Are Barefoot Shoes a Better Alternative?

August 26, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - News
Vibram, an Italian company that has made soles for high-end hiking boots for 75 years, has created a shoe that mimics the experience of going barefoot while protecting the wearer from dirt and abrasions. They started making Fliri’s five-toed shoes in 2006, dubbing the brand Vibram FiveFingers. FiveFingers are available in several styles and colors which are vegan friendly.

They come in a variety of designs to cover the wide range of activities you would rather do barefoot — everything from fitness training and yoga, to running and trekking, to kayaking and sailing. In 2007, Time magazine named the shoe one of the year’s best health inventions. This year, a study by Harvard evolutionary biologists published in the journal Nature concluding that barefoot runners land on the balls of their feet, rather than on their heels,

Vibram SKO
Vibram Flow

ultimately creating less joint stress and reducing injuries. Customers are hooked. The shoes sell for $75 to $125, and have started showing up on runners at elite events such as the Boston Marathon. Revenue for FiveFingers shoes jumped to $11 million last year, up from $430,000 in 2006.

Podiatrists caution that FiveFingers aren’t for everyone. People who don’t normally run, who are obese, or who have serious foot problems or diabetes should be especially cautious. There are also trace amounts of latex used in manufacturing, so latex allergic / sensitive consumers should steer clear.

Nike already has a line out, the Nike Free 5.0, that are said to give the protection, cushioning and traction of a shoe, while it gives the feel and movement of barefoot running. By spring 2011, as many as six more competitors, including Merrell and New Balance, will enter the market with so-called "barefoot" shoes. The biggest threat to Vibram is counterfeiters. More than 200 fake Vibram websites selling branded knockoffs have appeared online. We would recommend that you only purchase from stores that they recognize as being authorized retailers.

Are Toner Shoes All They Are Hyped Up To Be?

July 06, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - News
We hope everyone had a happy and safe fourth of July! By now nearly everyone has heard the buzz about the new toner shoes that the athletic shoe companies are pushing and how they will tone your legs and buttox and cause you to lose weight. Well as with everything, there are two sides to this.

Have you ever wondered how these shoes can have such an affect? These shoes work by forcing you to be off-balance. Sounds a little odd to me personally. Supposively with the wearer being destabilized, other lesser-used muscle groups are challenged to burn more calories. Not only is your center of balance nonexistant due to your constant rocking with these types of shoes. Also these shoes have a bit of weight to them due to the thick soles they have. Companies such as Skechers, Reebok, and New Balance have these shoes priced anywhere from $85-$150.

Skechers Shape Ups
Reebok EasyTone So are they worth it? Medically, they shift the center of the wearer’s body weight to behind the ankle, which can eventually cause harm to one’s foot. They are not recommended for anyone who suffers from knee, hip, or back problems. Nor are they recommended to be worn for long periods of time. Financially, if you’re okay with dropping the money for a shoe that you’re going to be unstable walking in, or standing for that matter, then sure.
In my opinion they do the same thing as a basic pair of sneakers you can get at your neighborhood department store; if you get up, put them on, and walk a lap or two around the block, or get to the gym and do some exercise, you can get the same results. I also think that the “medical evidence” is over-hyped. Why? The companies that have supplied medical evidence of their shoes having results, funded their own research. People complain and say it is bad wearing high heel shoes; teetering around out of balance, but to each their own.

Wearing Flip Flops as Harmful as Wearing 3 Inch Heels?

June 10, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - Advice and Assistance, News
Who would think that wearing flip flops could be just as harmful as wearing 3 inch high heels?
Justin Shroyer, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette has recently performed a study of more than 100 people wearing flip-flops, looking at how the shoes affect legs and feet. His findings were that when one wears flip-flops, the muscles on the front of the shins (tibialis anterior) work harder than they do when people are barefoot. The increased muscle activity may be a result of the toes trying to grip the shoe to keep it in place. Flip-flops also shorten your stride length and can cause pain in your lower legs. Some short-term issues related to flip-flop use would be heel and arch pain, tendinitis, shin splints, sprains, splinters, cuts, and toe injuries. Long-term problems might be stress fractures, bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas. Flip flops by Old Navy
Flip flops by Aetrex

Most physicians recommend that if one insists on wearing flip flops, the more the shoe conforms to your foot, the better off your foot and leg will be, something similar to what is shown to the left. The wider the straps, the better. Also, try to get a sandal with a back strap. Back straps take some of the stress off your toes and decrease the demand for them to work so hard.

Even with a comfortable flip-flop, you should limit your use to no more than a few hours of wear, as is recommended with the wearing of heels. Foot exercises are also a good idea, no matter if you wear flats, sneakers or high heels.

Can’t Do Community Service Wearing Heels

May 11, 2009 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - News

A 47 year old woman in the UK was recently sentenced to 80 hours of community service after she was convicted on two counts of damaging a vehicle and one on failing to provide a breath specimen. She showed up to do her community service in a pair of four inch high heel boots and was told that they were unsuitable for doing the she was to do, such as cleaning graffiti and mending fences. She now has to return back to court later this month for re-sentencing since she refused to wear the protective footwear they felt she needed to wear.

People with certain foot conditions, especially those with high arches, usually find some comfort in wearing shoes with a heel. Depending on how bad the condition is, how high of a heel they need to be comfortable. The woman in question stated that she has “always walked on the balls of my feet. My heels don’t naturally hit the ground. My slippers have a two-and-a-half inch heel. Apparently there are ways to correct the problem but I don’t want to go through that now.”

Many people feel that this woman is making excuses not to serve her sentence and feel that they should just throw her in jail. In her last job she had to sign a disclaimer so she could wear high heels to work. Why can’t they do the same for this? If she is unwilling to sign now so she can do her ‘time’, then they should lock her up. Your thoughts are welcome!