Post WOD Recovery


You work hard, and your feet work hard too. After intense exercice, you have to allow time for your body to recover. The sport of fitness involves repetitive impact and ground contact for your feet. Taking care of your feet and allowing them to recover after a WOD feels great–and can help to avoid injury. Here’s 3 ways to treat your feet:

1. Keep Them Clean and Dry – Your feet will certainly work up a sweat during your WOD, but warm, wet spaces are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and fungus. Wash up as soon after your workout as possible, and slip your feet into a fresh, dry pair of socks. If your feet are very prone to sweating or overheating, you may find a foot deodorizer / antiperspirant helpful. Synthetic socks wick moisture away better than cotton, so select the right pair for both before and after exercising.

2. Stretch Them – Keep your feet strong and flexible by stretching them post-WOD. We have pinned some exercises for stronger feet on our Pinterest board, For The Minimalist. You should also be sure to put your feet up every once in a while to improve circulation.

Pamper Them – A pedicurist or proper at-home pedicure can keep the feet healthy. Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown nails or painful impact. Soaking feet in epsom salt or ice water may help to reduce swelling and soothe aching muscles.

Most importantly, if you feel like you have a foot injury coming on, be sure to take care of it as soon as possible. Untreated injuries can lead to debilitation of the foot, hindering or halting your fitness progress. You can read more about common athletic injuries on last week’s blog.

Here are some of our favorite fitness shoes for working out and keeping in shape!

Posted in Athletic Shoes, CrossFit, CrossFit Open, Fitness, Inov8 Shoes, Lifestyle Sneakers, New Balance, New Balance Classics, Reebok, Reebok CrossFIt, Running Shoes, Saucony Shoes, Sneakers, Vibram Five Fingers, Workout | Leave a comment

Common Fitness-Related Foot Injuries

FootInjuries (3)

Foot and ankle injuries are fairly common among athletes, and the sport of fitness is no exception. While these injuries may be common among sports in which the feet are points of contact, it is possible to minimize your risk by being knowledgeable and practicing proper form.  You should always consult a health professional about sports-related injuries and follow doctor’s orders, as insufficient treatment can lead to re-injury or debilitation.

The following includes only some of the many foot and ankle injuries familiar to athletes:

Ankle Sprains – these can occur in any sport that involves running or rapid movement in multiple directions. If you suspect a sprained ankle, you should see a doctor to ensure that it is only a sprain and not a break or fracture.

Neuroma – A nerve condition that results in numbness and pain in the foot.  Movements that involve repetitive impact or irritation around the ball of the foot may lead to neuroma. 

Achilles Injury – This includes tendinitis, a condition in which the tendon that connects the heel bone to the muscles in the upper calf becomes inflamed. Repetitive activity can irritate the Achilles tendon to the point of inflammation and even tearing.

Stress Fractures – These tiny breaks in athletes bones are sometimes associated with beginning a new sport or exercise. They can also occur when the intensity of an exercise routine is increased or with repetitive running or jumping.

Toe Injuries – Hammertoe, Ingrown toenails, and “Turf Toe” can be brought on by explosive movements.


Stay tuned to #TSMTips on Twitter over the next week to learn some proactive ways to avoid foot and ankle injuries when working out.  Keep an eye out for our next blog as well to learn more about post-workout foot care!

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4 Common Mistakes When Choosing Workout Shoes

4 Mistakes

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. However, wearing the wrong shoes can turn something positive into something negative. Shoes that are the wrong size or do not offer enough support can lead to pain and injury.

1. Choosing whatever is in the back of your closet.

When working out, it is important to choose shoes that are designed particularly for the activity at hand in order to avoid injury. Traditional running shoes support forward motion, but many fitness activities also require an amount of lateral stability that you won’t find in most running shoes.  Cross-trainers offer sufficient lateral stability and support for most fitness activities. Those who practice a specific sport 2 times or more per week should look for a sport-specific shoe. 

2. Wearing shoes past their prime.

Many people make the mistake of waiting until their athletic shoes look worn to replace them.  In reality, your shoes may wear out and lose support before they look visually beat up, causing annoying post-workout aches and pains.  Athletic shoes should be replaced once a year under normal use. Heavy users may find that they need to replace their shoes every 6 months. Running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.

3. Wearing casual shoes as workout shoes, and vice versa.

Casual shoes are not designed with the support needed in an athletic shoe and wearing them to work out may lead to injury. While some athletic shoes have become very popular as street style, the shoes you work out in should not be worn outside the gym. Wearing athletic shoes to do errands will cause them to break down faster, forcing you to replace them earlier in order to ensure you still have the proper support for exercising.

4. Choosing the wrong size or width shoe.

A shoe that doesn’t fit properly is worse than an old shoe without support. Poorly fitting shoes may lead to both aches and injuries.   Many people make the mistake of assuming that because they are a size 9 in one shoe, they are the same size in every shoe. Shoe sizes will vary from brand to brand, and even within one brand.  A Nike size 9 may not fit like a New Balance size 9. Companies that use different lasts for different models will also have sizing variation within one brand. Shoes should be the right width as well as the right length. A shoe that is too narrow or too wide can help cause foot problems ranging from numbness and pain to fungal infections. An expert should be able to tell you which shoe in which size will best fit your foot and your needs.

What should you look for?

Your best bet is always to consult with an expert. Our Norwalk, CT Store has a full-service staff to help you figure out the best shoes for your lifestyle or fitness plan. A specialist will work with you from the moment you walk in, determining both the right shoe and the right fit for you.

Our team has expert knowledge about the fit and function of our shoes.  If you are shopping online, check out our blog on how to find the right size and give our customer service team a call at (800) 850 – 7463 with any questions. They are around Monday thru Saturday from 9:30 AM to 6 PM EST, and you can always shoot them an e-mail at [email protected]!

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Reebok CrossFit Games 2015 – The Open

 CrossFit (1)

Tonight, February 26th at 5pm PT, the first Open Workout will be announced in Canton, MA and pit four-time champion Rich Froning Jr. against 2014 silver medalist, Mat Fraser.

Beginning in 2007 as a new and exhaustive way to find the Fittest on Earth™ , the Reebok CrossFit Games test athletes’ ability to face the unknown and unknowable.  The Open is the first of three stages in the competition. Athletes from around the world compete by submitting their scores for each other the 5 workouts. They have from the Thursday announcement until the following Monday at 5pm PT to complete the workout and submit their scores.

Here is the standards video for 14.1, last year’s first Open Workout:

We at The Shoe Mart want to wish participating athletes the best of luck.  We’ve been involved with the Sport of Fitness and its community since 2008 and carry many products from Reebok CrossFit, the official Sponsor of The Games.  Give it everything you have, we’ll definitely be watching!

Remember, 5pm PT tonight!

3, 2, 1, Go!

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Picking The Right Shoe Size

Picking (2) When shopping online — or even in store — many people worry about whether or not they are buying the right size shoe for their foot.  While sizing may seem simple, many factors go into the fit of a shoe. Your shoe size can vary between manufacturers, and even between different styles of the same brand. At The Shoe Mart, we carry shoes ranging from sizes 5 to 20 and widths AAA-EEEEEE. What does this mean? Widths from 2A – 6E can be broken down like this :

Very Narrow Narrow Medium Wide Extra Wide
AAA, AA, A B, C D E, EE 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E

To determine size and width, you can be measured by a professional like the ones in our Norwalk Store or you can have a friend help you measure your foot at home using this printable. Recommended sizes are often based on a foot length measurement from a Brannock Device.

Once you have been measured and have a reference size, you must keep in mind that not every shoe will perfectly fit your Brannock measurement size. You may be an 8.5 in some shoes and a 9 in others. The way a shoe fits varies depending on the last (essentially a mold of a foot) that a manufacturer uses to form the shoe. Brands like Alden or Inov-8 have multiple lasts that will fit differently on the foot. You can learn more about the different kinds of Alden lasts on our YouTube Channel.

The best way to determine the right size of shoe for you is to try shoes on. Because your feet swell more as the day goes on, it is best to try shoes on at the end of the day. Wear socks that you would normally wear with the shoes. Always try shoes on inside on a carpeted area in order to allow for returns.  

How should they fit?

First of all, we think it’s important to mention that a shoe that doesn’t fit properly when you first try it on still won’t fit properly after it has been “broken in”.  Poorly fitting shoes can lead to pain or injury, so you should take care in selecting the right size.

There should be just enough room in the heel for you to slip your index finger in and out between your heel and the shoe. When walking uphill, your heel should not rise up and down in the shoe. If walking downhill, your toes should not hit the front of the toe-box. There should be plenty of wiggle room for your toes, and no pressure spots when walking. It is normal for one foot to be larger than the other (even by a full size!). You should always buy shoes that fit the larger foot. When purchasing a pair of shoes, you should also take pronation and the arches of your foot into consideration. Read last week’s blog for more info!

We would love to assist you in choosing the right size. You can reach customer service at (800) 85-7463 or by emailing [email protected]. You are also welcome to visit our Norwalk Store to be fitted or to ask questions!

Posted in Alden Lasts, Alden Shoes, Athletic Shoes, Boots, Business Shoes, Casual Shoes, Comfortable Shoes, Dress Shoes, Excess-Pronation, Frye, Inov8 Shoes, Men's Shoes, Women's Shoes | Leave a comment

Arch Support


What is Arch Support?

When people talk about supporting the arch of your foot, they are talking about the medial longitudinal arch that spans between the ball of your foot and your heel bone. The support in these two areas must also support weight in the open space between them.

If your arches are not properly supported, you may experience pain down the length of the foot and too much stress or weight on your feet may lead to injury.

Do You Need It?


Some people have low arches but do not have any problems.  Others have problems that are often related to overpronation.  If you have mild symptoms, purchasing arch supports may be an easier and cheaper solution, but those with moderate to severe symptoms should consult a professional.

In most mild cases, proper footwear can help.

What To Look For:

There are many forms of arch support, including insoles and custom orthodics.

Many athletic shoes are designed to reduce overpronation, the excessive inward rolling of the foot that is often caused by flat feet. Look for stability technologies for mild to moderate pronation, and motion-control technologies for severe over-pronation.

Some suggest that the best way to support your arch is to build up foot muscles slowly and wear shoes that allow your feet to sit naturally.  Zero-drop shoes with wide toe-boxes are often recommended for this purpose.

There are a lot of factors that go into relieving foot pain. You should discuss these options with a podiatrist or other medical professional to see which is the best option for you.

Another common cause of foot pain is wearing the wrong shoe size. Stay tuned next week for more on choosing the right shoe size!

Posted in Ahnu, Alan Payne, Alden Shoes, Athletic Shoes, Austen Heller, Business Shoes, Casual Shoes, Comfortable Shoes, CrossFit, Dress Shoes, Ecco Golf Shoes, Ecco Shoes, Excess-Pronation, Fitness, Healthy Living, Inov8 Shoes, Lifestyle Sneakers, Men's Shoes, New Balance, New Balance Classics, Orthaheel, Orthotics, Pendlay, Pronation, Reebok, Running Shoes, Sneakers, Uncategorized, Walking Shoes, Weightlifing, Wellbeing, Women's Boots, Women's Shoes, Work Boots, Work Shoes, Workout | Leave a comment

Caring for Leather Shoes

We have no doubt that shoes are important. They are a way to express yourself to the world—and the best way to let the world know you care is to polish your shoes. We recommend polishing as often as once a week for a brilliant look.

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

We recommend:

1. Collonil Unisex 1909 Fine Polishing Brush

2. Alden Men’s Alden Fine Shoe Paste Wax or Boot Cream

3. Meltonian Men’s Shoe Polish

4. Alden Men’s Shoe or Boot Bags

5. Men’s Alden Fine Shoe Trees

Step 2: Get ready. Throw down some newspaper and make sure your shoes are clean. Use a Shoeshine Brush or a wet cloth to clean off all the dust and grime you’ve somehow picked up this week.

Step 3: Polish! Wrap the rag tightly around your fingers and apply the polish in tight circular motions. Start with one shoe and then move on to the other. You can also apply polish with the brush. A toothbrush or Q-tip can be used for hard to reach areas.

Step 4: Brush it Off. Wait up to 20 minutes to be sure shoe is dry, then use your Shoeshine Brush to carefully wipe off polish.

Step 5: Shine! Buff with a shine cloth or chamois for a beautiful shine. Be sure that the cloth or chamois is clean and lint-free!

We want to hear from you, how do you best shine your shoes? What kind of polish do you like to use?

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Protecting Your Feet From the Cold

As the temperature outside drops, the risk of cold-related injury to your feet increases. Prolonged exposure to cold weather can result in frostbite or–in the case of very humid or damp conditions—trench foot or pernio.

You face a greater risk of frostbite and other cold-related injuries if you have poor circulation or nerve damage, have been consuming alcohol (increases body heat loss), or use products that contain nicotine.  Here are some tips to protect your feet from the cold:

1. Stay nourished and hydrated.  Dehydration, lack of nutrients, and low blood sugar can all have a negative effect on your body’s temperature regulation.

2. Stay warm. Layer your clothing.  Your base layer should be an insulating material that wicks away sweat and moisture, such as wool or synthetic material.  Wear socks in materials designed for cold weather, such as Smartwool and Darn Tough socks.  Longer socks offer more protection than ankle socks.

3. Stay dry. Remember that drier feet are warmer feet. Clothing should be waterproof if possible. Avoid Cotton because it retains moisture, choose synthetic or wool instead.  Carry an extra pair of socks in case your first pair gets wet from sweat or the elements. You can help prevent your feet from sweating with antiperspirant products, foot powders, and special insoles.

4. Pick the right shoe–in the right size! Waterproof shoes are preferable in wet, cold weather. Be sure that the shoes are a good fit, and that you try them on with the pair of socks you intend to wear with them. (For info on how to try on shoes properly, watch the video below.) Shoes that are too tight can interfere with blood flow. Shoes that are too loose will allow exposure to wind and cold.

5. Rotate your shoes.  Your feet need time to breathe in order to stay healthy—and so do your shoes.  Rotating between two or more winter shoes is ideal so that each pair has time to air out and dry, creating a better environment for your feet.

Posted in Alden Boots, Alden Lasts, Alden Shoes, Boots, Casual Shoes, Dress Shoes, Earth Keepers, Frye, Frye Boots, Timberland Boots, Timberland Shoes, Ugg, Ugg Boots, Winter Boots, Wolverine, Wolverine Boots | Leave a comment

How-To: Pedicure & Foot Hygiene

Pedicures aren’t just about making your feet look good–they’re about making them feel good, too. Here are some helpful tips to keep your feet happy in a safe way!

1.  Begin with soaking your feet in warm soapy water.  They should stay in there for about 10 minutes to soften skin and nails.

2. After soaking, take a pumice stone to clean and soft skin and nails to get rid of dead skin cells and calluses. You can also use body scrub, a Hindu stone, or emery board to exfoliate the skin.

3. Use an orange stick or Hindu stone to push back the cuticles. Avoid excessive trimming, as cuticles are a normal part of the nail that protect you from infection.

4. Trim toenails straight across. Doing this and avoiding cutting the nails to short will help prevent ingrown toenails. When filing the nail, maintain a straight edge.

5. Nails should not hang over the edge of the toe.

6. Massage lotion into the feet. This is a great time to massage your own feet with a roller or your hands.

7. Use nail polish removed to remove excess lotion from the nails before painting with nail polish.

8. Be sure that you are getting enough Vitamin D and Calcium in your diet.

9. Always ensure that feet are able to dry properly to avoid rashes and eczema. Change your socks daily. Create a shoe rotation to allow shoes to dry out between wearings.

10.  Make sure your shoes fit! Properly-fitting shoes can help to prevent blisters, corns, calluses, and sweaty feet. Shoes that are too tight or fit poorly can cause or aggravate many foot problems.

Do you need arch support? Check back for next week’s blog to find out!

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How to Take Care of Your Shoes

We’ve done a lot of guides on cleaning and polishing leather shoes, so this week we’d like to explain why. If treated properly, high-quality leather can last a lifetime. To maximize your investment on your footwear, you should take proper care of it.

Leather is made from animal hide, which means it was once part of a living organism (sorry to remind you). When hides are made into leather, they are treated to remove anything that can decay. However, in order to ensure that your leather does not begin to decay again, it needs to be taken care of and conditioned regularly. Improper care or negligence can result in dry, cracked leather or damage to the color and finish.

Wet and Dry Cycles

After being cured and tanned, leather can only retain a certain amount of moisture. Leather hide gets its strength from criss-crossed fibers, but if they aren’t treated properly, these fibers will dry out and crack, causing shoes to lose their shape and warp. This is why we recommend conditioning your shoes.

This is also why you should never expose your shoes to direct or extreme heat. Don’t leave them near the radiator and never put them in the dryer. To dry waterlogged shoes, remove them from your feet ASAP and also remove the insoles. Tip them on their side and stuff shoes with newspaper, paper towels, or white cotton towels to absorb moisture and once dry, polish or condition as usual. Leave them in a ventilated area and let them air dry at room temperature.

In the same way that shoes shouldn’t be dried too quickly, they should not take in moisture too quickly, either. This can cause them to be water-damaged. Find out more about water damage and how to Waterproof Your Shoes here.

Avoid Salt and Other Chemicals

Especially in the winter months, you should take care to avoid road salt and other chemicals, which can discolor and weaken the shoe’s finish. Using a shoe care product may be the difference between a quick cleaning and a permanently damaged shoe. Be sure to clean the shoe with more than just water as soon as possible to reduce the chance of salt or chemical damage.

Avoid Odor and Living Things

You deal with rainy and icy weather. Your feet sweat. You wear your shoes over and over… this creates a warm, moist environment where other things like to grow. Use baking soda or other odor removing products, rotate your shoes, and slip in a pair of cedar shoe trees when not in use.

We’d love to hear any tips that you have to share with us or answer any questions you might have!

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