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How Do I Know if I Have Wide or Narrow Feet?

Ask anyone their shoe size and they can likely fire it off in a moment’s notice. How about the width of their feet? Wide feet and narrow feet are less talked about.

When finding proper footwear, it’s not just the length that matters. The width of our feet is just as critical. Typically foot width falls into three categories: wide, regular, and narrow. Some footwear brands offer wide or narrow versions of their products. In other cases, they may have a specific nomenclature to denote wide or narrow products. 10W, for example, is a wide size 10.

It’s no wonder that shoe size is a more common categorization of our feet. After all, our shoes are measured in a way that allows us to seamlessly pick and choose footwear. Unlike clothing – measured by XS, S, M, L, or XL, shoe size is measured numerically. Here in Canada, we share a system with the U.S., while the UK and Europe have their own measuring system that requires conversion calculations for equivalents.

The Brannock Device is the most popular tool for measurement. The device has both left and right heel cups and is rotated through 180 degrees to measure the second foot. This allows for a measurement in cm, which translates into a shoe size. (4-12 for women, and 6-16 for men, typically.)

Next, we get into how to measure your feet, and how to accommodate both narrow and wide feet.

How do I measure my feet?

Measuring Feet Tape Ruler

The first option is to do it professionally. Here at Toronto’s leading foot clinic, we offer every customer a comprehensive footwear assessment free of charge to ensure that you invest in the healthiest footwear for your feet. Our footwear specialists and chiropodists will help match your foot shape, structure, and alignment to specific shoes and footwear features that answer your corrective, supportive, or accommodative needs.

The second way to measure your feet is to DIY. 

  1. Get a ruler, marker, and piece of paper.
  2. Place the paper flat on the ground and stand on it. Make sure your foot is flat.
  3. Make a mark behind your heel and another in front of your longest toe. If one of your feet is larger than the other, use the longer foot to measure your size.
  4. Measure the distance between the two lines in inches or centimetres.

Using the measurement in cm (or inches), convert the foot length into the corresponding shoe size.

Women’s Shoe Size Chart

US EU UK FOOT LENGTH (approximate)
6 36-37 4 ~8.75 in / 22.5 cm
6.5 37 4.5 ~9 in / 23 cm
7 37-38 5 ~9.25 in / 23.5 cm
7.5 38 5.5 ~9.375 in / 23.8 cm
8 38-39 6 ~9.5 in / 24 cm
8.5 39 6.5 ~9.75 in / 24.6 cm
9 39-40 7 ~9.875 in / 25 cm
9.5 40 7.5 ~10 in / 25.4 cm
10 40-41 8 ~10.2 in / 25.9 cm
10.5 41 8.5 ~10.35 in / 26.2 cm
11 41-42 9 ~10.5 in / 26.7 cm

Men’s Shoe Size Chart

US EU UK FOOT LENGTH (approximate)
7 40 6 ~9.6 in / 24.4 cm
7.5 40-41 6.5 ~9.75 in / 24.8 cm
8 41 7 ~9.9 in / 25.2 cm
8.5 41-42 7.5 ~10.125 in / 25.7 cm
9 42 8 ~10.25 in ~26 cm
9.5 42-43 8.5 ~10.4 in / 26.5 cm
10 43 9 ~10.6 in / 26.8 cm
10.5 43-44 9.5 ~10.75 in / 27.3 cm
11 44 10 ~10.9 in / 27.8 cm
11.5 44-45 10.5 ~11.125 in / 28.3 cm
12 45 11 ~11.25 in / 28.6 cm
13 46 12 ~11.6 in / 29.4 cm

How do I measure the width of my foot?

The width of your feet is the distance between the two widest parts of your foot. This is likely a single measurement in one area—at the base of your toes, called the ball width. This is the measurement between the big toe joint and the small toe joint. 

To measure the width of your foot, follow these three steps:

  • Place a large piece of paper on an even surface.
  • Stand on the paper and trace an outline of your foot on the paper.
  • Measure the distance between the widest parts of your foot.

Do both feet. If one is wider than the other—which is totally normal—then account for the wider of your two feet.

Why do I have wide feet?

Remember, there’s no one size fits all. Everyone has a unique foot size and shape, which can be attributed to a specific cause or be less known like genetics and ageing. A few causes of wide feet include:

  • Genetics. Some people are born with wide feet. Alternatively, people with flat feet (collapsed arches) are prone to having wide feet.
  • Age. As we age, our feet change. The ligaments and tendons loosen, and our feet tend to grow longer and wider as our arch collapses.
  • Foot deformities. Foot conditions like bunions, calluses, and hammertoes can affect the shape and anatomy of your foot. As a result, your foot may widen.
  • Improper footwear. Shoes make a difference. In fact, studies have shown 63-72% of people don’t wear footwear that fits their foot properly. This no doubt can lead to foot deformities.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, a hormone named relaxin causes ligaments and joints to loosen around the feet. Like in ageing, the loosing of the tendons causes your feet to widen. This is especially true during the second and third trimesters.
  • Swelling. Edema, a medical term for “swelling,” can cause your feet to widen. This can be a long-term condition or a short-term phenomenon depending on the cause.

How about if I have narrow feet?

Why Feet Smell Like Vinegar

Narrow feet are quite common. In fact, an early-2000s study found that roughly 33% of women have narrow feet, a figure that is likely underreported. People with narrow feet will find that they have extra room on both sides of the shoe. To accommodate for the fit, narrow shoes are typically 1/4 inch narrower than regular shoes, and 1/2 inch narrow than wide shoes.

Footwear that is too big or wide for your feet can cause issues like blisters, corns, black toenails, and calluses.

For people with narrow feet, like for brands that make footwear in AA (narrow) or AAAA (super slim). Looking for the proper footwear? Visit our clinic at 2481 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1P8 for a full selection of leading orthopedic footwear.

Alternatively, look for shoe inserts that can help customize the fit of your shoe to your liking. This will help expand the selection of shoes you can wear, while also taking into account the width of your feet.

What if I have narrow feet and bunions?

If you have narrow feet, you’ll still need to accommodate for Bunions as shoes need to account for the width. Ironically, bunions can be partly attributed to slim-fitting shoes. Over time, ill-fitting footwear can cause your toe joints to shift, causing a bunion. Or, if you already have a bunion, constant aggravation from small shoes can exacerbate the condition.

Need your feet measured properly? Get a professional to do it!

Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. From mild, to critical, we cover all sides of the foot needs spectrum. Call us to ask about actionable steps towards your solution today!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

Simple Hacks To Prevent Cracked Toenails

Recently, I noticed before jumping into the shower, one of my toenails beneath the polish was a bit jagged. Upon further inspection, I realized I had a Cracked Toenail. That’s right, split right down the center. What did I do to deserve this, I thought? In my very temporary melodramatic state, I got out my cuticle clippers and cut the nail swiftly, rounding it out as much as possible to avoid further catching in my socks. Briefly mourning the loss of my decent pedicure for the time of year, I showered as usual and took it as a sign to add some exaggerated oomph to my blog post.

lovely song in my bath

As an active person, specifically with running, I keep my toenails short. They usually have a (vegan, non-toxic) nail polish on them year-round, and the polish remover I use is also all-natural. I pondered the reason as to why my toenail cracked. I listed out the care (and adornment) I give them. I assessed the level of stressors of everyday movement they incur. In truth, except for some bruising moments from physical fumbles over the years, my nails are healthy and strong. With research via the Feet First blog, I came across an article outlining Cracked Toenails.

How 2020 of my toenail to finally and literally crack under pressure and perhaps it was a long time coming. Maybe I should have been counting my lucky stars that this had not happened earlier. I put an excess of running miles this year thanks to the quarantine. I simply had more time and determination. My body has had to alter and adapt, and sometimes that means some flaws will come to the surface for review. Luckily, I can say that the toenail is fine, and will regrow in time. However, if it is more of a serious issue, Please Do Not Hesitate to Reach Out to Us Here at the Clinic.

There are a few little tweaks to my foot care I am incorporating, especially over the winter. 

Keep Your Toenails Short

And file/trim them regularly. Regardless of your physical activity, regular maintenance will keep your comfort level high. Here is a reference to best Cut Your Toenails.

Feet spa treatment

Extend Your Moisturizing to Your Nailbeds

I recommend DIY Foot Baths to soothe aching feet, but also to keep them exfoliated and moisturized. We carry Gehwol at Feet First. They have a great range of products to help keep the skin on your feet and your toenails soft and smooth.

Choose Natural Nail Polish

For those who enjoy a nice pop of colour to look down and see throughout the winter months, I advocate for Non-Toxic polishes that do not harm your nails or the environment. I primarily use salon-grade Zoya, and Montreal’s very own Trust Fund Beauty. Remember, an acetone-free polish remover is also important! Often polishes (and removers) that are chemically enhanced will cause Discoloured Toenails and fingernails. This can mislead you into thinking you have a fungal infection.

Nail polish splash form bottles isolated on white background
Nail polish splash form bottles isolated on white background (with clipping path)

Rethink Your Footwear and Socks

Is it the style of shoe you are wearing? Are your socks thick enough? How is your gait being affected? If your toenails are constantly being impacted with activity, it’s worth some research into what’s most supportive for your feet. Feel free to investigate the brands we carry.

Don’t Overlook a Small Issue

If you begin to experience more trouble with your toenails, it’s worth speaking to our knowledgeable staff. We can help you in a variety of ways, from diagnosing a deeper issue to picking out some new running shoes to best support your workouts. Call us today at 416-769-FEET(3338) and book your appointment!

Toronto Trails for Winter Hikes

With proper footwear and outdoor gear to keep you warm, a little snow (but maybe a little ice on some days) shouldn’t keep you away from the hiking trails this winter! With restrictions on life at present, it is still possible to spend some time outside. Refuel your spirit with some time out in nature. The Greater Toronto area has some great trails that are worthy of exploration. 

Father with kids running in beautiful winter forest

Evergreen Brickworks

Located in the Don Valley, it is one of the best markets I’ve been to over the years. I love the beautiful integration of the outdoors into the building’s architecture, representing their mandate for sustainable living. The trail itself will take you about 20 minutes to get to the top with stunning views. It’s a magical place, where under normal circumstances you can enjoy a nice warm drink and a little shop at the facilities afterward. 

Humber River Recreational Trail

This 8.2 km paved trail is an ideal distance on a sunny afternoon. It’s a good option for those who live northwest in the city. It is also approachable by transit, and there is free parking. Given its location, it can be a bit busy, so it is worth considering times that may be a little quieter.

Hiker woman with dog climbs through snowy forest mountains

High Park Area Trails

Partially paved and partially dirt, this can get a little mucky in the snow. However, if prepared with the proper footwear, and perhaps you have a four-legged friend up for an adventure, these trails will do the trick. With just over 5 kilometers available for exploration, and minimal elevation within the well-known park, it offers easy accessibility to all. 

High Park is also conveniently close to the Feet First Clinic, located in Bloor West Village. This would be a great place to roam around after your appointment or try out your new boots!

Scarlett Mills Park

A 3.5 km trail with moderate elevation in terrain, this trail is great for a quick hike! It is also great for snowshoeing and biking. Located in Etobicoke, it’s a great location for a little bit of a challenge in it’s terrain, giving opportunity to try out different winter activities on this trail.

Young man snowshoeing in winter

Beltline Trail

Not too far from the Brickworks trail mentioned above, the Beltline is an 8.9 km out and back trail. It’s a mainly flat path, so the terrain isn’t too treacherous for explorers of all levels. It’s a great multi-activity trail for this reason too. A bit of a longer jaunt, if you are looking to keep warm, make sure you keep yourself heated up by layering or moving quickly! Don’t forget to enjoy the scenic views of course. 

Looking to be fully equipped for your winter hikes?

At Feet First we can assess your needs for proper foot health and make sure you have on footwear for safety and comfort! Call us today at 416.769.FEET (4338) and book your appointment or inquire about our boot inventory!

Frostbite: How To Spot, Treat, And Prevent It

Living in Canada, it’s critical to know the cold, hard truths of frostbite.

With an average Winter daily temperature of -1.5 C to – 9 C, Toronto winters are much more temperate than many other parts of Canada – like the prairies, eastern and northern Ontario and northern provinces and territories – which reduces the risk of frostbite.

Given Toronto‘s proximity to Lake Ontario and the lake effect, winter conditions can vary greatly. Being ill-prepared can put you at greater risk. In any event, look out for winter weather warnings for advanced notice of any incoming cold fronts or an Alberta clipper.

If you travel outside of the GTA, especially to the east or north, be aware of different climates throughout Ontario. For example, travelling to Ottawa means temperatures 5-10 C colder than Toronto at times, so wearing footwear that protects against both the cold and moisture are crucial.

Let’s get an overview, preventative measures, do’s and don’ts, and treatment for frostbite.

What is frostbite?

Winter Snow Boots For Canada

Frostbite is an injury caused by the freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. First, your skin becomes very cold and red, then numb, hard and pale. This skin condition is most common on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be focusing on the toes.

Typically, exposed skin is the most prone, especially in cold, windy conditions, but our feet are not often exposed directly to the elements (unlike hands, nose, and ears). For that reason, frostbite in your toes is more likely due to inadequate footwear, socks, or prolonged exposure outside.

Depending on the temperature you may develop frostbite as quickly as within 15 minutes of exposure to several hours.

What are the 3 stages of frostbite?

You don’t all of a sudden go from normal skin to frostbite. There are intermediate stages of frostbite, all with differing levels of severity.

On the one end, you have normal skin, which is at regular room temperature. On the far end, you have deep frostbite, which is the most serious form. The stages are below:

1. Frostnip

Frostnip is a milder form of cold injury that doesn’t cause permanent skin damage. You can treat frostnip with first-aid measures, including rewarming the affected skin. All other frostbite requires medical attention because it can damage skin, tissues, muscle and bones. Possible complications include infection and nerve damage

2. Superficial frostbite

With superficial frostbite, your skin feels warm, a sign of serious skin involvement. A fluid-filled Blister may appear 24 to 36 hours after rewarming the skin.

3. Deep frostbite

With deep frostbite, you may experience Numbness. Joints or muscles may no longer work. Large blisters form 24 to 48 hours after rewarming. Afterwards, the area turns black and hard as the tissue dies.

Does frostbite heal?

Winter Snowstorm in Canada

Frostnip

Frostnip can be treated with simple first-aid measures that include preventing further exposure to cold and rewarming.

Rewarming can be accomplished by soaking the affected area in warm (not hot) water for 15 to 30 minutes. Rewarming using heat sources such as stoves or heating pads should be avoided, as these can lead to burns.

As your skin begins to warm up, you may feel some pain or tingling. You can take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to ease any discomfort.

Superficial frostbite

Many people can recover fully from superficial frostbite. New skin will form under any blisters or scabs. However, some people may have permanent problems that can include pain or numbness in the area.

Deep frostbite

As with some cases of superficial frostbite, people that have had deep frostbite may have lasting problems that can include pain or numbness as well as increased sensitivity to cold in the area.

How long does frostbite last?

Winter Snowstorm in Canada Susceptible to Frostbite

In milder cases, frostnip can go away shortly (hours) after the area is rewarmed. In more severe cases, the effects can last for weeks, if not permanently. Skin is also more susceptible to the cold in subsequent exposures to the elements.

What about chilblains?

Chilblains is a common cold weather condition that is similar in ways to frostnip. Unlike frostnip/frostbite, chilblains occur with chronic cold temperatures and in the presence of moisture. It’s characterized by slight swelling of the toes and redness as the condition is the painful inflammation of small blood vessels. Whereas frostbite/frostnip is often caused by a single bout of cold exposure, chilblains is the repeated exposure to colder (but not freezing) temperatures.

Chilblains usually clear up within one to three weeks, especially if the weather gets warmer

What should you not do when you have frostbite?

  • Don’t rub the affected skin with snow or anything else.
  • Don’t walk on frostbitten feet or toes.
  • Don’t stay outside. Get out of the cold.
  • Don’t stay in wet clothes. Once inside, shed layers, and wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
  • Don’t rewarm the skin with direct heat, such as a stove, heat lamp, fireplace or heating pad. This can cause burns. Gently warm the area instead to avoid rapid temperature change.
  • Don’t underestimate the effects of damaged skin. When in doubt, contact a medical professional.

See how we can help!

Prepare for winter with products from Feet First Clinic, Toronto’s leading foot clinic. Whether mild or severe, you can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs. Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

But What Are Calluses, Really?

Calluses on your hands can be the sign of hard work accomplished but on your feet, it’s a whole other story. I have calluses on my baby toes, around the nail based on the broadness of my feet and my physical activity. I find that moving from sneakers to whatever other footwear I cram my little piggies in, they are most predominant where my feet take the most impact. And by impact, I mean squished. Not quite wide enough for a wide shoe, I rest in that in-between. Also though – here’s a plot twist, I grow calluses on my big toes on the other side of my foot! I’m always striving for balance in life, so with calluses, it is no different. 

Workman’s hands

A callus is a thickened hardened skin where your foot strikes the most. I’m all for consistency, and calluses are no different. They grow with repetitive force upon the area most impacted. Using my feet as an example, I am very conscious of my supination (my feet roll outward) particularly noticeable in my running stride and also in daily life. Standing still, I often move my feet around, but it goes unnoticed to the untrained eye. So in other activities, I focus on planting my feet firmly into the ground in that balanced manner. However, I still feel the rollout, even mid-squat. A few times weekly and when I give myself a pedicure once a month on average, I exfoliate with a pumice stone and moisturize with a callus-softening product. But alas, I could do more.

Volcanic pumice stone on the washcloth in rustic style

 

So what can be done by professionals if you are like me and neglect your calluses? In addition to the brief list above, exfoliating and moisturizing your feet regularly (ask us about our line of trusted Gehwol products) and making smart choices with your footwear, Feet First’s Professionals can help. Our chiropodists can remove the buildup of tissue (which is the callus itself) and help you find a solution. From Custom Orthotics to Shoe Inserts to New Well-Fitted Footwear, we are here to help!

Calluses are incredibly common, and though initially not too threatening, when left untreated they can lead to worse scenarios. Our blog has great resources available, including the following Callus related posts that are a wealth of information: 

Do you Have Foot Calluses? How to Treat Them

How to Manage Foot Calluses

Are Foot Calluses a Problem?

 

Act on your dreams

Looking for more guidance?

Since starting to write for the Feet First Blog, I have found that my foot issues are common. As an avid active person who also loves a bedazzled toenail, I can attest that the backlog of content available has been an incredible resource to go through. We have a wealth of knowledge in our blog and have amazing (and friendly) professionals in the clinic that can advise you. Come visit us today! Call us and book your appointment at 416-769-FEET(3338).

5 Foot Health Goals For 2021

During the early months of the new year, we often try to think of ways we can improve ourselves. This can include ways to improve our physical health, and your feet should be a part of that resolution! Our feet hold us up everyday, and that means they deserve proper care and attention. Several foot conditions can catch up with us over time, and with some effort, help from a Licensed chiropodist, and self care and responsibility, we strongly believe anyone can achieve the goal of happy and healthy feet. There are countless ways you can improve your foot health, but we’ve narrowed down a few to focus on. Here are 5 foot health goals we think are important to strive for in 2021:

  • Start your annual foot care assessments
  • Get a medical pedicure
  • Fight and prevent ingrown toenails
  • Say goodbye to dry skin
  • Choose well-fitted, proper footwear

5 Foot Health Goals For 2021 (Image 1) Brittany

Start Your Annual Foot Care Assessments

Everyone knows that periodic check ups play an important role in preventing and tackling numerous health problems, and your feet are no exception! One of your foot health goals can be to start 2021 off right by booking your first annual foot care assessment. Then, you can begin checking in on your feet once a year with a qualified foot expert.

During Your first visit, a downtown Toronto chiropodist will spend 30-45 minutes performing a thorough physical examination of your legs and feet. Not only that, they will also familiarize themselves with your health history. After your initial assessment, your subsequent yearly exams will consist of re-visiting your feet by inspecting them each time. Depending on what the chiropodist determines, you may need to book more than a yearly assessment in order to tend to any Foot conditions you may have.

Annual foot care assessments are recommended for everyone, however, if you have Diabetes, they are especially important. These assessments can indicate your level of risk in developing serious complications, such as foot ulcers and infections that can sometimes lead to amputation. A chiropodist can work with you to prevent these complications, and starting with your first appointment, determine the appropriate amount of appointments you should book. Diabetes related foot conditions are caused by poor blood circulation in the legs and consistently fluctuating glucose levels. They can range from foot swelling, neuropathy(loss of sensation in the feet), and the rather serious foot ulcers we mentioned.

Get A Medical Pedicure

Why not start incorporating some pampering into your year? What’s more, this pampering is also an excellent way to tend to your foot health. We highly recommend treating your feet to an occasional Medical pedicure. It is important to note that Medical pedicures differ from cosmetic pedicures, as a medical pedicure involves a more thorough cleaning of debris and dead skin in the nail beds and cuticles. Additionally, this service takes place in a foot clinic, rather than a salon.

During your medical pedicure, a licensed chiropodist will be able to detect any developing foot conditions. Likewise, they can tend to calluses and detect any fungal infections. Don’t worry, we’re not forgetting the part where they perfectly shape and trim your toenails! Not to mention the relaxing and thorough moisturizing session to conclude this highly recommended service.

Fight Ingrown Toenails 

Are you prone to ingrown toenails? We recommend fixing that issue as soon as possible! An ingrown toenail punctures the skin surrounding the toenail while it’s growing. They can become infected if left ignored for too long. Symptoms typically include swelling, redness and pain surrounding the affected toenail, with pain also sometimes felt in the nail bed or cuticle.

You can prevent ingrown toenails by investing some of your time into proper nail care. Proper nail care from home includes regular trimming and filing of the corners of your toenails. Furthermore, it is best to wear shoes with sufficient room in the toe area. Toes that are cramped and bunched too close together in shoes that are too small are a risk factor for ingrown toenails. If you already suspect you have an ingrown toenail, a chiropodist can help you determine if the following courses of action should be taken:

  • Trimming the ingrown toenail.
  • Utilization of a spacer or splint. They can be placed under the ingrown portion of the nail.
  • In the case that ingrown toenails are chronic, you may need a minor surgical procedure that removes a portion of your toenail.
  • Antibiotics may be needed if an infection is present.

A dermatologist examines a toenail affected by a fungus. Treatment of mycosis and assistance to patients with fungal diseases.

Say Goodbye To Dry Skin

Dry skin can be a huge problem in the colder months! It can affect your hands, face, and of course your feet. We think it’s important to take extra care preventing that from occurring, or from worsening. Cracked, dry skin can become quite itchy, which leads to scratching, irritation, and bleeding. If you have cracked heels, peeling skin, dry skin, or irritated skin, you should incorporate a few different things into your lifestyle in 2021, including:

  • A visit with a chiropodist. They can rule out potential infections and recommend the right medicated products.
  • A chiropodist can also regularly remove calluses, preventing further damage.
  • A visit to your local downtown Toronto foot clinic, where there will be various products available that tackle dry skin, including Dermal Therapy Cream.
  • Moisturizing and exfoliating your feet daily.
  • Wearing the right footwear that will prevent dampness in the feet, such as moisture repellent socks, especially during winter.
  • Lukewarm foot baths. Water that is quite hot can cause irritation on your skin, especially after exposure to cold weather.

Choose Well-Fitted, Proper Footwear

Are you constantly going through pairs of shoes? Do you opt for a cheaper pair, but later notice you’ve actually spent more on shoes throughout the year than if you had gotten a higher quality pair? Why not say goodbye to that habit in 2021? Another of our foot health goals you should strive for in 2021 is investing in the right footwear. There are several ways you can start providing yourself with the high quality footwear you deserve, they include considering the following products:

  • Compression Stockings: A pair of compression stockings can be a real game changer. They reduce foot and leg swelling, aching and fatigue in those who spend a lot of time on their feet. You can treat your muscles with kindness by incorporating a pair of these versatile stockings into your routine. They can also be a life saver for those who suffer from diabetes by preventing any diabetes-related complications.
  • Custom Orthotics: Custom orthotics are shoe inserts that are curated to fit snugly into your shoes and compliment the needs of your feet. If you have flat feet, or a high arch, for example, they can help reduce any associated pain or soreness.
  • Shoe FittingYou may not realize it, but your shoes may not fit snugly. A shoe fitting can ensure every aspect of your shoes are tailored to your needs, such as the toe box, heel elevation, midsole, and more. A well-fitted shoe can prevent foot conditions caused by non-supportive, lower quality shoes, including Plantar Fasciitis and Morton’s Neuroma.

Check out a full product catalogue from trusted footwear brands!

Woman ties up shoelaces on sneakers. Close up view. Healthy lifestyle concept. The girl measures new sports sneakers in the dressing room.

Your Solutions Live Here!

Need some help achieving your foot health goals? Not a problem! All under one roof, our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. Whether it be mild or critical, we cover all sides of the foot needs spectrum. Call us to ask about actionable steps towards your solution today! 

Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

 

Banner Image Credits – Polina Kovaleva from Pexels – Thank you!

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Feet

Pregnancy comes with a lot of joy, anticipation and excitement, but let’s be realistic, it can be quite challenging at times as well. Your body is changing in several ways and you’re doing an excellent job keeping up with it! Despite this, you may need some help with some of the difficulties that coincide with pregnancy. In particular, pregnancy can affect your feet in numerous ways. It can cause foot swelling, known as edema, as well as overpronation, which is when your ankles roll excessively downward and inward as you walk. In this article we will explain how edema and overpronation can be risk factors for certain Foot conditions, as well as how you can prevent and treat them! Furthermore, we will touch on how your feet can grow in size during pregnancy, as well as why this can happen.

Pregnant woman massaging her swollen foot sitting on bed

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Feet

During pregnancy, fluctuating hormone levels and weight gain can have a drastic effect on the body. The weight gain can cause excessive pressure to be placed on your feet, something that was not occurring prior to your pregnancy. Furthermore, many women complain that their feet actually grow in size during pregnancy. So, what exactly causes that growth? Foot size increase during pregnancy is actually due to the “fluid and tissue accumulating in the lower extremities,” according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle SocietyThe ligaments in your feet will also loosen during pregnancy, which can be attributed to hormonal changes. This also causes an increase in the size of your feet. Your feet can become wider, longer and the arch can become less pronounced, essentially going from a normal arch to a flat foot. These changes, if ignored, can lead to the following foot conditions: 

  • Heel Spurs – a growth that occurs on the bottom of your heel bone that can cause heel pain and swelling.
  • Metatarsalgia – pain felt in the ball of the foot.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue (which runs from the heel to the toes).

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Feet: Treatment Options

The initial goals you should strive towards should be treating foot swelling (edema) and pain, as well as preventing overpronation from developing into one of the conditions, or one of many others, mentioned above. Reaching out to your local downtown Toronto foot clinic and booking an appointment with a qualified Chiropodist would also help you reach your foot health goals.

The following treatment methods have been proven to help remedy pregnancy-related foot issues:

  • Supportive shoes that can help you adjust to foot swelling and a flatter arch.
  • Likewise, Custom made orthotics and Insoles that can support foot swelling and pain associated with flat feet.
  • Compression for foot swelling, such as using an ice pack.
  • Rest with your feet elevated.
  • Light exercise – strolls around the city during your pregnancy can work wonders.
  • Avoid foods with excessive sodium, this can exacerbate swelling.
  • Compression stockings can help pregnant women maintain proper blood circulation in the legs and feet.

How exactly can a chiropodist help you achieve these goals? First and foremost, a chiropodist can provide comprehensive care by thoroughly assessing your feet and the changes your feet are going through during pregnancy. What’s more, they can guide you through acquiring the right footwear by helping you determine the heel support, cushioning and arch support you will need. Additionally, they can give you helpful tips on ways you can walk without too much pain, as well as simple foot exercises and stretches you can perform at home. Lastly, it is common for pregnant women to experience painful corns or calluses during pregnancy, which a chiropodist can treat. You can read even more on Corns and Calluses, including how they’re treated.

Happy family

We Can Help!

Do you have any pregnancy-related foot concerns? As an expecting mother, you already have enough on your plate. You can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs! Give us a quick call to inquire about any questions or concerns. We can help you start your journey towards healthy and happy feet during this exciting time!

Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

Staying Safe Through the Necessary Winter Duties

Winter has made its first appearance. With a blast of snow blanketing our fair region, I shoveled not one but two driveways and have the aches to prove it. My greatest fear as the snow begins to fall is its companion, ice. 

The thought of slipping and falling (since I have done it so many times) is a rational fear of mine. That instant shock that is so jarring to the body starts with losing your footing and depending on how you land, I hope it’s somewhere on your body that has a little extra cushioning. 

Mature man cleans snow in front of house

Having proper winter footwear is crucial, especially in these Canadian winters of ours. Luckily Feet First has your feet covered! Browse our product catalogues and feel free to connect with us over our current stock. We will help you to ensure you find boots that not only have a proper tread but keep your feet warm and comfy. 

During these winter months upon us, it is crucial to exercise proper judgment and mobility when you are outside. If you are more prone to the cold hitting your fingers like me but have a lifelong aversion to gloves, at the very least wear a toque. When I was out shoveling, the snow was surprisingly dense. Ideal for making a snowperson (to be politically correct) but not so great if you’re hustling to clear the driveway before others get home. I knew the best thing I could do for myself to alleviate future pain was to fully engage my core and keep my feet as firmly planted as possible. That way, even if I am torquing my back around, I know that I am supporting that movement as best I can. 

Let’s say you are outside playing with the kids and they want you to come into their snow fort with them. When they fall, the impact is much lighter, but if an adult falls, it’s “timber!” Down goes the old oak tree. So you want to ensure your footwear at least offers you a little more support and connectivity with the slippery ground beneath you. What if you are out walking your dog? And they pull a little too strong when seeing a squirrel on your next step? If you are wearing a good tread, that likelihood lessens, and for your sake, I hope you have a smaller breed. 

Woman with her dog at sunset

On that note, as we move into the season of giving, though here at Feet First we believe that giving is to be marked on every day on the calendar, we want to take a moment to shout out The Canadian Courage Project. The mission this non-profit organization has is to support Toronto homeless youth and their four-legged companions. Through compassion and understanding of financial burdens and mental health issues faced, we understand the importance of animals from a therapeutic perspective, but also how they deserve to receive unconditional love. The project aims to offer donated food, funds for vaccinations, hygiene products, and essential items to all animal companions. 

As an animal lover, I can attest to how important my two pampered cats are to me, especially when I’m feeling down. I am the type of person that out in the world stops and yells “dog!” Every. Single. Time. So as I was out shovelling today and I was waving hello to the two dogs next door who were catching snowflakes in their mouths, I was strategizing a safe passage to go roll around with them. I forgot, just for a moment, how I could not feel my fingertips. Surely the warmth of their fur under my hands would save me and it would have all been worthwhile. So to be a person fortunate enough to have pets I love, and we all have a warm place to feel safe, learning of The Canadian Courage Project today after my morning of shovelling felt pertinent to support and share. You can donate to them directly on their website. We can look out for our own and others this time of year and all year round! 

Winter time

Looking for New Winter Boots for Your Necessary Outdoor Activities?

We have a great selection that offers both reliability and fashion statement. If you are averse to the winter weather, add a little bounce in your step with some boots!

Call us today at 416.769.FEET (3338) and book your appointment or inquire about our inventory!

Is My Foot Pain Urgent?

It can be difficult to discern between serious foot pain and foot pain that may be more mild and responsive to at-home foot care. Luckily, we’re here to let you know what to look out for when assessing your discomfort. Generally speaking, foot conditions that need more immediate attention from a qualified specialist may present symptoms such as swelling, a complete inability to walk, and symptoms that may indicate an infection. Try not to worry, however, as there are treatment options out there for you. The key is being responsible and taking that first “step,” so to speak, in determining if your foot pain is cause for alarm. Keep reading to learn what symptoms indicate an urgent situation that requires care from a qualified foot specialist as quickly as possible.

Is Your Foot Pain Urgent? Seek Care ASAP If You’re Experiencing The Following Symptoms:

  • Severe pain and total inability to put pressure on your foot or ankle
  • Swelling
  • Signs of infection (fever, open wound on the foot, redness, etc)
  • A recent fall or accident may indicate a possible sprain in the foot or ankle
  • Likewise, a recent fall or accident may indicate a broken bone in the foot or ankle

female office worker finished work back to home sitting and relaxing and feeling feet painful take off high heel shoes using hand massage

Sprain or Broken Bone In The Foot Or Ankle

Your foot pain may be urgent if you’ve experienced a recent accident, such as a fall, and notice signs of a foot or ankle sprain. Clear signs of a sprain include bruising, swelling, and severe pain that completely prevents one from walking. What’s more, even slightly touching the sprain may be painful. If you suspect you have an ankle or a foot sprain, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Failure to tend to a sprain, or ignoring a possible sprain, can lead to such effects as Arthritis in your joints and recurring foot or ankle pain.

Similar to a sprain, a broken bone in the foot will be tender to the touch. It will also be characterized by swelling, intense onset pain, and an inability to walk. Since our feet are comprised of 26 bones, the location of the fracture may determine the severity in terms of pain. Broken bones in the foot or ankle can range from anywhere from the big toe to one of the bones in your ankle joint. It is critical to see a chiropodist as soon as possible if you suspect you have a broken bone. Moreover, disregarding a possible fracture can lead to complications such as a bone infection, or arthritis.

Treatment Options For Sprains And Broken Bones

In order to treat a broken bone or a sprain in the foot or ankle, a chiropodist will need to determine the exact location of the fracture or sprain by doing a thorough assessment which may also require the patient acquiring diagnostic imaging elsewhere. Unless the location of the fracture or sprain is clear, they will need some time during your visit to determine the affected area. If the fracture or sprain is particularly serious, a surgery may be required. Other options for treatment that your chiropodist will thoughtfully incorporate into a plan include:

  • Rest – this is a given
  • Keeping your foot elevated during rest
  • Soothing the affected area with ice, preferably an ice pack. Compression is very important
  • Foot splint
  • A cast or a crutch
  • When the healing process has progressed, supportive footwear such as Custom orthotics may be recommended to ensure proper rehabilitation

Please note, if a surgical procedure focusing on the bone is required, you should discuss this with your family doctor. They will need to refer you to a podiatrist or an orthopaedic surgeon rather than a chiropodist, if this is the case. 

Doctor or physiotherapist giving treatment to broken leg patient

Swelling

Foot swelling can be quite alarming, and could be indicative of a serious condition. A common occurrence for those suffering from Diabetes, a sprain, or an infection, if you notice your foot pain is accompanied by swelling, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Medical News Today states that diabetes patients should see a doctor if there is swelling present in the foot or ankle. Furthermore, diabetes patients should ensure that regular visits with a qualified Chiropodist are a part of their routine. A chiropodist can help prevent complications by attending to Diabetes related foot conditions on a regular basis. 

Infection

Some foot conditions involving small wounds, cuts or other vulnerable lacerations, including Blisters, Plantar warts and Ingrown toenails, can lead to an infection if left completely untreated. Moreover, the following symptoms could indicate an infection in your foot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Warm skin surrounding infected area
  • Pus from an open wound

Furthermore, those suffering with diabetes need to do everything they can to prevent foot ulcers that can ultimately lead to infections. Foot ulcer symptoms include a foul smell coming from the foot, fluid coming from the affected area, redness and irritation. According to Healthline, “infected diabetic ulcers and bacterial cellulitis require medical treatment.” Depending on the severity of a foot ulcer, a chiropodist may perform a surgery. Other treatment options that tackle infections include:

  • Prescribed medications (pills or creams)
  • Antibiotics
  • Meticulous cleaning of the affected area
  • In the case of an infection caused by a plantar war, Cryotherapy may be required

Ankle sprain

We Can Help!

Are you experiencing severe foot pain? Whether you’re on the mild or severe side of the spectrum, you can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs. If you think your foot pain is cause for alarm, don’t hesitate to book an assessment with one of our qualified foot specialists. We’re open 6 days a week, and are ready to work with you and get you back on your feet!

Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

 

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Why Do I Have Swollen Feet? Causes and Treatments

Did your feet just go from a size 8 to an 8.5? What gives?

Swelling in your feet happens to everyone from time to time to varying degrees. Swollen feet are often caused by standing for long periods of time, or after extending exercise such as walking or running. When your on your feet, gravity pulls blood towards your feet and there can be certain degrees of pooling.

The actual source of swelling (known by its medical term edema) is attributed to your small blood vessels leaking fluid into nearby tissues.

Causes of Swollen Feet

Swollen Feet

Like many foot conditions, possible causes are wide-ranging. If you find your feet ballooning, and are concerned, look out for any of these causes:

  • Pregnancy: A common symptom of late pregnancy is for feet and ankles to swell. This swelling comes from fluid retention and increased pressure on the veins.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: A lifestyle with little exercise means that excess fluid accumulates in the feet.
  • Being overweight
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes: Wearing tight shoes can put pressure on your feet and reduce circulation to the area. This pressure can encourage pooling of fluid in your legs rather than the blood flow you want to aim for in reducing swollen feet and legs.
  • Hot weather: In fact, studies show that Google search trends for ankle swelling are greatest in spring and summer indicating a pattern among the general population. This is due to greater liquid retention in hot weather. In fact, the study found that, “Internet searches for information on ankle swelling are highly seasonal (highest in midsummer), with seasonality explaining 86% of search volume variability.” Although this is not directly related to cases of ankle swelling, it’s well-documented that Internet searches accurately reflect trends in the population.
  • Alcohol: Since your body retains more water when drinking, alcohol consumption can cause swollen feet. If you find your feet are consistently swollen when consuming alcohol, it could be a sign that you’re drinking too much (or too often), or it could be a sign of problems with your liver or kidney.
  • Blood clots: Blood clots in the lower legs can trap fluid in the foot and ankle area as it limits the return flow to other parts of your leg and body.

How Do You Reduce Swelling In The Feet?

Swollen Feet

Fortunaely there are many DIY methods for treating swollen feet. Even better, some of these at-home methods are inexpensive, and highly effective. These include:

  • Soak your feet in cool water.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe and move freely.
  • Rest with your legs elevated.
  • Wear compression stockings/compression gear.
  • Do a few minutes of walking and simple leg exercises: If you sit for long periods of time, make an effort to get up once an hour for a short walk. Even if this is to refill your water bottle or go to the washroom, these regular breaks help with circulation and reduce the pooling in your lower legs.

When Should I Be Concerned About Swollen Feet?

Generally, if you can trace swollen feet back to a specific activity, like hot weather, or standing, then there is little cause for concern. If swelling is a perpetual problem, then you may want to seek medical help to determine the root cause of the condition.

There are a number of foot conditions that can be a greater cause for concern than basic edema.

Types of edema

  • Peripheral edema. It could be a sign of problems with your circulatory system, lymph nodes, or kidneys.
  • Pedal edema.It’s more common if you’re older or pregnant. It can make it harder to move around in part because you may not have as much feeling in your feet.
  • Lymphedema. This type of edema is often causes damage to your lymph nodes, which are tissues that that help filter germs and waste from your body. The damage may be the result of cancer treatments like surgery and radiation.

Blood clots

Blood clots are of great concern. Not only do blood clots cause swelling in your legs (and in other parts of your body), these clots can be life-threatening. If not addressed, a blood clots can travel to the heart and lungs and be fatal. Watch for specific signs of blood clots including swelling in one leg, a low-grade fever, and even possible changes in colours to your affected legs. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect this foot condition, even if it’s just to be safe.

Can high blood pressure cause swollen feet?

Swollen Feet

Swollen feet can be a side effect of certain drugs meant for treating diabetes. For example, calcium-channel blockers for treating high blood pressure may be a culprit. You may want to ask your doctor about dosage and the type of medication if you find that the swelling is out of control or bothersome. (Swollen feet can add not insignificant weight to your body, and make walking difficult.)

People with diabetes also have an increased risk of infection, which can cause swollen feet.

Reduce Swollen Feet With Expert Advice

We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!