I am a diabetic. What foot problems should I be worried about?

There are two main conditions that can affect diabetic feet:

go-seamless-imageFirst, with damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin and subsequently sores may develop.

The second issue is that damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system can make it difficult to heal these wounds on diabetic feet. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily.

The best treatment for the foot issues is prevention.

  • Control your blood sugar as this is the only way to prevent all of the diabetic complications.
  • Regular Foot Exams: Diabetics should get into the routine of daily foot self-examinations and also after any foot trauma, no matter how minor.
  • Foot Care: Proper foot care for diabetics is very important. Wear seamless socks made of materials that wick moisture away from your feet.
    • Soles in Motion has a foot care nurse that provides diabetic foot care can be a great resource to show you how to properly care for your feet and educate you about ways to prevent serious problems.
  • Proper Footwear: Poorly fitting shoes are a common cause of diabetic foot problems.
    • Diabetics should wear sturdy, comfortable shoes with socks whenever possible to protect your feet.
    • Never walk barefoot, even indoors.
    • Always check the insides of your shoes before putting them on.
    • Diabetic footwear should have a high, wide toe box; removable insoles to be able to insert orthotics if necessary, rocker soles to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain (such as the ball-of-the-foot) and firm heel counters for support and stability.
  • Orthotics: For diabetics with flat feet, bunions, corns/calluses or hammertoes you may orthotics to be sure that there is no pressure being placed on certain parts of your feet. By customizing the orthotic to your foot, the insert will provide the best comfort and protection.
  • Soles in Motion also specializes in diabetic socks and footwear designed to fit properly.

Soles in Motion offers no obligation assessments with our two Canadian Certified PedorthistsCall and make an appointment – Education is free!!!

Winterize your feet!

Winterize your feet!Know the difference between “water-resistant, ” “water-repellent,” and “water-proof” fabric when buying winter footwear – your feet will thank you for it!

Water- Resistant fabrics shed water because of their weave or because they have been treated. They will soak through in a heavy rain, however. Water-resistant fabrics will often bead up rainwater, forming drops on the surface.  Water-resistant fabrics will provide protection from limited precipitation, but may not stand up to, say, belly-deep submersion in a mud puddle.  Though water can saturate the fabric with harsh exposure, a water-resistant treatment will prevent moisture from seeping through the fabric.

Water- Repellent fabrics are more effective than water-resistant fabrics. They are either very tightly woven or coated with a finish that causes the water to make little beads when it hits the fabric rather than going through. The finish may wear off over time or come off if drycleaned. A silicone spray may rejuvenate the finish.

Water-Proof fabrics can not be penetrated by water and should keep you dry, even in heavy rains. They may be extremely tightly woven, such as a fine polyester/nylon blend, rubber or plastic or other non-porous material, or coated with a finish that makes them breathable but closed to water. Certain waterproof fabrics contain a breathable membrane woven within the fabric, making them both waterproof and breathable.  Waterproof, breathable fabrics help regulate heat and release moisture, and are recommended for high energy activities to dissipate heat and moisture.

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Gore-Tex® is a thin membrane of microscopic pores that surrounds part of the shoe / boot and prevents external water from entering the shoe / boot while still allowing perspiration from the foot to escape. Gore-Tex® accomplishes this because water vapor from a foot’s perspiration is smaller in size than external water droplets. Just remember that Gore-Tex® is not insulation and will not keep your foot warm in cold temperatures.

3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation is used to help keep you warm when it’s cold outside. The unique microfibers work by trapping air molecules between you and the outside. The more air a material traps in a given space‚ the better it insulates you from the cold outside air. Because the fibers in Thinsulate insulation are finer than the fibers used in most other synthetic or natural insulation‚ they trap more air in less space which makes Thinsulate insulation a better insulator.  Thinsulate is also extremely durable and won’t break down due to getting wet.  Thinsulate is measured in grams per square meter of insulation. You will find boots with Thinsulate insulation that range from 100 gram insulation to 1000 gram insulation. The higher the number, the more Thinsulate is in the boot and the warmer the boot should be.  Thinsulate is moisture resistant and breathable.

Come on in to Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Suite 101, Dartmouth and see our great selection of winter footwear for all occasions.

[note color=”#FFCC00″]- Written by Bruce Steeves, Soles in Motion Customer Service Representative[/note]

“Back” it up with a Brace!

back-pain1Most people have some type of back issues at one time or another in their lifetime. It can occur anywhere from the neck to the tailbone and can be a result of wear and tear, overuse or injury. Injuries frequently occur when you use your back muscles in activities that you do not do very often such as lifting heavy objects, yard work, painting, etc. Overuse injuries are most often from improper movement or posture. Whether a minor injury or severe injury or a medical condition a back brace may assist to reduce pain and increase activity level. Back braces are designed to help the wearer achieve proper posture and increase awareness of the position of the pelvis and spine. This constantly reminds individuals of their body positions, making it easier to avoid undesirable postures while in the healing process. By increasing the intra-abdominal pressure, a back support acts much like the stays and support rings of a barrel. If the support rings are tightened a stabilizing effect is achieved. A properly designed spinal support stabilizes the spine and acts in the same way. There are many types of back braces. It is important that the correct brace is selected for the condition or injury, but as well, it is as important that the brace fit the shape of the individual. It is important that you be assessed by a professional who takes all aspects of your health, life style, and body type into consideration.
Soles in Motion also encourages you to come in and talk to us. We are here to help and keep you moving no matter what your abilities!

Jo Fraser “You Are An Ironman”

And As If Today’s Lifestyles Aren’t Busy Enough…

ironmanI have played different types of sports from a young age, and I kept it up throughout my 17 year Military Career. However, it wasn’t until 2006 that I took up Triathlon (swim, bike, run events). Starting off with Sprint distances, then moving up to Olympic Distances and then in 2008 I competed in and completed my first Half Ironman distance (swim 1.9 km, bike 90km & run 21.1km) Triathlon race in the UK. The longer the distance the more commitment of training is required. I focused on the Half Ironman distance for a number of years before taking the plunge in 2013 to move up to the Full Distance Ironman (swim 3.8km, bike 180km & run 42.2 km). Ironman Mont Tremblant!

Ironman it becomes an Addiction.

ironman2It becomes a motivation, a chase, a lot of hard work, determination, time, effort, commitment and a roller coaster of emotions to hear those famous words as you swim, bike and run, walk, crawl your way to cross the finish line at a Full Distance Ironman Race, ‘Jo Fraser! You are an Ironman’ (yes, maybe not very PC, Ironwoman, IronPerson, doesn’t quite have the same ring and meaning to it) those words cause a sudden flow of emotions after several months (6 to be exact) of training, often twice a day, 6 days a week, anywhere from 1 hr to 6 hrs in one day. And of course I am not a Pro-Triathlete this is a hobby, so I fit all this training in and around several jobs and daily living.

The question that is often asked is ‘why?’ I have stood on the beach at the start of the race and asked myself that same question, and again at certain stages throughout the race, but the feeling you get as the crowds cheers lift you as you are closing in on the finish line, and then as you cross the finish line, those words from the Race MC ‘Jo Fraser, You are an Ironman!’ Does make it all worth while. But for me it is also more than those words, it’s about the challenge, being able to push beyond what I think my body is capable of, and I want to keep challenging, those challenges have become my addiction.
This year I am continuing to feed that addiction by training for my 3rd up and coming Full Distance Ironman Los Cabos.

My Name is Jo Fraser and I am an Ironman and I will continue to challenge my body as long as it lets me.


Do you have Carpal tunnel syndrome?


Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist injury.  It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel – a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, swelling from irritated tendons or other causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body’s peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive motion or fluid retention during pregnancy.  Keeping the wrist in a rested neutral position especially while sleeping can assist in the recovery of this condition.  There are many types, sizes and styles of wrist braces that will assist in treating carpal tunnel syndrome.   It is important that you be assessed by a professional who takes all aspects of your health, life style and body type into consideration.  Most insurance companies cover bracing products if prescribed by a medical professional.

Soles in Motion encourages you to come in and talk to us.

Who should I see if I need inserts?


My doctor said that I might need inserts in my shoes. Who should I see?  The “inserts” that your physician is suggesting are also called Orthotics. Orthotics are custom shoe inserts that can:

  • Correct gait problems
  • Address structural foot fault
  • Provide foot support
  • Relieve pressure on painful areas of the foot
  • Provide motion control

Custom-made orthotics provide individual correction specific for your foot problem. There are different types of orthotics.

  1. Functional orthotics is used to correct problems with a person’s foot mechanics such as:
  • Over pronation (the foot rolls inward)
  • Supination (the arch is too high and the foot rolls outward)
  1. Accommodative orthotics are designed to fit and protect the foot generally from where it functions via cushioning and specific unloading and to relieve pain and pressure in the foot, to improve tolerance for the weight bearing tasks of daily life.

There are a range of health care professionals who can provide the service of assessing you and providing for your custom orthotic.  Private Insurance Companies are starting to demand provision by a small select group of which the Canadian Certified Pedorthist is included.  This professional group is specifically trained and educated in clinical lower limb, foot function, gait assessment, orthotic assessment, footwear prescription and modification and technical orthotic manufacturing/lab methodology.

Custom orthotics can be used to treat many different medical conditions such as:

  • Arch pain
  • Plantar fasciilitis
  • Ball of the foot pain
  • Shin splints
  • Bunions
  • Flatfeet

Generally speaking, your feet should NOT hurt. Pain indicates that something is wrong. Consider making a no obligation appointment with one of our Certified Canadian Pedorthist to have a gait and lower leg assessment. The goal of the Pedorthist is to understand your foot problem and come up with a solution that will minimize your pain, maximize your mobility, and provide long term gain.  Soles in Motion have two Canadian Certified Pedorthists on staff – make a no obligation appointment today by calling 902-468-7911.

Looking For The Right Fit! Put Your Soles In Our Hands!

Soles in Motion offers you all the information you need to make the right choice in footwear.  We have one of the largest selections of hard to find widths and depths in shoes for both men and women available in HRM.  Since finding a pair of footwear is the first step in promoting wellness Soles in Motion offers you an educated experience where we measure your feet the old fashion way as well as scan your feet for pressure points, watch your gait, and suggest footwear that will compliment your daily activities.

Here are some interesting facts:

* The size of your feet changes as you grow older so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.

* Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other, so your shoe should be fit to your larger foot.

* Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but by how the shoe fits your foot.

* Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot * When we fit your shoes, we make sure there is enough space (3/8″ to 1/2″) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up.

* Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.

* Don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and expect them to stretch to fit.

* Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping – the shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.

There are many type of shoes, let Soles in Motion educate you on what is best for you.  We can explain terms like neutral, stability, cushioned, 8 – 12 mm drop, different lasts, strike paths, EVA, Absorb, GORE-TEX® and help you understand what is best for your feet.

Soles in Motion also has two Canadian Certified Pedorthists on staff to explain the benefits of custom orthotics and assess your lower limb function.  We also have two bracing specialists that can guide you through the benefits of proper braces and supports for any medical condition or injury.

Drop in and meet our knowledgeable staff and let the experience begin!

When you hear Compression Socks – What do you think of?

Compression socks provide effective relief for tired legs to severe venous diseases.  The type and degree of compression required depends on your condition. Sometimes there is confusion between support hose and compression therapy. The difference is that support hose have the same elasticity along the entire length of the stockings. Medical stockings have the greatest compression at the ankle and gradual decrease going up the calf.  By constricting the diameter of the veins, the stockings increase the blood flow. The compression also keeps fluids in circulation instead of collecting and causing swelling in the ankle/foot.

soles4Sports and performance compression socks help athletes maximize their performance and incorporate wicking materials to keep them cool. They provide valuable support for every discipline in both amateur and competitive sports. Be cautious, however, of sports compression that are not designed by a medical company. It is important that you be assessed by a professional who takes all aspects of your health, life style and body type into consideration.  Most insurance companies cover compression if prescribed by a medical professional.

Soles in Motion invites you to drop in and talk to our professionals about the many styles, materials, colours of compression – we are here to help and keep you moving no matter what your abilities!

30 Day FREE Trial Osteoarthritis (OA) Brace


Soles In Motion has been helping patients by providing them with solutions to their pain. We do this through custom and off-the-shelf orthopedic bracing, custom foot orthotics, diabetic foot care, custom fitting of comfort and athletic footwear and compression therapy services.

As part of our commitment to the treatment of OA, Soles in Motion is offering a no risk 30 day trial on our Osteoarthritis Unloader Knee Braces. By unloading the affected compartment of the knee, the unloader brace offers people with knee OA a safe, proven

medication-free, low risk treatment that will reduce their pain and improve their mobility. We have seen the results and are confident you will be able to maintain or return to an active and healthy lifestyle as a result.

Unloader OA Knee Braces are:

* scientifically and clinically proven to reduce pain and improve mobility * adjustable to the patients’ symptoms and progression of the OA

* custom made for comfort and performance

* designed for all levels of activity including sports


Call and make your no obligation appointment with Jennifer or Scott to find out more information.

Your knees will thank you.

Brace It – Protect It – Stay Active


Skiing and Snowboarding season is here! These popular winter sports are a great way to stay active. Although the incidence of injury in both skiing and snowboarding is relatively similar, on the body where these injuries occur are markedly different.

Skiers tend to injure the lower extremity – most commonly the knee – while snowboarders are more likely to injure their backs and upper extremity – specifically areas such as the wrist. The most common knee injury in skiing is the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). They occur for different reasons based on the skier’s skill level, the most common being when the knee tilts inwards and the lower leg is forced forwards. This often happens during a fall or when catching an edge. Preventing knee injuries when skiing is multifactorial. With the pediatric and youth skier, appropriate strength is required before jumping into ski boots. This also is true for the adult skier. Areas of specific focus should be in the hip stabilizers, knee stabilizers, hamstrings and lower back. Appropriate equipment is also important. Always wear a helmet. Also, make sure the binding settings are appropriate for both the weight and skill level of the skier. Knee braces are designed to prevent injury during skiing and provide support and stability after injury to keep you on the slopes. There are several different kinds of knee braces for ligament protection – light weight, designed to fit with ski boots, provide the highest level of twisting and lateral movement.

The most common snowboard injury is the wrist. The upper body is used to help generate turning forces on the board. In the event of a loss of balance and a subsequent fall, the instinctive reaction of a snowboarder is to outstretch a hand in order to try and break their fall. This mechanism is commonly known as a ‘FOOSH’ (Fall Onto an Out Stretched Hand). There are wrist braces designed to provide maximum protection for the wrist while allowing range of motion to match your needs. Made of carbon fibre, they are incredibly strong and are designed for high impact sports.

Skiing and snowboarding are great winter sports, which can offer high speed thrills and family fun, however precaution should be taken to prevent injuries this coming season. These preventative steps can take the form of physical conditioning and strengthening of specific body areas, the right protective equipment and being aware of weather conditions. A certified brace fitter focuses on selecting the brace designed for you and your activity level.