Ask Dave The Shoe-Guy

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Location: Sapulpa, Oklahoma, United States

I am a third generation shoe-guy. I have been in retail shoes for 30 years, following in the footsteps of my Father and Grandfather. I enjoy helping people with their shoe and feet needs. If I can help you, please let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Diabetic Foot

A note from Dave the Shoe-Guy:
The following article may or may not apply to you, but I am sure that you will find that you do know somebody who can benefit from this information. After all, we only get one set of feet and I want you to keep them and be able to use them for a very long time.

Treatment and Prevention
Footwear and orthotics play an important role in diabetic footcare. Orthotics designed with Plastazote foam, the #1 material for protecting the insensitive diabetic foot, are usually recommended. Plastazote is a material designed to accommodate pressure hot spots by conforming to heat and pressure. By customizing to the foot, Plastazote provides the comfort and protection needed in diabetic footcare. Footwear constructed with Plastazote is also recommended frequently for the diabetic patient. Diabetic footwear should also provide the following protective benefits:

  • High, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
  • Removable insoles for fitting flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary.
  • Rocker Soles designed to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain, most notably the ball-of-the-foot.
  • Firm Heel Counters for support and stability.

If you are a diabetic, you should be particularly alert to any problems you may be having with your feet. It is very important for diabetics with neuropathy to take necessary precautions to prevent injury and keep their feet healthy. If you have diabetes and are experiencing a foot problem, immediately consult your foot doctor.

Footcare & Diabetes

Proper footcare is especially critical for diabetics because they are prone to foot problems such as:

  • Loss of feeling in their feet.
  • Changes in the shape of their feet.
  • Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal.

Simple daily footcare can prevent serious problems. According to the National Institute of Health, the following simple everyday steps will help prevent serious complications from diabetes:

  • Take Care of Your Diabetes. Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood sugar close to normal. Work with your health care team to create a diabetes plan that fits your lifestyle characteristics.
  • Check Your Feet Every Day. You may have foot problems that you may not be aware of. Check your feet for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, or infected toenails. Checking your feet should become part of your daily routine. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, use a plastic mirror to help. You can also ask a family member to help you. Important Reminder: Be sure to call your doctor immediately if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot does not heal after one day.
  • Wash Your Feet Every Day. Wash your feet in warm, NOT HOT, water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. Before bathing or showering, test the water to make sure it is not too hot. You should use a thermometer or your elbow. Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between your toes. Use talcum powder to keep the skin dry between the toes.Keep the Skin Soft and SmoothRub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of the feet. Do not put lotion between your toes, because this might cause infection.
  • Wear Shoes and Socks At All Times. Wear shoes and socks at all times. Do not walk barefoot, not even indoors. It is extremely easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear seamless socks, stockings, and nylons with your shoes to help avoid the possibility of blisters and sores developing. Be sure to choose seamless socks that are made of materials that wick moisture away from your feet and absorb shock and shear. Socks made of these materials help keep your feet dry. Always check the insides of your shoes before putting them on. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no foreign objects in the shoe, such as pebbles. Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet.
  • Protect Your Feet From Hot and Cold. Always wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Put sunscreen on the tops of your feet for protection from the sun. Keep your feet away from radiators or open fires. DO NOT use hot water bottle or heating pads on your feet. If your feet are cold, wear seamless socks at night. Lined boots are good to keep your feet warm in the winter. Choose socks carefully. DO NOT wear socks with seams or bumpy areas. Choose padded socks to protect your feet and make walking more comfortable. In cold weather, check your feet often to keep your feet warm avoid frostbite.
  • Keep the Blood Flowing to Your Feet. Put your feet up when you are sitting. Wiggle your toes for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to improve blood flow in your feet and legs.
  • DO NOT cross your legs for long periods of time.
  • DO NOT wear tight socks, elastic, or rubber bands, or garters around your legs.
  • DO NOT wear restrictive footwear or foot products. Foot products that can cut off circulation to the feet, such as products with elastic, should not be worn by diabetics.
  • DO NOT smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, work with your health care team to lower it.
  • Be More Active. Ask your doctor to plan an exercise program that is right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming, and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Avoid all activities that are hard on the feet, such as running and jumping. Always include a short warm-up or cool-down period. Wear protective walking or athletic shoes that fit well and offer good support.
  • Communicate With Your Doctor. Ask your doctor to check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet at least once a year. Ask your doctor to tell you immediately if you have serious foot problems. Ask your doctor for proper footcare tips and for the name of your local podiatrist.

If problem persists, consult your foot doctor.

I hope that this article has helped you. If you have other questions you would like answered, please email them to I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have. Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shin Splints...Ouch!!

A note from Dave the Shoe-Guy:
Today as I talked with a concerned mother about her young son who has pain in his shins and what she could do to help him. It occured to me that perhaps there are other people who are bothered with this problem also. In the following article you will find the definition, causes and treatment for shin splints. I hope this helps you!


Shin splints are a common lower extremity complaint, especially among runners and other athletes. They are characterized by pain in the front or inside aspect of the lower leg due to overexertion of the muscles. The pain usually develops gradually without a history of trauma, and might begin as a dull ache along the front or inside of the shin (Tibia) after running or even walking.
Small bumps and tender areas may become evident adjacent to the shin bone. The pain can become more intense if not addressed, and shin splints should not be left untreated because of an increased risk of developing stress fractures.
Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they are attached to the shin bone. The two types of shin splints are: anterior shin splints, in the front portion of the tibia; and posterior shin splints, occurring on the inside of the leg along the tibia.


Shin splints can be caused when the anterior leg muscles are stressed by running, especially on hard surfaces or extensively on the toes, or by sports that involve jumping. Wearing athletic shoes that are worn out or don't have enough shock absorption can also cause this condition.
Over-pronated (flat feet) are another factor that can lead to increased stress on the lower leg muscles during exercise. People with high arched feet can also experience shin splint discomfort because this foot type is a poor shock absorber.

Treatment and Prevention

The best way to prevent shin splints is to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles, wear footwear with good shock absorption, and avoid running on hard surfaces or excessive running or jumping on the ball-of-the-foot. Insoles or orthotics that offer arch support for over-pronation are also important.
Treatment for shin splints should include taking a break from the exercise that is causing the problem until pain subsides. Icing the area immediately after running or other exercise can also be effective, along with gentle stretching before and after training. Another option is taking aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
It is important not to try to train through the pain of shin splints. Runners should decrease mileage for about a week and avoid hills or hard surfaces. If a muscle imbalance, poor running form or flat feet are causing the problem, a long-term solution might involve a stretching and strengthening program and orthotics that support the foot and correct over-pronation. In more severe cases, ice massage, electrostimuli, heat treatments and ultra-sound might be used.

If problem persists, consult your foot doctor.

I hope that this article has helped you. If you have other questions you would like answered, please email them to I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have. Have a fantastic day!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Plantar Fasciitis...What the Heck!?!

A note from Dave the Shoe-Guy:
Let me say from the very beginning that if you are dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, you have my sympathy. This is the most common foot pain I see in my shoe store, and there are probably 10 people a week that come in looking for relief from this foot ailment. I myself have had it, and I can say that it is indeed no fun at all. In the following article you will find the definition, causes and treatment for plantar fasciitis. I hope this helps you!

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom surface of the foot, attaching at the bottom of the heel bone and extending to the forefoot. When the plantar fascia is excessively stretched, this can cause plantar fasciitis, which can also lead to heel pain, arch pain, and heel spurs.

Plantar Fasciitis often leads to heel pain, heel spurs, and/or arch pain. The excessive stretching of the plantar fascia that leads to the inflammation and discomfort can be caused by the following:
Over-pronation (flat feet) which results in the arch collapsing upon weight bearing
A foot with an unusually high arch
A sudden increase in physical activity
Excessive weight on the foot, usually attributed to obesity or pregnancy
Improperly fitting footwear
Over-pronation (flat feet) is the leading cause of plantar fasciitis. Over-pronation occurs in the walking process, when a person's arch collapses upon weight bearing, causing the plantar fascia to be stretched away from the heel bone.
With Plantar Fasciitis, the bottom of your foot usually hurts near the inside of the foot where the heel and arch meet. The pain is often acute either first thing in the morning or after a long rest, because while resting the plantar fascia contracts back to its original shape. As the day progresses and the plantar fascia continues to be stretched, the pain often subsides.

Treatment and Prevention
The key for the proper treatment of plantar fasciitis is determining what is causing the excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. When the cause is over-pronation (flat feet), an orthotic with rearfoot posting and longitudinal arch support is an effective device to reduce the over-pronation and allow the condition to heal.
If you have usually high arches, which can also lead to plantar fasciitis, cushion the heel, absorb shock and wear proper footwear that will accommodate and comfort the foot.
Other common treatments include stretching exercises, plantar fasciitis night splints, wearing shoes that have a cushioned heel to absorb shock, and elevating the heel with the use of a heel cradle or heel cup. Heel cradles and heel cups provide extra comfort, cushion the heel, and reduce the amount of shock and shear forces placed during everyday activities.
Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain and stress on the plantar fascia by following these simple instructions: Avoid running on hard or uneven ground, lose any excess weight, and wear shoes and orthotics that support your arch to prevent over-stretching of the plantar fascia.

I also have found that placing an ice pack on the plantar fascia for 10 - 15 minutes helps to reduce the swelling. You can do this by freezing a plastic water or soda bottle and rolling your foot along the floor on it.

If problem persists, consult your foot doctor.

I hope that this article has helped you. If you have other questions you would like answered, please email them to . I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have.