Healthy Footnotes

  • 4
    Apr 2017

    The Ultimate Guide to High Heel Health with Dr. Jackie Sutera | Vionic Shoes

    High heels are a fixed pillar in fashion. Whether worn for work, a special event or to just feel a few inches taller, women have been wearing high heels for centuries. But despite this shoe style's overwhelming popularity, many women are still uninformed about high heel health. My patients often ask me if high heels can cause damage, and the answer is, yes. High heels can have lasting effects on your feet, ankles, legs and spine. However, there are easy-to-remember tips that can help relieve pain and lessen potential future damage. Here are my top recommendations for achieving and maintaining the best high heel health.

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    Before wearing high heels, it's important to remember to: 

    • Look for high heels that have a chunkier heel, wedge or platform.  These styles are more stable than their stiletto counterparts, because you can distribute body weight across a greater surface area.
    • Not exceed a 2 inch height with your high heels, as recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Damage occurs with increased heel heights due to weight shifting forward to the ball of the foot. 
    • Avoid wearing the same heel heights, same pair of shoes or types of shoes every day, all day.

     

    While wearing high heels, it's important to remember to:

    • Rotate your ankles while sitting. This can give your ankles a nice stretch. 
    • Sit as much as possible. When you're wearing high heels, your limbs are working hard. Sitting will give your feet and legs some much-needed rest. 
    • Take a break. Go to a private area, slide your heels off and flex your toes for a few minutes.
    • Bring alternative shoes for the end of the day or the event you're attending. This can help prevent added pain and relieve pressure. 
    • Not exceed 3-4 hours of high heel wear and to not exceed that for longer periods of standing and walking. 

     

    After wearing high heels, it's important to remember to:

    • Do calf stretches. Beneficial for your health, these stretches can also help reduce knee pain.
    • Take Epsom salt foot baths. Not only is this good for your feet, but it will feel great too.
    • Massage the arch, ball of foot and calves. High heels put an immense amount of pressure on the balls of your feet and require the work of your arches and calves.
    • Ice your feet and legs. A cold application can reduce swelling. 
    • Wear commuter shoes to and from work/events, and remember to alternate shoes the next day. 

    Looking for a heel that doesn't hurt? Vionic offers a variety of shoe styles so you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort.

    The Solana Heeled Sandal is a modest block heel that lends stability as well as style for a classic look.

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    The Carmel Heeled Sandal offers a three-buckle strap silhouette with a deep heel cup and enhanced forefoot contour for innovative comfort and design. 

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    Interested in learning more about high heel health? Read about Vionic's elevated support technology including enhanced cushioning and overall stability.

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  • 4
    Apr 2017

    Foot Strengthening Exercises with Juliet Kaska | Vionic Shoes

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    As a fitness trainer, I see a common misconception among clients in that many believe foot exercises are only necessary for those recovering from foot injuries or chronic pain. However, that is hardly the case! Serving as the foundation of your body, your feet provide support and are the reason you can walk, run and achieve motion in general. We tend to focus our workouts on strengthening our muscles, and the muscles in your feet and toes should not be excluded. Great for everyone of all fitness levels, here are a few of my exercise recommendations to help maintain healthy, happy feet.

    Ankle Circles

    If you are looking to increase flexibility and mobility, ankle circles are a great exercise to practice. When I do mine, I prefer lying down so I have a better view of my ankles’ range of motion, and I can better stabilize my lower leg while making the circles.

    1. Lie down on your back with your right knee bent and your right foot flat on the floor. (Place a pillow under your head if needed.)

    2. Hold your left leg with both your hands, as close to your ankle as possible.

    3. Holding the left leg steady, begin to make big, slow circles at the ankle joint. Imagine drawing the biggest circle you can with your big toe.

    4. Repeat 4-8 times in each direction on each side.

    5. Trainer’s Note: After you do the first ankle, get up and walk around for a few seconds. Take notice of how the feet feel different.

    Wave

    The wave technique gives the muscles of the foot a nice, long stretch.

    1. Sit up with your legs out in front of you.

    2. You can do both feet at the same time or one at a time.

    3. There are 4 positions, hold each position for 2-5 seconds:

    #1 Point your foot (like a ballet dancer).

    #2 Flex your toes and keep your foot pointed.

    #3 Flex your foot.

    #4 Point your foot and keep your toes flexed.

    4. Return to #1.

    5. Repeat 3-5 times per foot.

    6. Trainer Tip: If you have tight hamstrings and cannot straighten your legs, or you have a achy lower back, prop yourself up on a block, bolster or short stool.

    Toe Taps

    The toe tap technique focuses on - you guessed it - your toes. This technique strengthens your toes and can prevent potential injury. You can do this exercise either seated or standing.

    1. One at a time, lift each toe and then tap it down.

    2. Start with the big toe and work your way over to the little toe.

    3. Repeat with each toe 1-4 times per foot.

    Toes Up

    To achieve greater flexibility in your toes, the toes up technique is essential. You can do this exercise either seated or standing, and do either both feet at the same time or one foot at a time to isolate the movement.

    1. Keep your heel and ball of your foot down as you lift all the toes up as high as you can and hold for 30 seconds.

    2. Don’t supinate (roll out) or pronate (roll in) the foot; keep an even balance across the heel and ball the ball of the foot.

    3. Repeat 3-5 times holding for 30 seconds each time.

    4. Trainer’s Note: Make sure to focus on the little toe as intently as the big toe.

    JulietKaska_photo_circle

    Now that you’re well on your way to strengthening your feet, try my ZenFitness30 Method - a 30-minute workout with active stretches designed to lengthen you like a dancer, develop your core like a Pilates Pro, get your heart pumping like an athlete and calm you like a Yogi. Get your free download with video instruction here: http://www.vionicshoes.com/zenfitness30.html.

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Top 5 Foot Problems & How to Treat Them | Vionic Shoes

    Ouch! What a pain in the foot. April is National Foot Health Awareness Month so we’ve teamed up with our in-house expert, Dr. Jacqueline Sutera a surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine specializing in the prevention and treatment of foot pathology, to learn more about the top 5 foot problems. Here are her recommended remedies to help relieve the pain, swelling and other symptoms that can be experienced.

    jackie

    Plantar Fasciitis/ Heel Pain

    Plantar fasciitis is a dull to severe pain in your heel caused by a strain and inflammation of your plantar fascia (foot tissue). This can be caused by excessive pronation or standing/walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

    • Stretch the calves - an easy, simple way to do this is by pressing your toes against a wall with the heel pressed to the floor. Flex and hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds (make sure to alternate feet).
    • Massage the arches of your feet - adjust the amount of pressure as you see fit and can do so comfortably.
    • Replace old shoes with women's shoes with arch support or comfortable, thick-soled shoes.
    • Ice the foot and/or take anti-inflammatories - this can help reduce inflammation.
    • Avoid going barefoot.

    Tendonitis

    Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of the tendons which can be the result of an injury.

    • Rest, ice, and/or take anti-inflammatories.
    • Use elastic bandages to reduce soreness and elevate the foot when sitting or resting.
    • Avoid going barefoot and wear comfortable, thick-soled shoes.
    • Replace your old shoes with shoes with arch support.

    Walking leg image

    Bunion/Hammertoes

    A bunion is a bony bump on the outside base of the big toe, and a hammertoe is the abnormal bend or downward curve of the big toe. Both conditions can be caused by tight, ill-fitting shoes, arthritis or can be present at birth.

    • Wear shoes with a wide and high enough toe box to accommodate the foot comfortably. Open shoes and adjustable strappy sandals can be very comfortable in the warmer weather, such as these orthotic sandals.
    • Pad the toes with bunion booties - this can help relieve pressure.
    • Wear toe caps - this can protect the area from rubbing and friction.
    • Avoid narrow, pointy and high heels.
    • Lightly stretch and massage the toe joint, and ice it at the end of the day.

    Neuroma

    Neuroma is the growth or thickening of nerve tissue around the toes which can be caused by injury, high heel use and/or running. Symptoms include a burning sensation, numbness or a tingling feeling.

    • Stretch the forefoot by pulling apart the toes and massaging the forefoot, including the space between the metatarsals (the group of 5 long bones in the foot).
    • Ice the area that is experiencing pain.
    • Wear a neuroma pad - this can help spread the bones around the metatarsal area and relieve pain.
    • Avoid thin, flat, high and pointy shoes - instead try orthotic shoes or shoe inserts.

    Ingrown Nails

    Ingrown nails are irregular, curved nails that have grown into the flesh. This condition can be caused by injuring the toe or by wearing socks or footwear that apply too much pressure and/or tightness.

    • Cut your nails straight across and only slightly round out the corners.
    • Avoid tight, pointy shoes - this can worsen discomfort.
    • Place a tiny piece of cotton under the corner of the nail and make sure to change out the cotton daily - this technique will gently lift the nail as it grows.
    • Use bacitracin and band-aids - this can help prevent infection.
    • Soak your feet in Epsom salts for about 20 minutes daily - this can reduce swelling and soften the nail.

    Although it may not always be running through your mind, foot care is a vital part of your overall health. Learn more about National Foot Health Awareness Month and other health tips for your feet on our blog.

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Spring Style Series: Girls Night Out | Vionic Shoes

    The possibilities are endless when planning a fun night with your closest gal pals. But whether you’re enjoying a low-key dinner party or painting the town red, every woman faces the same question: what do I wear? Now, you’ll never have to face this dilemma again. We’ve selected the ideal styles to make the most of your girls' night and to help you step up and out with confidence.

    Carmel Heeled Sandal

    Take your style to new heights with our Carmel Heeled Sandal. Offering advanced comfort features and an enhanced footwear contour, say hello to your new favorite dancing shoes. Give your style a dose of sass by pairing this shoe with an off-the-shoulder dress.

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    Chryssa Open Toe Bootie

    Available in versatile neutral colors, this style is ideal for all-year wear. Take advantage of one of spring’s biggest trends: billowy fabrics. Pair our Chryssa Open Toe Bootie with a flowy top and structured jacket creating a cool, effortless look.

    chryssa polyvore

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Spring Style Series: Conference Calls to Cocktails | Vionic Shoes

    When the weekend is almost in sight and you’ve been working yourself to the bone, a little unwinding time can go a long way. One of the best remedies can be catching an after-work drink with friends. But with back-to-back meetings and a traffic-jammed commute, the goal of getting home in time to change outfits and make it to happy hour can sometimes feel out of reach.

    What if we told you that there were shoe styles that could eliminate that much too common issue? We’ve selected our best styles to get you from the conference calls to cocktails, with no pit stop necessary.

    Solana Sandal

    If you tend to lean towards a more classic style, the Solana Heeled Sandal is your go-to shoe. It’s simple and sophisticated and can be added to almost any outfit. Pair it with a pair of black skinnies and a button down for a polished look that never goes out of style. When it's time to go meet your friends, try untucking one side of the blouse to add some casual flare.

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    Bria Wedge

    An office-appropriate heel that won’t leave your feet aching at the end of the day? Yes, please! Our Bria Wedge comes in three versatile colors and showcases supple leather and a stacked wedge. Pair it with a midi skirt and fun-colored blazer for a look that says, “I’m fun but I mean business.” Add a statement necklace to give the outfit a little sparkle so you can shine during happy hour.

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    Harlow Bootie

    The Harlow Open Toe Bootie will become your favorite spring shoe both in and out of the office. Incorporate a huge spring trend, banker stripes, into your look with a tailored trouser, and add a solid color blouse to avoid clashing patterns.

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Spring Style Series: Weekend Wear | Vionic Shoes

    There’s no feeling quite like the weekend. A brief escape from the work grind, the weekend is a time for you and the activities you choose. Whether you’re on-the-go running errands or kicking back in full relaxation mode, you should get the support and comfort you deserve, starting with your feet. Here are the best shoe styles to take you from the daily hustle to a relaxed state of mind.

    Midi Perf Slip-on Sneaker

    Firm yet flexible, our Midi Perf Slip-on is ideal for a walk in the park or catching a movie with the family. This spring, athleisure is all the rage, so slip into your favorite pair of yoga pants or lounge sweats. Want to dress it up? Pair our sneaker with a cute ruffle dress. This shoe has versatility written all over it.

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    Blogger tip: “I can make it look preppy with button down shirts, sporty with athleisure looks, or girly with knit dresses and skirts.” - Cris Zaragoza, stylanthropy.com

    To read more style tips from this blogger, check out her Midi Perf Style Story.

    Sonora Sandal

    Our Sonora Gladiator Sandal contains a microfiber wrapped EVA midsole that absorbs shock, reducing stress on feet, ankles and knees making this style a must when packing for your next weekend trip. Whip up the perfect "getaway" look with a comfortable, flowy dress and fun scarf.

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    Darcy Slip-on Sneaker

    Getting in a weekend workout? Slip on our Darcy Slip-on Sneaker. Allowing for customization with a modern hook-and-loop strap, this style puts the fit in fitness. Pair it with your favorite workout tank and leggings for a sporty look.

    Darcy

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Spring Style Series: Dressing for Spring Daytime Events | Vionic Shoes

    As the winter season comes to a close, sunny and warm days are ahead, and with the beautiful weather comes plenty of weekend and outdoor events to fill up your calendar. To help you dress the part for your next daytime party, we’ve selected our best styles to get your shoes for Spring in full swing.

    Calypso Espadrille Wedge

    Take comfort and arch support to another level with our Calypso Espadrille Wedge. Paired with a fun statement purse, this wedge will give you the perfect combination of style and support you’ve been looking for.

    Calypso Black[1]
    Blogger's note: "This wedge feels both classic and on-trend with a clean, minimal design and trendy ghillie ties." - Lavenda Memory, Lavenda's Closet

    To read more style tips from the blogger, check out her Calypso Style Story.

    Lucinda Flats

    This classic ghillie lace-up flat pairs well with a plethora of spring styles, making getting ready a breeze. Biomechanically designed to hug your arches, you’ll get the support you need with our Lucinda Flats.

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    Blogger's note: “I absolutely love the color; these pretties go with so many of my handbags!” - Alice Kerley, Lonestar Looking Glass

    To read more style tips from this blogger, check out her Lucinda Style Story.

    Valeri Espadrille

    Race to the beach or hang out at a backyard barbeque with our Valeri Espadrille Flat. With fun stripes and colors, you will want to wear these into summer as well! Step into the sunshine with a pair of Valeri flats and your favorite springtime top.

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    Blogger's note: “I love this flat espadrille paired with the nautical sweater and white jeans for a day of sightseeing. This would be the perfect early spring outfit (with a lightweight windbreaker on a chilly day).” - Cathy Williamson, The Middle Page

    To read more style tips from this blogger, check out her Valeri Style Story.

     

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  • 22
    Mar 2017

    SPARK YOUR LIFE SERIES: NICOLE FELICIANO | VIONIC SHOES

    Inspiring women can empower others to create and pursue their own aspirations and dreams. That's why we've teamed up with SparkPeople to create the Spark Your Life Series. By sharing the remarkable stories of strong female leaders, we aim to inspire you to achieve your health, fitness and personal goals.

    This month's installment features Nicole Feliciano, founder and CEO of Momtrends Media. Read about Nicole's tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance and how to become a "mom boss."

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    Ready to put your goals into motion? Check out Nicole's Inspirational Action Plan with a daily checklist to help you live a productive, balanced life.

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  • 14
    Mar 2017

    Spark Your Life Series: Ann Zuccardy | Vionic Shoes

     

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    Innovative, accomplished women can serve as a powerful inspiration to others to transform their own lives. We’ve teamed up with SparkPeople to create the Spark Your Life Series, a monthly showcase of strong female leaders whose stories can help you achieve your life, health and fitness goals.

    This month’s installment features Ann Zuccardy, keynote speaker and communication expert, who shares her personal journey of resilience following a brain injury. Read more about how it changed her perspective on self-care, creativity and mental health.

    Feeling motivated after reading Ann Zuccardy's inspiring story? Garner even more by checking out her Inspirational Action Plan with tips for better self-care.

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  • 13
    Feb 2017

    The 3 Best Shoes to Pack for Vacation | Vionic Shoes

    Packing shoes for vacation is challenging. You want to bring enough pairs to go with all your outfits, but at the same time, you don’t want to pack too many (hello, heavy suitcase!). Depending on the type of vacation, you’ll be fitting in a variety of activities and logging a lot of steps. That’s why it’s so important to pack shoes that you can walk comfortably in that are still stylish (just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you have to look like one). Here are our recommendations for the three pairs of cute walking shoes you absolutely need to pack:

    A pair of casual walking shoes for long days of sightseeing. Make sure yours have sufficient arch support to help prevent your feet from getting fatigued while traipsing around your destination. Shock absorption in the heel and cushioning throughout absorb the impact of each step so you won’t miss a thing while sightseeing.

    Casual slip-on sneaker for everyday wear

    A pair of ballet flats for all-day wear and airport travel. Ballet flats are easy to slip on and off while going through airport security and are sophisticated enough for a culture tour through museums, galleries and city walks. Find a neutral color that will pair with anything in your travel wardrobe. Word of caution: not all ballet flats are created equal. Look for ones with a contoured arch and deep heel cup to support the curves of your feet and promote natural alignment.

    Ballet flats with arch support give you all-day support and style

    A pair of wedges for outings that call for a little more elegance. If your vacation includes fancy dinners or a more glamorous look, reach for a pair of wedges. They’ll instantly elevate your look while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground – Cobblestones? Grass? No problem! Find a pair with a deep heel cup for stability and arch support to evenly distribute pressure across your entire foot.

    Wedge espadrille with arch support for an evening out

    Bonus Tip: Is your vacation taking you to the beach? Slip a pair of low-profile flip flops with arch support into your bag. They’re thin enough to easily fit in your suitcase yet have a contoured arch to support your feet in comfort. Check out more comfortable walking sandals in the styles you love.

    Low-profile flip flops with arch support

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