What Your Feet Are Telling You

By | March 19, 2015

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Lots of things about us can unintentionally say a lot about us. Body language can make you look unconfident, clothes can say any number of things, and the way you speak can often affect how people see you. Those just a few obvious examples, but what about your feet? Your feet may not tell people that you’re a confident, decision maker that loves open toed shoes(well maybe that last one), but they can tell you a lot about your own health.

The most obvious one is probably that your feet smell. Rarely are smelly feet ever a symptom of something all that serious, but there are still some fairly easy ways to treat the problem. A quick explanation of what causes the smell is that when your feet sweat (and they do, because they have the most sweat glands of any part of your body) that moisture is broken down by bacteria on your skin and give off that offensive odor. The treatment for it is pretty simple, depending on the severity of the smell. Make sure to wash your feet and dry them completely before putting on shoes. Always wear a clean and fresh pair of socks, especially if they’re sweat wicking socks.

Cold feet usually aren’t a symptom indicative of anything more serious, but for women over 40 it can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. While a difficult symptom to completely cure, treating cold feet is relatively easily done through the use of thick wool socks and lined footwear.

A more serious foot condition is if you have a lingering sore on your foot that just won’t heal. Wounds that won’t heal on your feet is often a sign of diabetes, which causes nerve damage that often leads to people not realizing there are nicks and cuts on their feet. The easiest home treatment for this is to check your feet daily for any new wounds before getting them checked by a doctor and wearing non-constricting diabetic socks to allow more blood flow into your feet.

Preparing For A Marathon

By | March 16, 2015

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All across the country the sun is starting to shine and it’s beginning to warm up. Flowers are starting to bloom, birds are seeing songs, and runners are leaving the fluorescent lights and treadmills of the gym and hitting the pavement again. Some of us might be getting ready to start running in any number of the marathons that happen in spring or the rest of us that aren’t quite that committed to it are remembering we signed up to run 10K back in October and had “plenty of time” to train for it. So because sometimes art imitates life, here’s our quick guide to training for your next running event.

Remember that ultimately training to run any kind of long form event is all about training to be able to maintain your energy levels for anywhere from 3 to 26 miles. With that in mind plan out your schedule of incremental increases each week. No matter how hard you put your mind to it and train, no one can add 20 miles they weren’t capable of before in a week. Like all the good things in life according to my parents, training builds character.

Make sure you that aren’t training too hard or too often. If your body feels a lot more gassed than you think it should after a run, take a break for a bit. It’s better to miss one or two days of training than have to miss an entire race. To go along wit that, make sure you have the right gear. If you have high arches and don’t have shoes with any support, you’re going to hurt yourself before you even get close to the finish line. Moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet in good shape as well. Work hard and all that, but work smart as well.

If you’re training for something especially long and difficult, like a marathon, make sure you do the right things when you’re not in running shoes too. This means making sure you’re eating right while you’re training and especially getting enough rest. Keep things healthy on the mental side too. Theoretically you’re willing to put in all of this work because this is something you enjoy, so have fun with it.

Guide to Exercise Shoes

By | March 9, 2015

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I don’t know what the weather is doing wherever you are today, but I can tell you that here at the home of Socks4Life.com it’s in the mid 60s and becoming sunny. In celebration of seeing the sun for the first time since October, people were out yesterday doing everything from cycling to playing quidditch. Just like how every activity is done in a certain way, every activity requires a slightly different set of footwear to ensure best performance and joint health.

Athletic shoes typically get broken down into three categories: running, walking, and training. Running shoes have a wide variety of options depending on who you ask and what you personally feel is the best option for you. The historical recommendation for running shoes has been to make sure that there’s plenty of cushion to reduce the shock on your knees and having good heel control. Recently though there’s been a shift in the running community towards minimalist shoes that have almost no cushion. Even more recently a move towards maximalism, which is the exact opposite of minimalism and focuses on having as much cushion as possible. So there are a lot of options out there that you’ll have to make a decision about. If you feel completely overwhelmed ask for help at a reputable running store to make sure you have the best knowledge available.

If you’re looking for shoes for walking rather than running you need to focus on different aspects of a shoe. Most importantly you want a lot of cushion under the heel and ball of the foot to cut down on heel pain and tenderness in the balls of your feet. Walking shoes should be as lightweight as possible since they don’t have to deal with the same force as running shoes and more rigid at the front so that you can roll of the toes instead of being able to bend and push like a running or athletic shoe.

The term athletic shoe covers a lot of ground, just because there are a lot of sports out there. Generally speaking athletic shoes should be lightweight, have a lot of cushion under the ball of the foot, and have a sole that provides enough grip to prevent slipping. Breaking it down a little bit further, we can say that court sports like tennis require shoes that provide stability on both the inside and outside of the foot are important for the quick back and forth movements the sport requires. Basketball shoes should have extra thick soles to provide support and a high top cut depending on preference for ankle support. Field sport shoes tend to be stiffer and cleated to provide maximum grip and support for sudden cuts and jukes. For any sport you play more than three times a week you should give thought buying a pair of sport specific shoes.

With all of these shoes you’re going to need a good pair of athletic socks. Athletic socks will get the moisture away from your feet and out of your shoes to prevent premature wearing out of the shoes. Additionally a proper fitting sock will keep your feet from sliding around in your shoes. We’ve got all the athletic socks you’ll need for whatever sport you want to play this summer.

 

Sneaker Collecting

By | March 8, 2015

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It’s officially March now which means it’s one of the best times of the year for sports. That’s right, I’m talking about March Madness and the NCAA Tournament. Supposedly billions of dollars will be lost due to dips in productivity to watch your school lose to a 12 seed on a bad three point foul call, not that anyone here in Richmond is bitter or anything. Since college basketball is on the brain and more and more schools are signing exclusive shoe contracts let’s take a little bit and get into the basics of sneaker collecting.

People that collect shoes, or sneakerheads as the young people would call them, collect them for all sorts of reasons. Some of them do it because they like a particular player, some because they want to expand their wardrobe options, and some because they see them as a way to make some money at a later point. So rule number one is to know why you’re collecting.

Once you’ve got an idea in your head of why you’re doing it, you have to figure out how you’re going to go about buying. This mostly means determining your budget for shoes. Most shoes start at about $100, but some are resold for thousands of dollars to other collectors. You also need to have a strategy for what you are and aren’t going to buy. Some shoe lines like Lebrons or Kobes will have over twenty colorways, or specific color combinations, in a given year. Do you want to plan to buy twenty pairs of shoes or are you okay with just having the colors you like? If you’re trying to have a complete set, are you ok with trading or selling shoes in order to get rare shoes that you missed out on? There are whole communities out there dedicated to sneaker trading. Much like any other collectible hobby, it’s really easy to end up sinking a ton of time into sneaker collecting so keep that in mind before you start.

Once you have your shoes, how are you going to store them? Are you planning on wearing them? Or are they going to live in your closet? Proper care is the most important step in keeping them looking good and retaining any value if that’s your end goal.

Skate Technology

By | March 7, 2015

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Have you ever gone ice skating before? Are you one of those people that looks at ice skating, thinks of that you end up flat on your back on an icy sidewalk and leaves it to the professionals? Do you ever wonder how some people are able to look so natural out there on what has to be one of the most unnatural inventions ever? Well, a couple of things real quick. One, go ice skating. Learn to skate, it’s a great workout and it’s a ton of fun. Two, at this point a lot of that ability is practice from that person and also the sheer amount of technology and research that goes into skates these days.

You might not think there’s a ton of technology that goes into skates these days but you’d be wrong. I’m going to focus primarily on hockey skates, because I’m biased and using shopping for a new pair as inspiration for this post. The most basic science of the hockey skate is the interaction between the blade and the ice. The blade on a hockey skate isn’t one big edge of the bottom, it’s actually two. Skate blades have what’s called a hollow, where the bottom of the blade is flat and is ground out in the middle to create an edge on each side of the blade. The ability to glide on ice from a pair skates is due to the fact that when the blade is on the ice with the pressure of the person in the skates it melts the ice directly in contact with the blade.

The big focus on skate technology is making them as light and as strong as possible. The lighter your skate the faster you can go and the longer you can go in them before you get tired. If you paid close attention at the 2014 winter Olympics you might have seen some crazy looking skates with massive holes in the bottom between the boot and the blade. Those skates are strong enough to block a slapshot with roughly the same force as a bullet, but weigh less than two pounds.