Participate in Clinical Trials—Be a Part of the Breakthrough!

Diabetic neuropathy trialDiabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) Trial

Clinical research has led to the discovery of every disease treatment prescribed today. These discoveries are impossible without volunteers like you!

If you are between 35 and 76 AND have had diabetes for at least five years, you may be eligible to take part in a research study on Diabetic Foot and Eye Disease.

Participants will have their feet and eyes screened using a noninvasive, infrared camera.

Thermal Screening for Early Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN)

Diabetes can cause a chronic foot disease called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). This study will help determine if DPN can be detected and diagnosed by taking video of your feet with a special thermal camera.

The system could help doctors detect DPN sooner than the current procedures. Detecting the disease sooner could help prevent it from progressing.

VisonQuest Biomedical originally developed the infrared system for retinal eye screening. Now, Visionquest wants to expand the usage of this technology. A Phase 1 Trial identified potential.

Now, in Phase 2, we are testing the eyes to see if there are any discernable patterns with eye changes and nerve changes in the feet.

Foot and Ankle Assocaites of New MexicoDr. Simon, of Foot and Ankle Associates of New Mexico, is an investigator in this research study. VisionQuest designed the study. The study will be conducted at their office.

VisionQuest Biomedical LLC
2501 Yale Blvd SE, Suite 301
Albuquerque, NM 87106

People participating in this study will be compensated for their time.

To see if you qualify for this study, call Foot and Ankle Associates of New Mexico
505-797-1001 ext 115

Benefits of a Clinical Trial

On Your Feet? Good Work Shoes Help

The Doctor is In

by Janet Simon, DPM

We know there are a lot of people out there who stand all day at their jobs. Dr. Simon (our foot doctor) has some tips on how to avoid aching feet at the end of a hard day of work.

Buy Good Work Shoes

Here are some recommendations to help you find the best shoes for your needs:

  • They have removable insoles to accommodate additional inserts, if needed
  • Wide toe boxes especially if you have bunions, hammertoes or wide feet
  • Sip-resistant if working on slippery floors
  • They can be removed and cleaned easily
  • Breathable materials that allow air to circulate around your feet

What Makes a Comfortable Work Shoe?

Your own best choice of shoes will be the ones that you think look, fit, and perform the best. One company will not produce the right shoes for everybody. Your workplace may have safety requirements that require steel toed shoes, or non-slip soles. You may have a dress code, and shoes that look like running shoes might not be allowed.

The best advice is to find shoes that can accommodate your own particular foot problems, plus provide the right looks for your job. If you already have foot problems, you may need to purchase inserts to help support your arches or pad your toes.

  • Fit- Wearing the best looking or trendiest shoes won’t matter if your shoes hurt your feet. Fit is the most important feature for any type of footwear. Opt for a size too big, and blisters, tendinitis, strains, and sprains can occur. Opting for a size too small – even if they don’t feel that bad in the store – can lead to a serious range of foot health issues. Deformities such as corns, bunions, hammer toe, and plantar fascia are just some of the painful issues encouraged by improper fitting footwear. And if you’re diabetic, the right fit is imperative. It can mean the difference between losing a toe or foot to amputation.
  • Heel and Arch Support –Heels and arches absorb a lot of foot stress which results in pain, injury, and disfigurement. Heel cup, and heel-toe differential, support the heel to reduce spurs and various painful conditions. Proper arch support is also essential. If you’re flat footed, too much of an arch can cause pain mid-shift and lead to body misalignment. Proper support aids in correcting foot gait issues by strengthening the weak aspects of the feet.
  • Soles-The best shoes for standing all day will always have non-slip soles. This is essential. It doesn’t matter if your occupation is a cashier at a gas station or a world renown surgeon. If your job requires you to stand for a long period of time, chances are you’ll also be called to move quickly at some point. Occupational hazards such as oil, bodily fluids, ice or water, paint, food, paper, construction items, and changes in flooring materials can lead to disaster with the wrong shoes. Treaded soles for traction and a flexible, shock absorbing mid-sole are the most important features for shoes used to stand in all day.
  • Padding-Most people think of footwear comfort in terms of the amount of padding within the foot-bed. Cushioning can help absorb shock and provide a safe, pleasant landing pad for the base of the foot. If there is too much padding, you can lose control of your footing and end up falling. Too little padding can cause unnecessary pain and discomfort. The best thing to do is consider your work environment, the time you’ll be on your feet, and the health of your feet.
  • Breathability – All shoes worn for eight hours at a time must be breathable. Synthetic materials such as polyurethane and plastic are often found in fashionable and trendy foot-ware but these synthetics do not breathe. Leather, suede, canvas, mesh, and some forms of rubber provide breath-ability. Allowing the air to circulate means less heat builds up in the shoe, your feet don’t sweat as much, and blisters aren’t formed.

Good Shoes, Fewer Problems

Athletic shoes can be a good choice because they are designed to hold up against a lot of pounding, they are breathable, and they are affordable. Athletic shoes, however, will not work for everyone and all workplaces.

Just remember that good shoes can help you avoid injuries and foot problems, and comfort should be your first consideration.

Recommended Workplace Shoes

Looking for specific shoes that are good for people who stand at work? Dr.Simon profiles two good work shoes in another post. Both are available at Sole Comfort Shoes, in Albuquerque.

Good Shoes for Standing at Work

We know a lot of folks out there are on their feet all day; especially teachers and anyone in the service industry. Many of these people ask us how they can prevent tired feet and foot pain. Good shoes are the place to start. Below, we recommended two shoes great for standing at work. (You can read more about what makes a good shoe for the workplace in a different post).

Shoes for Standing at Work

Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic Walking Shoe

Rockport first launched their lightweight dress shoe line in 1983. They joined forces with the Adidas Group in 2006 to incorporate sports technology in their casual footwear. As an industry innovator, the Rockport World Tour Classic Shoe is one of the company’s crown achievements. Only the best, breathable, materials are used, like soft pebbled leather. The water resistant upper is available in three leather options or two nubuck suede choices to accentuate any style.

Shoes for Standing  at Work -- World Tour Classic Walking Shoe

The gently cushioned footbed and full strobel construction aids in walking motions while keeping the shoe flexible. “Strobel” describes a specific way of stitching upper leathers, and lining, to the insole of footwear. Strobel stitching offers a much higher flexibility and strength than other types of common stitching.

This shoe, sometimes described as a business casual dress “sneaker,” conforms to the foot and reduces leg fatigue via lightweight shock absorption. Flexible forefoot and extended heel counters provide easy motion control without the added weight of traditional motion control shoes. These shoes do tend to run narrow. Consider such when trying-on before buying, as you might need a size larger than your norm.

Brooks Unisex Addiction Walker

Available in a range of colors, the Brooks Men’s and Women’s Addiction Walker is a fantastic leather shoe for people with a variety of foot structures. It provides cushioning and support when working on your feet all day.pebbled leather. The water resistant upper is available in three leather options or two nubuck suede choices to accentuate any style.- Unisex-Brooks'-Addiction-WaThe new Addiction™ Walker now comes with durable, energy-returning midsole cushioning, a supple full-grain leather upper, strong support, and reliable slip-resistant outsole. This shoe provides sturdy support mile after mile by supporting low arches and keeping pronation under control.

The Addiction Walker is also available with velcro strap closures — just like the lace-up version, but with the convenience of hook-and-loop straps to get you out the door in a flash.

Stop In For A Custom Fit

We are here six days a week at the corner of Montgomery and Juan Tabo Boulevards, Albuquerque. Come shop with us. We will professionally measure your foot, and ensure you receive a comfortable, custom fit.


Happy Feet and Legs While Traveling

The Doctor is In

by Janet Simon, DPM

Many of us are preparing for upcoming trips including me. These trips may be day ones, exploring our amazing Land of Enchantment, or others, taking us afar. No matter the travel choice, we need to keep our feet and legs happy.

10 Tips for Happy Feet While Traveling
Avoid leg cramps, blood clots, blisters and other footwear disasters

Stop Leg Cramps

1. Make sure you are hydrating properly. Water is the hands down winner for ensuring your body’s comfort. I am asked several times a day about foot and leg cramps, which a have direct connection to proper hydration. Often when traveling our normal water intake may be disrupted and cramping ensues. When our systems get a little dry and dehydrated the electrolytes that make our muscles work get imbalanced resulting in the cramping. So, first on my recommendation list is to make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.

2. Gently stretch calves prior to bedtime and perform ankle pumps and circles.

3. If cramping continues drink 8-16 ounces of tonic water before going to bed. The quinine in tonic water has a mediating effect on our muscle physiology. I do caution that tonic water does have sugar content, so be watchful if that matters to you. There are “no or low” sugar tonic water options. Please note: Avoid tonic water if you are taking digoxin or warfarin, are pregnant, or have kidney, liver or heart disease.

Prevent Blood-Clots

4.Move your legs and feet at least hourly, more if possible, when sitting for long periods in a car, airplane or train.

This video from the Australia-based Qantas Airline demonstrates some stretching and movement exercises that are easily performed while seated in a small space. Aside from a plane, think train or even in the car. These exercises include the foot pump and ankle roll I recommended for leg cramps.

5. Take more frequent stops while car traveling, allowing short walks and overall body stretches. Airline travels are more challenging as space is clearly limited and getting up and walking around often is prohibited.

6. The use of light compression hose or socks is always recommended for trips greater than four hours in duration. There are many choices for these types of compression and your legs will be much happier upon your arrival at your destination.

Ease Rubbing and Blisters

7. Wear comfortable footwear that is appropriate for the type of activities anticipated during travel. Shoes that are easily adjustable, for example with velcro closures or straps, help address the problems that arise with swelling. Often, slip-on shoes cause rubbing and blistering issues, because these type of shoes do not allow much volume increase. There is no such thing as a tight shoe stretching out. Rather, what is being broken in is the material, such as leather softening.

If you do get blisters, dress with a topical antibiotic and cover with a band-aid. Another helpful blister aide is the 2nd Skin brand of products sold at most sporting goods stores.

Sole Comfort offers several styles of easily adjustable shoes including styles by Wolky and Drew.

8. When traveling outside of North America only wear athletic type shoes to work out. This is one of the known identifying features of Americans and will make you stand out as a tourist. If this means you have to buy new shoes for your trip, plan on enough time to break them in, a minimum of week. Over the course of the break in period, gradually increase the interval of time you wear the shoe. Don’t forget that all shoes should be comfortable from the get go.

Orthotics Wear

9. If you are an orthotic wearer and you keep your orthotics in your athletic shoes, packed inside your checked luggage, familiarize yourself with orthotic replacement insurance. There are separate orthotic policies available from many of the orthotic labs that make orthotics. Check the travel insurance policies for these also may include lost personal items of value.

10. As with any valued item, write down the orthotic production number or at least the name of the prescriber in case you need documentation for filing claims.

More in-flight health recommendations (from Quantas).

Safe travels and remember to share your favorite shoe travel stories with Sole Comfort.

Customer Profile — Sr. Olympians

Local Tennis Players Head to National Event

Roger and Melinda Larson,

Roger and Melinda Larson, headed to National Senior Olympics in July 2015

Local, senior athletes, Roger and Melinda Larson play single and mixed doubles tennis. They won medals at the state level and are now registered to play mixed doubles this July in the Senior Olympics in Minnesota.

Roger (61) and Melinda (64) first became involved with the Senior Olympics in 2014.

“We both enjoy tennis and meeting other people our age that also play tennis and focus on a life style of health and wellness,” said Melinda. “The Senior Olympics provide a great venue for that at every level.”

A Few Questions

Did you play tennis prior to joining the Sr. Olympics, or is it a new pursuit?

Roger – I have played tennis since high school and have continued to play. I also enjoy hiking.

Melinda – I started playing when I turned 40.


What is the best part of participating in the Sr. Olympics?

Roger – Meeting new people in new places.

Melinda – As we age it great to have role models that inspire you to be all that you can be physically, mentally, spiritually and at the same time deal with the same aches and pains that you have or maybe even more. The Senior Olympics brings all of this together.

What else would you like to share about the New Mexico Sr. Olympics?

Roger – I really appreciated the coordination and effort in putting on the Roswell event

Melinda – In preparing for these events your physical fitness is key. Both Roger and I have worked with Janet, our podiatrist to make sure that our feet continue to support the high impact that tennis can generate. At the state level, the competition was great, and the event was quality and believe me our feet were abused. We are looking forward to the national event!




Why Walking Shoes Matter

Your Walk is Only as Good as Your Shoes

Walking is a great way to exercise with minimal injury, or so we think until we head out for that first walk of the year. It is spring time and you are just itching to out for a walk. You grab your old walking shoes out of the closet, put them on, tie them up and out you go.

DID YOU KNOW: Of the people who exercise, about 30 percent walk, making walking the most popular form of exercise – U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Before your walk is over, your feet start to hurt. You ignore the pain and turn to go home. By the time you get home your feet are tired and sore, but you chalk that up to it being the first walk of the season and you are not used to walking yet. Maybe it’s not even your feet that hurt, but your knee or your hip. Still, you use the same rationale that you just started walking and you are out of shape. You continue to walk day after day until the pain is so great you can’t stand it anymore. Some of you go to the doctor, some just quit walking, and others cut back their exercise but try to persevere. Not once do you stop to think the pain could be caused by your shoes!

Walking shoes4 Shoe Tips for a Better Walk

Your feet are the foundation of your body and your shoes are the foundation of your feet. THIS is precisely why shoes matter. Those old walking shoes you grabbed from the closet may be worn out, the wrong type or they simply do not fit.

1. Update Worn Shoes

Your shoes may look okay on the outside. The sole may not look worn. The top still appears to be in great shape. This does not mean your shoes aren’t worn out. Shoes can lose their integrity on the inside. The uppers may be miss shaped. The sole at the ball of the foot is too soft. Worn out shoes cause foot pain, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, hip pain, and back pain.

2. Buy the Right Type of Shoe

The wrong type of shoe can cause all kinds of problems. Motion control shoes with a high arch profile can cause knee pain. Too soft a shoe or a shoe lacking proper support may cause foot pain such as plantar fasciitis, knee pain, and hip pain. You need proper shoes for the activity.

3. Wear the Right Size Shoe

Over 80 percent of women wear the wrong size shoe. Too small a shoe can cause ball of the foot pain, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, blisters and the loss of toe nails. Small shoes may also cause pain in the knees, hips and back. When the shoe is too small the foot can not complete the entire gait cycle. This creates a walking pattern where the foot rolls to the outside. In turn, this causes the leg to twist and puts pressure on the knees, hip and back. Too long a shoe usually causes ball of the foot pain and gripping of the toe issues. It can cause tripping in some individuals.

4. Get Measured and Fit

There is no brand that makes a perfect walking shoe. The perfect walking shoe is the one that fits you and your specific bio-mechanical needs. Visit us at Sole Comfort. We will professionally measure your foot to determine your proper size. Then you can try on a variety of shoes to find the best fit and style for YOU.

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May Physical Fitness Challenge

We have long been an advocate of healthy activity. This month, Sole Comfort Shoes is celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, we challenge all adults to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Yet, in New Mexico 75 to 80 percent of us don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, 2014).

Physical fitness in Albuquerque and NM

Proportion of U.S. adults meeting aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines.

Recommended Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults

• Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like brisk walking, dancing and swimming. Raking leaves counts, too!

• Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days a week.

Physical activity is for everyone. No matter what shape you are in, you can find activities that work for you. Together, we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May!

Walking, physical fitness AlbuquerqueGet Walking Albuquerque

Personally, I love walking. Our New Mexico weather just begs to be enjoyed outside, and there are so many benefits of walking.

To help you get started, we invite you to stop into Sole Comfort Shoes for a free, 15-evaluation of your walking shoes. Plus, we will be offering $25-off new walking shoes throughout May.

Follow us and Get Active

Throughout the month, Sole Comfort will be posting more suggestions on how to get active and walking. Follow us on Facebook for current updates,and Tell US (via email), Where do you Walk?

Burkbuc and Birko-Flor Difference

Birkenstock Pricing Explained

The Sole Comfort Staff had many inquiries about internet and catalog pricing that advertised Birkenstocks for under $100. These under-$100 Birkenstocks are Birkbuc or Birko-Flor styles. They are not natural leather. This is why the price tag is less. Unfortunately, many of these advertisements do not clearly state this fact. Leather or non-leather, each Birkenstock style has its advantages.

Birkenstock Tabora using Birko-Flor

Birki-flor is made of acrylic and polyamide felt fibers. The suede lined, contoured footbed will mold to the shape of your foot creating a custom footbed that supports and cradles each step. Style Shown: Birkenstock Tabora

Birko-Flor was developed by Birkenstock as an alternative to leather. Birko-Flor is made of soft acrylic and polyamide felt fibers with a durable smooth leather-like finish.

Birkbuc is similar, but the material is finished to look and feel like the original velvety, leather nubuck.

Birkbuc and Birko-Flor styles have the same supportive footbed as the natural leather and nubuck styles, and will fit similarly. Since it’s easier to print on non-leather surfaces a variety of fun designs and textures are available in these non-leather options. What seems to be the difference is that these materials do not last as long as leather and nubuck, and they appear to more easily scuff. Since these materials cannot be buffed like leather, the scuff marks seem to be permanent.

Sole Comfort does have some of these non-leather styles, and can order them at similar pricing that is advertised elsewhere. We do want our customers know what they are purchasing, and educate them as to why the prices are different.

Birko-Flor and Birkbuc Pros and Cons

non-animal material
slightly lower cost
same supportive footbed and fit
traditional styles
fun textures and designs

slightly less product life
more prone to scuffing
non-buffable surface

Birkenstocks and Backpacks – Making a Difference


Ed Note: We are asking our readers, “Where have your Birkenstocks taken you.” This is one in our series about the adventures (grand and everyday) that people have had while wearing these enduring and iconic shoes.

Johnny Leonard with the kids in north Colombia

Johnny Leonard with the kids in north Colombia

Birkenstocks and Backpacks – Making a Difference

Birkenstock Wearers: Serena and Johnny Leonard
Ages: 35 & 38    Location: 40 different countries and still traveling
Occupation: Lifestyle travelers and social entrepreneurs that aim to make a difference

The Story: We bought Birkenstocks before we left Australia with our backpacks to travel the world. Our mission was to film stories of inspiring people who are making a difference to their communities.

Serena Star-Leonard in Honduras

Serena Star-Leonard in Honduras

The first mini-documentary we filmed was while volunteering in the slums of north Colombia for a charity called Yellow Butterflies Foundation. There are two small schools run by volunteers, for kids who are growing up well below the poverty line,and who would have no access to education otherwise.

We have since filmed 25 short documentaries and traveled through 21 countries in the last 3 years. 



So, Where have your Birkenstocks taken you?

We want to know. Please share your story with us via email or via our quick BirkenStory form.

Birkenstock – A Universal Language


Ed Note: We are asking our readers, “Where have your Birkenstocks taken you.” This is the first in our series about the adventures (grand and everyday) that people have had while wearing these enduring and iconic shoes.

feet dip-1

Birkenstock – A Universal Language

Birkenstock Wearer: Johanna Walker
Age: 51     Location: Boulder, CO.
Occupation: Public speaking and performance coach 

Her First Birks: I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks in 1985. I was a little late in the game because I was poor, and Birkentstocks were expensive. I’d wanted a pair long before then, but in my family we didn’t get those sorts of luxuries. When I graduated college, I bought a pair with my own money. — I. loved. my. Birkenstocks

When I graduated college, I bought a pair with my own money. — I. loved. my. Birkenstocks.


The Story: I was in California visiting a friend in Santa Cruz. We were sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking the crashing waves below, swinging our feet over the edge of the cliff, when one of them flew off my foot into the ocean below. I scrambled down the rocks to the shore, but the waves were rough and the rocks were craggy and there was no way I was going to get my shoe back. I was heartbroken.

scuba rocksThen, suddenly two men in wetsuits came out of the water. I frantically begged them to go out and rescue my shoe, but they were not native English speakers–they were German– and did not entirely understand what I was saying. When I said, “My Birkenstock is out there!” they understood and said, “Oh! Birkentstock!” and they swam out to retrieve the shoe. With which I was then reunited, and forever grateful.


So, Where have your Birkenstocks taken you?

We want to know. Please share your story with us via email or via our quick BirkenStory form.

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