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Reducing Shock Absorption in Your Feet

I liken myself to a load-bearing wall. Structurally, to stay sound, that is what a building needs in addition to the foundation. So imagine my feet being that foundation and the rest of the weight I impose upon myself to be that wall. I take great pride in my strength in all of its facets. From a physical perspective, I can lift heavy weights (within reason, I’m not asking for a challenge here,) carry all of the grocery bags into the house at once, and have conquered my goal of running a decent distance with a toddler in each arm simultaneously. There was a patch of mud on our hike, so I had to carry them, according to them.

Girls playing in mud

A few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty happy. I got my bottled green juice out of a fridge (an important point to this story and also a friendly reminder to ingest your greens daily.) My beloved cat wanted some attention right at the top of our wooden stairs. So I snuggled her in my left arm, and with my juice tucked under my right, we confidently embarked on our descent. Now, these stairs I speak of have become notorious over the years for taking grown men down. Going back to toddlers for a moment, I wished I had some of those fancy grip socks on because yes, you guessed it, with two steps left, we fell and went boom.

Cats have nine lives, right? Well, my four-legged friend could outplay any dog in a game of fetch. She hurls herself down those stairs regularly, and she is by far the fluffiest cat I have ever known. So I immediately turn to her as she narrowly escaped my weakened clutches, and she was on the other side of the room, honestly kind of disappointed with me. Concerned, but disappointed. That guilt will live on in my psyche for years to come. She did come around moments later when my shock turned to tears, but still. Oh, and the coveted green juice? Sealed and safe. 


Whenever I hurt my lower extremities, whether falling in the forest on a trail run or moving my knee slightly askew mid-squat at the gym, I remember a few traumatic moments I have experienced personally or witnessed. I think in these times, it is vital to remember how durable we truly are, but also that initial state of shock we feel can live on in our pain bodies for years to come if not properly healed. Weakness is somewhat of a struggle for me as I admire endurance athletes and their ability to humanize pushing beyond our perceived boundaries and limitations. I still have to remember how sensitive I am and that if I want to keep being that pillar of strength, I need to practice self-care for longevity.

Breaking skater on frozen lake

At Feet First, we have many great options for the athlete or everyday home or office warrior. Insoles and orthotics to support you with every step you take is our specialty. We offer Custom Orthotics designed for your needs. We can create orthotics for Sport, Dress, or Casual and break down your requirements even further to aid in the reduction of shock absorption from your daily activities and the off-chance you are clumsy like me and fall. We also have our Superfeet Insoles. Our over-the-counter option and great for the athlete. They fit perfectly into your skates or other athletic footwear. For those of you dealing with bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or forefoot pain, these are a great option. Stock up on the variety of colours we have available!

Looking to Reduce Shock Absorption in Your Active Lifestyle?

Call us today and book your appointment at 416.769.FEET (3338) or come into the office and we can help you with the Superfeet Insoles. Remember it’s important to take care of your foundation, so think Feet First!

Why Your Feet Change Size Over Time

Were you once a size 8 and now you’re a size 9? No, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. And your memory hasn’t disappeared. This change is actually quite common.

After all, your feet absorb a lot of impact. Decades of it, in fact. It should come as no surprise that this shock absorption can alter our feet, albeit quite subtly. More likely than not, you will only notice this change over months, if not years. A drastic change in shoe size shouldn’t happen overnight (if it does, you should seek medical advice).

Generally, ageing has a number of effects on our feet, including changing its size and shape. Our feet typically stop growing in our early 20s (depending on when you started and finished puberty), but in our later years, our feet may grow again.

Why Do My Feet Change Size?

A number of factors can result in changes to our shoe size over time. Some are age-related, others are more event-related including pregnancy or as the result of a condition. Below you’ll find some of the contributing factors.

Flat Feet

As we age, our feet flatten. Time and gravity widen and lengthen our feet naturally as the body absorbs years of impact. Ligaments and tendons begin to weaken over time as well causing flatter and larger feet. Imagine if you had higher arches when you were younger. If those arches begin to collapse over time, there is less upward range of your feet, and your feet get longer.

Foot and Toe Deformities

Additionally, adults can develop foot conditions and deformities over time that change the foot’s anatomy. Bunions, or hallux rigidus, for example, either add volume or change the width of the foot which may require larger footwear. If not larger footwear, many brands also offer wide variations of their most popular lines of shoes. These have wider toe boxes, and otherwise are true to size.

Body Changes

Slower metabolism, or changes in your diet can mean either weight gain or weight loss. These greater changes to your body have effects on your feet. Weight gain, for example, means greater pressure on your feet. Additionally, the fat pads on the base of your feet diminish over time.

Diabetes and Arthritis

These conditions can affect our feet. Diabetes and arthritis can impact the amount of swelling in your feet as well as blood flow which can greatly change the shape of our feet.


Bigger feet during pregnancy is 100% normal. This is likely temporary and a direct result of your feet swelling. In some cases, this increase may be permanent, but only if the ligaments and tendons in your feet weaken to the point where they don’t recover post-pregnancy.

What Time of Day Should I Try on Footwear?

Feet Change Size

You want to account for your feet at their largest. Since feet swell throughout the course of the day, trying on footwear is best done in the late afternoon or evening. If your schedule restricts you to try on footwear in the morning, remember to account for the difference in your feet between morning and night.

Always try shoes on with both feet. Not all feet are created equally, and you can even have as much as a half-size difference between your left and right feet.

Get Your Feet Measured by Professionals

Feet Change Size


Ill-fitting shoes that are the leading cause of foot pain and foot problems and eight out of 10 people’s shoes fit incorrectly.

Follow these tips when trying on a new pair of shoes or winter boots.

  1. Try on footwear later in the day to ensure a proper fit.
  2. Try on both shoes, and use the larger foot to dictate the size of shoe you buy.
  3. Stand up while measuring your feet.
  4. Stand and walk for a few minutes before determining proper fit. Take your time.
  5. Try on different brands, and models of shoes.
  6. Try on different size shoes including 0.5 sizes.
  7. Wear the socks or garment you would normally to mimic real-world conditions.

Here at Feet First Clinic, we offer every customer a comprehensive footwear assessment free of charge to ensure that you invest in the healthiest footwear for your unique feet. Our footwear specialists and chiropodists will help match your foot shape, structure, and alignment to specific shoes and footwear features that answer to your corrective, supportive, or accommodative needs.

Customize Your Shoe Size

Feet Change Size


If you find your shoes fit well, but they could fit better, consider shoe stretching.

Shoe stretching is best suited to expanding shoes that are close to the right size but barely too tight. Stretching your shoes can increase:
  • Width: Increase of up to one size widthwise
  • Length: Increase of up to 1” inch lengthwise
  • Toebox: Increase of up to 1” in the height of the toe box
  • Instep: Increase of up to 1/2” in the vamp and instep area

This fine-tuning can give you that extra bit of room in your shoe to ensure the fit is just right. Most types of footwear can be stretched, and we offer this service here at Feet First Clinic, located at 2481 Bloor St W. Whether it’s buying shoes, measuring your feet, or stretching shoes you already own, we’re your one-stop shop for all of your footcare needs.

Your Footwear Solutions Live Here

All under one roof! 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!

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers That Are Great For Your Feet

The holidays are a hectic time of year and sometimes we leave some of our shopping to the last minute! This can be especially true when it comes to last minute touches, such as stocking stuffers. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! Rest assured, we’ve got you covered if you need some last minute goodies to add to someone’s stocking, or if you’re still looking for that perfect gift. Coupled with the fact that these are great for our feet and foot health this winter, we’re confident in our ability to give you some last minute ideas for holiday gift giving. These products help prevent foot pain, foot conditions and skin conditions. Furthermore, some of these goodies will help keep your favourite shoes protected from looking worn or rough around the edges.

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers That Are Great For Your Feet Include:

  • Gehwol Night Time Routine Bundle
  • Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks
  • Anodyne Leather Shoe Conditioner
  • Compression Pantyhose
  • Gehwol Medical Salve For Cracked Skin
  • Superfeet Insoles

Christmas stockings hanging by the chimney

Gehwol Night Time Routine Bundle

Bundle deals are exciting and greatly appreciated during the holidays! What’s more, they give you the opportunity to treat someone to a variety of products. If you’d like to do this for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet at work, the Gehwol Night Time Routine Bundle may be the perfect gift for them! Additionally, it’s the perfect gift or stocking stuffer idea for someone who is too busy for proper foot care and may need the right introduction to the perfect routine. This self-care bundle includes a soothing leg balm, revitalizing foot bath, and a moisturizing foam.

Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks

If your friend or loved one is the athletic type, you can opt for a pair of Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks as a last minute gift or stocking stuffer. Please note that if you’d like to treat someone to a pair of compression stockings, it’s best that they’re in the know, since they will need a proper fitting. Despite the lack of surprise, the gesture is still a good one that they will appreciate, and you can incorporate the fitting into their gift, if you like! Known for their ability to rejuvenate tired, achy muscles, as well as their knack for preventing lactic acid build up, a pair of these may be just what someone needed! They’re a gift idea that’s certainly long lasting and will be used regularly. They will greatly improve the quality of life for that physically active special person in your life.

Interested in learning more about compression stockings? Click here to learn about the different varieties, as well as the numerous health benefits they provide.

Anodyne Leather Shoe Conditioner

Do you know someone who cherishes their favourite pair of leather shoes? Or perhaps you know someone who wants to protect their newly purchased shoes? Whatever the reason, shoe care means a lot to many people. A great stocking stuffer or small gift idea would be the Anodyne Leather Shoe Conditioner! Found on page 17 of their catalogue, this product protects leather shoes from the harshness of weather and prevents them from looking tattered or shabby. Applying this conditioner to shoes cleans them, protects their colour, and conserves and softens the leather.


Birkenstock Deluxe Shoe Care Kit

Stocking stuffers that are great for our feet are even better when they come as a bundle! Another great bundle that allows someone to enjoy several products is the Deluxe Shoe Care Kit from Birkenstock, found on page 26 of their catalogue. Commonly assumed to be a company that only makes sandals, Birkenstock’s kit includes leather protector, shoe cleaner, cork sealer, and a suede brush! A handy accessory kit that focuses on shoe protection may be just what someone wanted this year! A great pair of well-fitting, high quality shoes should last as long as possible, and that’s exactly what this kit will help someone achieve.

Superfeet Insoles

Another great last-minute stocking stuffer or gift idea are Superfeet insoles. These high-quality insoles come in a various designs that target different needs. Superfeet curate insoles suitable for sports enhancement, hiking, running, or simply everyday walking. Do you have a friend who enjoys frequent walks or hikes? Or perhaps a loved one who enjoys running? Whatever the activity, Superfeet has an insole for the man or woman in your life who needs that extra support. For instance, yellow Superfeet insoles are made to accomodate hockey players by fitting snugly inside their skates. What’s more, Superfeet insoles can help treat, as well as prevent, such foot conditions as Morton’s Neuroma, Blisters, Bunions, and Plantar Fasciitis.

Compression Pantyhose

The benefits that come with compression socks also apply to Compression PantyhoseSimilar to the Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks, there will be a lack of surprise by gifting a pair of these to someone. This is because they will need a proper fitting with a foot specialist. However, the gesture will be greatly appreciated, as compression pantyhose are an excellent gift for any working woman. Specifically, they’re great for women who spend a lot of time on their feet while experiencing foot and leg fatigue or discomfort. To gift a pair of compression pantyhose to someone special, you can schedule their fitting with a Toronto foot specialist and then offer to pay for the pantyhose.

Gehwol Medical Salve For Cracked Skin

In addition to their night time routine bundle, Gehwol’s Medical Salve For Cracked Skin is another great product from the trusted brand. Perfect for cracked heels and dry skin, most people could benefit from this practical stocking stuffer. This is especially true during the Toronto winter season. A great introductory product to foot care, your friend or loved one will hopefully be inspired to ditch other bad foot care habits. These habits could include wearing bad shoes, also known as “shoe icide,” or the habit of wearing low quality shoes. Once they feel the relief that comes with this product, your loved one will be appreciative, and hopefully take that next step towards proper foot care.


Foot Care

Need Some Last Minute Stocking Stuffers? We’ve Got You Covered! 

Looking to finish up some of your holiday shopping? We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concerns! Call us even to ask about a quick question and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction! Be sure to check out our downtown Toronto foot clinic’s Full product catalogue for more great gift ideas!

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

10 DIY Foot Product Gifts For Less Than $60

Christmas and the holidays are approaching. It’s time to prepare your wishlist, and plan what your gifts for your loved ones will be. Encourage proper foot health by opting for any number of these foot product gifts this holiday season.

Why not buy your loved one a gift that they’ll actually use? Buy the gift of healthy feet, and proper foot hygiene with some do-it-yourself products. These 10 DIY foot product gifts encourage proper foot care, and can be purchased for less than $60, making them a great option for stocking stuffers, or as a wrapped present.

As Toronto’s leading foot clinic, Feet First Clinic carries all 10 of these foot product gifts in-house. Open six days a week including Saturday for your convenience. For even more options, check out our full product list for what we carry in-store.

10 DIY foot product gifts for less than $60

Superfeet insole – $45-$55

Foot Product Gifts

You won’t find a better pre-made orthotics than Superfeet. These premium insoles and shoe inserts come in a variety of options, including for sport and for casual use, and retail for less than $60. Best of all, you can easily swap these in and out of each pair of shoes you use with zero hassle.

If you’re looking for something a bit more durable, and moulded to your foot, we at Feet First Clinic also do custom foot orthotics.


Gehwol Med Deodorant Foot Cream – $20

Foot Product Gifts

Oh no, Foot Odour. Thanks to this deodorant foot cream, you can avoid smelly feet all together. With regular application, this Gehwol product helps prevent foot odour, and protects the skin against fungal infections, while leaving the skin soft and smooth.


Gehwol Refreshing Foot Bath – $18

A refreshing foot bath formula can help counteract sore, aching and sweaty feet while invigorating tired feet, soothing sore feet and eliminating any unpleasant burning sensation. Gehwol’s Foot Bath has a lasting deodorizing action and promotes the circulation with essential oils. The skin is deeply cleansed and kept resistant and supple with sodium carbonate which softens hard skin, corns and calluses.


Orthosleeve FS6 – $50

Compression attire is great way to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and relieve foot pain. The Orthosleeve FS6 hones in on the ankle and plantar, reducing pain resulting from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, swollen feet, and more. If you’re on your feet all day – including as a nurses, teachers, retail workers, hairdressers, food service workers, and more – this compression sleeve may be just what you’re looking for if you experience foot pain and swelling. As standing for long periods of time pools blood in your legs, compression gear can help encourage blood flow. The FS6’s shaped-to- fit design allows it to mold perfectly to your foot shape, support your arches, and relieve your foot pain.


Strassburg Sock – $50

The Strassburg sock helps relieve heel pain when you sleep. Specifically, this sock is designed to hold the plantar fascia in the optimum healing position at night. Whole you sleep, the sock keeps the foot at dorsiflexion, and over the course of 2-3 weeks, can help lessen the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. The Strassburg sock is particularly appealing because you don’t need to wear it throughout the day. Rather, wear it at night, and you’ll forget you even have it on.


Massage ball – $10-$15

One of the most effective do-it-at-home foot treatments is self-massage. Whether it’s through foam rolling, or with a massage ball, self-therapy helps encourage blood flow, and can help prevent many common foot conditions. Medilogics massage balls are affordable, durable, and portable.


Foot file – $20

Sometimes the simplest measures can be the most effective. Pamper your feet at home with a Feet First Clinic-approved foot file. This handy tool gently buffs away rough, dry, and calloused skin. Portable too, you can bring a foot file on vacation, or wherever you go for extended periods of time. At just $20, this affordable product is the gift that keeps on giving, for weeks, months, and years to come.


Dermal Therapy Medical Grade Creams & Lotions – $15

Dermal Therapy Heel Care actively moisturizes, exfoliates, and smoothes thick, callused, severely dry heels and feet. This medical grade cream includes a 25% urea formula that helps relieve severely dry skin. Urea is an important part of healthy young skin’s natural moisturizing system.


Naot Scandinavian Footbed Footwear – $50

Foot Product Gifts

Make any shoe you own more comfortable by a Naot footbed. A footbed is like an insole, that over time moulds to your foot, and provides optimum comfort and support. These can be particularly useful when wearing formal footwear that don’t offer the support of everyday shoes. Swap these in, or out, and you’re good to go in seconds.


Infracare bunion exerciser – $14

Bunions are an angular boney protrusion that forms at the site of the large joint that connects your big toe to your foot. It’s a prevalent condition, affecting up to one in three people over the age of 18. For many, bunions pose no problem, and you can absolutely live comfortably with bunions. However, there are a number of exercises and products that can make your life more comfortable. This centres aroud strengthening toe joint and related muscles. Enter, the Infracare bunion exericser. This toe strengthener is made of a durable elastic and soft toe pads that give you a comfortable grip on your toes to enable a gentle stretch of the muscles of the toe joint.

Additional exercises for bunions include: Toe spread-outs, toe circles, foot rolls, item pickup, and barefoot walking.


Your Footcare solutions live here!

All under one roof! 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 at 416-769-3338 to ask about actionable steps towards your solution, or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

How to Defeat Dry Skin This Winter

There are plenty of positives of winter: snowy walks, cozy evenings by the fireplace, outdoor winter activities and the holidays. One not so great aspect of winter is dry skin.

Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition characterized by scaling, itching, and cracking. It can result from a variety of factors, or be totally natural. Although you can have dry skin anywhere on your body, your feet can be particularly prone to this condition.

Why Dry Skin is Prevalent in Winter

Winter is especially brutal for dry skin. This is the case for a number of reasons:

  • Dehydration is more evident in winter
  • Indoor heating and showers can dry out the layer of skin that locks in moisture
  • Low humidity levels can degrade the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This can lead to flaking and peeling

Generally, humans’ desire to stay warm, either through indoor heating or hot showers, is particularly conducive to having dry skin in the winter. If you’ve ever come inside from the cold and take lengthy hot showers to warm up, you know what we mean.

Dry Skin

Beyond peoples’ habits, the environment plays a role. As Harvard Health Publishing explains it, the water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it.

Modify Your Home

Start by optimizing your home environment for the winter. Drier air means drier skin. Using a humidifier in the room that you spend the most time can help prevent your feet from drying out.

Keep the temperature on the cooler side as warmer temperatures will quickly dry out your skin.

Use a Moisturizer

Moisturizer For Dry Skin

One key component to avoiding dry skin is using moisturizing creams and products. Skin moisturizers specifically rehydrate the epidermis (the outermost of the three layers that make up the skin) and seal in the moisture. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker and greasier a moisturizer, the more effective it is. For example, petroleum jelly and moisturizing oils are highly effective as they help prevent water loss.

Use moisturizing products in damp conditions (like after taking a bath, or a shower) to seal in the water. By moisturizing your skin, you can help prevent calluses, blisters, and cracked heels.

Products we carry in-store here at Toronto’s Feet First Clinic include:

  • Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Lotion Spray
  • Dermal Therapy Heel Care Cream
  • Gehwol Refreshing Foot Bath
  • Gehwol Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream

Visit the clinic any time – no appointment required – for a wide selection of skincare products, footwear, and footcare products.

Skin Ageing and Dryness

Your skin gets drier as you age. It’s inevitable. In fact, more than 75% of people over age 64 have dry skin.

Dry skin and ageing are related through a number of factors: cumulative effects of the sun over time as sun damage can thin the skin’s layer that absorbs moisture, and the production of natural oils slows as we age. Generally, dry skin doesn’t cause serious foot or skin conditions, but they can. These conditions can include chronic eczema, bleeding, or even bacterial infection.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are another side effect of ageing. When the skin on the bottom of your heels becomes overly dry, it can split and crack. This condition is known as Cracked Heels. These fissures can be painful and bleed. If they persist, your heels can become infected.

What You Can do About Dry Skin

Dry Skin Avoid Long Showers

Combat dry skin this winter by incorporating (or avoiding) some of these habits into your routine:

  • Use a humidifier in the winter
  • Limit yourself to 5-10-minute baths or showers
  • Use lukewarm water rather than hot water
  • Minimize your use of soaps. Alternatively, use moisture-rich hygiene products
  • Avoid deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products
  • Use bath oils
  • Use moisturizer immediately after bathing or after washing your hands
  • To reduce the greasy feel of petroleum jelly and thick creams, rub a small amount in your hands, and then rub it over the affected areas until neither your hands nor the affected areas feel greasy.
  • Avoid scratching or itching dry areas
  • Use sunscreen in the winter (not just in the summer)
  • Use a cream or gel a few minutes before shaving
  • Avoid fabric softeners and use fragrance-free laundry detergents

We Can Help With All of Your Foot and Skincare Needs

We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort possible. Call us to inquire about any concerns or questions you have and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

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

Common Types of Foot Pain Among Older Feet

It’s common knowledge that as we age, we’re more likely to experience several health conditions, and foot conditions are no exception. Certain types of foot pain are associated with foot conditions that are more common among older feet. The foot conditions we will be discussing in this article can worsen as we age, or typically present themselves after age 40. Don’t worry, however, we will also discuss your treatment options, as well as lifestyle changes you can make. These changes include things you can do from home that will help manage your foot pain.

Common Types Of Foot Pain Among Older Feet Include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hammertoes

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that can have an adverse effect on your feet. It is an inflammatory condition that attacks the surrounding bone of our synovial cells, which eventually harms our joints, tendons and ligaments and can lead to muscle atrophy. While it can occur at any age, rheumatoid arthritis typically affects older feet and presents itself between the ages of 50-75. For women, anywhere between age 55-64 would be the common onset age, with the common onset age for men being between 65-75. The joints in your feet will consistently feel painful, regardless of physical activity.

While there is no known cure that completely eradicates this debilitating condition, pain management is absolutely possible. The focus should be on managing mobility, and ensuring you have the tools to prevent or manage the deformity associated with rheumatoid arthritis. You should see a qualified Chiropodist, as you may need Custom made shoes and Custom made orthotics to accommodate the abnormal width and length of your feet, not to mention they will also make walking less painful. Furthermore, a chiropodist can work with you and curate a plan to help manage: 

  • Mobilization
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Toenail maintenance

Read even more on rheumatoid arthritis!


Gout is actually a form of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid excretion in the blood. The high levels of uric acid create crystals that congregate around the joints of the feet. It rarely occurs in younger adults and children, and will usually occur in women after menopause, and in men during middle age. Gout can seemingly come out of nowhere and is quite concerning. The pain may wake you up suddenly or startle you during the day. Symptoms of gout include:

  • Severe swelling
  • Redness
  • Acute, severe pain in the joints in your big toe
  • Dull, lingering pain after onset of severe pain

There are ways you can manage gout from home, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can help tackle the pain in the early stages. You should also speak with a chiropodist about the later stages of gout, or when it becomes a chronic condition and a part of your everyday life. They can recommend certain medications aimed at lowering levels of uric acid, pain management and preventing further complications.

Read even more about gout!

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Osteoarthritis in the feet is caused by the breaking down of cartilage in the joints. It presents itself as stiff pain, often feeling worse in the mornings or after periods of inactivity. One of the most common types of foot pain, it occurs most often in older feet, and is most prevalent among women over 50. It is also the most common form of arthritis, affecting countless people.

The good news is that it’s manageable! Staying active and sticking to a healthy diet will go a long way. Visits with a chiropodist, who will perform foot pain treatment, will also enhance your mobility and greatly improve the condition.

Read even more about osteoarthritis!


Hammertoes are a foot condition that affect the second, third or fourth toe, with one or more toes being affected. An abnormality in the middle joint of the toe will cause the toe to bend downward and potentially overlap other toes. The bend in the toe will progressively worsen over time, hence having more of an impact on older people. Hammertoes are more prevalent in women than in men, and the risk increases as we age. Symptoms include corns and calluses that are caused by the friction between ill-fitting footwear and the deformed toe. There is also a good chance that the afflicted toe will be painful. Severity depends on whether the toe is still flexible, or fixed in one position.

A chiropodist will likely recommend an overhaul of your footwear, especially if they become aware that the bent toe is rubbing against your shoes. Shoes with more room for your toes will greatly improve your daily life, as well as orthotics aimed at shifting the hammertoe in a more comfortable position. At-home stretches that Focus on the toes may also be beneficial.

If these lifestyle changes do little to improve your condition, or if the condition worsens, your medical doctor may suggest a minor surgery that either targets the joint, or removes a piece of bone from the toe.

Read even more about hammertoes!

Retirement is here, let’s get relaxed

Your Solutions Live Here!

Let us help you with any foot pain that may be associated with aging. We’ve got everything all under one roof! Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. Whether your condition is mild or severe, 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!

Effects of Sitting On Our Legs And Feet

As the workforce goes increasingly remote, Canadians are sitting more than ever. For those who work office jobs, long hours in a chair in front of a computer is commonplace. On the one hand, working an office job means you’re likely commuting, either by foot, bike, transit or by car. At least with commuting, you’re moving in one way or another. At home, you can go an entire day without reaching 500-1000 steps. The long-term effects of sitting can be real, and serious. The remote work trend may continue too. In fact, two-thirds of Canadians who currently work from home expect the trend to continue, according to research by the Angus Reid Institute. Whether that will actually occur or not is another question.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians are sedentary for, on average, 10 hours per day. (This number grows as we age too.) Statistics Canada also cites a study from 2010 stating that “research has shown that physical inactivity or sedentary time is associated with higher risk for chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer independent of physical activity levels.” Regardless of the workplace, there’s no doubt about it: people sit for long periods of time. Combine sitting at work with sitting elsewhere: on your commute, when you’re eating, or relaxing on the couch. It wouldn’t be a shock for some people to say they spend more hours in a day sitting than in any other position. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can have several of effects on our body. The effects extend to our feet and legs too.

Does it matter how I sit?

Common Foot Conditions Associated With Sitting

It’s important to start off by saying that foot conditions can arise from sitting, or they can arise from the opposite: being on your feet all day. Regardless of your line of work, your Job Affects Your Feet in different ways. Remember: a balanced approach to foot care, and spending 5-10 minutes each day with some self-care will go a long way. At Feet First Clinic in Toronto, we can help you with a plan of preventative care, and can help you with whatever foot pain or discomfort you experience.

Below you’ll find a list of foot conditions linked to sitting for long periods of time.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your legs. DVT can cause leg pain or swelling. Especially when sitting, blood pools in your legs, and blood flow lessens. This can lead to blood clots as your blood isn’t entering and exiting your lower extremities as quickly.


Edema is the medical term for swelling. Have you ever noticed that your legs are more swollen later in the day, especially because of sitting? Edema occurs when your blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. There are some related conditions including lymphedema, peripheral edema, and pedal edema, all of which are variations of swelling.

Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins are swollen, twisted veins that are typically visible just below the surface of the skin. The actual cause is weak or damaged vein walls and valves. Beyond visible signs, there several symptoms of varicose veins. These include: bulging, bluish veins; swelling; aching pain; a feeling of heaviness in the legs and feet; itching; changes in skin color; and nighttime leg cramps. Those who sit for long periods of time may be at an increased risk of developing varicose veins in their legs.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when your veins are unable to properly transport blood back to your heart. This inability causes swelling and blood to pool in your legs. Valve damage may occur as a result of sitting for extended periods of time, and from general inactivity. This is largely due to the valves being weakened, and blood pressure rising to compensate. CVI occurs more in those aged 50 and over, and it’s more common in women than in men.

Does it Matter how I Sit?

The most popular perception around sitting is sitting cross-legged. Although varicose veins can form due to heightened blood pressure, it’s not because of sitting. In fact, the effects of sitting don’t extend to causing varicose veins. That’s a myth, says one doctor.

“Crossing your legs does not cause varicose veins. They result from an intrinsic problem with the veins themselves. Standing for long periods of time is another habit that has been questioned as a cause of varicose veins. In truth, standing may exacerbate existing problem with veins but should not cause them.”

Additionally, how you sit can affect other parts of your body including your neck, back, shoulders, and arms. Although not directly connected, poor posture can lead to problems in your legs and feet. You should also be cognizant of how your feet are planted on the floor. Aim to have flat feet, with weight distributed evenly, instead of putting undue pressure on the outside or inside of your feet. This is particularly important if you suffer from conditions like hallux limitus, hallux rigidus, or bunions.

Two Desks With Chair and Computer Monitors

How to Reduce the Effects of Sitting

Take the following precautions and incorporate a few of these tips into your routine to reduce the long-term effects of sitting.

  • Proper footwear: Even when we’re sitting we put pressure on our feet. Invest in proper footwear and avoid high heels when possible if you know you’ll be sitting for 8-10 hours. Even if you keep a pair of sneakers under your desk, you can easily swap in and out of various footwear. (If your workplace has a dress code, for example.) Here at Feet First Clinic, we carry top-of-the-line Orthopedic Footwear, and can Properly Fit You to a pair of shoes that fits your body’s needs.
  • Compression socks: Compression Socks can help with blood flow, and can help reduce swelling in your legs.
  • Get up and move: Set a timer, or only fill up your water bottle halfway as an excuse to get up and walk around every hour. Try to sprinkle in physical activity throughout the day to break up long periods of sedentary (in)activity.
  • Proper chair: No more sitting on your couch or a kitchen chair all day for work. Invest in a proper ergonomic chair and your entire body will thank you. In many cases of foot conditions, the problem stems from other parts of our body. We only feel pain in our legs, but the source of the problem is elsewhere. Address the condition, not the symptom.
  • Use a standing desk: The advice here would be to use a standing desk. But, not just a standing desk. Swap in and out of using a sitting desk, and a standing desk for a more balanced lifestyle. If you don’t have room or access to a standing desk, consider taking some of your calls while standing up or while out for a walk.

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Podiatry Podcasts

Podcasts have become so popular over the past few years; the demand is consistently growing. Through a search on the various platforms out there, you can find content relating to just about anything. Wellness podcasts are my personal preference. Whenever I have been working from home, I am enriching my overall health by listening to positive, thought-provoking, and inspiring interviews and stories.

Carefully curating podcast episodes for you as inspiration is the goal of the series of articles that lie ahead. Today, to kick things off and put my best foot forward (double pun, you’re welcome,) I have found some Podiatry specific podcasts. Whether this is your professional space or you are looking to diversify your knowledge, here’s a list for you to peruse: 


When the first episode on the list was simply called Bunions, I knew I was in the right place. Hosted by Ian Griffiths and Craig Payne, British and Australian podiatrists, the show episodes hold a theme similar to what is reflective here on the Feet First blog. Well versed in the industry and continually striving for more knowledge, the duo stays current with foot health and shares that with their audience. You can find PodChatLive here.

Female doctor reviews x-ray of patient’s foot

The Foot Collective

The Foot Collective Audio Project hosts a variety of guests to talk about proper foot health. The list includes runners, shoe designers, kinesiologists, and podiatrists/chiropodists. The podcast is based in Canada, though The Foot Collective has a British connection. The variety of voices within the content intrigues me, and I look forward to tuning in. You can find The Foot Collective here.

kinesiologist doing therapeutic exercises for an elderly patient. Kinesitherapy at the medical center

Podiatry Legends

The Podiatry Legends Podcast highlights Podiatrists from across the globe, sharing their insights and stories from their time within the profession. The show’s audience benefits from the discussion of the business side of things and they aim to help students on their way to building their practice. Offering up a diversified view on the aspects available to focus on as a niche, Podiatry Legends boasts great guests to help you move beyond the thoughts of basic foot care.

The list of episodes per series holds a heavy-hitting roster that would appeal to not only those within the field of Podiatry and Chiropody but also those who are wellness enthusiasts alike. They appeal to me as someone who is a fitness fanatic and looking to maintain mobility, taking better care of myself now, and always. You can find Podiatry Legends here.

Pediatrician shows concerned father foot x-rays

Podcasts make a great daily addition to your content consumption. I listen to them while working, working out, and anytime I need a little inspiration. The shortlist above is the beginning of exploring great content out there related to feet. It has been very cool to find podiatry specific podcasts that cater not only to the field itself but the avid wellness junkie like myself!

Looking For More Guidance In Person With Your Feet?

Come visit us at Feet First Clinic located in Bloor West Village. Our chiropodists and team will have great one-on-one insight for your specific concerns. Call us at 416-769-FEET (4338) and book your appointment today!


5 Foot Conditions Common In Children

Sometimes our kids can seem invincible. High energy levels and excitement are some definable features in children. Despite this, it’s our job as parents to make sure they are as healthy as possible. If your child complains about foot pain or a foot problem, you should pay attention, seek advice and look into treatment options. They may be experiencing one of the most common foot conditions found in children.

5 Foot Conditions Common In Children: 

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Flat Feet

Flat feet are one of the most common foot conditions for children. It is normal for infants and young children to have flat feet, and the problem usually goes away on its own as kids age, due to their muscles growing stronger and soft tissues solidifying. If your child is beyond age 9 or 10 and the arches in their feet haven’t become pronounced at all, you may want to ask if they’re experiencing any foot pain. Flat feet are not always painful, but if your child complains about persistent pain when walking or running, you should consider treatment options.

Treatment for flat feet typically involves an overhaul of your child’s footwear. If your child is overweight or sporting ill-fitting shoes, it can make the pain worse. You should seek guidance from your child’s paediatrician, and potentially a Foot specialist. They will likely recommend a pair of accommodating, comfortable shoes tailored to your child’s needs, as well as Custom OrthoticsYou should also try not to let your child wear bad shoes with poorly constructed soles that further exaggerate the flatness of their feet — think flip-flops or flats.

Plantar Warts

Another one of the most common foot conditions for children, as well as adults, are plantar warts. Plantar warts are found on the burdened areas of the foot, such as the heels and the ball of the foot. They are caused by a certain strain of the Human Papillomavirus(commonly known as HPV). You should be mindful of your child running around barefoot in public spaces, such as swimming pools. Likewise, you should also make sure your child’s feet are shielded and protected from the virus by ensuring any small cuts or scrapes are covered with a bandage. Your child’s plantar warts may go away on their own, but sometimes specialized treatment is required.

Treatment Methods Used to Target Plantar Warts:

  • Salicylic Acid: Products with salicylic acid will soften the skin on your child’s feet, and shed the outer layer of skin quickly. A qualified Chiropodist may recommend this, and will painlessly peel the wart off after application of the product for some time. This is arguably the least intimidating treatment method for a child with a persistent issue with plantar warts.
  • Needling: It’s likely you’ll want to avoid any treatment containing the word “needle” when it comes to children. However, this process can eradicate all plantar warts by focusing on one. The process includes puncturing the wart 100 times to trigger an immune response.
  • Cryotherapy: A foot specialist will gently apply a cotton swab with liquid nitrogen to the problem area, this will freeze the wart. Cool, right? The area eventually forms a protective blister, and after a few rounds of this the wart will be gone for good. It may be a little painful for your child, so talk to them about how beneficial it will be in the long run and make them feel brave!

Ingrown Toenail

An Ingrown toenail can be a painful nuisance for your child. They present themselves as small, red areas of swelling on your child’s skin, close to the toenail. They are typically harmless, but you should make sure they don’t become infected. An infection could cause the redness to spread, further aggravate foot pain, and lead to blisters.

If the Ingrown toenail doesn’t go away, your child can see a foot specialist who will be able to:

  • Gain access to the ingrown toenail and trim it.
  • Recommend antibiotic cream in the presence of infection. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.
  • Recommend at-home care, such as using Epsom salt in a foot bath. Epsom salt can reduce pain and prevent infection.
  • Recommend over-the-counter pain relief, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen.
  • If your child has a persistent problem, they may suggest performing a minor surgery on the nail bed/toenail.

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Toe-Walking is a lot like what it sounds like. Common amongst growing children, toe-walking occurs when a child underutilizes their feet when walking. The child will step with just the ball of the foot —- imagine something similar to tiptoeing. Although it is rare, if your child is toe-walking after age 2, they have adapted to an abnormal gait. Health professionals are actually unable to understand the reasoning behind toe-walking in most cases. Your child should be encouraged to develop a normal gait, in which case a Video Gait Analysis can help.


Sometimes referred to as “pigeon-toed,” you may be noticing your child is walking or running with their feet pointed towards each other rather than straight ahead. Children younger than 8 years old usually stop doing this, but in some cases a child will continue in-toeing. You may want to take note of ways you can correct this relatively harmless foot condition and encourage normal development.

A foot specialist may recommend special shoes for infants, which can work wonders and be preventative. In rare cases, a surgical procedure aimed at aligning the thigh bone or shinbone may be required for an older child. You’ll want to avoid any future complications, such as a lopsided gait (can lead to future foot pain) or painful foot conditions, such as bunions.

If a surgery recommended, your child may be scared and need reassurance. Be sure to do your part by comforting them. You can explain to them in a calm manner that there will be no complications with this type of procedure, and that the outcome will greatly improve their quality of life.

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Varicose Veins: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Have you ever noticed red or blue veins that almost appear to be sticking out of your skin? These may be varicose veins.

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that lie just under the skin. Most often, these swollen, twisted veins develop in the legs. The good news about is that these veins are rarely painful, and often not a serious concern. The bad news can be related to cosmetics. Enlarged and colourful veins may be undesirable. Given we all age, varicose veins become increasingly more common, especially at advanced ages. Like many foot conditions, varicose veins is one side effect ageing has on our feet and legs. But, age is only part of the story.

Read on to learn about the causes, risks, prevention, and treatment, as well as how we can help.

Causes and Risk Factors

Varicose Veins

At its simplest, varicose veins are the result of damaged walls and valves. So, the veins are unable to do their job: to carry blood. When blood pools because of reduced circulation, the veins grow, blood pressure rises, and your veins become distorted.

According to, varicose and spider veins (see more on spider veins below) affect up to 50% of the adult population. Women tend to suffer from these veins more often than men, especially as you age. But, there are a wide range of risk factors that may lead to swollen, twisted veins. Risks include:

  • Advanced age
  • Prolonged sitting/standing
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone therapy (HT)
  • Birth control pills
  • Injury
  • Prior vein surgery
  • History of blood clots
  • Family history

Notable controllable risks from above include obesity, and prolonged sitting/standing. Through self-care, regular exercise, and monitoring your feet and legs, you help reduce the likelihood of this foot condition. Those who sit for long periods of time, or those who stand for lengths of time, should be particularly aware of varicose veins. A balanced lifestyle, one with a proper diet and regular exercise, can help prevent your veins from weakening.

Person sitting on their computer

Fortunately, varicose veins rarely pose any threat or symptoms. Instead, it’s a cosmetic appearance that may be undesirable. Symptoms may include swelling, throbbing, aching, burning, itching, heaviness, tingling, or cramping of the legs. In rare instances, you may develop skin ulcers. When in doubt, contact a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

The Effects of Compression Socks

Compression Socks are one of the most effective ways to prevent varicose veins. In fact, compression socks are generally a great investment as a preventative measure to most foot and leg conditions. Medical Leggings use “graduated” compression, which squeezes harder the farther they are from the heart. This prevents blood from pooling in the legs; that’s why you see people on planes, trains, and at work wearing them. The idea behind compression gear is that it increases blood flow throughout the body. Specifically for vein health, compression socks will limit the effects of being sedentary as your body will pump blood in and out of the region keeping your veins strong and healthy. Visit Feet First Clinic for a wide range of compression socks, as well as for a home to all of your footcare and footwear needs.

Will Crossing My Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

Sitting Cross-Legged

Prolonged sitting, standing, and obesity are the common risk factors for varicose veins—not sitting cross-legged. According to a doctor at UAMS Medical Centre, the connection between sitting cross-legged and varicose veins is a myth.

“Crossing your legs does not cause varicose veins,” Dr. Mohammed Moursi says. “They result from an intrinsic problem with the veins themselves. Standing for long periods of time is another habit that has been questioned as a cause of varicose veins. In truth, standing may exacerbate the existing problem with veins but should not cause them.”

Varicose vs. Spider Veins

Varicose veins and spider veins are terms often used hand in hand. However, spider veins are a mild variation. According to the Mayo Clinic, spider veins are smaller, and often resemble a spider’s web. These veins are found closer to the surface of the skin, and appear red or blue. Spider veins occur throughout the body, but most often in the legs.

Vein Surgery

As previously mentioned, varicose veins is typically a case of appearance. Surgery is an option to remove these veins, and the procedure is quite simple. The following procedures are an option, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Sclerotherapy. An injection with a solution or foam that scars and closes those veins
  • Foam sclerotherapy. In this case, an injection of a large vein with a foam solution is made to close a vein and seal it.
  • Laser treatment. Laser treatment works by sending strong bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are necessary.
  • Catheter-assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy. Doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an enlarged vein and heats the tip of the catheter using either radiofrequency or laser energy.
  • High ligation and vein stripping. This procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy. This involves the removal of smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures.

We Can Help!

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