walkEZstore.com http://www.walkezstore.com When your feet feel good...you feel good! Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:03:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pros and Cons of Buying Shoes Online http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/08/23/pros-and-cons-of-buying-shoes-online/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/08/23/pros-and-cons-of-buying-shoes-online/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 06:00:50 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5898 Photo credit: iStockphoto/LD Prod

Photo credit: iStockphoto/LD Prod

You need to buy a new pair of shoes. But you’re really busy at work or taking care of your kids, and you’re just not sure when you’re going to have time to get to the store. A couple decades ago, that might have been a problem since you would have had to make time in your schedule to go shoe shopping. But nowadays, more people are choosing to shop for and buy their shoes online.

While shopping for your shoes online is really convenient and more people are turning to the Internet to buy shoes, you need to know and understand the pros and cons of online shoe shopping before you hit the “buy” button.  

Pros of Online Shoe Shopping

Some of the benefits of shopping online for your shoes include:

  • 24/7 shopping availability. You can shop online anytime of the day or night from the comfort of your own home.
  • Accessibility to a variety of brands and designers. If you’re really wanting to buy a certain designer’s shoes, you don’t have search out a physical store that carries that designer’s shoes.
  • Wide selection of styles and colors. If you’re trying to match your shoes to a certain outfit, online stores carry more styles and color options than traditional shoe stores.
  • More size options. If you wear a women’s size 14 or an extra narrow width shoe, you’ll have more luck finding them online.
  • Price comparison shop. You don’t have to drive around town to comparison shop for the shoes you want.
  • Free online shipping at some stores. Many online shoe stores offer free shipping.
  • Actual new shoes. Contrary to shopping at a department or shoe store, where shoes can be tried on by multiple people, when you shop online, you are actually getting a pair of brand new shoes that haven’t been broken in by someone else.
  • Free return shipping at some stores. Some of the bigger online shoe retailers offer free shipping on returns. So you can buy shoes in multiple sizes and then return the ones you don’t want.

Cons of Online Shoe Shopping

Here are some of the disadvantages of shopping for your shoes online.

  • Disreputable online shoe discounters. Make sure you shop from well-known online shoe stores. If the price is too good to believe, you’re likely going to end up with a shoddily made shoe. Also, check reviews to make sure the store offers good customer service, otherwise you may get the run-around when trying to make returns.
  • Shoes don’t fit properly. If you’re not sure about your shoe size or width, have your feet measured by a qualified professional before you order online. Also, understand what styles of shoes fit your particular foot shape. Slender, tapered feet can wear shoes with a tapered, narrow toe box more comfortably than wider feet. If you have wider feet, look for shoes with a square toe box that will give your feet more ample room. Shoes that don’t fit correctly can cause painful foot conditions.
  • Special footwear needs. If you require special footwear needs due to foot deformities, poor circulation or other physical conditions affecting your feet, you likely need to discuss these issues with a footwear expert before buying your shoes. Customer service reps at online stores may not be knowledgeable concerning your particular needs.
  • Not knowing the brand. Shoe sizes can vary between manufacturers, so you really need to know the brand. Because a size 7 in one brand may be bigger or smaller than a size 7 in another brand. And even by knowing the brand, there are still no guarantees that the shoes will fit once you get them.
  • Shipping charges. Check the online company’s shipping charges before you place the order. What may seem like a great price on a pair of shoes may not be if you have to pay a shipping charge, too.
  • Need your shoes in a hurry. If you must have your shoes by a certain date, like a wedding, you need to make sure you understand the shipping policies of the online company. Some companies may charge more for rush shipping. And if the shoes aren’t delivered on time, you may be out of luck.
  • Backorders. When you buy your shoes online, make sure the item you’re ordering is actually in stock. Otherwise you may have to wait several weeks before your shoes are delivered.
  • Exchanges or returns. Before you buy shoes online, read the company’s exchange and return policies. Some stores may require the shoes to be repackaged in the original packaging and with special return paperwork. Some stores may offer free returns and exchanges while others may charge you a return shipping fee. And some stores may charge a restock fee once the item is returned.
  • Online shopping safety. If you’re uncomfortable buying shoes online, then you probably shouldn’t, especially if you have concerns about the safety of your credit card information. Make sure you purchase from trustworthy companies with secure websites.

Buying your shoes online can be a great way to save time and money, but just make sure you understand the pros and cons before you buy. And to save yourself from future pain, you really need to know your correct shoe size and style to ensure a proper shoe fit. For more information on how to correctly fit your shoes, refer to the WalkEZStore’s Shoe Fitting Guide.

ezWalker Performance Custom Orthotics Offer Pain Relief

With any shoe you buy, whether online or at a brick-and-mortar store, you need to provide the proper foundation for your feet. ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics are biomechanically designed to give each of your feet the proper support they need while reducing stress and fatigue from the feet up.  

ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics are ultra thin and ¾ length, so they fit any  type of footwear. And they come with a 90-day, money-back guarantee – something shoe stores rarely offer. For more information about ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics, visit the WalkEZStore. Or, to order your pair of ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, click here for our online store.  

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

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More People Buying Shoes Online http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/08/13/more-people-buying-shoes-online/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/08/13/more-people-buying-shoes-online/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 06:00:15 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5893 Photo credit: iStockphoto/www.slavenkovukasovic.com

Photo credit: iStockphoto/www.slavenkovukasovic.com

The days of just buying shoes at brick-and-mortar stores are over. For the past decade, more people have been purchasing shoes online. In fact, a recent article on Smart Company Australia’s website reports that the Australian footwear industry is experiencing a boom in online sales. But it’s just not Australians who are buying shoes online. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, in 2012, online shoes sales in the U.S. was expected to be about $7.8 billion – a 16.3% increase from 2011.

Each year the footwear industry generates $48 billion, according to the National Shoe Retailers Association and the U.S. Census Bureau. And Americans spend roughly $20 billion a year on footwear purchases from traditional brick-and-mortar stores as well as from online shoe stores. The percentage of sales by category for the industry are:

  1. Women’s casual and dress shoes (30%)
  2. Men’s athletic shoes (20%)
  3. Men’s casual and dress shoes (15%)
  4. Women’s athletic shoes (10%)
  5. Other styles (25%)

For more than a decade, the online shoe industry has been growing as more Americans shop online. In fact, every year, over 167 million people buy products online, making the online retail marketplace one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. And with so many people shopping online, it should come as no surprise that they would want to shop for shoes online as well.

One of the key contributors to the online shoe industry’s rapid growth has been Zappos.com, a major online shoe retailer whose business model is to sell a wide selection of shoes in terms of brands, styles, colors, sizes and widths while providing excellent customer service. Seeing Zappos’ success, more footwear retailers have jumped on the online bandwagon to capture more sales revenue.

While, initially, many people thought customers wouldn’t want to buy shoes online since they would have trouble determining the right size and fit of their shoes, this issue has proven not to be a problem since many retailers now offer free shipping and returns. So shoppers now can order a pair of shoes in several different sizes, try them on at home and then return the shoes that don’t fit correctly free of charge.

While experts don’t foresee the online shoe industry replacing traditional brick-and-mortar stores, they do anticipate a new retail model where brick-and-mortar stores simply showcase their various shoe styles for sale and customers order their purchases, which are then shipped from a central warehouse – reducing the physical space a brick-and-mortar store needs.

ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics Provide Foot Pain Relief

Regardless of whether you purchase your shoes online or in a brick-and-mortar store, if you suffer from foot, knee, hip and/or lower back pain, custom orthotics like ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics can provide you with pain relief. These custom arch supports are designed to strategically raise the arches of your feet, providing your feet with proper support they need. When your body is better biomechanically aligned, each step you take will be controlled throughout the gait cycle, reducing the stress and strain on your feet, knees, hips and/or lower back. Visit the WalkEZStore to learn more on how ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics can improve your foot mechanics while reducing your pain.  

Click here to order your ezWalker® custom orthotics today! They come with a 90-day, money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose – except your pain!

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

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Too Small Shoes Cause Foot Pain http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/08/02/too-small-shoes-cause-foot-pain/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/08/02/too-small-shoes-cause-foot-pain/#comments Sat, 02 Aug 2014 06:00:41 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5887 Photo credit: iStockphoto/T. Popova

Photo credit: iStockphoto/T. Popova

Are your shoes squeezing your toes? Or, maybe they’re rubbing against your heels. If this is the case, you’re likely wearing shoes that are too small (not to say that shoes that are too big, don’t cause foot problems, too).

As the WalkEZStore has discussed in recent articles, our feet are growing in size, but women and men are still buying shoes that don’t fit correctly. When you wear shoes that are too small for your feet, you’ll likely suffer from foot pain – and in some cases, you may actually cause permanent foot deformities.

Tight shoes that have a narrow toe box – the front portion of the shoe in which your toes nestle – or a snug heel can cause foot pain and problems like:

  • Blisters – When your shoes rub against your skin, a blister, which is a painful pocket of fluid, can form within the upper layers of the skin.
  • Corns and calluses – When your shoes repeatedly rub or press against your skin, your skin can thicken, causing flat, yellowish calluses. Or, this action can make your skin to thicken and harden, resulting in round, kernel-like bumps called corns.
  • Bunions – A shoe with a narrow toe box can cause your big toe to be pushed in toward the other toes, while the base of your toe is pushed out of its normal position. This action can produce a painful, inflamed bump called a bunion at the base of your big toe on the side of your foot.
  • Hammertoes – When your shoe is too short for your foot, it can cramp your toes, causing them to curl up, instead of laying flat. Your toes will have a claw-like appearance known as hammertoe.
  • Crossover toe – A shoe that’s too tight can create constant pressure that leads to the second or third toe crossing over the toe next to it.
  • Ingrown toenail – When your toenail is cut too short, it can rub against the surface of a shoe that’s too tight. This abnormal pressure causes the edges of your toenail to grow into the surrounding skin, lending to inflammation and pain. You may even develop an infection.
  • Heel pain – Too tight shoes can trigger pressure against your heels, leading to pain at the front, back or bottom of the heel.
  • Fat pad atrophy – Ill-fitting shoes can cause the fat pads on the bottom of your feet to thin more quickly, which decreases your feet’s ability to absorb shock when walking and running. You’ll then experience pain in the balls of your feet when you walk or stand.

Properly Fit Your Shoes to Prevent Foot Pain

If you want to prevent painful foot conditions from occurring, you need to correctly fit your shoes to your specific feet.

  1. Have your feet measured by a trained professional at least once a year with a Brannock measuring device, which measures your correct toe length (the length of your foot from your heel to your longest toe), arch length (the measurement from your heel to the first metatarsal joint) of your foot) and foot width (the width across the ball of your foot from the first to the fifth metatarsal joints).
  2. Photo credit: iStockphoto/LisaFX Photographic Designs

    Photo credit: iStockphoto/LisaFX Photographic Designs

    Wear socks that you’ll wear with your shoes when you have your feet measured and when trying on shoes.

  3. Measure both feet.  Choose shoes in your larger foot size. The shoe for your smaller foot can be altered so it will fit properly.
  4. Select shoes based on your arch length. When your shoes fit correctly, the arch of the shoe and the ball joint of your foot will be aligned. Refer to the WalkEZStore’s Shoe Fitting Guide for more information.
  5. Fit your shoes to the shape of your foot. If your feet are slender and tapered, choose shoes with a tapered toe box. If your feet are broader, pick shoes with a square toe box.
  6. Try on shoes later in the day when your feet are at their widest.
  7. Try on both shoes. Don’t rely on the sizes marked on the box or inside the shoe, since shoe sizes can vary by manufacturer, brand, and style.
  8. Leave toe space. There should be 1/2” of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoes.
  9. Walk in both shoes to make sure they fit and feel comfortable. If the shoe slides or slips, it’s not fitting correctly.
  10. Don’t buy shoes that are too tight. They probably won’t stretch to fit your feet later.
  11. Look at the shoelaces to determine proper fit. There should be 1 inch of space between the laces. If there’s less than an inch, the shoes are too wide. If there’s more than an inch, the shoes are too tight.
  12. Purchase and wear ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics if you suffer from foot problems. When you wear correctly fitted shoes with these custom arch supports, the three arches of your feet will be properly supported, and you’ll experience better biomechanical alignment from your feet up. Each step you take will be controlled throughout the gait cycle, reducing the stress and strain on your feet, so you’ll experience pain relief.

Visit the WalkEZStore to learn how ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics can improve your foot mechanics and reduce painful foot conditions brought on by wearing shoes that are too tight. Click here to order your ezWalker® custom orthotics today!

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

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Shoe Fit: Are Your Shoes Too Small? http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/26/shoe-fit-are-your-shoes-too-small/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/26/shoe-fit-are-your-shoes-too-small/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:00:12 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5875 Photo credit: iStockphoto/Nensuria

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Nensuria

When was the last time you had your feet measured to learn your right shoe size? A year ago? Two or three years ago? Five or more years ago? If you haven’t had your feet professionally measured within the last year, there’s a good chance you’re cramming your feet into shoes that are too small. 

In a recent article, “It’s a Fact – Our Feet Are Getting Bigger,” the WalkEZStore talked about a recent study in the United Kingdom that determined our feet are growing in size. Since the 1970s, the average shoe size for men and women has gone up about two sizes. In fact, throughout adulthood, the size and shape of your feet can change in small but significant ways. Plus your feet can often be two different sizes.

Even though our feet are getting bigger, the U.K. study also found that over 33% of men and about 50% of women have bought shoes that don’t fit correctly. There are several reasons why people may buy and wear shoes that are too small for their feet.

  1. Designers often create shoe styles based on fashion ideas instead of the actual function of shoes. So the shoe may be designed for a narrower foot than average.
  2. Vanity can play a role, especially among women who want to wear the trendiest shoes that aren’t right for their type of foot.
  3. Availability is another factor. Stores may carry a limited supply of larger shoe sizes. So once the larger sizes are gone, people may feel they’re forced to buy a smaller size of shoes.
  4. People don’t realize their feet can continue to grow, so they continue buying the shoe size they think they’ve always worn.
  5. Stores don’t have enough salespeople trained (if at all) in how to correctly measure a person’s feet.
  6. People buy their shoes online, so they don’t have any way to have their feet measured. Plus, unless they buy shoes in a variety of sizes, they don’t have the ability to try on multiple pairs of shoes in different sizes to determine what fits the best.  

How to Have Your Feet Properly Measured

If you want to make sure your shoes are the right size for your feet: 

  1. Have your feet measured by a trained professional at least once a year. Measure your feet at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest due to swelling.
  2. Wear socks when you’re having your feet measured, particularly the type of socks you’ll wear with the type of shoes you’re buying, such as nylons with dress shoes, athletic socks with athletic shoes or wool shoes with boots.
  3. Have your feet measured with a Brannock measuring device. This device measures your correct toe length, arch length and foot width. Toe length is the total length of your foot from your heel to your longest toe. Arch length is the measurement from your heel to the ball joint (first metatarsal joint) of your foot. Foot width is the width across the ball of your foot from the first to the fifth metatarsal joints that determines how narrow or wide your shoe fit should be.
  4. This diagram shows a properly fitted shoe for correct foot and shoe flexion.

    This diagram shows a properly fitted shoe for correct foot and shoe flexion.

    Have both feet measured. Fit your shoes to your larger foot size. The shoe for your smaller foot can be altered to ensure you have a proper fit.

  5. Use your arch length as your reference point when choosing your size. When your shoes fit correctly, the arch of the shoe and the ball joint of your foot will be properly aligned. (Refer to the diagram.) The ball of your foot should fit snugly, but comfortably, in the cradle or ball joint area of your shoe. Your foot and shoe should bend at the same location with your arch fully supported. Improperly fitted shoes that are too short for the arch length will confine your toes, causing foot discomfort and fatigue.
  6. Have your feet measured by a certified pedorthist, like Kathy Carandang of the WalkEZStore, if you suffer from foot problems. A thorough shoe fitting and buying consultation may take up to one hour.
  7. Refer to the WalkEZStore’s Shoe Fitting Guide for more information on foot measurements, shoe sizing and how to obtain a proper shoe fit.  

ezWalker® Custom Orthotics Relieve Foot Pain

If you suffer from foot conditions or have gait issues, you may want to purchase ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics to wear in your shoes. Custom-made, biomechanically designed arch support, like ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, can realign your body by providing your feet with a proper foundation in your shoes. These custom orthotics help reduce or eliminate foot pain. No matter what type of shoes you wear, there is an ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotic to help you maintain all-day comfort and pain relief.

Visit the WalkEZStore to order your ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics today. Click this link to the online store. 

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good!®

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It’s a Fact – Our Feet Are Getting Bigger http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/19/its-a-fact-our-feet-are-getting-bigger/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/19/its-a-fact-our-feet-are-getting-bigger/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 06:00:31 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5868 Photo credit: iStockphoto/New Photo Service

Photo credit: iStockphoto/New Photo Service

Just like the rest of our bodies, our feet are getting bigger, too. The average shoe size has increased by two whole sizes since the 1970s, according to a recent study from the College of Podiatry in the United Kingdom which was cited in the Wall Street Journal.

Since 1900, the average shoe size has grown four sizes for both men and women. For example, in 1900, the average woman wore size 3-1/2 or 4 shoes. By the 1940s, she was wearing a size 5-1/2. By the ‘70s, she wore a 7-1/2, and in the ‘80s, she was up to size 8-1/2. Now, she wears around a size 9.

And it’s not just podiatrists who’ve noticed that our feet are growing, in 2012, the National Shoe Retailers Association announced that American shoe sizes have increased in the last 30 years from size 7-1/2 to 8-1/2 for women and from size 9-1/2 to 10-1/2 for men. And various shoe manufacturers and retailers have noticed the continuing trend. Nordstrom has hosted special in-store events for customers wearing larger sizes, such as women’s size 14 and men’s size 20. Women’s shoe designer Stuart Weitzman says 30 years ago his company made shoes up to a size 10. Now, they’re making shoes up to a size 14.

Why are our feet getting bigger?

The main reason is that since 1900 Americans have gotten taller and heavier. Therefore, we need bigger feet to hold us up.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/AryaZiai

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/AryaZiai

Some experts believe our increased foot size is due to nutritional changes over the past 100 years. Early American immigrants were shorter with smaller feet. But as these immigrants’ children began getting better nutrition and healthcare, they started growing taller and their feet started getting larger as well.

Also, there has been speculation that hormones have spurred children’s growth. When children eat more, their growth hormone is stimulated, causing them, and their feet, to grow. But no studies have proven this conclusively yet. However, when children with growth deficiencies are treated with growth hormones, their shoe size does increase, but it’s proportionate to their height.

Additionally, over the years, as more high-density and processed foods have been introduced into our diets, our height and weight have increased. And, therefore, our feet have gotten bigger, too.

Another theory some podiatrists have suggested is that our larger feet may be due to the rise of obesity in the U.S. Since we’re carrying extra weight on our bodies, our arches are prone to collapse which results in a flatter and bigger foot.

And, yet another theory suggests that our feet have elongated in the last 25 years, because Americans are wearing more casual, less-supportive shoes like flip-flops and ballet flats. Less-supportive shoes may affect the arches of people who may be genetically predisposed to develop flat feet, causing them to flatten.

Are Flat Feet or Fallen Arches Causing You Foot Pain?

If you have flat feet or fallen arches, or you overpronate when you walk, you may experience decreased stability in your knees, walk with a shorter stride and have poorer balance. Eventually, you may suffer from painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, arch pain, heel spurs or Achilles tendonitis.

First, you should have your feet and gait evaluated by a certified professional, like Kathy Carandang of the WalkEZStore, to determine if you do have flat feet or overpronation.

3 ezWalker Custom OrthoticsIf this is confirmed, the WalkEZStore recommends that you:

  • Wear supportive, well-fitted shoes. Refer to our Shoe Fitting Guide for more information.
  • Wear ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics. These custom orthotics will provide you with the arch support you need to correction flat feet and overpronation. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics strategically raise the medial, lateral and trans-metatarsal arches of your feet, providing you with proper biomechanical support. Your feet will be guided to walk from lateral heel to medial forefoot, so you’ll have better balance and stability. And since each step you take will be controlled throughout the gait cycle, your feet will experience less stress and strain.

Since the introduction of the ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotic in 2008, many people have reported improved foot health. Most cases have shown improvement in about a year, but some people have experienced changes for the better in as little as six months.

Visit the WalkEZStore website for more information. To order your pair of ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics, visit our online store by clicking on this link.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

 

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Playing Tennis? Give Your Feet Some “Love” http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/16/playing-tennis-give-your-feet-some-love/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/16/playing-tennis-give-your-feet-some-love/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:00:19 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5860 Tennis racket-ball RLHyde 7-15-14Tennis is one sport that you can play whether you’re young or old. But regardless of your age, tennis can be hard on your feet and ankles. During a game of tennis, you need to run a lot, moving from side to side or back and forth, suddenly stopping to change direction and often pivoting quickly. These movements can put a great deal of stress on your feet and ankles, leading to injuries and foot pain. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your feet for your greatest “advantage.”

Some common tennis injuries – due to sudden moves or repetitive use – include:

  • Achilles tendonitis. An inflammation or deterioration of the Achilles tendon, the large tendon located in the back of the leg that connects into the heel bone.
  • Plantar fasciitis. An inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot.
  • Shin splints. A pain in the front or inside portion of your lower leg.
  • Tennis toe. A hematoma (the collection and pooling of blood) under the nails of the first or second toe. May include nail bed injuries or jammed joints.
  • Morton’s neuroma. A sharp pain, burning or numbness in the nerves located in the ball of your foot
  • Ankle sprains. The stretching of an ankle ligament beyond its normal range. May include actual tearing of the ligament’s elastic fibers.
  • Stress fractures. A small crack in a bone in your foot.

Tennis injuries can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Different court surfaces. Carpeted or hard courts made of asphalt or concrete don’t provide shock absorption on the joints in your feet and ankles. Grass courts may be uneven if the ground isn’t perfectly level, resulting in sprains if you make a misstep.
  • Tennis shot technique. If you’re technique isn’t correct, you may misstep while hitting the ball, injuring yourself.
  • Weather extremes. Playing in the rain can make the court slippery, leading to injuries.
  • Amount and level of participation. When you change your activity frequency from playing tennis occasionally to playing weekly or more, or you change your activity level from playing casually to more strenuously, you can increase your risk of injury.
  • Poor physical conditioning. If your body is not used to a regular fitness routine and you suddenly begin playing tennis, your risk of injury increases.
  • Poor injury rehabilitation. If you have suffered an injury, but you don’t allow the appropriate amount of time and effort to recover from your injury, you may re-injure yourself if you try to play tennis too soon.
  • Inappropriate footwear. Wearing tennis shoes that are worn out or don’t provide enough cushioning or arch support can put stress on your feet.

To minimize your risk of injury, you should: 

  • Maintain a fitness level equal to your level of play. Regularly perform conditioning and training exercises.
  • Always warm up and stretch before you play. And cool down after play.
  • Learn correct tennis techniques.
  • 3 ezWalker Custom OrthoticsDon’t increase the number of sets you play too quickly.
  • Don’t change the intensity or duration of your tennis routine too rapidly.
  • Don’t wear tennis shoes that are worn out.
  • Wear shoes that are made specifically for tennis that provide adequate cushioning, sufficient shock absorption and arch support. If you don’t know what shoes to get, seek professional advice.
  • Make sure your tennis shoes are properly fitted for your feet. Refer to the WalkEZStore’s Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for more information.
  • Consider wearing a custom orthotic like ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics. These custom orthotics help stabilize your balance while evenly redistributing your weight on your feet. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are specifically made to each of your individual feet, so they strategically raise your arches for proper support and more shock absorption. Biomechanically designed to guide your feet to walk from lateral heel to medial forefoot, your entire body will be better biomechanically aligned with every step you take.

For more information on ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics, visit the WalkEZStore website. To order your ezWalker® Custom Orthotics today, click here

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.® 

Photo credit: Creative Commons/Flickr/Ryan Hyde

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Is Foot Pain Throwing Off Your Golf Swing? http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/03/is-foot-pain-throwing-off-your-golf-swing/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/07/03/is-foot-pain-throwing-off-your-golf-swing/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:00:25 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5854 Photo credit: iStockphoto/OtmarW

Photo credit: iStockphoto/OtmarW

If you have sore feet, you know that playing a round of golf can be painful and challenging. While you could just ride around the course in a golf cart to alleviate the pain from walking, pain in your big toe, forefoot and heel can actually affect your golf swing, too.

For a consistently good golf swing, you need to position your feet correctly for proper balance and hip turn throughout your swing. But foot pain can affect your foot positioning. 

Proper Golf Stance 

A correct golf swing stance begins by gripping the club and stepping up to the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed on both feet. For a driver, 3-wood or 5-wood shot, the ball should be positioned off the inside of the left heel. For an iron shot, the ball should be 3-4 inches inside the left heel. Your right foot and golf club should be perpendicular to your target line. If your right foot is flared out too much, you’ll tend to over-rotate and lose your balance when swinging. Your left foot needs to be flared toward the target about 20 degrees or more, so as you pivot your body during the swing, you’re facing the target fully forward.

As you swing the club back, your hips will turn so the majority of your weight is on your right foot. As your swing the club down, hitting the ball and then swinging the club upward, your weight will transfer to your left foot. As you finish, your weight will be firmly on your left foot, and your right foot will pivot so your heel is over your toes.

Effect of Foot Pain on Your Swing 

Several painful foot conditions can affect your balance, follow-through and weight transfer during your golf swing. 

  • BalancePlantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia – the thick tissue on the bottom of your foot – can cause heel pain, making it difficult for you to maintain a firm stance during your golf swing. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you may pull sharply to the left or right during your swing, losing control over the direction of your ball. Achilles tendonitis and arch pain can also cause an awkward stance, leading to instability in your balance and an unsteady swing.
  • Follow-throughArthritis in your big toe can make it painful for you to correctly follow-through on your golf swing. And if you cut your follow-through short, your shots may not go where you want them to go.
  • Weight transfer Morton’s neuroma (a compression of the nerves in the ball of your foot that causes the nerves to thicken and enlarge) can cause pain when you shift your weight from one foot to another while swinging your club. Metatarsalgia, a condition in which the five long bones in the mid-foot area become inflamed, also can cause pain during weight transfer. When you can’t transfer your weight correctly, your swing will be awkward.

Solutions for a Pain-free Golf Swing 

Most of these conditions can be treated with stretching exercises, medications, cortisone injections, ice, physical therapy, or with changes to your shoes. However, more severe cases may require surgery.   

Another solution is to wear custom foot orthotics, like ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics, in your shoes to help correct your body posture, stabilize your balance, relieve pain during follow-through and evenly redistribute your weight on your feet. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are specifically made for each of your feet to properly support your arches while reducing pressure on the balls of your feet. With ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, you’ll walk from lateral heel to medial forefoot for better biomechanics of your entire body.

Your best golf swing really does begin with healthy feet. Order your ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics from the WalkEZStore today by clicking this link

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

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How to Stay Safe at the Beach http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/06/14/how-to-stay-safe-at-the-beach/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/06/14/how-to-stay-safe-at-the-beach/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 06:00:19 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5847 Beach 6-13-14Are you heading to the beach this summer? A day at the beach can be fun and relaxing – frolicking in the waves, building sandcastles with the kids, sunbathing, napping, reading the latest novel or just watching people. But dangers also lurk at the beach. So before you step onto the sand, follow these tips to ensure you and your family stay safe at the beach.

  1. Be aware of local weather conditions. If you see lightening or hear thunder, get out of the water immediately.
  2. Obey posted warnings and flags that provide information about regulations and hazards.
  3. Ask lifeguards about water/beach conditions and potential hazards.
  4. Only swim within designated areas, preferably near a lifeguard.
  5. Learn how to swim before getting into the water. Teach your children to swim at an early age.
  6. Understand that swimming at the beach is different from swimming in a pool and requires different skills.
  7. Swim with a buddy. More drownings happen with single swimmers.
  8. Understand the dangers of rip currents (when the water pulls you away from the shore). If you get caught in a rip current, stay calm. Don’t fight the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current. Then swim toward shore. If you think you won’t be able to make it to shore, wave your arms and call for help. To spot a rip current, look for discolored, choppy, foamy or debris-filled water that’s moving in a channel away from the shore.
  9. Don’t swim near piers and breakwaters where rip currents can exist.
  10. Stay away from boats since they may not be able to see you.
  11. Don’t dive headfirst or jump into unknown water. Check the water depth and for dangers like rocks before diving or jumping.
  12. Watch for and avoid aquatic plants and animals that may be dangerous.
  13. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket if you don’t know how to swim. Have young children wear life jackets. Don’t rely on water wings or other floating devices to keep afloat.
  14. Carefully watch children and elderly persons around water. Waves, even in shallow water, can cause them to lose their footing.
  15. Avoid drinking alcohol if you’re swimming or watching children at the beach.
  16. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen (15 to 50 SPF) to protect against sunburn. And don’t forget to apply it all over your foot – even the bottoms. Reapply often.
  17. Wear flip-flops , sandals or water shoes to protect your feet from hot sand, rough surfaces, sharp objects and beached jellyfish.
  18. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  19. Realize walking, jogging or playing sports on the beach may lead to foot injuries like sprains and arch or heel pain. Wear athletic shoes instead of flip-flops and sandals for proper foot support. If you suffer from foot conditions or pain, consider wearing ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics in your shoes to support and protect your feet.

Keep Your Feet Happy this Summer

Custom made to the exact specifications of each of your feet, ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics ensure you receive the precise support each foot needs. With every step you take on and off the beach, your gait will be biomechanically correct, providing you with pain relief.

Since they’re ultra thin and ¾ length, ezWalker® Custom Orthotics easily fit into any type of footwear. You can even wear them in your sandals with the use of a small piece of Velcro®.

Don’t let foot pain ruin your day at the beach, order your ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics from the WalkEZStore today!

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

Photo credit: Creative Commons/Flickr/Luz Adriana Villa

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7 Vacation Travel Tips for Happy Feet http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/06/07/7-vacation-travel-tips-for-happy-feet/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/06/07/7-vacation-travel-tips-for-happy-feet/#comments Sat, 07 Jun 2014 06:00:48 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5839 Photo credit: iStockphoto

Photo credit: iStockphoto

The kids are finally out of school and on summer break. Naturally, your thoughts turn to summer vacation plans. Besides determining where you’ll go, what you’ll do and what you need to pack, you need to consider your feet, too. After all, you’ll be using your feet to enjoy all of your vacation fun.

The health of your feet is important while you’re on vacation. If your feet hurt or you injure them while you’re away, your summer vacation can be ruined. But with advanced planning, taking into consideration your foot-care needs, you’ll stay more comfortable while minimizing the risk of sore, tired or injured feet during your travels.

1. Pack the right shoes. 

Consider the types of activities you’ll be doing on your vacation and pack the right shoes for those activities, such as low-heeled shoes for dinners on a cruise, hiking boots for a trip to the woods or mountains, and flip-flops or water shoes for the beach or pool.

If you’re going to be walking a lot on your trip, pack and wear comfortable, supportive athletic shoes with socks to reduce friction. While flip-flops and sandals may be your “go-to” shoe option for the summer, they don’t provide enough support if you’ll be on your feet for long periods of time, especially if you’re walking on hard surfaces like cement. Plus, flip-flops and sandals increase your risk of tripping, falling and injuring your feet and ankles.

Avoid taking shoes you’ve never worn before on your trip. This is a good way to end up with foot pain from blisters and calluses.

2. Wear the right shoes while traveling. 

If you’ll be flying, wear comfortable, slip-on shoes that you can easily remove and put back on for airport security screenings. While flip-flops and sandals may seem like an easy option for air travel, they can cause the same problems mentioned above if you have to walk long distances through the terminal.

Since your feet can swell during flying, choose a shoe that’s slightly loose with room for expansion.

If you’ll be driving to your vacation location, wear comfortable shoes with non-slip bottoms to prevent your foot from slipping off of a pedal. Also, don’t kick your shoes off while driving. Your shoes may become lodged under the brake pedal, interfering with your ability to make a quick stop.

3. Never walk barefoot through airport security.  

Always wear socks with your shoes if you’re flying to your location. Walking barefoot through security exposes your feet to dirt, bacteria, viruses that can cause plantar warts and athlete’s foot, and injuries due to sharp edges or uneven surfaces.

4. Stretch your feet often. 

Make sure to exercise your feet frequently, if you’re sitting for long time periods while traveling, roll your ankles in circles and/or point and flex your feet to maintain blood flow.

5. Take walking breaks. 

Get up and walk every couple of hours to prevent swelling and blood clots from forming in your legs. Walk for at least 5 minutes for every 45 minutes you’ve spent sitting down while traveling. If you have certain conditions, like obesity, cardiovascular disease, blood disorders or are pregnant, wear compression socks while flying to keep the blood in your legs circulating.

6. Pack a first aid kit for your feet. 

In your kit, include adhesive bandages, antibiotic cream, moisturizer, sunscreen, aloe vera or a similar cream to treat sunburn, antifungal cream or powder, tweezers, nail clippers, emery board and anti-inflammatory pain relievers. If you get a more serious cut or puncture wound while on vacation, see a doctor to prevent an infection or other complications from occurring.

7. Wear custom orthotics.  

Before you head off on your vacation, consider purchasing a pair of ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics. These custom orthotics are customized to each of your feet, ensuring you get the exact support each foot needs. With proactive use of ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, every step you take on your vacation will be biomechanically correct, reducing your risk of foot pain and protecting your feet from possible injury.

Since ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics are ultra thin and ¾ length, they’ll easily fit into any footwear you may take on your vacation for optimal pain relief. Plus, the WalkEZStore offers a 90-day, money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose but your foot pain. Order your ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics today.

By taking care of your feet while you’re traveling, you can make sure your vacation begins and ends on the right foot. After all, you want to bring home souvenirs and great memories – not foot pain.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

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Vibram Settles FiveFingers Multimillion Dollar Lawsuit http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/05/31/vibram-settles-fivefingers-multimillion-dollar-lawsuit/ http://www.walkezstore.com/2014/05/31/vibram-settles-fivefingers-multimillion-dollar-lawsuit/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 06:00:33 +0000 http://walkezstore.com/?p=5831 Vibram FiveFingers Shoes - Flickr - Bill SodemanWere you one of the 70 million Americans who bought a pair of those unconventional “barefoot running” shoes by Vibram® that look like a foot with five toes? If so, you may be able to get some money back on your purchase.

Vibram, the company that manufactures the FiveFingers® shoes, recently agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a class action lawsuit that accused them of false advertising. In the lawsuit filed in March 2012, Valerie Bezdek claimed that Vibram mislead customers by falsely advertising that the shoes provided health benefits while mimicking the experience of running in bare feet, without basing its claims on scientific research. Some of the advertising claims made by the company said that FiveFingers shoes:

  • Strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs
  • Improve range of motion in the ankles, feet and toes
  • Stimulate neural function for better balance and agility
  • Eliminate heel lift to align the spin and improve posture
  • Allow the foot and body to move naturally

The company denies any wrongdoing, but it decided to settle in order to put the case to rest and avoid paying further legal fees.

While the thin-soled, flexible shoes typically cost about $100 a pair, Vibram will reimburse consumers who bought the shoes after March 21, 2009 for up to $94 a pair. However, based on similar settlements, it’s more likely that you’ll only receive $20 to $50 per pair.

Class action members will need to submit a valid claim form to receive a refund. Go to www.fivefingerssettlement.com for details. No proof of purchase, such as a receipt, is needed for up to two pairs of shoes. If you wish to receive reimbursement on more than two pairs of shoes, you’ll need to submit a valid claim form and proof of purchase.

As an additional part of the court settlement, Vibram can no longer make any future claims about the health benefits of its FiveFingers shoes.

The WalkEZStore Is Concerned about False Claims Made by Miminalist Shoe and Barefoot Running Advocates

In August 2012, the WalkEZStore featured a blog post about this lawsuit. In the post, we stated that while barefoot running advocates claim barefoot running leads to better foot biomechanics and lessens the risk of injury, experts say it can actually have a negative impact on foot health.

Per a position statement from the American Podiatric Medical Association, “Barefoot running has been touted as improving strength and balance, while promoting a more natural running style. However, risks of barefoot running include a lack of protection, which may lead to injuries such as puncture wounds, and increased stress on the lower extremities.”

Additionally, minimalist shoes, like Vibram FiveFingers, can actually increase the likelihood of injury in runners, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in December 2013. Researchers found that minimalist footwear, like the FiveFingers shoes, specifically increased pain in the shin and calf in those runners wearing these types of shoes.

Therefore, along with the experts, the WalkEZStore doesn’t recommend that you run bare foot or in minimalist shoes. In fact, if you are a runner who experiences foot pain, we recommend that you consider wearing our ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics in your running shoes. Our custom orthotics are designed to support the arches of your feet while bringing your feet and whole body into proper biomechanical alignment as you run. With ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, you’ll have greater stability and balance with each step you take. And you’ll experience less pain in your joints.

Ultra thin and ¾ length, ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics will fit in your running shoes with ease. Plus, they come with a 90-day, money-back guarantee. So for maximum comfort when you run, order your pair today.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.® And you’ll run even better.

Photo credit: Creative Commons/Flickr/Bill Sodeman

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