. But along with the deformity, you can have these symptoms:
1. Pain in the affected toe
2. Redness in the affected toe
3. Swelling around the joint
4. Stiffness in the toe joints
5. Difficulty walking; abnormal gait
6. Difficulty finding shoes that fit
7. Corns and calluses
How to Consciously Create Hammer Toes
There are four sure ways to end up with hammer toes.
1. Wear high heels which compress the toes, and wear them all day long.
2. Wear tight shoes for long periods of time.
3. Wear the narrowest shoes you have in your closet, and do it often. Don’t let pain stop you!
4. Never see a podiatrist when you have foot pain, especially when your toes look like little hammers.
Arthritis also may be a cause of hammer toes. And diabetics with a condition called peripheral neuropathy where they lose feeling of their feet also develop the condition more frequently than the non-diabetic population. They can’t feel the tightness in the toes when the toes contract.
A Little Hammer Toe Can’t Possibly Cause Anything Else To Go Wrong
If you believe the above statement, unfortunately you are wrong.
If hammer toes are allowed to progress, they can end up causing an abnormal gait which can lead to other problems with the body in the knee, hip and back. The body is all connected together so when one part suffers, the other parts try to make up for the pain, creating new imbalances. So if you have hammer toes, now is the time to do something about them.
One other big problem with hammer toes is that it becomes difficult to find shoes that fit a foot with hammer toes.
PICTURE: BUNION PIC WITH CORN
Another major issue is that because the toe is elevated in one part, that elevated part becomes more prone to develop a callus or a corn or a blister. Hammer toes are especially a problem for those with diabetes because corns will easily grow on top of a hammer toe or on the tip of the curving toe.
Ways To Relieve And Treat Hammer Toe
There are things you can do TODAY to relieve your hammer toe. And why not get started since pain really isn’t a fun thing to deal with in life. If you can relieve one type of pain in your body this month, and another pain next month, you will only begin to feel better and better as time goes on.
Here are the ways to relieve pain of hammer toes:
1. Metatarsal pads and ball of foot pads are an important part of the treatment for hammer toes. These support the transverse metatarsal arch of the foot. See the picture of what this arch looks like. Metatarsal pads are worn under the ball of the foot. People who have pain under the ball of the foot find relief from them.
Ball of foot pads and hammer toe cushions relieve pressure and can straighten the toes.
PICTURE: SPENCO GEL INSOLES
2. Spenco Gel Comfort Insoles are full length insoles that support three parts of the foot: the heel, medial arch, and metatarsals. It’s possible that Spenco Gel Comfort Insoles could eliminate the need for metatarsal pads or ball of foot pads, since they are built into this insole. The metatarsal arch support is great because now you’ll feel less pressure on the balls of your feet. And the heel support absorbs a majority of the impact when your foot first hits the ground for a new step.
And since they are filled with gel that softens your steps, Spenco Gel Comfort Insoles could make you feel like you’re walking on clouds. By the way, while you’re literally up in heaven, you don’t have to worry about smelly feet because the antimicrobial top cloth keeps fighting foot bacteria and without bacteria, there is no smell.
As you can see, the purpose of Spenco Gel Comfort insoles is to redistribute your weight upon walking inside your shoe. Insoles can make a big difference when there are biomechanical problems of the feet.
3. Wear wide shoes that give your toes room! No more squeezing them into small spaces.
4. Stretch those tight muscles of your lower leg.
5. Consider surgery. In surgery, the doctor will cut the tendons that are keeping the toe in that hammer position or re-align the bones into their correct position. He may also opt to cut 1/16th of an inch of bone off the deformed joints so the bones will align straight. It takes about 60 days to recover from the surgery. However, with newer techniques, minimal incisions are made that only need two stitches. Some techniques even allow patients to get back to normal activities the same day after they had surgery.
6. Extra-depth shoes allow room for the hammer toe.
The Arches Of The Feet And Hammer Toe Relief
New information reveals that it’s possible that all three arches of the foot could be potentially important to someone with hammer toes.
Hammer toes found on the 2nd and 3rd toes could get a little extra special care if a five degree medial forefoot wedge is added to support the area of the medial longitudinal arch, according to orthotics experts.
And hammer toes found on the 4th and 5th toes could get a little extra special care if a five degree lateral forefoot wedge or lateral hind foot wedge is added to the shoe to support the area of the lateral longitudinal arch, according to the same experts.
The slight elevation of the foot from the wedge on the arch closest to the hammer toes is another simple way to get a little extra relief.
But while you’re searching for someone who could possibly help out with the wedges, it’s time to get busy with the metatarsal pads, ball of foot pads or Spenco Gel Comfort Insoles for the heavenly feeling your feet deserve.
Gel sandals aren’t out yet, but they could very well be the next type of sandals on the stores of The Insole Store and online. Why not? When you wear gel insoles, your feet are cushioned so much from the environment. They make you feel as if you’re walking on a cloud. Any and all foot pain disappears with gel insoles.
Gel sandals could come in handy when you’re on the beach. Have you ever walked barefoot on the beach and suddenly found yourself screaming out in pain because you walked right on top of a jagged rock you didn’t see coming ahead? Ouch! That hurts.
If you had gel sandals, the gel in the sandals would neutralize the feeling of the jagged edges of the rock. Imagine that. You’d probably never have another bad foot day in your life.
In order for a footwear company to create gel sandals, they still have a lot of work to do. They’ll have to invent a type of gel material that acts like gel but is lightweight. The process would probably be similar to the development of EVA foam. EVA foam is used in many different types of insoles and orthotics on the market now. It’s not a hard plastic type of foam that is too hard and causes problems when you walk on it; instead EVA foam is more flexible yet durable. It is also lightweight.
The big question is who is secretly developing gel sandals right now that we don’t know about. Hint: It’s probably not the Russians! Do you think it will be Superfeet? They’ve been one of the forerunners to all types of different orthotics and shoe inserts as well as insoles. Or do you think it will be Birkenstock? They’ve been around the longest – since the early 1900s.
Or maybe the secret technology of gel sandals will come from the Germans at the Pedag company. Pedag emphasizes all natural ingredients and perhaps has already found a way to meld the softness of wool and fleece with the gel like material found in the body in joints. Connective tissue of the joints contains a mucopolysaccharide type of material that perhaps could be somehow duplicated. Or maybe the natural substance to use is gelatin itself. It’s easy enough to find in nature. And if anyone would be on the hunt for a natural substance, it would be Pedag.
[caption id="attachment_7460" align="alignright" width="160"] Pedag[/caption]
Or perhaps someone at NASA already knows about a substance found on the surface of the moon that has gel-like properties, and that could be what some companies are experimenting with in their advanced technology laboratories right now as we ‘speak’.
If you’re following the shoe industry materials as closely as you follow the most expensive shoe lines such as those seen on the television show, Sex and The City, then you’ll be among the first to know what’s happening. The next question is will gel sandals be the next thing to invest in? If they’re so comfortable, would it pay off later to invest in it?
Gel sandals are the next up and coming sandals. Get ready for them.