200  Arch enemy

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Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 08:20:50 -0700
From: Mark Sussex <doktordogg@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Arch enemy

I must be a dancer now. My feet hurt!

I wear dance shoes with thin soles. These things are
so soft it feels as if I'm dancing in moccasins. My
poor arches really wish there were something in there
to support them. I've heard of inserts, but I've
never used them. Will that work in a dance shoe?
Don't those things slide around inside your shoe?

Also, are there dance shoes that are designed to have
a solid arch in them, or do I have the wrong idea?
Are my shoes soft like this for a reason, and a solid
arch in them will rob me of some kind of flexibility
I'm supposed to have? I hope not. I really have a
craving to make these shoes a lot firmer, or my feet
are going to cave in. I have some kind of a strain in
one toe now that simply won't get better.

Mark





Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 13:43:48 -0500
From: Stephen Brown <Stephen.P.Brown@DAL.FRB.ORG>
Subject: Re: Arch enemy

Mark Sussex wrote:

>I must be a dancer now. My feet hurt!

>I wear dance shoes with thin soles. These things are
>so soft it feels as if I'm dancing in moccasins. My
>poor arches really wish there were something in there
>to support them. I've heard of inserts, but I've
>never used them.

Men's Argentine tango shoes for Argentine have somewhat harder soles than
those used for ballroom dancing, but most still lack arch support.
Solutions for arch support include custom orthotics or shoe inserts. I use
Spenco pads. I find they stand up to dancing better than some competing
products. The Spenco pads do not slide around and they are not destroyed
by a week's or night's worth of dancing.

Hopefully soon, we men will have the opportunity to buy Tara shoes.

With best regards,
Steve (de Tejas)




Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 04:23:12 +0900
From: astrid <astrid@RUBY.PLALA.OR.JP>
Subject: Re: Arch enemy

> Also, are there dance shoes that are designed to have
> a solid arch in them, or do I have the wrong idea?
> Are my shoes soft like this for a reason, and a solid
> arch in them will rob me of some kind of flexibility
> I'm supposed to have? I hope not

Some people prefer really soft shoes for dancing but a proper tango shoe is
not like that, IMO. The good news is: Robin Tara has just started selling
men's shoes too ! With the special padding, the steel shanks and everything.
She saved my feet a long time ago.
www.taratangoshoes.com

Astrid




Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 17:09:17 -0500
From: Joe Grohens <joe@WOLFRAM.COM>
Subject: Re: Arch enemy

> Hopefully soon, we men will have the opportunity to buy Tara shoes.

Steve,

We do. There are some very nice oxfords in Tara's new catalog. I even tried
on a pair at the Reno boutique Labor Day weekend. Nice heel -- a little
bit wider than a cuban heel, and not quite as high.

I came back the next day with my mind made up, but the ones I wanted had been sold.

To answer one of Mark's questions, ballroom dance shoes can certainly withstand a custom orthotic. I have a pair of SupaDance and wear my normal heavy-duty podiatrist made orthotics, and the shoes were not stressed by this.

Joe




Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 11:31:16 +1000
From: David Brewer <spiraldb@OZEMAIL.COM.AU>
Subject: Re: Arch enemy

I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts, from the simplest to the more
drastic or difficult.

Your shoes should fit well. If too tight, they are obviously no good. If
too loose, again you will feel as though there is no support.

If you dance a lot it is probable that the soles of your shoes have
actually 'creased'. Compare your shoes with new ones by taking a shoe in
your hands and bending the sole, then doing the same with a new one. If
your old shoe is bends very easily it might be 'creased', like a piece
of cardboard that has been bent severely and loses its 'springiness'.
You either need new shoes or perhaps they can be repaired; I don't know
(I always just bought new shoes!)

You might have arch problems. This is the controversial bit. My wife
wears orthotic supports, on the recommendation of a podiatrist and a
sports physiotherapist. But some people would say it is more important
to look at the way you move; orthotic supports might be a 'vicious
circle' - you provide a crutch for you foot, so the right muscles don't
do the work and get weaker, which means they need more support, and so
on, with further problems for muscles and joints elsewhere in the body.
My wife is happy with her orthoses, although she has only had them for a
couple of years, and we have not been dancing as much as when we
competed.

I just did a Google search on 'foot arch problems' and there were many
interesting links, including one promoting a book advocating foot
exercise over orthotics - http://www.footarch.com/. Another recommends
orthoses, saying they are not strictly 'supports' -
http://www.apma.org/topics/Orthoses.htm. Also, 'Foot Problems in
Middle-Aged Patients: Keeping Active People Up to Speed' which discusses
causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of several foot problems -
http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1998/05may/stanish.htm. I have some
reading to do!

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

David
----- Original Message -----



Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 1:20 AM
Subject: Arch enemy


> I must be a dancer now. My feet hurt!
>
> I wear dance shoes with thin soles. These things are
> so soft it feels as if I'm dancing in moccasins. My
> poor arches really wish there were something in there
> to support them. I've heard of inserts, but I've
> never used them. Will that work in a dance shoe?
> Don't those things slide around inside your shoe?
>
> Also, are there dance shoes that are designed to have
> a solid arch in them, or do I have the wrong idea?
> Are my shoes soft like this for a reason, and a solid
> arch in them will rob me of some kind of flexibility
> I'm supposed to have? I hope not. I really have a
> craving to make these shoes a lot firmer, or my feet
> are going to cave in. I have some kind of a strain in
> one toe now that simply won't get better.
>
> Mark
>

Messenger

>

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>




Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 01:08:46 EDT
From: Charles Roques <Crrtango@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Arch enemy

Greetings,

Some random and personal thoughts about shoes and foot care. Maybe pretty
obvious but hopefully helpful to recent and new dancers and maybe even to the
experienced as well.

Since dance shoes have very thin soles it's best to wear them only when
dancing on smooth, preferably sprung wood, floors. It might be fun to tango
in odd places like parks and malls or brick walks but it is not so great for
the feet (ergo your dancing ). If you dance on cement or unforgiving
surfaces for any length of time it puts a lot of stress on the tendons and
muscles of the feet. Pivoting movements like ochos can be very stressful on
those muscles and even injure them.

Shoes kept on shoe trees will maintain their shape and feel better.

Try to preserve your arch (until the grave!) in whatever shoe you wear. If
this means
inserting a support, then do it. Not only will your feet feel better and
enable you
to dance more but you will protect your back as well.

Change shoes frequently during the day. Don't wear the same shoes all day no
matter how comfortable.

Don't do marathon dances. Especially if you are not dancing very often. If
you really want to improve, increase the frequency of your dancing, not the
duration. And if you are not
dancing, sit down and take the weight off your feet. Those of us fortunate
enough to live in very active tango communities like New York or San
Francisco can
dance every night if we want to and many of us do just that. But if you are
not accustomed to doing that then you should be careful when attending long
workshops. I was at the Tango Santa Fe retreat a couple of years ago. For
an entire week, there were classes starting at 9:00 AM and going until 4:30 PM
and then a four hour milonga at night. Many people discovered the limits of
their feet that week. Whenever attending a concentrated workshop for a few
days, change shoes and relax your feet (and even massage and soak them in hot
water) between classes or any time you are not actually dancing for a while.

Buy a pair of massage sandals. They are great, they work, and they are
cheap. They are essentially simple sandals with a single strap across the top
(like Dr Scholls sandals) but the bottom conforms to your foot contour and is
made of many small verticle "fingers" made of rubber which massage the soles
of
the feet as you walk. They stimulate circulation in the feet and actually
interact with many other organs because many of our nerves end in the soles
of our feet. (The basic principal of reflexology). They sell them in many
health food store and some shoe stores. There are different brands and sell
for about $25. depending on who makes them. Break them in very gradually,
only a few minutes the first day, increasing the time as your feet accustom.

BTW I have heard good feedback from women here in New York regarding Tara
shoes for dancing. They look good, have good structure and support and seem
to hold up well in NYC tango traffic.

Again I hope some of this helpful.

Cheers,
Charles Roques







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Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 21:55:01 -0700
From: Bugs Bunny <bugsbunny1959@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Arch Enemy

I bought some high quality black walking shoes & using Contact cement &
LIquid Nails constuction adhesive, glued a piece of leather (non-suede side)
to the bottoms of the shoes. Works like a charm & I can dance pretty much
non-stop for 8+ hours (which I've done at the NW Folk Life Festival in
Seattle, Memorial Day weekend) w/o any problems whatsoever. & then turn
around & do it again the next 2 days. Place the shoes on a piece of leather
& trace the outline & carefully using a razor knife or something sharp to
cut out the pattern. Hope this helps...

Rick Anderson
Portland, OR



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