This week, the Royal College of Podiatrists are promoting National Feet Week! So, we’ve gone through our products to find the best buys for better foot health. Our foot health can have a massive impact on our mobility. Similarly, our health can have a huge impact on our feet.
Good foot hygiene is key to comfort, but sometimes it can be tricky to reach your toes to give them a good scrub if you have reduced mobility. Soapy Soles are a product designed to help with that! This handy gadget is so simple to use! It securely suckers to the floor of the shower tray or bath so there’s no need to worry about it slipping. Just squirt liquid soap over the 1,500 soft plastic fingers and rub feet along to cleanse and massage them. Let your feet do the work, instead of bending or straining.
An alternative to Soapy Soles are long-handled toe washers. Available to buy on its own, the Toe Washer is extra-long, lightweight and has an easy to grip handle. It’s also easy to bend into the optimum position. It comes with two soft flannel cloths (one for using and a spare whilst the other’s in the wash) that fit over the narrow frame, allowing you to gently wipe between even the most swollen toes. Similarly, the long-handled Sponge Toe Washer that’s included in our great value Hip Replacement/Surgery Recovery Kit is great for washing between toes without the need to bend or strain. With a wide handle that makes it easy to hold at one end, and narrow sponge that contours at the other end, its no surprise its been approved by Occupational Therapists.
Most people who live with diabetes know the importance of foot health, given the range of issues it can cause. From dry skin to hardening of the skin, and even retraction of the smaller toes causing a sometimes painful change in where pressure occurs on the foot. One of the most common challenges diabetes poses is swelling of the feet and ankles. This is known as oedema, which can occur anywhere in the body when fluid pools due to poor circulation. Diabetes causes poor circulation when high levels of glucose damage blood vessels. The feet and ankles suffer most being the lowest part of the body, meaning gravity draws the fluid down there.
To help with this we have a vast range of wide-fitting footwear. We’ve everything from glam sandals, smart boots, cool trainers and cosy slippers. As well as having a range of width fittings from E-8E, we have innovative styles that also help with foot and ankle swelling! So many of our shoes are adjustable in so many ways, meaning that even if one foot is swollen more or less than the other, you’re guaranteed a secure and safe fit. And because oedema can make the feet more sensitive as the skin stretches, we have styles with seamless toe boxes (the front of the shoe) to avoid irritation.
As well as shoes with extra width, the footwear we’ve chosen for our range includes other specialist features. Most have deeper toe boxes that can be made even deeper with up to two removal insoles (ideal for orthotic use after a hip replacement). The Walmer (above), for example, also has a low ‘vamp’ front to allow extra room for swelling or a high instep. The forepart is also made of stretchy fabric that moves with feet instead of rubbing against it.
As mobility specialists, we have a range of dressing aids to help our customers maintain their independence, despite having reduced mobility. These include sock and stocking aids. However, for those who also have sore or swollen feet- either due to diabetes or other cause- some of these ‘solutions’ aren’t always the most gentle. That’s why we love the Soxon. This nifty product has soft, fabric-covered padded sides to slip the foot into once the sock is on the end. The Soxon is available separately or as part of Hip/Surgery Recovery Kit (see also above).
Diabetes can also cause nerve damage, including to the feet, which can lead to not feeling pain. This might sound great…but it can also mean not feeling when something is wrong. Experts recommend always wearing footwear to protect your feet, especially if you’re experiencing oedema. But if your feet get hot or you just like the feel of bare toes, a conventional slipper or shoe might not be what you want. We have the perfect compromise in the Doreen and Dora house shoes by Sandpiper.
Doreen ladies extra wide house shoes are an identical style to Dora but with a velour upper more suited as a bedroom slipper. They’re ideal if you prefer to wear slippers but enjoy the feel of open toes. Whilst they’re lightweight, they come with underfoot support, a closed heel and a slip-resistant outdoor sole.
Having foot issues often means that our customers have feet that are different widths. The Sandpiper Doreen shoe has twin touch fastening straps so that each shoe can be adjusted to fit feet easily. Not only that, the shoe can be opened flat to assist putting on and removing Doreen or Dora.
According to CDC.gov (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) “For the best fit, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet tend to be largest. Break in your new shoes slowly—wear them for an hour or two a day at first until they’re completely comfortable.”
Either occasionally or for a prolonged period of time, some of us may find ourselves with bandaged feet. This can prevent the wearing of slippers and the support and warmth they bring. More dangerously, like with people with wider feet, a person might resort to wearing larger slippers to accommodate the bandages. However, as pointed out by Help The Aged who run ‘slipper-swap’ events, overly large slippers are major cause of dangerous and unnecessary trips and falls.
Each available in a choice of fabrics, these wide-fitting slippers open flat to allow the wearer’s foot to be placed on top of the sole. This way, bandages don’t bunch up with the effort of trying to get the foot through the neck of the slipper. The Wesley is particularly popular with gents, thanks to its luxe leather-look upper.
The feet don’t have to do anything! The slipper’s fabric is ‘rolled-up’ around the foot, either by the wearer or a carer, to provide bespoke fit for each foot. There’s virtually no disturbance to the foot or the bandages or dressing. As well as providing warmth and support, these slippers reduce a dressing becoming tarnished or dirty. They’re so versatile.
Whilst this is a vast topic, we thought we’d finish by suggesting a range of products that can tackle the issue of swelling. Or at least help improve the situation. Elevating the legs is just one way of doing this. Take a look at our gallery below for links to a number of products that can assist with this.