Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Spring/Summer Sneakers

From Prevention Magazine
Here is a round-up of the season's best sneakers for all occasions.
Best for Cross Training: Pumagility $85
The wide base on these colorful trainers keeps your foot stable, especially during the side-to-side exercises like speed-skater hops or lateral lunges. The EverTrack sole enhances grip for quick stop-and-go movements, such as during cone drills, and the spacious toe box gives tootsies ample room. The polygonal foam midsole squeezes and elongates during impact, boosting shock absorption.

Best for Low-Impact Cardio: Reebok RealFlex Transition: $100
These fun-to-wear sneaks are our top pick for low-impact cardio sessions, such as Zumba, dance DVDs, even an easy walk to and from yoga class. Instead of a solid sole, 76 individual foam nodes support you, allowing your feet to move naturally and making arches feel massaged with each step. The removable foam sock liner lets you slip in orthotics.

Best for Overweight Walkers: Nike LunarGlide+ 3: $110
These sneaks give overweight feet and joints the TLC they're after: Ultrasoft Lunarion foam cushions soles heel to toe, supports arches, and reduces impact to knees. The extra foam layer under the heel softens even the hardest landing. A midfoot strap boosts the tightening power of traditional laces by pulling the upper around your foot from the shoe's bottom, not just the sides. The result: a made-just-for-you fit.

Best for Feeling Like You're Barefoot: Brooks PureConnect: $90
These nearly weightless runners get you close to the road without entirely sacrificing cushion and support. The flexible sole allows your foot to bend naturally while protecting it on rough terrain. One caveat: They run small. Don't be surprised if you need a half size bigger than usual. The mesh upper increases airflow, keeping sweaty feet cool.

Best For Running Errands: Keen Sienna MJ Canvas: $75
The soft textile upper of these cute Mary Janes makes them perfect for Saturday shopping trips or Sunday brunch. The wide elastic strap prevents slip-offs. Recycled cork lends give and shock absorption to the rubber soles.

Best For Day Hikes: Ahnu Sequoia: $110
These lightweight hikers work as well on city streets (they do look great with jeans) as on wooded paths. The grip on the Vibram sole keeps you stable on tricky terrain. A forefoot protection plate prevents stubbing toes on rocks.

Best For Interval Training: Adidas Adizero Adios 2: $115
The padded forefoot on this lightweight shoe cushions the ball of your foot during sprints, making it easier to pick up the pace during run/walk intervals. And the flexible midsole gives added bounce on the road, putting a motivating spring in your step. The tirelike rubber outsole offers extra traction on wet roads.

Best For Rainy Days: Teva Fuse-ion: $90
These kicks hold up to a full day of walking, even in wet weather- a waterproof nylon upper sheds water droplets. And forget slipping: The outsole is made from rubber originally designed to prevent chefs from falling on greasy kitchen floors. It turns into a slip-on! Step onto the padded, collapsible heel for a second stylish look.

Best For High-Mileage Walking: Asics Gel-Kayano 18: $150
This shoe is just right for logging mega miles. The shock-absorbing gel platform, covered with a soft-top foam designed for a woman's foot, provides the perfect amount of padding. Another bonus: The bouncy give inspires longer workouts! An external heel grip holds your foot in place, reducing friction.

Best For Elliptical Workouts:  New Balance 813: $80
These trainers minimize irritation and prevent discomfort during a hard-core sweat session, thanks to a pressure-relieving foam insert and strategically placed pads on the outsole that reduce impact. Result: You can last longer on cardio equipment. A stretchy upper allows your foot to expand during workouts, eliminating rubbing that can lead to blisters.
Steps To Finding the Perfect Sneaker Match
1. Partner with a pro. Specialized running/walking shoe stores (like Road Runner Sports) normally do an in-depth gait analysis- often going so far as to videotape your feet while you run or walk on a treadmill- to identify a shoe that will offer you the perfect amount of support and cushion.
2. Bring Your Old Pair. "The wear patterns on the soles of your old workout shoes offer many clues as to how your foot strikes the ground, which can help us determine the type of shoe that will fit you best," says Margaret Buehler, senior sales associate and expert shoe fitter at Fleet Feet Sports Chicago.
3. Don't Be Vain About Sizing. Running shoes often run about a size smaller than flats or heels, says Buehler. So if you're normally a size 8, don't be afraid to try on a 9.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stretches for Walking

These particular stretches are designed for people with arthritis, but even those without the condition could use them to strengthen their muscles.
A. On a carpeted floor, lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
B. Tighten abs and buttocks and lift 3 to 6 inches off the floor. Hold for 6 seconds.
C. Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 12 times.
Side Leg Lift With Weights
A. Wearing 2 to 5 pound ankle weights, stand straight and hold the back of a chair.
B. Lift one leg straight out to the side from hip to about 45 degrees.
C. Slowly lower. Repeat 6 to 8 times with each leg.
Heel-Toe Lift
A. Stand straight, holding the back of a chair.
B. Lift heel and stand on toes. Hold for 3 seconds. Lower heels to floor.
C. Lift toes and hold for 3 seconds. Lower toes to floor. Repeat 6 to 8 times.
Back Leg Slide With Weights
A. Wearing 2 to 5 pound ankle weights, stand straight, holding the back of a chair.
B. Keeping leg straight and toes on floor, slide one foot back from hip until buttocks are tight.
C. Return to starting position and repeat 8 to 10 times with each leg.
Sitting Knee Bend and Extension With Weights
A. Wearing 2 to 5 pound ankle weights, sit up straight in a chair.
B. Straighten knee, lifting ankle weight even with hips.
C. Slowly bend knee, bringing ankle downward and under the chair. Repeat 6 to 8 times with each leg.
Standing Hamstring Curl With Weights
A. Wearing 2 to 5 pound ankle weights, stand straight, holding the back of a chair.
B. Bend one knee, and lift heel toward buttocks.
C. Slowly lower foot to the floor, and repeat 6 to 8 times with each leg.
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Podiatrists in CT
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Shoe Do's and Don'ts

Why are we so hard on our feet? From a very early age, our mothers put us in shoes that are cute, but not necessarily practical. We move into our teens wearing flats and unsupportive sneakers and as adults we seal our feet's fate.
Or do we? Many women think they are destined to have their grandmother's ugly, gnarly feet, but that does not have to be the case. You do not have to give up cute shoes to have healthy and happy feet.
Follow these tips and you'll have healthy feet for a lifetime.
1. Don't wear high heels all day long. A 2010 study found that over a long period of time, wearing heels higher than 2 inches puts you at risk for osteoarthritis and joint degeneration. A new study shows that high heels are a leading cause of ingrown toenails and other toenail deformities. If you're going to wear high heels, make sure to put in orthotics and pick shoes smartly. Cap the heels at 2 inches and stay away from pointed toe shoes. Wear your highest heels for occasions where you won't be on your feet a long time.
2. Don't wear flip flops everywhere. We've said it before: keep your flip flops at home. They are not meant for everyday wear. Most flip flops are intended only for beach and pool wear. These floppy shoes cause stubbed toes, cuts, and sprained ankles. When selecting pairs not for the beach or pool, look for ones with supportive arches or ones that have the APMA Seal of Acceptance. Diabetics should remember that wearing flip flops are a "no no" as they put you at risk for cuts, contusions, and wounds.
3. Wear the right shoe for the right sport. With the weather heating up and more people heading outdoors to participate in their favorite sports, it is essential to pick out the right shoe for the right sport. If you're a serious athlete in a particular sport, you should consider getting a professional fitting.
4. Don't wear the same shoes every day. While it sounds like a no-brainer, for some it's a challenge. If you wear a uniform or have a particular type of shoes you need to wear, like steel toed boots, you're most likely wearing the same pair of shoes every day. If you have to wear the same type of shoe every day, buy two of the same and alternate them.
5. Stay away from hand-me-downs. Even shoes given from mother to daughter or brother to brother should be avoided. If mom has high arches, and daughter has flat feet, the shoes are not going to fit the same way. The shoes are already "broken in" as well, meaning the leather has stretched and the insole worn.
6. Get rid of worn out shoes. If your soles are talking to you, it's time to ditch them. Shoes that are worn every day should be tossed after 6 months. Running shoes last between 300 and 500 miles.
7. Sweating? Take 'em off. Fungal infections don't come just from public showers, pools, and locker rooms. They come from your shoes too! Your shoes are the best environment for fungus to grow: dark, damp, and sweaty. Change your socks and shoes regularly, and don't forget to wash your sneakers often.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Gardening and Nail Fungus?

The bulbs are starting to poke their leaves out of the soil and the weather is getting warm. If you're like many, you're getting ready to put on your gardening gloves and shoes. Better be careful what type of shoes you put on however. Recent research from the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, the plastic-foam shoes often worn by gardeners, along with soil, may cause nail fungus.
We all know that fungus loves damp, moist environments, and those convenient, slip-on, foam shoes, worn with no socks, provide an excellent breeding ground.
The fungal infection stems from wearing knock-off versions of Crocs. In real Crocs, the patented plastic wicks water away from the skin. In faux Crocs, the plastic is not breathable, and moisture is locked in. Combined with the bacteria and protozoa from the soil, the risk of getting a skin or nail infection is very high.
Here's some tips on avoiding fungal infections while you're outside enjoying one of your favorite pastimes:
  • Wear socks. Whether you're wearing real or fake Crocs, make sure you are wearing socks. The socks will help wick and keep away moisture from your feet. 
  • Practice good hygiene. Wear gloves while you're gardening. If you're not into wearing gloves, make sure you wash your hand thoroughly. 
  • Find better shoes. Shoes with open holes are not ideal for working out in the garden, especially when there's mud involved. Look for shoes with closed backs and no holes, like Croc Boots. 
  • Know when you need treatment. Fungus is easy to get but difficult to get rid of on your own. Know when you need to call your podiatrist to help you get back to your favorite hobby fungus free. 
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Podiatrists in CT
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's Wrong With Flip Flops?

We know you are very happy to put away those heavy winter boots and closed toe shoes and let your feet be free. However, running out and restocking your favorite cheap pair of flip flops in every color is not something we would advise. Wearing well structured flip flops is not bad for you, but prolonged wear can be harmful. Research done by Justin Shroyer, PhD of University of Louisiana-Lafayette has shown that wearing flip flops changes a person's gait or walking pattern. As they walk, flip flop wearers try to grip and hold flip flops in place. Over time, this maneuver causes strain in the shin muscles and can lead to pain in the lower leg, knees, hip, and back. Following these easy tips can help you make better decisions about when and when not to wear flip flops.
1. Know your feet.
Remember when you were young and your mother may have asked you "If your friends asked you to jump off a bridge, would you do it too?" Well, just because everyone else is wearing flip flops does not mean you should too (or can). If you have high or flat arched feet, wearing flip flops is risky. The same goes for people with diabetes, as the open structure of flip flops provides the opportunity for more cuts, scrapes, and contusions.
2. Invest in quality.
We know it's tempting to run to your favorite department store and buy those cheap flip flops in every color, but they provide absolutely no support for your foot. You might as well be walking barefoot. We recommend wearing these type of flip flops only to the beach and instead looking for ones with more structure, support, and wider straps for prolonged use. You should look for ones that cup your heel and have arch support. For a list of American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance flip flops, visit:
3. Limit flip flop use to just a few hours. 
Even if you are wearing top of the line, best quality flip flops know those shoes are not meant or designed for all day, every day use. Flip flops should not be your primary shoe in the warmer months.
The APMA produced a great video last summer on avoiding a flip flop fiasco:
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Podiatrists in CT
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

10 Shoe Trends For Spring/Summer 2012

According to fashion experts, here is a top ten list of shoe trends to look for this spring and summer season:
1. Metallic Toes: Very durable; look for these shoes to be glamorous and trendy.
2. Pointed Toes: Look for the rounded toe sandals of the past few seasons to be replaced by pointed toe sandals.
3. Pastels: Inspired by Kate Middleton, look for nude shoes to dominate the market, along with pale green, yellow, and aqua.
4. Mega Platforms: Think Lady Gaga. Don't plan on wearing them for a long time or when you're going to be on your feet. 
5.Transparent Shoes: These debuted last year with mixed results, but this year designers have made them with vinyl. 
6. Shoes With Laces: Look good and are flattering on everyone.                   
7. Shining Shoes: Seen mostly on the runway but now made practical. Designers manufacturing them so they can be part of your everyday wardrobe. 
8. Braided Sandals: If you had purchased braided sandals several years ago and put them in the closet haul them out. They will be among the hottest trends this summer. Look for them in bright colors. Perfect for keeping your feet cool in the summer. 
9. Espadrilles and Wedges: A hot item from Dolce and Gabanna last year. A shoe style that was extremely popular in the 1960's and 1970's, making a comeback. 
10. Brightly Colored Shoes: Always great for the spring and summer. 
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Podiatrists in CT
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Are Custom Orthotics For Me?

If you answer YES to any of these questions, please contact one of our offices today and make an appointment to be seen.
  • I have had or currently have increased low back/buttock pain with prolonged standing or walking.
  • I have had foot pain/heel pain with prolonged standing or walking.
  • I walk or run recreationally/competitively.
  • I stand on concrete throughout the day.
  • I have had or have knee pain walking or going up the stairs or with prolonged standing.
  • I have had or have hip pain with walking or prolonged standing.
  • My feet have increased in size over the years.
  • I have had or have shin pain with increased walking or running.
  • I am diabetic.
  • I have or think I have arthritis in my knees and hips.
  • I have problems with calluses/corns on one or both of my feet.
  • I have bunions or have had bunions on my feet in the past.
  • My parents have had or have any of the above symptoms and have not found relief or comfort from them.
  • I find walking tiring. 
Connecticut Foot Care Centers 
Podiatrists in CT
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

April Shoe of the Month: Kitten Heels

Modest and practical, the kitten heel can stand out in a crowd without overdoing it. Kitten heels not only give extra height but are also a great alternative to reducing pressure on the ball of the foot often caused by a higher heel. Because a kitten heel is typically not higher than one inch and is also a bit wider than the average heel, it offers more comfort and stability. Keep in mind, a heel that is three inches high creates seven times more stress than a one-inch heel.
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Podiatrists in CT
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10 Fun Foot Facts

We think feet and ankles are pretty awesome here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, and we'd like to share with you a few fun facts about the appendages that get you where you need to go!
  1. Seventy-five percent of Americans will experience foot and ankle health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their lives.
  2. The foot is an intricate structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons that hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways. 
  3. The 52 bones in your feet make up 1/4 of all the bones in your body. Just another reason to take good care of your feet!
  4. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) says the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Those cover several miles, and they all add up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime- more than 4 times around the circumference of the world!
  5. Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon, says the APMA. Your feet tend to swell during the day and it's best to buy shoes to fit them then. Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you're standing. When you try on the shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot that is larger than the other, and it's best to fit the larger one. 
  6. Your feet mirror your general health. Such conditions as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet- so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems. 
  7. The podiatric physician (doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM) is the health care professional trained in the care of your feet and ankles. He or she receives conventional medical training, plus special training on the foot, ankle, and lower leg. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico require they pass rigorous state board examinations before they are licensed, and most require continuing education programs for regular license renewal. 
  8. About 19 percent of the US population has an average of 1.4 foot problems a year. 
  9. About 5 percent of the US population has foot infections, including Athlete's Foot, other fungal infections, and warts each year. 
  10. About 5 percent of the US population has ingrown toenails or other toenail problems each year. 
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Meet Your Doctors! Dr. Richard E. Ehle, DPM

Dr. Richard E. Ehle, DPM grew up right here in New Britain, and graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. College took him to the University of Miami, where he graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and a minor in chemistry. 

Now called the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Ehle received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine in 1978. He completed his residency hours at the Lutheran Hospital in Baltimore, MD (January- December 1979) and Kern Hospital in Warren, MI (January- December 1980), where he served as the Chief Surgical Resident. 
Like Dr. Kahn, Dr. Ehle has been very involved in podiatric organizations across the state. He was the president of the Connecticut Independent Podiatry Practice Association from 1988-1997, the secretary of the Bristol Medical Provider Organization from 1993-1996, president of the Hartford County Podiatric Medical Society from 1990-1991, and treasurer of the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association from 1988-1989. He was named Podiatrist of the Year by Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association in 1993. 
Dr. Ehle is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery (1986) and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot Surgeons. He belongs to the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association and the American Podiatric Medical Association. His hospital affiliations include Bristol Hospital in Bristol, CT and the Hospital of Central Connecticut at New Britain General (New Britain, CT) and Bradley Memorial (Southington, CT). Dr. Ehle's specialty in the practice is diabetic foot care and diabetic wound care. 
Dr. Ehle has been married for 16 years to Lisa, whom you may recognize as the Bristol location's office manager. They have seven children, ranging in ages from 39 to 26 and several cats. Two children are nurses and one has a Ph.D. Outside of work Dr. Ehle enjoys fishing and gardening. 
Dr. Richard E. Ehle, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrist in Bristol, CT
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's That Itching Between My Toes?

If you've noticed you've been itching between your toes a lot more lately and that area is red or scaly, you most likely have Athlete's Foot.
Athlete's Foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that occurs naturally between the toes. The fungus attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth. Warm, damp areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. So with spring sports and summer weather coming up, the cases of Athlete's Foot will rise.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot including drying skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters on and between the toes. Athlete's Foot can spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails as well as other parts of the body, which is why timely treatment is so important.
You can prevent Athlete's Foot by:
  • Not walking barefoot, particularly in public pools and locker rooms. 
  • Reducing foot perspiration by using talcum powder.
  • Wearing light and airy shoes.
  • Wearing socks that keep your feet dry, and changing them frequently if you perspire heavily. 
While fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are usually used to treat Athlete's Foot problems, they often fail to contact the fungi in the lower layers of the skin. For persistent Athlete's Foot, a prescription topical or oral antifungal drug may be needed.
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Podiatrists in CT
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Walking Tips

Spring is a great time to get yourself off the couch and get on your way to better health. Don't let foot pain slow you down. Follow these helpful tips for your springtime walks and enjoy the weather!
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Wear "moisture wicking" socks. 
  • If you've been inactive over the winter, don't over do it. Gradually work into a walking program. 
  • Walkers can frequently experience heel pain, especially if you've been inactive over the winter months. 
  • If you experience pain in your heels or ankles that does not disappear within two weeks, schedule an exam with our office. 
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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