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Posts for category: Proper Footwear

By Crofton Podiatry
March 06, 2018
Category: Proper Footwear

You may not realize it, but shoes have a lifespan. Depending on what they are used for and how often they are used, shoes may need to be replaced as often as every 3 to 4 months!

Why is it important to get new shoes?

Maybe it’s because you love to shop for and collect footwear, or maybe you’re an avid runner. Regardless of why you get new shoes, there is a good foot health reason for getting new shoes. Yes, there IS an actual excuse to go shoe shopping!

When you first purchase shoes, the material is usually rigid, there is plenty of cushioning on the insole, and the outer rubber sole provides a lot of traction. Over time, however, the materials can become softer and worn down. The insoles no longer support you the way they once did, and you might feel more impact with every step you take.

Worn down shoes can begin to cause you problems if you do not replace them (or at least remedy them with orthotic inserts). When shoes lose their supportive features, your feet have to strain to stabilize you as you walk or run. The repetitive and long-term strain on your feet or ankles can lead to painful issues such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Furthermore, if you keep wearing your favorite pair of shoes until they are falling apart, you could also be risking bacterial or fungal growth in the material, which can lead to foot odor or skin disease.

When should I get new shoes?

Look for some of these signs for the right time to replace shoes:

  • If shoes no longer feel snug on your feet, no matter how tightly you tie the shoelaces, they are probably losing structural support.
  • If you can no longer feel cushion in the inner soles, you need to get new shoes or add orthotic inserts.
  • If the tread on your shoes (especially hiking shoes) is reduced, and you seem to slip on dirt trails, you should get new shoes to prevent injury.
  • If the shoes no longer support your arches, allowing them to fall flat when you walk, it’s time to replace them.
  • If your heels slip around in your shoes, the heel cups are too worn down.

Remember to buy shoes that are comfortable and supportive when you try them on in the store. You shouldn’t rely on them to “break in” and get more comfortable later, as some materials do not allow for it.

Having trouble finding shoes that support your foot needs? Make an appointment by calling our office at (410) 721-4505 to consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. He can assess your feet and, if necessary, help you with custom orthotics. Come see our friendly podiatric team at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
February 21, 2018
Category: Proper Footwear

There are certain habits that are picked up without realizing it. Picking at scabs, shaking your legs while sitting, saying “like,” and not signaling when you change lanes in your car are all bad habits that you might pick up without consciously trying to do them.

Likewise, there may be some bad habits that you may have picked up regarding your shoes. The following are unconscious actions you might be doing that could be harming your shoe (and therefore your foot and ankle health):

  • Wearing the same shoes each day – If you have a pair of shoes that you wear each day, such as work shoes or walking shoes, there’s a good chance that you’ve developed at least a little bit of a funky smell in them. That’s because bacteria and mold love to grow in moist and warm places, such as in your footwear. As you sweat throughout the day, the microorganisms thrive and can survive long after you’ve taken them off. To help reduce odor and even breakdown of the shoes, rotate the shoes you wear each day. You may even need to buy two of the same pair of shoes if you really need to wear those particular ones. 
  • Putting them away as soon as you get home – This can perpetuate the above mentioned bacterial and fungal growth in the shoes, as they don’t get a chance to air out and dry out. Get in the habit of leaving them out overnight and putting shoes away before you leave for work in the morning. Or better yet, leave them out until you get back after work later that day.
  • Not wearing socks with shoes – Some people get into this habit out of convenience or the idea that certain shoes do not need socks. However, any enclosed shoes would benefit from socks as a barrier between the inner lining and your feet. Socks can absorb the moisture that would otherwise go into your shoes; they also protect the inner lining of the shoes from features of your feet, such as long toenails. TIP: If you’ve got hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), change your socks at least once midday.
  • Folding the back of the shoes – When you’re just running out to grab something from the car or get the mail, you might just slip your feet into shoes and fold the back like a slipper. It makes easier to get in and out of the shoes. However, not only are you breaking the structure of the shoe, you’re also wearing down the rubber soles of your shoes since it’s more likely to be dragging on the ground. Proper heel cupping in the shoes is important to preventing some overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.
  • Dragging your feet when you walk – Some of you might be more inclined to drag your feet when wearing certain shoes like fur-lined boots or certain sandals. That could really wear down the outer soles of the shoes, causing problems with the structural integrity and support your feet and ankles get. Pay attention to your gait.
  • You wear high heels, flats, or other uncomfortable shoes every day – You may have become a pro at wearing certain shoes each day, but high heels, flats, and pointed-toe shoes can all end up causing you problems. They all lack supportive features and make your feet work harder than they need to. If you MUST wear these uncomfortable shoes, at least try to change out of them as soon as you leave the office since you may develop bunions or metatarsalgia otherwise.
  • Wearing shoes too long – This is not a habit, per say, but something you’ve been resisting. You may have a favorite pair of shoes that you want to wear until you can’t, but it could leave you with more pain than joy. If you really want to extend the life of your shoes, consider wearing them with orthotic inserts to maintain support for your feet.

Do you think you might have foot or ankle problems because of bad shoe habits? Make an appointment by calling our office at (410) 721-4505 to consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. He can help you with an assessment and treatment if needed. For dedicated care for your feet and ankles, visit our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
December 06, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear

The cold weather has come and it looks like it’s here to stay! We’ve talked about “Keeping Your Feet Warm” and “Winter Foot Care for Diabetics” in previous posts, but another important aspect of winter foot care includes choosing the right footwear during these cold months. The following are some questions to consider when choosing your winter boots to keep your feet injury and pain-free:

What is the condition of any winter boots that you already own?

  • Do they still fit you, and are they comfortable when you put them on? Do they support your arch and heels, or do the insoles feel flat?
  • Also, check the outer sole. One of the most important parts of winter boots are their non-skid properties, so if tread on the outer sole has worn down (and if the other parts of the shoes are worn out), it’s important to get a new pair. 

What is the weather like where you live?

  • Do you get a lot of snow (and need non-slip tread) or are you more likely to encounter ice (in which case you may need ice grip attachments)? Maybe everything becomes slushy, so your priority is waterproofing.

What activities will you be performing?

  • If you won’t be performing any winter-related sports activities or trekking out into the wilderness, it’s likely that regular winter boots – comfortable, warm, with good tread on the outer sole – will do the job.
  • However, if you will be participating in activities like winter hiking, ice fishing, or even ice climbing, you’d better have the appropriate shoes that are specifically designed to keep you safe during those activities. They will have features like built-in liners, laces that you can tighten (as opposed to slip on boots), and waterproofing to keep your feet warm and dry. During most of these activities, you’ll likely be in very cold temperatures, so even the slightest bit of wetness in the shoes can lead to frostbite!

What kind of socks will you be wearing?

  • Especially when trying on new activity-specific shoes, make sure to wear the socks (or ones of the same thickness) that you plan to wear with them to ensure a good fit. If you change the socks, it can affect the fit, either leaving too much room in the shoes or being too tight. This could affect performance, restrict blood flow to your toes, or cause your feet to slide around inside, reducing agility.
  • For everyday winter boots, you should still wear socks with your shoes, even if they are fur-lined. While they may be warm, the warmth can actually cause your feet to sweat and increase foot odor. Beyond that, you can bring germs like bacteria and fungus into your shoes, which can live in your warm boots. Wear clean socks each day to prevent infection.

Do you have concerns about how your winter boots fit? You may need custom orthotic inserts, especially if you have previous foot or ankle issues. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas. Call (410) 721-4505 today to receive a thorough assessment by our dedicated podiatric team.

By Crofton Podiatry
August 31, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear
Tags: Untagged

With school starting soon, and the change of seasons ahead, it’s a popular time for buying new shoes. Do you go for the latest trends? You can get the best brands at a fancy department store or a pair of store brand at the local discount retailer. As for your kids, they may have been begging you for the latest wheeled sneakers or skater shoes, but are they the best investments for their feet?

For adults and children alike, footwear should be comfortable and supportive. However, children in particular need shoes that have supportive features to allow for proper development. That’s why we suggest that you follow these guidelines when buying new shoes:

  • Make sure to have feet measured each time you buy new shoes. Foot size can change over the years, and children’s feet can grow very quickly.
  • Try shoes on before you buy them. They should be comfortable when you walk around in them in the store. You shouldn’t have to wait and wear a few times to “break them in”. Additionally, they shouldn’t cause you pain on certain spots, such as on a bunion or the top of your toes.
  • Shoe material should be made of soft but durable material, such as leather.
  • The outer soles should have grip to prevent slips (unless they will be worn indoors on carpet, in which case they can make you trip).
  • The inner soles should have enough cushioning, which will reduce the impact on the rest of the body. They should also have ample arch support and heel support.
  • The foot should not move around and the heel should not slip in and out.
  • While heels may be fashionable, they probably aren’t functional for long periods of wearing.

If you experience pain in your feet while wearing many different types of shoes, you may have a deformity or other foot issue and you may need orthotics. If you are worried about your family’s feet, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our friendly team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie.

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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505