Archive for the ‘Foot pain’ Category

Make sure your slippers and shoes have arch support to prevent foot pain

January 27, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta toot your own horn. And today’s one of those days.

Search online for a specific foot pain related product like shoes for heel spurs, shoes for flat feet, or shoes for plantar fasciitis, and you’ll get a plethora of results, many of them Web sites selling you orthotics, mixed with a few informational Web sites that explain the foot pain causes, symptoms and treatments.

What we’re proud of at Old Friend Footwear is selling shoes and slippers that are friendly to your feet whether you suffer from arch pain, flat feet, heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. Rather than make one shoe or sheepskin slipper to help with one particular foot pain problem, like heel spurs, we focus on designing and manufacturing arch support slippers and shoes with heel cushioning so your feet are well cared for no matter which shoe or slipper you buy from us…and no matter where you are, whether you’re on your feet working in a pair of our lightweight foam NothinZ, or puttering at home in a comfy pair of sheepskin arch support slippers.

As we age, and that includes those of us at Old Friend Footwear who are baby boomers, our feet change, yet we rely on them just as much to get us around and support us. Consistently buying and wearing arch support slippers and shoes can help keep your feet healthy and happy longer, leading to better all physical health for you as you avoid the other body pains that can come along with foot pain.

Stop looking for the quick fix orthotic or a specialty shoe for flat feet. Instead find a footwear company that puts your best foot forward, by keeping you foot pain and arch pain free with shoes for flat feet, shoes for heel spurs, shoes for plantar fasciitis…and shoes and slippers for all around comfort and physical health!

Trust Old Friend Footwear for the arch support that makes a difference without you having to think twice about it.

Choose freedom from arch pain, foot pain, with arch support shoes

January 27, 2010

In the spirit of July 4th, let’s choose freedom from foot pain and arch pain!

Yes, foot pain and arch pain can be avoided and even prevented by wearing shoes with arch support.

Especially as we grow older (and as our nation ages, so do we!), our feet flatten and widen. We lose the fatty cushioning, and sometimes even our arches. Don’t wait until that happens. Be proactive with arch support shoes now.

Women’s shoes like dressy high heels and strappy sandals and men’s dress shoes that lack arch support and pinch the toes are fine to wear for special occasions. But for every day wear, and even around the house wear, be friendly to your feet with good shoes.

Shoes with arch support, slippers with arch support, and shoes and slippers with heel cushioning will take care of your feet now and help you avoid foot pain and arch pain later. Even if you don’t suffer from flat feet or other problems now, you can avoid flat feet by choosing

As you celebrate our nation’s independence, free your feet from foot pain too with arch support shoes.

Avoid foot pain later by investing in smart shoe choices now

January 27, 2010

While researching on the Internet trying to find out how much money Americans spend on shoes each year, I instead found multiple links to a report declaring Charles Darwin spent more money on shoes than books while at Cambridge.

After I stopped pondering why delving into Darwin’s 19th century financial choices while a young student would be so interesting to so many, I decided to say “kudos” to Darwin’s memory for at least putting his money where his feet were. The report didn’t specify if Darwin suffered from arch pain or flat feet nor do I know if he would have preferred shoes for plantar fasciitis. But maybe he spent more money on shoes to make sure he cared for his feet?

Your feet are like any other part of your body that you want to keep in working order for as long as you can. Your teeth are brushed and flossed daily and checked by a dentist twice a year to make them last longer. You exercise and eat healthy foods now to prolong your life later. Weight lifting at a young age helps prevent osteoporosis at an old one. And so it goes: What we invest in our bodies earlier in life will benefit us later in life.

But we haven’t yet realized feet are another part of the body that must be watched over and cared for in order for them to last longer. We—unlike Darwin—aren’t putting our money on our feet. OK, we are, but not necessarily with the smartest choices.

I’ve known a girlfriend to spend $600 on in flimsy, strappy pair of high-heeled sandals that were horrible for her feet and body. At the other end of the scale, I know someone who slips on $2.50 flip flops before stepping out her back door. In both cases, price is irrelevant. The shoes are bad for the feet and will cause foot pain at some point if worn too much or too long. Meaning we’re spending the money, but not protecting our feet from future arch pain and foot pain, and maybe even flat feet.

Bad shoe choices early can lead to foot pain and arch pain by middle age, and even more complications by our senior years, like flat feet. Smart shoe choices can prolong how long our feet serve us pain-free. Good shoes with arch support help prevent problems like flat feet and arch pain from developing, and the other body pains that result from flat feet.

Did Darwin invest in good shoes to prevent arch pain and flat feet? Or maybe Darwin spent more money on shoes than books because he was simply vain.

Foot pain is a big problem! Avoid foot pain with good shoes

January 27, 2010

Are you causing your own foot pain? Probably. Your choice of shoes now can lead to foot pain later, and problems like heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. And if you suffer from foot pain caused by shoes, you are not alone! The numbers are huge!

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Web site, over 43.1 million Americans—or one in every six—have trouble with their feet, mostly from improperly fitting shoes. The Web site calls it a huge public health risk, stating foot problems in the U.S. cost $3.5 billion a year.

There are two things to consider about foot pain based on these startling statistics.

One is how many women wear shoes that are bad for their feet, no doubt causing foot pain either now, or setting themselves up for foot pain in the future. According to an in-depth report on plantar fasciitis on the New York Times Web site, most foot pain and foot problems suffered by women are caused by high heel shoes. The report states that high heel shoes aren’t that different from foot binding in China, because high heel shoes can constrict the foot by up to an inch! Ouch!

To avoid foot pain and plantar fasciitis, the report recommends that if you are going to wear high heel shoes, you make sure to get shoes with a lot of toe room, heels that are relatively wide and sturdy (to protect your ankles from twisting, I bet) and cushioned insoles.

And if you are going to insist on wearing high heel shoes, which many of us women are at some point when an occasion calls for it, that you limit the amount of time you spend in those shoes.

The other thing is the lack of thought that we put into buying shoes. I suspect we Americans—especially women—are drawn to the next shiny new thing, meaning we see how “cute” shoes are and buy them without thinking through the future foot pain ramifications of wearing those shoes. You know it’s not just Imelda Marcos who enjoyed a closet full of shoes!! (Did she have heel spurs or plantar fasciitis I wonder?)

For the non-high heel shoe occasions, including puttering around the house, you can make up for the foot pain caused by making sure you wear shoes and slippers with arch support and plenty of heel cushioning. This is especially important if you suffer from flat feet, heels spurs or plantar fasciitis.

In any of those cases, be sure you are buying slippers or shoes for flat feet, heel spurs, or plantar fasciitis, depending on the cause of your foot pain, or other pains caused by your feet (keeping in mind that flat feet don’t necessarily hurt, but they cause other pains in the body by throwing off your body’s alignment).

By making smart choices when buying shoes, especially women’s shoes, you can avoid being one of the statistics suffering from foot pain!

Foot pain, arch pain result of aging: how your shoes can help

January 27, 2010

America is aging. Fast. According to the SEC, “By 2030, almost 1-out-of-5 Americans — some 72 million people — will be 65 years or older. The age group 85 and older is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.”

If you’ve reached a certain birthday, you know age does change your body, despite our efforts to keep aging at bay with exercise, diet, pills and creams. 

Your feet are definitely affected by age, and that makes sense when you consider how hard a 65-year-old’s feet have worked over the course of the 64 years he or she has been walking! You’ve likely noticed foot pain already if you’re a baby boomer.
But it’s not just the years of use. As we age, our feet spread and lose some of the fatty cushioning we’ve taken for granted for so long. If we gain weight, we’re impacting our bones and ligaments. Your arches flatten as your muscles weaken, leading to arch pain and flat feet. Plantar fasciitis is common in older people because the plantar fascia loses its elasticity and is easier to injure. That, in turn, often leads to a heel spur.

And if you’re a woman, you’ve likely done extra damage over the decades by squeezing your toes into heels…high heels, that is. That’s likely why women have four times as many foot pain problems as men, no matter their age.

It’s important to keep your feet in good working order and free of foot pain and arch pain, because the longer you’re mobile, the healthier you’ll be as you age.

The good news is, much of the foot pain that results from aging can be remedied by simple at-home exercises and treatments, and by better shoes, shoes that offer arch support and heel cushioning, and are friendly to your feet.

When shopping for shoes, keep in mind the changes your feet are going through. If you’re suffering from foot pain,buy shoes for plantar fasciitis or shoes for heel spurs. If you’re not yet suffering from foot pain, prevent foot pain from happening any time soon by buying smart: shop for arch support shoes with plenty of heel cushioning. And be friendly to your feet around the house too: buy arch support slippers that will give you the same benefit as arch support shoes when you’re staying in.

To read more about your feet and aging, see the article on the topic republished at

Avoid foot pain by buying shoes that fit

January 27, 2010

We take feet for granted. Maybe we take shoe-fitting for granted too as a result! But buying ill-fitting shoes can lead to foot pain, arch pain, and even heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. When you’re shopping for shoes, make sure they fit right from the start. To help you make better shoe buying decisions and avoid foot pain and arch pain, below are 12 tips:

1.    Try on shoes later in the day when your feet are bigger.

2.    Go for open-toed shoes if you want the pointy toe look.

3.    Don’t think flat shoes mean better for your feet. You still need arch support and heel cushioning.

4.    If you go for heels, go for cushioning. That way they won’t be quite as hard on the ball of your foot, lessening your chance of ball of foot pain.

5.    Get shoes that breathe, either because they’re made of natural materials, or made to ventilate.

6.    If you’re shopping for shoes you’ll wear socks with, wear your thickest socks while trying them on.

7.    One foot is likely bigger than the other. Make sure that’s the one you measure and fit.

8.    Get your feet measured and try the shoes on. Don’t assume that because you were a size 8 last time you bought shoes, you’re still a size 8. Feet change over time and manufacturers will vary in shoe size too.

9.    Don’t buy shoes thinking they’ll stretch. You’ll be sorry, and end up suffering from foot pain!

10.  You want the heel to fit snug enough that it doesn’t slide up and down when you walk. Otherwise, blister city, baby!

11.  Give your toes some wiggle room.

12.  If you’re buying shoes online, you obviously can’t try them on. But here are two tricks to help you get the right size: Go to a store that sells that manufacturer’s shoes, and see which size fits you. Also make sure the online shoe store has a good return policy, just in case.

These tips are all especially helpful if you’re shopping for shoes for plantar fasciitis, shoes for heel spurs or shoes for flat feet!

Remember that your feet are your foundation. They pack around all your weight all day long. Be friendly to them and avoid foot pain by buying shoes that fit.

High heels and foot pain: How high is too high?

January 27, 2010

How much foot pain are we willing to endure for the sake of high heels? What about back pain, twisted ankles, blisters, and so on? What is a woman to do when the high price of high heels starts to take its toll on her feet and body?

Friday afternoon while waiting for my turn at the hairdresser’s, I grabbed a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine from the stack. I’d wouldn’t ever buy a copy, but every once in a while I like to make my way through one, for a glimpse into another world. This particular glimpse showed shoes so high there’s no way the model could have walked to wear she was posed. They must have put her shoes on her feet right there on the spot, or else carried her like a mannequin to the place they wanted her. I’ve been musing on high heels ever since.

I confess to wearing high heels on occasion. But not very high. More like mid heels than high heels. I feel like a dork in higher heeled shoes, because I lack grace. Yet ironically Saturday night as I dressed for a high school reunion, I was wishing I had a pair of really high heels to wear so I’d look more dressed up. (Not as high as those I saw in Cosmo though!) Even in my mid-height heels, my feet were sore by the end of the night.

I’m not saying do away with high heels! But certainly there must be a time and a place for them, and that’s not every day. The reality is high heels cause foot pain and damage and just can’t be for every day. Yet I see women at work in high heels, women shopping at the mall in high heels, women meeting friends for lunch in high heels, women grocery shopping in high heels, women at sporting events in high heels…

They all look fashionable, I confess! But I do wonder about their feet and the foot pain that they are either enduring or soon will endure. Most likely they’ll end up with Metatarsalgia, or ball of foot pain. They can even be doing permanent damage to their bones at the base of their toes, or straining tendons. And I’m only addressing the potential foot pain, not the back pain or other damage they might be doing to their bodies.

Feet can be fashionable without foot pain. And knowing your feet must last you your whole life, shouldn’t you be friendly to your feet?

Of course if you need shoes for heel spurs, shoes for plantar fasciitis, shoes for flat feet, or shoes for arch pain, high heels are a no no. But you still can shop smart and find shoes that are both fashionable and comfortable, and not shoes that cause foot pain!

How high is too high? Whatever hurts your feet! Maybe we can make an effort to wear high heels less, smart shoes more, and bring about a fashion revolution that will save our feet, and our daughters’ and grand daughters’ feet!

Suffering from foot pain? 5 common foot pain problems described

January 27, 2010

It’s not surprising how many people suffer from some kind of foot pain. That’s because there are lots of parts to feet! They contain more than 7,000 nerves, 33 joints, over 100 muscles and tendons, and 26 bones (one-fourth of all the bones in the body).

With all those parts, it only makes sense that people would suffer from an array of foot pain problems. Do you? If so, don’t ignore your foot pain, figure out what it is, whether it’s arch pain, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis or something else all together. Foot pain can be caused by a lot of different ailments, and those ailments could lead to pain elsewhere in your body if your feet aren’t working properly!

Below are 5 common foot pain problems. Do any sound familiar to you? If so, you might want to see a podiatrist, or at the very least pay more attention to your footwear and be friendly to your feet! 

1.    Ball of foot pain, a.k.a. Metatarsalgia: Metatarsalgia refers to pain in the metatarsal region of the foot, the part we usually call the ball of the foot. It’s a common cause of ball of foot pain, usually the result of one or more of the metatarsal heads hurting or being inflamed due to a lot pressure over a long period of time. Shoes that don’t fit right, women’s high heel shoes, shoes with a narrow toe area, or doing an activity tha involves your foot hitting a hard surface repeatedly, like aerobics, can all cause ball of foot pain.
2.    Flat feet, a.k.a. fallen arches: The reason a footprint in the sand doesn’t show the whole bottom of the walker’s foot is the arch, there’s an arch to the foot that stretches and flexes when we walk. Unless you have fallen arches, then you have flat feet, literally. Flat feet don’t usually hurt. If they do, definitely seek help. And also keep in mind that flat feet can cause pain elsewhere in the body because your foot isn’t functioning as it normally would.

3.     Heel spurs: Heel spurs are bone spurs on the heel. They frequently occur as a result of plantar fasciitis but don’t hurt. The pain is usually caused by the inflammation of the ligaments that we call plantar fasciitis.

4.    Plantar fasciitis: As noted elsewhere in this blog, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the ligaments along the bottom of your foot that stretch and contract as your foot moves, bearing the full weight of your body when your foot is on the ground.

5.    Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS): It sounds like Carpal Tunnel and it kind of is, just in your foot, not your wrist. Like Carpal Tunnel, it’s caused by a compressed nerve. Symptoms include burning pain, numbness, radiating pain along the nerve path through to the toes, ankle pain and heel pain. Because heel pain is a common complaint for those with TTS, people sometimes think it’s heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. It’s caused by over pronation, flat arches, obesity, arthritis or sometimes when you intensify your exercise or fitness regimen. Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome at

As a shoe company, we hope you don’t have any of these common foot pain problems! We believe in being friendly to your feet and think that you should be too. If you are, you’ll prevent these foot pain problems from happening to you. If you already suffer from one or more of these foot pain problems, take a good, hard look at your shoes and slippers and make sure you’re not causing the problem. Because if you are, no amount of treatment will help until you slip your poor feet into a decent pair of shoes!

Want foot pain relief from plantar fasciitis? Skip the flip flops

January 27, 2010

It’s summer. Are you giving your feet a vacation, or making foot pain worse through your choice of footwear?

Plenty of people suffer from plantar fasciitis, whether they know it’s plantar fasciitis or just think of it as heel pain. The heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis can range from slight to savage, but regardless plantar fasciitis pain can be better with shoes for plantar fasciitis, not flimsy flip flops. 

Plantar fasciitis is caused by the inflammation of ligaments on the underside of your foot (the plantar fascia). These ligaments create the arch in your foot and support the bottom of your foot. Can you imagine what a tough job that is? The plantar fascia takes the full weight of your body when you step down. These ligaments stretch to flatten and then arch again as you walk or run. The heel pain from plantar fasciitis can be debilitating, but even it’s just uncomfortable, it’s in your feet and makes doing anything more difficult.

Plantar fasciitis and the resulting heel spurs and heel pain can be treated although it takes time. While you’re treating your plantar fasciitis, definitely avoid flip flops, I don’t care how sunny the weather or carefree the day!

The best shoes for plantar fasciitis have good arch support and good cushioning in the heel. Does that sound like a flip flop to you? No. Flip flops are the exact opposite of shoes for plantar fasciitis if you ask me. Rather than making it easier for your plantar fascia to do their tough job, flip flops lack any arch support at all, making those ligaments work that much harder to arch your foot as you walk. And heel pain? Ouch. There’s no kind of heel cushioning whatsoever in a flip flop.

Plantar fasciitis is common, as is the resulting heel pain. But it’s not untreatable, and it doesn’t have to be unbearable…if you are smart in your choice of footwear and forget the flip flops.

Heel spurs might not be the cause of your foot pain

January 27, 2010

When your foot pain in concentrated in your heel, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have heel spurs. And until you know what’s really causing the foot pain, you can’t treat it.

So let’s be clear on what a heel spur is: A heel spur is essentially a bone spur that forms on the heel bone. A bone spur develops when there’s continuous pressure or rubbing on a bone, and the body responds by building up more bone in that spot. When that happens on the heel bone, we call it a heel spur instead of a bone spur.

Heel spurs are caused by the constant pressure, but that can come from a variety of sources, like ill-fitting shoes, obesity, sports that put stress on the feet, and plantar fasciitis. In fact, plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel spurs. With plantar fasciitis, the plantar fascia (the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot) is tight and pulls on the heel. The body reacts by building up the bone in the heel. But the heel might not be the cause of any heel pain. It could be the inflammation around it in the plantar fascia that’s causing the heel pain.

If heel spurs don’t always cause foot pain, how do you know if you have a heel spur? Either you will have foot pain in the heel, or you might feel a bump there. You can know for sure by having your foot X-rayed. But remember, if you do suffer from foot pain, it might be due to inflammation or plantar fasciitis and not the heel spur itself. In that case, you need to treat what is causing the foot pain, not the heel spur.

Before you get treatment, you can find some relief by wearing shoes for heel spurs. When you’re shopping for shoes for heel spurs, look for thick, cushioned heels. Your shoes won’t cure your heel spurs or other foot ailments, of course, but shoes for heel spurs can lessen the pain, no matter what’s causing it!


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