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Cromwell, CT 06416

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By Feet First Foot Care Specialists
December 29, 2020
Category: shoes

As the year draws to a close, there are many customs worldwide for saying goodbye to the old before ushering in the new. In Japan, the ringing of 108 bells dispels evil desires in people and cleanse the old year of sins. In Denmark, friends and neighbors throw plates at each other’s doors, symbolizing leaving behind all ill will. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we think our Middlesex County patients should consider an end-of-year ritual to benefit their feet: cleaning out the shoe closet.

Here are some questions to ask to help decide which footwear to keep and which to toss:

Have shoes surpassed their expected lifespan? Stretched out heel counters, flattened arch supports, holes or rips in the toe box, worn soles—these are all signs it’s time to replace a pair of shoes. Continuing to wear shoes with these types of issues can seriously harm your feet. Arch and heel pain, for example, commonly develop if arch support is lacking. It’s easy to trip and sustain a sprain or fracture if shoes are too loose on the feet.

Is the style harmful to your feet? Okay, they may look amazing, but those high, spiky heels with pointy toes pose a significant threat to your podiatric health. These types of shoes force feet forward and squeeze toes together. It can speed the development of bunions, hammertoes, and other toe deformities. It also increases your risk for ingrown toenails. It’s best to look for stylish substitutes with lower heels and wider toe boxes. If you absolutely can’t part with them, at least resolve only to wear them for short periods of time.

Are fitness shoes and sneakers designed for your current activities? If you bought tennis shoes a few years ago but have switched to running as your regular exercise it’s not okay to use the same shoes. Today, athletic footwear is sport-specific in its design, with features that protect your feet during movements associated with the sport. Exercise shoes also have a life span. In general walking and running shoes, should be replaced every 300-500 miles, regardless of their physical appearance, because interior components break down.

Do these shoes hurt your feet? At the end of the day, regardless of style or age, if shoes hurt your feet you shouldn’t wear them! If you need footwear recommendations for styles to accommodate a chronic or new foot problem, contact our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas,  at our Cromwell office (860-632-5499) to arrange a consultation.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
July 13, 2020
Category: shoes

You may not want to hear this: flip-flops are really bad for your feet! At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we know for many of our Middlesex County patients, flip-flops are the footwear of choice, especially during the summer months. What could possibly be the harm in these oh so easy to wear summer favorites? Below are five reasons why flip-flops are really just a flop: 

  1. Increased risk of hammertoes. Think about what your toes have to do to keep your flip-flops on. They have to grab the front of the shoe to keep your foot from slipping off. This action, repeated over a long period can cause your toes to start to deform into the characteristic hammer shape, causing pain and disability.
  2. Most likely to contract a foot infection. The majority of fungal, viral, and bacterial foot infections are spread by coming in direct contact with them. Ever notice how dirty your feet are after wearing flip-flops? They provide no protection from coming in contact with the sources of athlete’s foot, warts, fungal toenails and the potentially more serious staph infection. Chances are even higher if you have any cuts or open sores.
  3. Hello injuries! The complete lack of structure of a traditional flip-flop, combined with the extra effort to keep them on your feet, means you have a much higher chance of twisting an ankle, falling, or crashing into a hard or sharp object that can cut or bruise your foot.
  4. Your heels say “ouch!” With only a thin piece of foam or rubber separating your heel from the ground, you subject this part of your foot to an excessive amount of impact and pressure. This in turn can lead to sore heels. In addition, the complete lack of arch support invites inflammation of the plantar fascia—another source of heel pain.
  5. You burn fewer calories. Flip-flops slow you down. You can’t walk at any kind of pace safely and consistently. One study actually found that flip-flop wearers take smaller steps than people who are wearing sneakers.

If you still can’t bear to part with your flip-flops, at least look into purchasing a pair that has some design and construction improvements for the health of your feet. Several companies have begun producing flip-flops with better arch support and cushioning that can help mitigate some of the negative factors of this type of shoe. If you are currently experiencing foot or heel pain (whether from overuse of flip-flops or another reason), contact our Cromwell office by calling (860) 632-5499 so that our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, can examine your feet and diagnose the source of your discomfort.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
March 30, 2020
Category: shoes

At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we know our Middlesex County patients are getting bored with being stuck at home because of the coronavirus. It’s important to try to do something positive at this time. How about cleaning out your shoe closet? The virus won’t last forever. Sort out your shoes now and you’ll be ready to greet spring and resume your social life in style. 

What to Toss

Our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, will tell you that the wrong shoes is a top cause of foot pain. In fact, many common podiatric problems including, chronic ankle instability, plantar fasciitis, and flat feet can all be caused or made worse by improper shoes. Below are some tips for sorting them out:

  • Start by getting rid of any shoes that are damaged or worn out. Shoes with holes stretched out backs and other defects can easily lead to a trip and fall injury.
  • Do you have any shoes that felt too small or that have very narrow or pointy toe boxes? It’s a surprising fact that 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet. Cramped toe boxes can accelerate the progression of bunions, hammertoes, and other toe deformities. They can also cause ingrown toenails to develop. Once you can go out again, have your feet professionally measured for a proper fit and replace the pairs you are getting rid of.
  • Let’s talk about heels. Your feet have probably already let you know this, but high, spiky heels hurt! They are also unstable and force your feet forward, putting excessive pressure on the ball of your foot. If you can’t bear to part with all your heels, get rid of some of the worst offenders and limit the time you spend in the rest.
  • Over the limit athletic shoes. Did you know that walking and running shoes have a lifespan? Most of them lose their impact protection between 300-400 miles. Even if they still feel comfortable, they should be discarded once they reach that point.

We hope all our patients are staying safe. As always, you can contact our Cromwell office by calling: (860) 632-5499.

At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we know that as summer winds down many parents are getting ready for that annual back to school shopping excursion. The new shoes you buy for your child can help them move to the head of the class in podiatric health. Conversely, shoes that get failing marks can lead to foot pain and injury. Below are some tips to help you get the best shoes for your child.

  • Start by examining their old shoes. Unevenly worn heels or insoles may indicate a defect in the biomechanics of your child’s feet. Make an appointment at our Cromwell office for a complete podiatric checkup. Our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas will diagnose any foot or ankle problems and can make recommendations for shoe styles that will best accommodate your child’s particular feet.
  • Get your child’s feet measured professionally. Don’t be surprised if one foot is larger than the other—this is actually quite common. Buy shoes to fit the bigger foot.
  • Don’t buy shoes without having your child try them on. Children’s feet change quickly, and different brands may fit differently even if they are the same size. Children should try on both shoes and walk around for a while in the store to ensure that shoes are comfortable. Check younger children’s feet after to be sure there are no red marks or irritation.
  • Plan your shoe shopping trip for late afternoon or evening. Feet are largest at the end of the day and this will help ensure that shoes feel comfortable all day.
  • Have your child try on the shoes you are buying with the type of socks or tights they will wear with the shoes.
  • Don’t hand down shoes to younger siblings. Each person’s foot is uniquely shaped and that impacts the wear pattern of the shoe. Sharing footwear also increases the risk for fungal infection.

Educating your child now about making sound footwear purchases will help teach them the importance of taking good care of their feet for a lifetime. If you have additional questions about shoes, don’t hesitate to contact us.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
July 17, 2019
Category: shoes
Tags: good shoes   custom orthotic  

At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we always stress to our patients that perhaps the single biggest way to protect the health of your feet is by wearing good shoes. Just what exactly do we mean by “good shoes?” Below are three areas to consider when buying new shoes:

Basics—start with quality materials that allow your feet to breathe. Don’t buy a pair of shoes based on their looks. Go for a durable design that will protect your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association offers a list of shoes and manufacturers that are foot doctor-approved at this site: https://www.apma.org/Patients/CompanyList.cfm?navItemNumber=544.

Style—there are certain features that will ensure good podiatric health and reduce the risk of foot pain. These include:

  • A wide, roomy toe box that does not squeeze toes
  • Heels that are 2 inches or less
  • A molded and/or cushioned footbed that will stabilize feet and absorb shock
  • Good arch support

Fit—finding a good shoe is half the battle, but a proper fit is essential for making sure your shoe will not harm your foot and ankle health. Some tips for making sure your shoes fit the way they should include:

  • Shop at the end of the day when feet are at their most swollen.
  • Wear the type of socks you plan to use with the shoes you are buying. If your podiatrist has prescribed a custom orthotic, be sure to bring it with you to try with the shoes.
  • Have your foot professionally measured. Foot size can change as you age. If one foot is bigger than the other, always buy for the larger foot.
  • Always try on both shoes and walk around for a good while to make sure shoes are comfortable and don’t pinch or rub anywhere.

If you have a chronic podiatric condition, our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas can make recommendations of specific styles that will best accommodate your condition. Contact our Cromwell office at (860) 632-5499 to make an appointment.



 








 

 

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162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416