Ken Lefkowitz DPM

Guide to Buying Running Shoes

Running Shoes






If you have decided to take up running or jogging in this beautiful weather than you are not alone. Running is one of those sports where you do not need a lot of equipment. The thing to remember is that you need to have a good fitting pair of running shoes.

When walking into a running store one quickly learns that there are a lot of brands. If you are new to running do not let all the different brands confuse you. There are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for a good pair of running shoes.

To keep your feet and legs injury free, you will have to have happy feet. When entering a running store, you need to remember that the shoes have to fit perfect from the heel to toe. Your heel should fit snug but not too tight. Lace up the shoe but do not tie it. Once the shoe is laced up and not tied you should be able to slide your foot out of the shoe.

The running shoe’s upper should hug your instep. If you are feeling areas that are too tight or pinching then the shoe does not fit well. If you are having pain while trying them on, just think how much more pain you would have after running with them for about a mile?

Your foot should be able to move from side to side in the forefoot area of the shoe. Next, you should make sure that you can grasp a ¼ inch of the upper materials down the widest part of the foot. Remember that feet lengthen and swell over the duration of your run. You always want to make sure there is about an inch of extra room between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. A friend or the person doing the fitting can check the width while you are standing up with the shoe laced.

How does the arch feel? If the arch feels like it is slightly supported than these shoes should be good. The pros suggest the shoes for a short run. A run can be in the store, a treadmill or the hallway of a mall.

5 Things not to do When Looking for Running Shoes

  1. Never buy running shoes because they are “cute”. It is important that they fit well.
  2. Buying shoes that are too small can lead to a number of things including black toenails and blisters.
  3. Never buy your running shoes in the morning. Your feet begin to swell as soon as you get up in the morning. Always purchase running shoes in the late afternoon or early evening.
  4. Do not guess at the size of your foot. When looking to purchase running shoes have your feet measured by a professional.
  5. Never buy walking shoes, tennis shoes, basketball sneakers in place of running shoes. Wearing other types of shoes can cause injury.

Running and jogging are quite enjoyable. If you have been jogging and had pain that will not go away contact Quality Foot Care and make an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Lefkowitz.

Ingrown Toenail Pain

Ingrown ToenailDo you have pain on the side of your toe and it looks like the nail has grown into the skin? Although common, ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. Trying to put a shoe on or even walk barefoot can cause pain. If the ingrown toenail is not taken care of it can actually lead to an infection. What can be done to take care of the toenail? Do you need to call your podiatrist?

Known as onychocryptosis in the medical world, this painful condition can become chronic. Repeated episodes can lead to infections, redness, and swelling. There are a number of reasons as to why a person can suffer from an ingrown toenail. Some people have this problem because it is congenital. A great example of congenial would be those whose toenails are just too large. People who have toes that curl tend to have more episodes of ingrown toenails. Stubbing your toe or any other type of trauma can also cause ingrown toenails. Having your foot stepped on or dropping something heavy on the foot can cause the nail to become jammed or stuck in the skin. Runners often have problems with ingrown toenails due to the constant pounding on the feet on long runs.

Ingrown Toenail- Most Common Cause

The most common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting them wrong. If the toenails are cut wrong they can grow into the skin. Tight socks and shoes can also make matters worse because the toenail is being pushed in. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail and your toe is painful, swollen and red where the nail meets the skin, you may have an infection. Once the nail punctures the skin, it is the perfect port or entryway for germs that can cause infection. If the ingrown toenail is not treated the nail grows further under the skin and the infection can become much worse. The infection needs to be treated by your podiatrist and antibiotics. As soon as you notice that you have an ingrown toenail you should contact your foot doctor.

Until you can see your doctor the following tips will help to provide some relief:

  • Soak the foot in warm water with Epsom salt added.
  • Thoroughly dry your foot and make sure to get the area where it is painful.
  • Cover painful area with a mild antiseptic.
  • Put a bandage over the area.
  • Wear socks and shoes that give the toes extra room.

It is important that you learn to cut your toenails properly. Holding your nail clippers, cut the nails straight across and make sure the corners of the nails are visible. If the nail is cut too short or the edges are rounded the nail will want to grow into the skin. Once the nail begins puncturing the skin you are on your way to an ingrown toenail and possible infection.

If you go to the salon to have a pedicure be sure your toenails are cut as described above. Another great tip when visiting the salon for your pedicure is to bring your own pedicure kit. Using your own kit will also reduce the risk of infection.

Diabetes and your Feet

Close-up Of Bare FeetDiabetes can have numerous effects on your feet. One of the first things that may happen is that you begin to lose sensation, usually starting at the toes. What this is called is peripheral neuropathy.

It is important to remember that when you are purchasing new shoes that they fit properly. If you are unsure of your exact shoe size, then you can have your feet measured.

The chances of experiencing neuropathy in your feet is directly correlated to the number of years you have diabetes. Research shows that one in three people with diabetes will have some loss of feeling in their feet. When neuropathy does begin to happen, it usually starts slow. Many people are actually not aware of the neuropathy in their feet when it begins. Peripheral neuropathy will often occur 7 to 10 years after you have been diagnosed with diabetes. For those who have had trouble controlling their blood sugar, the onset of neuropathy may begin sooner.

If you have lost feeling in your feet then it possible that you may injure your feet without knowing. The problem is that you may step on sharp objects like a screw or nail, piercing the skin so badly that it may even go down to the bone. If the wound is not noticed and treated immediately this, could lead to serious problems and could lead to amputation.

It is extremely important that you perform a daily inspection of your feet. Certain precautions should also be taken such as not walking where there are sharp objects and not walking barefoot.

Periodically this loss of sensation can cause a burning feeling in your feet. This burning feeling can become quite severe and often gets worse at night. This burning feeling is what is known as painful peripheral neuropathy. If you are experiencing these symptoms it, is important to consult your Podiatrist or diabetic clinic. It may be possible to alleviate these symptoms.

It is important to understand that diabetes can also affect the blood supply to your feet. A reduction in the blood supply to your feet can cause healing issues and make your feet more vulnerable to infections. It is important to have your feet regularly checked by your foot specialist.

Contact your podiatrist right away if experience any of the following:

  • New swelling in your feet
  • Your skin color changes. If you see that your feet/foot are becoming redder, bluer, or there are black areas.
  • Any type of break in the skin or discharge coming from your feet.

If you suddenly experience pain in a foot, that feels warm to the touch and the same area on the other foot, does not feel as warm, you need to see your podiatrist right away. Until you see your foot specialist it, is advisable to stay off of your feet as much as possible.

With due diligence and a few precautions, you can help to keep your feet as healthy as possible. Communicating with your doctors will contribute to avoiding any serious issues that may arise concerning diabetes and your feet.

A Dirty Four Letter Word: Wart

I’m talking about the viral  “W A R T”.  Warts are a common condition seen by podiatrists.  They are caused by the papilloma virus which can be found almost anywhere.  The virus is found on surfaces that we walk on and will enter your skin through a break.  The break does not have to be large.  It can be a very minor crack in a dry or overused foot.  Often they are neglected because they resemble corns or calluses. Unfortunately since they are caused by a virus warts can start as a single solitary lesion and multiply into many lesions.  When the warts are on the bottoms of your feet, they can become very painful due to compression and deepening from weight bearing forces.

Prevention would include wearing flip flops while in public showers, lockers and pool areas.  Also preventing cracks in your skin by applying emollient creams daily.  If you have a break in your skin make sure it’s covered.

The key is to act early and aggressively.  Given the opportunity your foot could be covered with warts in a very short amount of time.  What makes things worse is the entire family as well as your visitors will be exposed to and more prone to catching the virus.  Some ways to prevent this are to cleanse showers with dilute bleach preparations and to wear shoes and or slippers while walking around the house.

The most common home treatment is drugstore bought salicylic acid preparations.  These are applied daily.  Also store bought freezing kits can be effective although I find they have very poor results on the bottoms of the feet.

If you have a wart and you can’t get it under control then call a specialist.  In our Doylestown podiatrists office, we use a variety of methods to get rid of warts.  Some of these include specially compounded acids, blistering agents and in office excisional procedures.

Jake Locker Scheduled For Lisfranc Fracture Surgery Today

Jake Locker quarterback for The Titans will be undergoing surgery today for a Lisfranc fracture.  The Lisfranc joint is located at the instep at the highest part of the arch.  It is where the long bones, (metatarsals) connect with the rest of the foot.

A Lisfranc fracture can occur when you are falling and twist your foot as well as getting your foot caught in a hole while moving.  In Jakes case it was likely the former.

This type of injury is often misdiagnosed as a foot sprain.  The x ray changes are so subtle in many cases that the wrong diagnosis and treatment are often rendered.  Many athletes and weekend warriors are taken out of action for weeks when months would be more appropriate.

In mild cases where the bones are in good alignment your podiatrist can apply a cast and prescribe non-weight bearing.  In cases where the bones have moved out of alignment surgery is likely to be necessary.  The surgery would include screws, plates and or pins.  Also weight bearing is not possible for at least 4-6 weeks.  That’s why Jake Locker will be out of commission for the rest of this season.  Don’t worry though, he should be back next year, good as new.

Lisfranc fractures are seen and treated at Quality Foot Care in Doylestown.  Give us a call if you have a concern about that foot sprain.