Performance And Comfort – Golf Shoe Review

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As the evolution to more lightweight athletic style golf shoes continue, more brands are entering the market. This doesn’t mean that the traditional market leaders in this segment are getting overtaken, quite the contrary.

FootJoy, the clear market leader in golf, has probably never had such a broad range and variation within their quality shoes, yet at the same time running shoe companies such as Nike, and now Asics are aiming fair and square at the golf market.

We have a done a road test on the massively popular FootJoy Pro SL and also the new comer on the block, the Asics Gel-Ace Pro FG.

From the ground up the FootJoy is a spikeless golf shoe and the Asics is a soft spike. No options here on either. This in itself may be the deciding factor for some golfers. In recent years there has been movement towards golf shoes without spikes. Just look at The Open Championship this week and you will see plenty of players in spikeless, something rarely seen only a few years ago.

Both shoes are slightly pitched at 10mm offering the best in class structural assistance for standing and walking for long periods of time. This ‘Heel Pitch’ is a key feature in assisting normal foot function in walking, something sometimes forgotten in golf shoe design, especially as Australians generally walk the course. Both have structured mid sole, yet the FootJoy has a much wider lateral flare along the outside of the shoe. This feature offers an increased level of lateral for support during the swing, and would be the number one selling point for people with high arched feet or those who regularly blow out the outsides of their shoes. It supports the foot laterally when the weight moves this way towards the top of the back swing on the back foot, and in a similar fashion to the front foot on the follow through – great design feature.

The FootJoy comes in two width fittings a normal and wide fit, while the Asics is a 2E standard fit. Interestingly the difference in fit is in the shape of the toe box. While the width and volume of the FootJoy across the forefoot is is excellent and has the two width options, the toebox shape is less rounded then the Asics and offers a little less room around the toes for players with toe deformities or really square shaped feet.

Both the uppers are premium leather and offer a comfortable worn in feel straight out of the box. The Asics appears to have a firmer heel counter so if you have rubbing issues on the back of your heels the FootJoy may work better, however the structure of the heel counter in the Asics shoe, born out of their running shoe experience, gives surety and feel to the shot and is more then likely going to wear exceedingly well.

Both shoes are clearly made for players and I recommend trying both when purchasing your next shoe. Neither will disappoint and both are waterproof guaranteed which is excellent for winter golf.

These shoes are priced at the premium end of the market and aimed at the regular player. FootJoy Pro SL $249.95, FootJoy PRO SL BOA $279, Asics Gel-Ace Pro FG $260.

Good hitting out there.

 

 

Diabetes and your feet

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Did you know that Diabetes can affect your feet? If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it is important to have you feet checked regularly by a podiatrist.

Over time elevated levels of sugar in your blood can lead to impaired circulation, this means less blood is able to travel to and reach your feet. If you have poor circulation, any injuries to your feet such as cuts, burns and scratches will take longer to heal.

Elevated sugar levels in the blood can also damage the endings of your nerves and over time this can lead to neuropathy or loss of feeling in your feet. The nerves in your feet act as an emergency warning system to alert your brain to dangers so that you can act accordingly. Because of this it is very important to make sure you are always wearing adequate footwear to protect and support your feet. It is also important to check your shoes regularly for seams that may be rubbing on your feet, or any stones and sticks that may have ended up in your shoe and cause damage to your feet, which you may not feel.

A diabetic foot assessment performed at least once a year is important as it allows our podiatrists to test and monitor your blood flow and nerves and report back to your GP and endocrinologist.

These tests will determine if you are at high risk of diabetes related foot complications such as ulceration and amputation. Regular testing allows us to monitor any changes to your foot health over time and give you management strategies to help care for your feet in the long term.

Winter is coming!

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The snow season is upon us.  Snowboarding and skiing  place  significant  demands on  the lower limbs so adequate strength and correct boot fit are essential  for a great season.

Get your boots right for the optimum comfort and performance in balance, edge control and power.

Pain or difficulty on a particular maneuver on the snow can be an indication that your boots are not ideal.

A good place to start is an assessment of your overall biomechanics including lower limb structure and function.  A proper assessment by one of our podiatrists Rohan Coull, who understands the specific movements and forces placed on the body during these activities will allow him to assess your posture and strength. He  will be able to prescribe an exercise/stretching regime tailored to your needs and possibly inserts, orthotics or boot modifications to assist in getting you pain free and back on the slopes in no time.

Rohan Coull can perform the same tests and assessments we use on national team ski races and snow-borders that help them to perform at their best. Rohan has lived in the snow, run the Mt Buller Foot Clinic, taught the Masterfit Boot Fitting program and has three boys who have been on Australian Alpine Teams.

The truth behind corns and callouses

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Hyperkeratosis (hardened skin/callous and corns) are a condition that many individuals suffer from over their lifetime. Callouses are diffuse areas of thickened skin. Corns are more focal areas of hard skin that grow in an inward direction often causing more acute areas of pain.

There are many different reasons why an individual may develop corns and callouses and they can include:

  • Excessive pressure/friction on your feet because of your biomechanics or walking style.
  • Poor/ill-fitting footwear
  • Foot deformities

Our podiatrists are experts in the ongoing care and management of corns and callous. They will be able to remove your corns and reduce your callouses whilst providing advice for long term care.

An appointment with one of our podiatrists will allow them to asses your footwear as well as your foot shape and function. They will then be able to advise which shoe type is best for you and provide any offloading that may be required to help you feel comfortable and pain free.

You can also care for your corns and callouses at home my moisturizing your feet regularly to hydrate and nourish the skin making it feel soft and smooth. A foot file or pumice stone can also be used regularly to help remove some of the dry skin preventing it from building up.

If you have a corn it is important not to use corn plasters as if used incorrectly or on fragile skin can cause blisters or burns.

Toe Walking in Children

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Toe walking, or walking up on the balls of the foot is common in young children; it is estimated that 5-10% of children will toe walk.  In most cases children who are healthy and otherwise developing well, will grow out of this way of walking. In a small number of cases, it may be a sign that there are more serious issues.

Toe walking is most commonly seen when children first begin walking; they may walk on the balls of their feet in the first 2-3 months but begin contacting with their heel once they become a little more confident with walking.

It is worthwhile having your child’s toe walking assessed if you are concerned, if the toe walking continues after 2 years of age or if your child is becoming less coordinated over time.

After 5 years of age most children will have ceased toe walking. Those that continue to toe walk may do this out of habit and will not generally do this constantly.

In those children who persist without any underlying health issues, the condition is called idiopathic toe walking. This means that the cause is unknown.

Treatment is often not required under the age of 6 if the child is otherwise developing well. Toe walking can, however, lead to tight calf muscles and sometimes leg or foot soreness. Your podiatrist can assess the tightness of the muscles, rule out joint issues and suggest a massage and stretching program to help maintain flexibility. This will help to keep your child comfortable and active and promote a more balanced gait or walking pattern in the long term. Sometimes special footwear, arch supports and gait training games or exercises may also be used.

In conclusion, toe walking is a common condition that resolves without long term issues for most children, however, should be assessed if you are concerned that your child has pain, other health or development issues or if the toe waking persists after 2 years of age.

What is a Podiatrist?

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A podiatrist, also known as a podiatric physician, is essentially a doctor for your feet. They are trained to diagnose and treat all conditions of the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are the most qualified primary care practitioners to care for your feet.

After a  four year undergraduate degree and further post graduate training in specialised areas podiatrists work and specialise in many related fields, including sports medicine, paediatrics (children), surgery, wound care and diabetic care. Podiatry is the only medically registered profession that specialises in foot and lower limb care and registration ensures an ongoing commitment to continuing education. This makes sure the current and best practices in foot and lower limb care are not only practiced but governed by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Podiatrists are also recognised by national bodies such as Sports Medicine Australia, The Australian Podiatry Association, The Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, and The Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons. Each of these bodies provides comprehensive and continuing educational programs to enable members to be at the forefront of best care practice.

At The Melbourne Foot Clinic we are proud to have a wide variety of talented and committed podiatrists that cover the total range of foot and leg problems. Each practitioner is registered and associated with varying national specialisation associations.

The wide range of conditions we treat include:

  • Foot Pain
  • Stress Injuries
  • Flat Feet
  • Ingrown Nails
  • Wounds
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Callous
  • Warts
  • Infections
  • Fungus
  • Nail Replacement (Keryflex)

If you are not sure whether a podiatrist will be able to treat you presenting concern our receptionists will be more than happy to answer any further queries that you may have.

Arthritis and Your Feet

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Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can affect any joint in the body. There are many forms of arthritis and the more common forms include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in older people and results from general wear and tear of the joints over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the body ‘attacks itself’ causing the joints to break down.

Arthritis can lead to pain and stiffness of the joints and in severe cases can prevent participation in daily activities or even impact on walking.

Symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Pain and swelling of the joints
  • Presence of redness or inflammation around the joints
  • Tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint
  • Increased pain and stiffness in the morning or after long periods of rest
  • Difficulty walking due to the symptoms listed above

Currently there is no cure for arthritis however there are many treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease and to minimize the pain and discomfort allowing individuals to continue on with their daily lives.

Treatment for arthritis in the foot and lower limb can include:

  • Weight loss to minimize stress placed on the joints
  • Modification of activities to lower impact activities such as cycling or swimming
  • Supportive and correctly fitting footwear
  • Orthotics

Your Podiatrist will carefully assess the severity of the condition and can recommend appropriate footwear. This can allow problem joints more room, reducing the risk of other injuries such as blisters, corns and callouses that can be caused by shoes rubbing on swollen areas.

Orthotics can also be specially made to provide your feet with extra support and to give you more stability, making it easier to get around. There are also exercises you can do to help keep the joint moving, which will help relieve the stiffness and pain you may be experiencing. These treatments can greatly improve the quality of life, general comfort and mobility for a patient suffering with arthritis.

Sever’s Disease

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Heel pain in kids is one of the more common pathologies seen in the clinic. There are many different causes of heel pain in kids. Such as Heel stress fractures, bursitis, tendinopathy yet Sever’s Disease is by far the most common.

Sever’s Disease is not actually a disease; it is in fact “growing pains” in the heel. It is usually seen between the ages 8-14, and is more common in boys than girls. It is caused by inflammation of the growth plate in in the heel. It usually occurs during a growth spurt and is exacerbated by activity and generally settles with rest. Sports that involve a lot of running, jumping and sprinting tend to make the pain worse. Pain can be experienced during and/or after periods of activity and can last for some days after.

It is important to get an early and accurate diagnosis of the source of your child’s heel pain as there are many different causes. Once diagnosed, early treatment will, in most cases settle the pain quickly. Treatment is varied depending on severity of pain, child’s age, activity levels and sports played. Treatment can include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Footwear changes
  • Exercise variation
  • Inserts of various types of shoes

Sever’s is a tricky injury as it can continue to cause pain and problems in your child as they grow. Having the tools to be able to manage their pain until their foot stops growing, and thus the pain settles, is very important.

Orthotics at Melbourne Foot Clinic

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The foot is home to numerous bones, muscles and ligaments which are designed to perform a variety of complex functions. Feet should be able to absorb shock, facilitate balance and carry you through your day. Without the right support and alignment people often experience pain. When this is the case you may need the help of an orthotic or insole to balance everything out again.

Our team of podiatrists are experts in providing orthotic therapy to all age groups and activity levels. We often use orthotics in the treatment of ‘flat feet’, plantar fasciitis and arch, ankle, shin and knee pain.

There are many different types of orthotics available at our clinic from “off the shelf” to custom foot orthotics and your podiatrist will discuss with you is the best fit for your feet and activity level.

When making custom foot orthotics, we take over 40 minutes performing a full biomechanical and gait assessment, before taking a plaster impression of your feet. This enables us to design the most appropriate device for your needs. There are many different materials and styles of orthotic that can be used to make your orthotic as “hard” or “soft” to provide the best level of comfort for your feet. There are also many different styles that can be tailored to fit in various styles of shoes.

At our clinic we have the ability to make adjustments and additions to your orthotics on-site. At your fitting appointment, we make sure your orthotic fit properly and are providing the support your feet require.

During the process we work with our patients to develop detailed rehabilitation programs and stretching regimes to best facilitate your feet function. Our podiatrists have an extensive knowledge of footwear appropriate for your orthotics that are not only functional but also fashionable.

After your orthotics have been issued we schedule a review appointment in 4-8 weeks to ensure that your feet are now functioning as expected, you are comfortable wearing your orthotics and answer any questions you may have.

If you have any questions or you would like to make an appointment please contact our clinic on (03) 9890 2212 or alternatively make an appointment online.

Tips for Toenail Cutting

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Correct methods for toenail cutting are important for providing not only comfort for the individual, but also to remain pain and infection free. Ingrown toenails occur when a nail becomes lodged in the skin and does not grow normally. They are one of the major causes of foot discomfort and pain. Some nails have a tendency to grow inwards and may need to be corrected with a small surgical procedure (see nail surgery).

If you learn how to trim your nails properly you may be able to stop ingrown nails developing. When cutting nails, cut straight across the nail and avoid cutting down the sides or into a curved shape, multiple cuts can be used for each nail. It is also important to make sure that you do not cut the nails too short. Nails should be cut when they are dry as wet nails are likely to tear. Use appropriate nail clippers, and keep all tools you use for your nails disinfected, this can be done with an alcohol wipe before and after use. If using a nail file or emery board gently more it across the nail in a single direction until the desired length is reached, do not drag it back and forth across the nail. Nail cuticles should not be cut as this could lead to bleeding or infection.

Remember everyone’s nails will grow at different rates so there is no set time as to when they should be cut, just keep an eye on them and give them a trim before they start rubbing on your shoes and causing pain.