October 24th, 2012 7:28pm - Posted By: Kara
Cooler weather is upon us and it is boot season! We have listened to you and have brought in a variety of boots that are both fashionable and warm so you will go into the coming months looking AND feeling great! When you are making that transition from the freedom of summer sandals to the cozy comfort of winter boots, here are some reminders:
Most boots are sized by whole sizes; and it is safe to guess that if you are between sizes you should go up (unless the boot has shearling that will pack down). And, there is always heel slippage with a boot -- which is good; when the heel is too tight, blisters occur. The slippage will decrease as the shank of the boot is broken in and becomes accustomed to your foot.
The biggest challenge women face in this area is making sure that taller boots have ample calf room. Since we live in a terrain where we walk more - our calves our more muscular than a city gal. So, we have talked with our vendors to try to accommodate higher elevation gals and offer some generous leg space.
On Thursday Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 – stop by the shop from 4:30 to 6:45 pm and take a look at our boot selection. We will be hosting a "Boots and Burgundy" (–or some kind of wine) and cheese gathering and you can get 20% of any one single item -- – so treat yourself!
And stay tuned -- we will have more invites for special events via our facebook page in the next few weeks!
July 4th, 2012 10:43am - Posted By: Kara
It’s that time of year when we celebrate freedom – and to keep with the theme we want to encourage everyone to free themselves from pain – and that usually starts with the feet!
We offer a great selection of footwear that is supportive, functional – and yes, even a little fashionable. And sometime that is all one needs to wear to enjoy walking, hiking and just strolling around Taos.
However, sometimes we may need to enhance footwear with either an orthotic or some sort of modification to either support our body or alleviate pain.
We are Taos’ Orthotic Facility and continue to use the same lab for custom orthotics as in the past. These are terrific; a foam impression is made of your foot and then a plaster mold is cast, and finally you get your orthotic. This is great for the person who has severe pain either in the foot or needs help in the alignment of knees, hips, and back. While these customer orthotics work in athletic and hiking shoes, they often do not fit in loafers or women’s fashion shoes.
Over the years, we have found that many people who have minor issues with their feet can find relief with an OTC (over the counter) orthotic. OTC orthotics offer extra support and cushion without the major investment of custom orthotics. This is a big advantage and most people find they can afford several pairs to put into a variety of shoes.
The Pedorthic Footwear Association held its annual meeting last November in Albuquerque. The main buzz among the seasoned pedorthists and shoe fitting experts attending was the advantage of the new heat -moldable custom orthotics.
These are innovative insoles that bring you most of the benefits of custom orthotics at a very affordable price. At The Good Sole we are pleased to introduce the Footbalance system which offers a complete foot analysis and custom molded insoles on the same day.. Each insole is individually custom molded for each foot, to ensure perfect fit and support no matter your arch type, foot shape or differences between the left and right foot. Your insoles are available for use immediately. If you need extra support under the ball of the foot, it can be added just for you.
So, whether you overpronate, supinate, suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or pain in the ball of the foot, give us a call to schedule an appointment. Our trained staff will be glad to walk you through the various options available and zero in on the best one for you and your feet!
Here is a preview of what happens to create your heat-moldable orthotics:
1. Your arches are analyzed with the use of a podoscope
2. Pictures are taken of your ankles to analyze your alignment with the help of a computer.
3. You stand on heated, unmolded insoles that have been positioned on the molding pillows.
4. Our expert s expertly molds each of the heated insoles to fit your feet perfectly while maintaining correct alignment.
5. Once the insoles have been individually molded, the Footbalance expert ensures that the insoles confirm to the natural arch of each foot.
6. The insoles may be trimmed to fit your footwear if needed
7. Your new 100% customized Footbalance insoles are ready for use. The entire process takes only minutes, which is not a lot of time to spend on the welfare of your feet!
See you soon! Happy 4th of July!
April 18th, 2012 10:56am - Posted By: Kara
Due to popular requests ( yes, I am excited – people read our newsletter!) Here are a few more toe exercises to add to the list I did last time. I really tried to make it fancy and add pictures and graphics so enjoy!
Since it is sandal season this is a good time to start your toe exercise routine!
ANKLES IN ANKLES OUT
• Rotate Ankles in, out and then side to side. Repeat 10 times
Be sure to stop in and check out our new arrivals! It is like Christmas – we have new styles arriving weekly.
Plus, we just added more shelves to our Clearance Cave – and we want those shoes to go to good homes! Stop in and check out our latest additions for BOTH ladies and men!
March 15th, 2012 3:01pm - Posted By: Kara
Well – March has come in more as a lamb than a lion – but that can change!
Everyone that we visit with is so excited to get out and enjoy our great weather –and, somewhere in the conversation folks are anxious to get their feet ready to see sunlight again. And after being ignored for a few months our toes do need some TLC.
We wanted to release our newsletter yesterday which was National Pi Day –3.14 – (please- someone laugh) but our focus got caught up on National Toe Day which is April 6. Yes that day is Good Friday but now is the time to start getting ready for sandal season!
We are partnering up with local businesses so stay tuned for event invites and updates via The Good Sole newsletters and Facebook pages. And now Pinterest?? This social media world keeps us busy! But, as with everything that we try to do – we are giving you an educational piece of our newsletter. Since it is toes there are three exercises we recommend:
OUR TOES NEED EXERCISE: Even though they are the smallest appendages on our body, we need to work the little muscles in the toes to improve balance and help our feet through the full range of motion The three I am suggesting should be done while sitting ( and yes, socks and shoes should not be worn!)
One: Place a thick rubber band around your toes and spread them apart. Hold for five seconds and do it for 10 times on each foot 3 days a week.
Second: Get two pans/buckets/ baskets and…put a group of either small river rocks or marbles in one container. Then, transfer the items from one bucket of items to the other with one foot, and then back to the other foot. CAUTION : Dogs and cats may think this is fun and try to eat the items so be ready to say “No!”
Third: Grab a towel and do the same exercise as in number one – scrunch!
So, keep those toes healthy and happy. And stay tuned - there are more irrelevant holidays that we will focus on in the next few months!
THE PLANET DRIVE
We are so excited – The Good Sole was selected to host the planet Jupiter during the Taos Charter School’s Planet Drive
. This is one of the most fun events that a local school has done and it is headed up by one of our favorite teachers, Rich Greywulf ( Mr. G) who loves taking care of toes! – he runs in Vibram 5 Fingers!
February 14th, 2012 11:48am - Posted By: Kara
We like to keep our information timely – and since it is Valentine’s Day, we figured we should try to focus on something to do with the heart! We all know that the heart is the workhorse of our circulatory system. Throughout an average day, the heart pumps blood to all of the extremities as equally as it can. Gravity, however, often causes blood to pool in the lower legs and feet, causing circulatory problems such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis. But in most people, especially workers who are on their feet all day such as hospitality, retail or health care workers, all of this blood pooling can cause fatigue and leg cramps. Elevating the legs and feet may alleviate the pain temporarily, but it often returns after a few hours back on your feet.
Many of us think of an older relative who had to wear thick compression socks to increase blood circulation. Remember the term support socks – when I hear that term I think of a thick skin colored sock.
Well – like everything –compression socks have changed! They are now referred to as circulatory or graduated compression socks and you will find more and more people wearing them whether they are doing a long shift at work or just finishing up a long run or workout session.
The advantage to these socks is they help the body maintain a stable core body temperature and heart rate – so the body doesn’t have to work so hard to get blood to the legs. It allows oxygenated blood and nutrients to get to muscles faster so they can repair and rebuild, The result is less swelling and pain for the person wearing the socks.
Goodhew has just introduced a line of circulator socks for both men and women. The graduated compression is a 15 to 20 rating which is considered mid level compression and will allow faster recovery with less fatigue. Ratings below this range are not strong enough to produce results for active people. And higher ratings (30 or more) are for older or inactive folks who have a serious medical need for stronger circulation. The colors are great (no skin tones!) and all contain merino wool. Check them out and show your legs some love!
August 23rd, 2011 10:51am - Posted By: Kara
Ever look at someone’s foot – or even your own foot—and wonder what that protrusion is pushing out below your big toe? What is that bump? Well, what you are viewing is the third most common foot ailment – a bunion.
It's a bit confusing, but the word bunion actually refers to three different medical conditions: soft tissue enlargement, hallux abducto valgus (HAV) and metatarsus primus varus (MPV). All three of these problems generally occur together and are what most people think of as a typical "bunion."
HAV is a fancy way of saying that your big toe (hallux) is rotated and leaning toward your other toes. Sometimes the deformity becomes really severe and the big toe can either sit on top or underneath your second toe. The other condition, MPV, involves the first metatarsal becoming rotated and leaning too far toward your other foot. The hard bone you feel when you touch the bunion (the side of your big toe joint) is the head of the first metatarsal that has shifted out of position.
Bunions are usually termed mild, moderate or severe. Just because you have a bunion does not necessarily equal pain. There are some people with very severe bunions and no pain and people with mild bunions and a lot of pain.
Bunions are much more common in women than in men, mainly because we women will sacrifice sensibility for sexy – which means poor fitting shoes. Daily at The Good Sole we have ladies calling their bunions “onions” because they are so huge.
In countries where people do not wear shoes there are not as many bunions, but bunions are still found in some non-shoe wearing people. Here in the USA there are a greater number of people who have bunions, however, there are factors other than shoes that contribute to bunions.
Heredity plays a part. You do not inherit the bunions, but you inherit the foot type that may lead to bunions. Certain foot types cause the bones to change position and go out of alignment.
So – next time you are around your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers – take a look.
Possible causes of bunions:
• Shoes (especially high-heeled shoes)
• Flat feet (pes planus) and pronation (foot rolls in)
• Amputation of the second toe
• Neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, poliomyelitis.
• Shortening of the achilles tendon
• Ruptured posterior tibialis tendon
Non-surgical treatment will not make the bunion go away, but it will hopefully decrease the signs and symptoms you have and help you get rid of the pain. There are various bunion regulators and other devices that may help.
At The Good Sole, we have had several patients including ourselves (yes, several of us do have bunions) who use toe socks to help keep the bunion from getting bigger. Lately, more bunion folks have been wearing Vibram Five Fingers ( yes- the funny toe shoes) to help and so far the reports have been good.
Some other solutions to help with bunions are:
• Wider shoes
• Extra depth shoes
• Stretch shoes (Don at The Good Sole is the best bunion buster this side of the Mississippi and can get most shoes to accommodate bunions)
• Padding, splints, toe spacers
• NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil, ibuprofen, etc.)
• Arch supports
Foot exercises and toe stretches can also help to keep the foot mobile, maintain flexibility, and strengthen muscles.
• Toe stretches. Stretching out your toes can help keep them limber and offset foot pain. To stretch your toes, point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and then curl them under for 5 seconds. Repeat these stretches 10 times. These exercises can be especially beneficial if you also have hammertoes.
• Toe flexing and contracting. Pressing your toes against a hard surface such as a wall, to flex and stretch them; hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat three to four times. Then flex your toes in the opposite direction; hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat three to four times.
• Stretching your big toe. Using your fingers to gently pull your big toe over into proper alignment can be helpful as well. Hold your toe in position for 10 seconds and repeat three to four times.
• Ball roll. To massage the bottom of your foot, sit down, place a golf ball or a Foot Rubz on the floor under your foot, and roll it around under your foot for two minutes. This can help relieve foot strain and cramping.
• Towel curls. You can strengthen your toes by spreading out a small towel on the floor, curling your toes around it, and pulling it toward you. Repeat five times. Gripping objects with your toes like this can help keep your foot flexible.
• Picking up marbles. Place around 20 marbles on the floor in front of you and use your foot to pick the marbles up one by one and place them in a bowl.
If you have questions about your bunion, you should always consult your podiatrist. But feel free to stop by The Good Sole and we can visit with you about some of the above options to help your bunion not become an onion!
July 15th, 2011 9:07am - Posted By: Kara
It is hot outside – and of course – our feet get hot.Have you ever had your feet feel so hot that you couldn’t wait to get somewhere and slip off your shoes or sandals – only to pass out from the smell of stinky feet!
The two most common and prime reasons that contribute the most to smelly feet are sweating from the feet and the type of shoes worn. Sweating, as we know, is an essential body process that not only maintains our body temperature but also assists in removing waste products from the body.
And --each foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands - so no wonder our feet smell so bad.
The main reason behind this odor is the bacteria – or more precisely the waste products of the bacteria ingesting the sweat. The bacteria excrete waste in the form of odor that sometimes smells like rotten onions or rotten eggs (let’s face it – neither is a great smell)
If you or a special someone suffers from this, there is hope!
Here are a few suggestions:
*Keep good hygiene by washing your feet daily with lukewarm water and anti-bacterial soap for the removal of bacteria.
*Wearing clean and dry socks made of wool, wool cotton mix and special synthetic knits made for athletic wear will move the moisture away from the foot and help the feet to breathe better. We have a great selection of Smartwool, Fits, Goodhew, and Thorlo socks that can help. Avoid wearing nylon socks and stockings as they don't allow the feet to breathe. Socks made of 100% cotton do breathe, but they also retain moisture which can contribute to foot odor.
*Make sure you change your socks daily and wash them after wearing as this will minimize the chances of bacteria to breed.
*Don't wear the same pair of shoes everyday ( of course we are going to say this) and give at least a day for the previous pair of shoes to dry out so that the built up moisture and smell gets removed.
*Don't wear shoes that are tight on your feet, and also purchase removable insoles for your shoes so that you can wash them occasionally. This will not only help you get rid of the odor, but will also help with the wear and tear of the shoes as the insoles absorb the moisture, not the shoe.
Of all the solutions for smelly feet, most experts (yes, there are experts on stinky feet) say that soaking the feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes once in a week is a highly effective. The tannic acid present in the tea destroys the bacteria and closes the pores which keep the feet dry for a longer duration of time.
Another solution is soaking your feet in two quarts of warm water containing two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Similarly, soaking your feet in a bowl filled with warm water and oats for 10 - 15 minutes is another solution.
To save a shoe – there are some different solutions. If the shoe can’t be washed, some people have had success with adding baking soda and swishing it around – but this is messy. Others have put the shoe in the freezer but again – when you go to the ice cube tray you are kinda grossed out. At The Good Sole we have the 10 Seconds Brand of shoe disinfectant and deodorizer which is terrific. It is a staff favorite and has saved many of our shoes.
So So – let’s enjoy the warm weather and feel free to take off your shoes in front of company!
May 5th, 2011 9:02am - Posted By: Kara
There is a huge misunderstanding in the foot world that if you wear orthotics or suffer from various foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis or metatarsalgia that you cannot wear sandals.
That’s right; many folks – especially women – are told that if they have foot problems they must wear an enclosed shoe at all times. This is neither fun nor comfortable, especially when it is warm outside.
After all, who wants to attend an outdoor event in June in shoes? Not me and I doubt you!
We are not doctors, but at The Good Sole we have the training and expertise to modify many sandals so they are both comfortable and healthy for people with common foot problems.
We start with the highest quality sandals from the best names such as Naot, Wolky, Dansko and Mephisto. Some of these great sandals offer enough support and balance that even problem feet can be comfortable right out of the box. Others come with removable footbeds that allow for custom orthotics or modifications. We can add metatarsal or scaphoid pads (also known as arch cookies) to make the sandal even more supportive.
Don Feinberg, our manager, is a pro at helping to stretch or do bunion busting on sandals or shoes so they can fit around various toes, bumps, sensitive areas, etc. Annie Stewart, our lab technician, is usually available to customize a sandal or shoe to meet the needs of your feet. And Kara (that’s me) is a Certified Pedorthist. You can call any time to schedule a free exam.
We already have a great selection and are getting more new styles every week. So let the sun shine in on your feet and be comfortable this summer!
And, even if you don’t have any foot ailments, it is worth investing in quality sandals built for comfort and support. That is the best way to ensure your feet stay healthy and beautiful for years and decades to come.
So go get a pedicure and let your feet see the light of day this summer!
October 20th, 2010 2:47pm - Posted By: Kara
Plantar Fantasia, Plants Fastis, PF Pain...
Probably the number one foot pain complaint we hear at The Good Sole is “I have Plantar Fasciitis.” It is an unusual sounding ailment so I hear all variations of it – Plantar Fantasia, Plants Fastis, PF Pain…the pronunciations go on and on. But the symptoms are pretty consistent and the pain is very real.
The causes of Plantar Fasciitis are variable but are related to any condition that creates an abnormal force pulling upon the plantar fascia and medial intrinsic foot muscles attached to the calcaneus. In English, it means that your arch is craving support and we need to provide that support by bringing the ground up to your foot.
Supportive shoes with a definite arch can help, as well as either custom orthotics or over-the-counter orthotics. However, the reason I am writing this blog today is in the last week I have had several PF sufferers tell me their Plantar Fasciitis is in remission and they can go back to wearing non-supportive shoes or not using their orthotics.
WRONG! Just because a person isn’t experiencing the intense pain as when they first heard the word Plantar Fasciitis doesn’t mean it has gone away. Doing strong Achilles tendon stretches, not going barefoot (sorry – but hard tile floors don’t help) and wearing the correct shoes and orthotics are what will keep your Plantar Fasciitis from flaring up. I have had some folks think their PF symptoms flair up in the winter due to wearing winter boots. And, that might be true.
Winter boots are designed to keep our feet warm and to allow air to circulate. Therefore, many are bulkier than ordinary shoes and don’t offer the arch support our feet need. However, depending on your foot and the boot, we have many premade orthotics that can be placed in your footwear to help support the arch. If you are wearing dress boots – which are popular for fall and winter styles, Superfeet has a great dress orthotic that slips into the boot offering arch support without taking away the needed toe room that make boots comfortable.
Everyone needs a support system. And don’t forget that our feet need support as well.
Stop by The Good Sole and we can answer your foot pain questions.
September 3rd, 2010 9:11am - Posted By: Kara
To Rock or Not to Rock
Rocker sole or “toning” shoes are the rage everywhere these days. It seems every shoe company has a variation on the theme. Millions of devoted customers believe these shoes eliminate pain, tone muscles and even shed pounds. Here, at the Good Sole, I get asked every day if the claims are true.
The answer is yes and no. The thick, rounded soles on toning shoes do simulate an unstable surface which tends to work different muscle groups in the feet and legs and reduce fatigue from being on your feet all day. And by working unfamiliar muscles, you help tone your legs and buttocks. However, every human body is unique. Rocker soles work better for some than others.
And contrary to some claims, no one will shed pounds and build a perfect body with no effort just by wearing these shoes. Sorry.
So should you try them? The truth is that many people can see benefits from rocker soles. But it depends on how you wear them and which shoe you choose. At the Good Sole, we have looked at dozens of rocker sole brands and selected a few that we believe go beyond the hype and offer true benefit.
My personal favorite is a proven winner – Dansko. The Dansko folks are true pioneers in rocker soles and have refined their design over many years. If you’re a teacher, nurse, waiter/waitress, chef, bank teller or have another job that requires you to be on your feet for hours, you should seriously consider Dansko. We have more loyal Dansko fans than any other brand. Several customers have actually told me they would have quit their jobs due to back pain if they had not discovered Danskos.
We also carry MBT which is another pioneer and the best known toning shoe. MBTs are great shoes for walking and also good when you’re on your feet all day. But they are not for everyone and they are not cheap!
Most recently, we added the New Balance Rock-N-Tones. These are probably the best shoe for walking and incorporate New Balance’s decades of expertise in athletic shoes. I live up in Weimer and love doing my morning walk around the “loop” in my Rock-N-Tones. But I would never run in them and neither should you. Rocker sole shoes are not made for running.
To find out which (if any) toning shoe is best for you, stop by The Good Sole. We’ll ask you some questions, evaluate your gait and recommend the best shoe for your body and your lifestyle. There is never a charge to tap into our expertise in fitting you with the perfect shoe.
April 29th, 2010 4:39pm - Posted By: Kara
Healthy Happy Feet
Most people take over 8,000 steps every day. This translates into more than 100,000 miles in the average lifetime. No wonder the majority of us will develop foot ailments at some point along the way! For many of these ailments, the optimal solution is custom orthotics. At the Good Sole our passion is healthy, comfortable feet. Our staff has over 70 years of combined experience in fitting shoes to every kind of foot.