Treat Your Feet: Health Tips For Feet & Fab Foot Fashions By Rachel Harris

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Treat Your Feet:  Health Tips For Feet & Fab Foot Fashions 

by:  Rachel Harris, Managedmoms.com 

Sandal and flip flop season has arrived, so remember to treat your feet with good health tips and some fabulous fashions, too.  First let's talk about foot health and then have some fun with foot fashions for the warm weather season. 

Put Your Best Foot Forward With These Healthy Foot Tips

Don't forget your feet when paying attention to your health.  Foot problems can turn into lifelong pain issues, believe me!  I have learned the hard way with my feet so follow these tips to put your best foot forward as you walk into the warm days of spring and summer...

*Put sunscreen on your feet!  Don't forget to protect your feet!  So many people end up with sun burnt feet because sunscreen didn't quite make it down that far.  With the discussion about too many chemicals in sunscreen, I started searching for a good one and I found one that I approve of and that is the Badger brand.  Badger is 100% certified natural and has 98% organic ingredients.  I buy the Badger Unscented Broad Spectrum SPF Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream at Sprouts Farmers Market. My favorite beauty product watchdog site called EWG Skin Deep (can be linked to at http://www.ewg.org/) and the site highly recommends the Badger brand due to the low chemical content and approval of the ingredients that are used in this sunscreen such as Sunflower oil, Beeswax and more.

*Wear the right shoes when hiking!  I ended up with plantar fasciitis and a heel spur due to hiking in the wrong shoes and years of wearing cheap high heels that were doing me no favors.  With hiking, my shoes weren't giving me proper support or traction and I also fell due to that, but I was OK in the fall.  However, I had to see a podiatrist for treatment to heal my feet and I gave up hiking.  My second ever most read blog post on my blog at managedmoms.com is about how the podiatrist I found healed my foot issues without having to give me a cortisone shot.  Instead we did ultrasound treatments, taped my feet and I rolled my foot on a frozen water bottle every day during the healing process.  You can read all about it in my blog post at http://www.managedmoms.com/2012/02/my-plantar-fasciitis-alternative-treatment-results/.  

*A Honey Healthy Home All Natural Treatment for Dry Feet -  I learned on livestrong.com that one cup of honey can be added to a gallon of warm water for a hydrating foot soak.  Simply soak your feet in this mixture for 15 minutes and the natural enzymes in the honey will help to repair dry feet by binding moisture to your skin.  Doing this also helps to improve circulation.

*Product Picks For Dry Heel & Foot Care - Weleda Foot Balm because it contains organic olive oil and refreshing essential oils to deodorize the feet as well as add moisture to your dry heels and to the entire foot.  Get it at Whole Foods or at www.weleda.com for $14 for a 2/5 oz container of the good stuff. 

*Foot Solutions M-Gel Moisturizing Vented Heel Sleeve - This is a great tool and treatment for your feet while you sleep because these heel sleeve socks are worn at night.  The vented fabric design allows for better breathability of the skin.  These socks slowly release a medical grade mineral oil gel that softens and moisturizes feet.  Get them at Foot Solutions stores for $19.99 a pair.  I love mine. 

*Trainer Approved Gym Shoes - Having the right workout shoe can make all the difference as well.  If you are a runner, go to a professional running supply store and have them watch your stride on a treadmill to give you a recommendation for the best running shoe for your feet.  I am not a runner, but I do workout four times a week with professional trainers at Method 19 Fitness and my trainers recommend a gym shoe line called Altra.  They turned me onto this line because they told me that most tennis shoes have toe boxes that squeeze the toes out of their natural position because they are pointy.  This increases the risk of bunions, hammertoes and plantar fasciitis, which is what I had and it was painful and sidelined me for a period, so I don't want to experience that again. Altra shoes are shaped like the foot and the toes, which allows my toes to relax and spread out naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position. Since I switched to this brand, my ankle (that I broke three times in my life) and my knee are both much better now. To find a store close to you or to order online, which is what I did, go to altrarunning.com.  I paid $120 for my pair and they have been worth every cent. 

Fab Foot Fashions

*Orthotic Flip Flops  - Yes, such a thing exists and you will pay more, but for me it is well worth it.  This is because first of all, your toes do all the work gripping the flip flop to keep it on your foot as you walk.  That repetitive motion over time can lead to all sorts of inflammation issues like tendinitis.  Since a flip flop is flat, the shoe gives zero arch support, which can lead to plantar fasciitis, that painful condition that I mentioned earlier in this article that I battled and took months to heal.  Also wearing flip flops changes the way we walk and can throw off our natural gait resulting in ankle and knee pain as well.  And since I live in such a warm climate and wear flip flops a lot, it was worth it to me to spend the $80 on a flip flop with orthaheel technology made by Vionic.  I was thrilled to find such a stylish shoe with a pretty coral stone design.  They also have several other colors on hand at local Foot Solutions stores.  I constantly get compliments and my friends can't believe that my pretty and fun flip flops are orthotic! 

*My Local Line Fave - My favorite local line of super stylish summer shoes come from Teresa's Creative Gifts that are sold on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/teresascreativegifts?fref=nf.  I have purchased several of her wedge flip flop bling bling styles and I always get numerous compliments.  She offers these shoes in all different summer shades and in different designs that include crosses, lots of bling and more.  Love love Teresa's products! I pay $28 a pair for the design I showed in my segment. 

*Stylish Online Shoe Membership - A lot of people are skipping the mall to now shop online and with this trend comes online membership sites.  One in particular offers a big variety of shoes that are discounted.  JustFab is a lifestyle fashion brand that offers high-quality on trend styles at affordable prices.  Online VIP members pay $39.95 a month and get a new selection of styles inside their own private online boutique, which is recommended by a stylist and includes shoes, handbags, jewelry and apparel.  I like that there is never an obligation to buy as members can choose to skip a month if they want to not purchase a pair that month.  Membership perks include member-only pricing, free shipping, private sales and expert styling advice.  

For example this month they let me know that fringe is the hot trend and selected a fun fringe sandal for me that I love.  With JustFab you get to shoe shop sort of like a celebrity does because you sign up online and answer a few questions about your shoe style and then a professional stylist hand picks shoes for your foot and fashion personal profile.  Then you pick the pair from the choices that either the stylist gives to you or from their many other styles and your $39.95 monthly membership credit pays for one pair of shoes or a purse.  So you get sent a new pair of shoes that should suit your style and your feet.  If you receive your new pair of shoes and you don't like them, exchanges are free and returns are easy.  Make sure you are clear on the membership rules, however because you do want to be sure to elect to skip a month by the 5th of each month if you decide not to purchase that month. Be warned that if you don't do that, you will indeed be charged the monthly $39.95 membership fee, or credit as JustFab calls it, since that amount is put towards your next purchase.  So if you love shoes, this is a fun, personalized and unique membership to know about, especially if you like to shop online. 

What fabulous foot tips do you have for our foot health and fashionable styles?  Share in the comments section and be sure to check my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more health and beauty articles, fashion updates, recipes and more.  Happy warm weather days ahead!