Saturday, July 5, 2014

How Does the Shape of Our Feet Affect the Way We Walk?

By Cam White

Not All Feet are the Same

How a medium-high arched foot can travel
Our feet are as unique we are. We inherit the shape and characteristics of our feet, just like we inherit the shape of our cheekbones, the color of our eyes and the shape of our nose. If your parents have flat feet, the odds are pretty good that you also have flat feet. There's also a pretty good likelihood that your children will develop flat feet as well.

Feet come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and in most cases there is nothing necessarily abnormal about the shape of our feet. But the shape of our feet has a definite impact in the relationship that our bodies have with the ground. High-arched feet travel differently than medium and low arched feet.

How our feet are shaped and how they travel has a direct impact on the health of our ankle, knee, hip and back joints.

How Our Foot Type Affects Our Gait

Have you ever wondered why some people walk with their feet pointed outward, while others walk with their feet pointed straight ahead? Why do some people walk pigeon-toed, while others waddle like the sheriff walking into the saloon? Why do some people make a lot of noise when they walk, while others barely make a sound? While any of these traits could be learned behaviors, it is also quite likely that the way they walk is dictated by the shape of their feet.

Here's a fun experiment. Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now roll your feet so that your weight is on the outside part of your feet. Next try walking with your feet pointed straight ahead. It's not very comfortable, is it? Now try rotating your hips and feet outward. Much more comfortable, isn't it? Higher arched feet tend to travel this way. Lower-arched feet travel differently. We quickly learn how to compensate how we walk to maintain a stable relationship with the ground and to be comfortable.

What Happens When We Develop Foot, Leg and Back Pain?

Since the way we walk depends on the shape of our feet, there are a number of ailments that we can develop over time. Flat feet tend to rotate the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) internally, while higher arched feet tend to rotate the same bones externally. As those bones constantly rotate with each step, it can place added stress on the knee hip and back joints. Depending on our foot type, there can be an increased likelihood for developing common pathologies including plantar fasciitis, Morton's Neuromas, ankle sprains, shin splints, knee pain, IT Band syndrome, hip pain and back pain.

Can Orthotics Help if I Develop Foot, Leg and Back Pain?

It's quite possible. But first, if you are experiencing serious foot, leg or back pain, it is wise to visit a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist to make sure your issue is properly diagnosed. When it comes to orthotics you have many choices, but let me tell you - all orthotics are not the same. It's best to get orthotics that match your foot type, and are dispensed by someone who can evaluate and assess your needs properly.

Orthotics come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. Some can be found at the grocery store, and are generally of low quality, inexpensive and break down quickly. There are some mid-range orthotics that can last up to a year that range around $60 in price. Custom orthotics are made from a cast impression of your feet and can range between $300-$600.

In my next blog post, I am going to talk about a discovery I came across last year. The QuadraStep System orthotics deliver for many people the benefits of a custom orthotic for half the price of customs.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wooccoli - The Flexible Wooden Sandal

A New Concept in 
Wooden Sandals
By Cam White

If you love wearing wooden sandals, Wooccoli offers a sandal that actually flexes and moves with your foot. This innovative Austrian creation is a unique blend of advanced shoe-making technology and old-world shoe comfort.

Wooccoli sandals have an anatomically designed footbed that cups the heel, and has very pleasant arch support. The sandals have five "flex zones" that allows shoe to move naturally with your foot as you walk. A slight rocker at the heel and forefoot accentuates arch support and promotes a smooth, rolling gait. Natural materials and soft, vegetable-tanned leather uppers make these shoes healthy and hypo-allergenic, with no harsh chemicals used in the tanning process. The poplar footbed is coated with beeswax to prevent sweat from  soaking into the shoes.

Wooccoli uses a very unique and innovative manufacturing process. The Austrian manufacturer takes a block of poplar wood and places it on a high-tech computerized router that mills the anatomical shape of the sandal  and cuts the five flex zones through the foot bed. The sandal is then infused with semi-rigid polyurethane, which fills the flex zones. The shoes are then sanded, polished and finished with a protective beeswax coat. The leather uppers are naturally tanned using a vegetable tanning process, which eliminates harsh chemicals that can irritate sensitive feet or be harmful to those with skin allergies. It's an expensive shoe-making process, but the end result is a shoe that has a very pleasant, unique feeling.

Sizing, Fit and Feel

Wooccoli sandals are a good fit for people with medium (D width) feet who love the feeling of arch support in their shoes. The slight heel and forefoot rocker design helps offload pressure on the heel and ball-of-foot areas of the foot. Some models (Barbara, Baldo, Kiebitz) have adjustable velcro straps or buckles to ensure a more secure fit. If you have very wide feet or can't tolerate arch support, Wooccoli is not the sandal for you.

US Availability and Pricing

Wooccoli can be purchased online from The Shoe Shoppe for a clearance price of $40, plus shipping, while supplies last. When the shoes first arrived in the USA in 2011, they retailed for $170. While these shoes are high-quality, expensive-to-make products, consumers were simply unwilling to pay that much money for a pair of wooden sandals. Mark Poole, owner of  The Shoe Shoppe, bought the entire lot of Wooccoli sandals on closeout, and is now offering them at a steeply discounted price. It's important to  note that all sales are final, and no returns are accepted.  As of  April 2013, there are still plenty of shoes on hand, but they are selling briskly at this new, reduced price. When they are gone, they're gone.


If you are a woman who loves wooden sandals and craves arch support, Wooccoli may be just the right sandal for you. For less than a Dr. Scholl's wooden sandal, you can pick up a healthy European sandal that actually flexes and moves with your feet.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Prospecs Footwear Review - The Ultimate Walking Shoe?

Winner: "Best Fitness Walking Shoes for 2013" - Reader's Choice Awards
Winner: "Best Power Walking Shoe" - Prevention Magazine
Honorable Mention: "Best Walking Shoe" - SHAPE Magazine

Prospecs - The Perfect Blend of Cushioning and Stability
By Cam White

Are you walking every day in running shoes? If you are in the market for a great-looking shoe with exceptional stability and superior cushioning for walking, Prospecs may well be your solution. This brand, which has flourished in South Korea since 2009, just arrived in the United States, and will be shipping to selected retailers soon. Advertised as a "sports walking shoe", Prospecs will be worn as an all-day shoe for Americans who enjoy active lifestyles and for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

I have never felt a shoe like Prospecs before. It's instant comfort as soon as you put them on your feet. The shoes have an exceptional fit, anatomically contoured foot bed and roomy toe box. But the real magic happens when you stand and walk in them. The shoe cushions the entire foot from heel strike through toe-off without sacrificing medial/lateral (side-to-side) stability. Walking in Prospecs is pure pleasure. The shoe protects the body from the repetitive impact of walking on concrete and hard surfaces, while ensuring maximum control and stability.

Anatomy of the Prospecs "Power" Series Shoe

Prospecs is a new concept in technical athletic footwear. Everything about the functional design of these shoes provides benefit to the wearer.

What separates Prospecs from other athletic walking shoes is the unique "Move Frame (TM)" technology built-in to many of their models. The midsole consists of a rigid, patented Move Frame Cell which acts like a "spine" built into the shoe. In the model I'm testing, 32 frame bars act like alternating ribs pointed both upwards and downwards that push against each other to provide even shock absorption throughout the entire shoe. The Move Frame Cell is sandwiched between two semi-rigid phylon layers, that provide a stable platform for the Move Frame Cell. The upper phylon shell is anatomically contoured, which gives Prospecs shoes a "customized" feeling on your feet.

The upper of the shoe has a very firm heel counter, which aids in stabilizing the foot, and has exceptional padding on the collar and tongue for comfort. The insole is practically an over-the-counter orthotic. It has resilient cushioning underneath the heel, semi-rigid medial and lateral arch support, and forefoot cushioning. This is not your ordinary sock liner. It's substantial. I have never seen such an advanced insole in an athletic shoe. Finally, the entire shoe and insole is lined with Outlast(R), an advanced temperature-regulating fabric originally developed for NASA  Outlast can either absorb or emit heat depending on the outside conditions, creating a more comfortable environment for the foot.

When you put it all together, the design of Prospecs shoes has been very well-thought-out from top to bottom. Given the intense attention paid to detail in the design and manufacturing of this shoe, I expected it to retail north of the $200 price point. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that Prospecs shoes are retailing in the U.S. for about $150, in line with other quality, name brand shoes.

Video: Prospecs Explained

My Experience Wearing Prospecs 

On December 4, 2012 I picked up a pair of Prospecs Power 401 shoes at The Running Event trade show in Austin, TX. I was excited to see the brand had finally arrived in America, and couldn't wait to give them a test drive. I had seen Prospecs a year earlier at the WSA Show in Las Vegas, but they brand was not available for distribution in the United States back in 2011. I met with Stephen and Bonnie Meyers, managing partners for Prospecs USA, as well as several of their South Korean colleagues from Prospecs headquarters.

My Prospecs Power 401 Shoes
Out of the box, my Power 401 shoes fit perfectly, with no heel slipping and absolutely no break-in period. I normally wear a US men's 10.5 athletic shoe for most brands, but the Prospecs size 10 fit me perfectly. The shoes fit generously true-to-size. If you have any doubts about which size to buy, I suggest going down 1/2 size.

The shoes felt like old friends as soon as I put them on. I spent the next two days walking the floor of the Austin Convention Center, and experienced absolutely no pain or fatigue in my feet or in my limbs. The cushioning and stability of the shoes actually made me feel a bit energized. At the trade show, I called my friend Mark Poole, owner of The Shoe Shoppe in Farmington, NM and shared my experience wearing the shoes. He immediately placed an order for the shoes, and became the first US retailer for Prospecs. More on this later.

It's now been a month, and I have been wearing my Prospecs every day. I usually put shoes to the test when I'm evaluating a new shoe technology. I wear them daily to see if I can pick up any bumps, warts or wrinkles in the shoe design. No disappointments thus far.  I wear them as soon as I get out of bed, take them on my morning walk and wear them all day long. The shoes feel exactly the way they felt the first day I got them, with absolutely no breakdown in the cushioning. The cushioning is very noticeable throughout the entire stride, but I'm most impressed with the stability of the shoes. It's nearly impossible for me to pronate (roll-in) or supinate (roll-out) wearing my shoes. If I try to pronate or supinate, it requires real effort, and the shoe automatically pulls my foot back to a level, neutral orientation. I believe this is due to the Move Frame spine controlling the motion of my foot in a straightforward motion. My low-arched, flexible flat feet naturally want to pronate, but my Prospecs shoes keep my feet aligned, and very comfortable. The arch support feels great, and I have become a big fan of the Outlast lining of the shoes. My feet feel the same when it's toasty indoors or frigid outside.

Early Consumer Feedback on Prospecs

I talked to Mark at the Shoe Shoppe to find out how the Prospecs shoes were being received in his store. Mark loves his pair, and his customers are buying Prospecs shoes as soon as they stand up and walk in them. He's had the shoes for three weeks, and he has already have one customer return to purchase her 2nd pair online. Online purchasers are also quick to review Prospecs shoes. "I am a nurse who is always searching for the most comfortable shoes. I love these shoes. They have great support and are very comfortable all day long." remarked one customer who purchased the shoes online. Several customers have remarked that their foot, leg and back pain decreases significantly when they wear Prospecs shoes. It's still early, but I have yet to meet a person who hasn't been completely impressed with Prospecs.

Sizing, Pricing and Information

Prospecs USA stocks 13 different styles of shoes in great color patterns. Full information about Prospecs, including where to buy the shoes will be published on the Prospecs USA website, which is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can purchase Prospecs shoes online from The Shoe Shoppe. Prospecs shoes retail for about $150 for most models.

Prospecs Sizing:
US Women's Sizes: 6-11, including half sizes.
US Men's Sizes: 8-13, including half sizes.


If you are looking for extreme comfort, cushioning and stability in a walking, exercise or daily wear athletic shoe Prospecs is a brand well worth considering. They will worn by walking enthusiasts, some runners, at the gym, and for any activity requiring long hours of standing or walking. If you work at a standing job that allows you to wear athletic shoes, Prospecs is a great choice. Your body will thank you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Terox Footwear Review - "What Made in America Feels Like".

Terox Flip Flop - Coffee Bean Brown 
Terox Footwear Review
"What Made in America Feels Like"
By Cam White

Winner: "Best Comfort Shoe for 2013" Reader's Choice Awards

If you are looking for sandals that deliver exceptional comfort, an affordable price tag, and are made in America, then Terox may be exactly the brand you are looking for. These new arrivals offer the perfect blend of arch support, cushioning, rebound and elasticity to make them a year-round favorite for people seeking comfortable lifestyle footwear.

How do you engineer maximum comfort into footwear? First, you want the shoe to be anatomically designed to support the arches of your feet. Secondly, you want the shoe to cushion your body against the hard, repetitive impact of walking on concrete and hard surfaces. Finally, you want the shoes to return energy and "rebound" with each step you take. Terox delivers very nicely on all counts.

Terox footwear is the by-product of extensive product research and testing. Developing these shoes is in part an exercise in designing anatomically-friendly footwear, combined engineering the right material composition for maximum comfort. The shoe must be designed to support the arches and conform to the contours of the foot. They must also have the right formulation of elasto-polymers to strike the perfect balance between cushioning, rebound and elasticity. If the material is too soft, you gain cushioning, but you sacrifice support, stability and rebound. If the material is too firm, you sacrifice cushioning and elasticity. Striking the right balance of cushioning, rebound and elasticity is an exercise in trial-and-error and patience.

Terox Footwear Explained

This short video demonstrates the design properties of Terox flip flops.

The Challenge to Making Shoes in America

Designing Terox was a huge challenge, but next came an equally large challenge - getting them made in America. In an industry dominated by Chinese and foreign-made products, it is nearly impossible to get shoes manufactured cost-effectively in the United States. All of the equipment needed to prototype, engineer and manufacture injection-molded footwear resides overseas, primarily in China. By far the easiest thing to do was to make Terox footwear in Asia, but Terox  first wanted to explore whether it was possible to make them in the United States.

Terox manufacturing station in Buford, Georgia
 Terox shoes are an injection-molded product, but there were no plants with dedicated injection-molding equipment to manufacture this type of shoe on American soil. Undeterred, Terox found a manufacturing partner in Buford, Georgia willing to partner in the injection-molding plant equipment required to make the shoes. The highly sophisticated plant equipment arrived in Georgia in May, and the first U.S. made Terox sandals will be arriving to retailers in July, 2012 with a line flip flops in a few colors. Slides will be arriving in Fall 2012, and a wide variety of colors will be available in 2013. More at

My Experience Wearing Terox Flip Flops

Terox Flip-Flop Colors for 2012
When I received my first pair of sample Terox shoes several months ago, it was love at first step. The shoes fit perfectly, and the arch support was noticeable, but extremely pleasant. The cushioning of the shoe "mushed-out" the concrete and tile in my house. The slightly negative heel accentuated the arch support, and the raised texture of the foot bed prevented my feet from sliding around - even when my feet got wet. Terox are not rated as slip-resistant, so caution should be exercised when wearing them on wet, slick or slippery surfaces.

Perhaps what I enjoy most about wearing Terox is that they are the only flip-flop I enjoy wearing all day long. I normally hate anything between my toes, but I don't notice the toe-post in the Terox flip-flops. They are so soft and elastic, that it's like having gel between your toes. The fit is very secure on my foot, and I don't feel the need to "grip" with my toes to keep the sandals on. They feel like a natural extension of my feet. My low-arched feet tend to pronate, but the heel cup and medial arch support keeps my feet from caving inwards. The textured foot bed is quite pleasant, and gently massages my feet. They are extremely lightweight, waterproof and machine washable. It's a huge feeling at a very affordable price.

Uses for Terox Shoes

Here are a few uses for Terox shoes:
  1. Terox will be excellent year-round comfort shoes. In colder weather, they can easily be worn as a house shoe in the kitchen. The arch support and cushioning could be extremely beneficial for those with heel and foot pain. A few people suffering from plantar fasciitis felt immediate pain relief as soon as they tried them on. A great shoe to have at your bedside.
  2. In warmer months, Terox makes a great lifestyle shoe. Perfect for shopping, the pool, the beach, the boat and many other activities where wearing flip-flops is appropriate. If you are wading in streams the shoes do a great job of "mushing-out" rocks.
  3. Terox will make for an excellent recovery shoe after strenuous exercise activities including running, cycling, volleyball, aerobics and any other high-impact activities. They will also make an excellent shower shoe at the gym. They are very lightweight, and fit easily into a gym bag.

Pricing, Sizes and Availability

Terox flip-flops will be arriving to retailers starting in early July 2012 in black, brown and pink (pictured above).  Terox slides and a large selection of fashionable colors will be arriving to retail in Fall 2012 and January 2013. Pricing will be around $39.95. For more information about Terox, and where to find a retailer, please visit


Terox footwear offers extreme comfort, an affordable price tag, and they're made in America. This brand offers everything a consumer could ask for at a price that doesn't hurt the wallet. Most cheap flip-flops are little more than a piece of foam with a thong. They offer little or no support, and are mass-produced overseas. Premium-quality flip-flop brands tend to fall in 2 categories: brands that offer arch support, or brands that are just "cushy". These brands normally retail between $60-$100, and are predominately manufactured in China.

Terox gives you the best of both worlds. The anatomical arch support is noticeable and pleasant, combined with luxurious cushioning that "mushes" the impact of walking on hard surfaces. Typically, the feeling that Terox provides to the body is only available in expensive, premium-quality shoes that normally retail in the hundreds of dollars. For just $39.95, premium comfort is available to almost anyone. The fact that they are also made in America, and supports U.S. job growth makes Terox a winner.

Future Terox Colors for 2013

A large selection of colors in both flip flops and slides will be available, starting in January 2013.

Follow Terox Footwear

On Facebook (Random Giveaways Offered for Likers)
On Twitter: @TeroxFootwear

Retailer Inquiries

Terox is adding new retailers on a daily basis. If you are interested in carrying these shoes, please send an email to

About the Author

Cam White is a regional manager and technical consultant for the Novascarpa group. He has written numerous product reviews and produced over 100 YouTube videos reporting on new and emerging footwear technologies on WalkWithoutPain, his YouTube channel.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rocker Sole Shoes - What's "In" and What's "Out" for 2011

The fitness and toning category of footwear has experienced explosive growth over the past 3 years. According to the NPD group, sales of fitness and toning shoes were $17 million in 2008. Sales grew eight-fold to $145 million in 2009, and estimates are currently over $1 billion in sales for 2010. MBT (shown at left) has brand awareness on its side, and Skechers fueled mega-millions of advertising dollars into their "Shape-Ups" shoes. Reebok followed suit, pumping millions of dollars advertising their EasyTone shoes.

What do these brands have in common? They are all designed to induce instability in all planes of motion. The pitch behind these shoes is that they make your core muscles work harder to overcome instability. Manufacturers claim these shoes make walking on concrete feel like your walking on the beach. Others claim the shoes simulate standing on a "wobble-board" all day. While these brands have gained legions of fans, they have also drawn criticism from skeptics. A recent article in USA Today questioned some of the manufacturer's claims, and a recently class-action lawsuits have been filed alleging deceptive advertising practices and product safety concerns.

What's "In" and what's "Out" for 2011?

"Stable" is in, "Unstable" is out
A growing number of new arrivals in the rocker-sole footwear category are aligning themselves on the "stable" side of the category. Stable rocker sole shoes roll straight ahead, and feature excellent medial/lateral (side-to-side) stability. People that wear stable rocker sole shoes have much better stability and control when they walk. There is far less of a tendency for ankles to roll-in or roll-out when wearing stable rocker sole shoes. Most of the stable rocker sole shoes have adequate depth to accept prescription or over-the-counter orthotics, if needed.

Ryn (shown above), Finn Comfort ("Finnamic" series), Sano by Mephisto and Cogent are all examples of stable rocker-sole shoes that have been on the market. New entries to the stable side of the category are "Body Works" by Aetrex, "Dynamic Walkers" by Waldlaufer, and "Walk and Roll" shoes by Spring Footwear. At the World Shoe + Accessories Show (WSA), I noticed a marked increase in new "stable" rocker sole shoes, and very few new additions to the "unstable" side of the category. On the stable side of the category, Ryn offers the perfect combination of stability and cushioning, coupled with excellent durability and craftsmanship.

"Unstable" shoes are falling out of favor. They should really be worn only on flat, hard, level, predictable surfaces. When wearers spend good money for a walking/exercise shoe, they want to be able to wear the shoes on pavement, in the backyard, at the park and on trails. Unstable rocker sole shoes perform poorly on uneven surfaces, because the memory foam will "collapse" wherever the terrain takes the shoe. This can make walking on grass, hills and cobblestones uncomfortably challenging, since the wearer must focus on finding a secure place for the foot to land, to avoid "tweaking" an ankle. Wet weather is also a concern. MBT cautions wearers to avoid exposure to water since it can prematurely break down the sensor. If you get soaked in an MBT, the manufacturer recommends placing the shoe in its side, allowing it to completely dry out before wearing them again.

Quality & durability is "In", Poorly-made shoes, counterfeits are "Out"
When consumers pay more than $100 for a pair of rocker-sole shoes, it's reasonable to expect a shoe that feels great and lasts over a year instead of just a few months. Most of the better made comfort shoe brands are manufactured in Pusan, South Korea or in Germany. Ryn, Cogent, Z-CoiL and Tenevis (a new arrival) are all examples of high-quality, durable shoes made in South Korea. Ryn and Z-CoiL shoes have a reputation of feeling great every day and lasting for years. Finn Comfort and Waldlaufer are high-quality German-made shoes. Finn Comfort shoes feature replaceable footbeds, and they offer a service that can refurbish and re-sole the shoes for many years of wear.

Many of the "unstable" shoe brands have been criticized for wearing out too quickly. Foam sensors breaking down prematurely, uneven wear, outsoles worn smooth within months are common complaints with many people that have worn unstable rocker-sole shoe brands. The internet is full of complaints about poorly-made, unstable rocker sole shoes that wear out too quickly. Maybe it's a quality-control issue, and maybe it's planned obsolescence. If a company invests mega-millions in advertising, do they really want consumers to buy a shoe that lasts for years? Or do the want consumers to wear the shoes, enjoy them, and replace them often?

Counterfeit shoes are another problem. MBT has been besieged by a rash of cheap, Chinese-made counterfeit MBT shoes sold online at bargain-basement prices by unauthorized outlets. The shoes bear the MBT logo, marketing and packaging, but they are poorly made, cheap knock-offs. People are complaining that they thought they purchased an authentic MBT, only to receive a cheap, poorly made product shipped directly from China.

Buying quality shoes not only saves money, but it is the socially responsible thing to do. According to Soles4Souls, the shoe charity, over 300 million pairs of shoes wind up in US landfills every year. That's roughly the equivalent of 40,000 tractor-trailer loads piled-up in a landfill. Shoes take forever to break down in a landfill. If Americans bought good shoes that lasted for years, not only would we feel better, but there would be far less shoes in our landfills. Quality and durability is "in", poorly made, disposable shoes are "out".

Truth in Advertising is "In", Deceptive Advertising is "Out"
Rocker sole shoes protect the foot and the body against repetitive impact with concrete, tile and hard surfaces. When your body is protected, you feel better. When you feel better, you may want to walk longer. If you walk longer, you will burn more calories. If you burn more calories and eat sensibly, you may lose more weight. The simple act of lacing-up a pair of shoes does not mean that we will get into shape, and we all know that. Movement is the key to leading an active and healthier lifestyle. Brands that promote active lifestyles and healthy living habits will be rewarded.

Deceptive and misleading advertising is out. "Buy our shoes and skip the gym" advertising campaigns have grown tiresome. We all know that we need to move to lose weight, and experts are growing irate at the fact that companies are getting away with false or misleading advertising. Generally speaking, the more outlandish the advertising claim, the less popular the brand will become.


Rocker sole shoes are here to stay. They offer excellent protection against concrete and hard surfaces. New brands will emerge with excellent feature sets and styling, and others will disappear. The entire category is shifting toward the "stable" side of the equation, and I personally applaud this trend. Stability, support, comfort, durability and longevity will be the key factors that determine the winning shoes in this category.

Baby boomers want to enjoy active lifestyles without having to endure aches and pains. People that work in occupations that require long hours of standing want shoes that protect their bodies from pain and fatigue. Rocker sole shoes do an excellent job of protecting the body against repetitive impact, and represent possibly the most exciting innovation in footwear technology in decades. This is a very interesting time for the footwear industry.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Can Puncture-Resistant Work Boots Be Comfortable?

Stepping on nails and sharp objects happens when you least expect it, and it will ruin your day. You pull the nail out of your boot, head to the Emergency Room, get the wound treated, get a tetanus shot, and you're done for the day, barring any complications. Nail punctures can lead to infection, soft tissue and nerve damage, and can cause fractures to the fragile bones in our feet. Puncture wounds are especially dangerous if you are diabetic, since your ability to heal can be compromised. The best way to avoid nail punctures is to wear safety boots with 100% sole protection against punctures from nails and sharp objects.

Most safety boots have a steel shank that protects our feet up to the balls of the feet. Since our feet flex at the balls of our feet, our forefeet and toes are left unprotected against nail punctures. Steel adds weight to the boot, and can make them stiff and uncomfortable. Some manufacturers make insoles with a thin metal plate that address full puncture protection, but they also add weight and stiffness to the boot.

COFRA has a unique solution for puncture-resistance. Almost all of their workboots have COFRA's built-in "Anti-Perforation Textile" (APT) plate attached to the midsole of their boots. The APT plate is a tri-density weave of polycarbonate microspheres, that provide an aggressive barrier against nails, wires, thorns and other sharp objects. The APT plate is lightweight and extremely flexible, and moves very well with the foot. If a nail penetrates the rugged outsole of COFRA work boots, the worker will feel a "bump" in the shoe. The nail can be quickly removed and the wearer can resume working. Since the APT plate provides 100% surface protection against nail punctures, the need for steel is eliminated. COFRA boots have a fiberglass shank for stability.

Besides being light and flexible, COFRA work boots are exceptionally comfortable. They have high quality leather uppers and a generous, rounded composite toe safety cap, with a built-in, soft silicon ring that prevents the foot from rubbing against the toe cap. Plenty of room for toes to wiggle, instead of feeling "crimped" inside the safety toe. There's plenty of depth inside the COFRA boots to accept arch supports or custom orthotics for those suffering from chronic foot pain.

Best of all, COFRA boots are affordable. Most models range in price between $130 - $160. They are extremely rugged, and last significantly longer than many other comparable work boots. For more information or a price quotation, call us at (512) 996-0002 from 10am-6pm Central Standard Time.

Video: COFRA Footwear Explained

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thorlo Experia Running Socks Review

If you enjoy running, walking, cycling or exercise in light socks, but need protection, there is no better choice of socks than the new Experia socks from Thorlo.

Thorlo Experia socks are highly breathable, feather light, and provide excellent cushioning around the heel and ball-of-foot areas, preventing friction and shear forces and protecting the foot against blistering. The Coolmax fibers wick moisture away from the foot , keeping the foot cool and dry.

The new Experia socks have just arrived at Total Relief Footwear, and they feel great in running shoes. As I wear the socks, I can actually feel the air conditioning in the store through the mesh of my running shoes and against my skin.

Runner's World magazine reviewed the Thorlos Experia socks, saying "The pads are thick and cushy, while the rest of the sock is thin and smooth—the best of both worlds," according to a marathoner.

Thorlo socks have long been known for their superior comfort and foot protection, but some customers found their traditional running and walking socks to be too thick in running shoes. Experia could be the answer for these individuals.

Video: Experia Socks Explained

Experia : The Designer's Vision from Thorlos Videos on Vimeo.