Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Choosing summer footwear that looks and feels great

(ARA) - So long, snow boots, warm weather is here at last after one of the snowiest winters on record. But while you're skipping through summer in your saucy sandals or padding through the sand in your favorite flip-flops, what toll will your seasonal footwear take on your hardworking feet?

Nearly eight of every 10 Americans have experienced foot problems caused by wearing uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. "Many of us increase our activity levels in the summer, and that could mean an increased risk of foot and ankle discomfort or even injury," says APMA President and podiatrist Dr. Kathleen Stone. "Plus, many of the shoes we enjoy wearing during warm weather, like flip-flops and sandals, may not always be the best choice in terms of foot health."

The foot health experts at APMA offer some advice for taking care of your feet this summer:

Finding flip-flops

Once considered only beach wear, flip-flops have gone fashionable, now showing up in offices, classrooms and social events when warm weather arrives. But some styles may be more harmful to your feet than others and can cause blisters and foot pain. When shopping for flip-flops:

* Forego vinyl or rubber and look for high-quality, soft leather, which will minimize the potential for blisters and other irritations. The APMA certifies some footwear products with its Seal of Acceptance, which tells you a team of APMA podiatrists have evaluated the footwear to ensure it allows the most normal foot function and promotes foot health.

* Like all shoes, the flip-flop should bend at the ball of the foot. Don't buy it if the shoe bends completely in half.

* Straps should fit comfortably but not be too loose or too snug. Your foot should not hang off the edge of the flip-flop. The thong between the toes should not be irritating.

* If last year's flip-flops show severe signs of wear, toss them and buy a new pair.

* Don't wear flip-flops for long walks; even the sturdiest styles don't offer sufficient arch support and shock absorption for extended wearing. And never wear them when doing yard work or playing sports.

* If you suffer from heel pain or diabetes, avoid flip-flops altogether.

No sandal scandals

As popular as flip-flops, sandals are versatile options for warm weather footwear, but you don't have to sacrifice foot health to look good in them. Foot care specialists with the APMA suggest that you should choose a sandal as much for its comfort and support as its fashion appeal. Fortunately, following a few simple steps can ensure your feet look and feel good in the summers hottest fashion sandals:

* Flats and slides are comfy and convenient, but prolonged wearing and inadequate support and cushioning may lead to arch and heel pain. Use cushioned inserts to improve sandals' support, and choose styles that have soles that don't twist excessively.

* Gladiator sandals are back in step this season, but some styles may irritate the toes and cause calluses on the heels. Choose natural materials like soft, supple leather. Toes and heels should not hang off edges.

* Platforms and high heels may make your legs look great, but they can also put you at risk of foot and ankle injuries. Opt for heels less than 2 inches high, which offer more stability.

* Rubber soles with good traction, and a wider, flatter wedge are a must for anyone wearing wedges or espadrilles.

* Peep-toe sandals can put a lot of pressure on your feet, causing bunions and hammertoes over time. Wear them for short periods only and use APMA accepted toe inserts to improve comfort.

* Ankle-wrap sandals often lack true ankle support, and friction from the straps may cause blisters. Choose sandals with straps made of soft, breathable material like leather, cotton or satin. Never wrap the straps too tightly.

Podiatrists are uniquely trained to treat ailments of the foot and ankle, even serious conditions that may require surgery. If you suffer from persistent pain in your feet or ankles, it may be time to see a podiatrist. You can find a podiatrist by visiting the APMA's website, www.apma.org. You'll also find more helpful information on how to keep your feet healthy at any age, and during any activity, on the site.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Warm-Weather Trends Focus On Nude Shades And Bare Legs

(NAPSI)-As temperatures rise, there are new opportunities to find styles that suit you-and this season's warm-weather looks are no exception.

To help shape up your summer style while staying within your budget, here are some tips from fashion and style expert Lilliana Vazquez of Cheap Chica's Guide to Style-- http://cheapchicas.com.

• Nude Shades--This season, anything in nude shades will be hot. These tones are very sexy, show off your tan beautifully and have been all over the red carpet on Hollywood's hottest celebs.

• Rompers--Rompers are a flirty and fun alternative to a dress that's much more current. Always remember when you're showing off your legs that smooth skin is a must. Nair Shower Power Max is an easy and convenient way to get smooth skin that lasts days longer than shaving. It actually removes hair while you shower and comes in a convenient pump you can keep in your shower caddy. With designers showing shorter skirts and shorts, your legs will be more in focus than in seasons past. This summer, you could win concert tickets from the makers of Nair. Find out more about the Nair Step Out Challenge at NairLikeNeverBefore.com.

• Menswear-inspired Pieces--Who doesn't love a classic white button-down? Pair it with something super sexy such as a bikini or a banded skirt for a feminine flair.

• Perfect Prints--From abstract watercolor prints to classics like polka dots and stripes, there's a print out there for every personality.

• Wedges and Ghillie Ties--For summer sandals, wedges are easy to wear on the boardwalk or on the beach. If you need something a little dressier, a lace-up or Ghillie Tie sandal is the "it" shoe for the summer. A tan pair is a great go-with-everything style that will make your legs look a million miles long.

This season's rompers, shorter skirts and shorts focus on legs. Smooth skin is a must when showing off your legs.

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