Foot Levelers Blog

World’s leading provider of custom-made functional orthotics.

Month: March 2016

Greening Up for Spring

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Hey folks!

Lots of cool stuff going on behind the scenes here at Foot Levelers, and we thought we’d give you a peek inside.

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Chelsea in our marketing department is clearly very excited about single stream recycling

Yesterday we kicked off a new single stream recycling program for all of our employees. Single stream recycling takes away the time and headache of sorting different materials into different bins, and is proven to increase participation in recycling by up to 50%! We’re pretty stoked to be one of the first companies of our size in the Roanoke Valley to adopt single stream recycling.

What else is new? The folks in Operations have kicked off “Project LED”:  a 36-month* plan to replace all 1,000+ fluorescent lights in our facility with more environmentally-friendly LED tubes. LED tubes are mercury-free; are 30% more energy-efficient than fluorescent; and on average, last 67% longer. LEDs have also been shown to improve a person’s mood, energy, and alertness—great news for Foot Levelers’ shutterstock_120718615hardworking employees!

*(Why 36 months? We’re going for maximum “green impact” and minimum  waste. Each fluorescent bulb will be replaced with an LED as the bulb burns out, so as not throw away a still-functional product).

There’s a a ton of other environmentally-focused programs in the works, which we’ll tell you about soon. So while our work is far from done, we’re feeling good about the strides we’re making towards being a greener employer.

May your spring be extra green!

Your Friends at Foot Levelers

 

America’s Toughest Road Marathon Needs YOU!

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On April 16th, hundreds of runners from all over the world will descend upon Foot Levelers’ hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, for the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, also known as America’s toughest road marathon.

And it’s not “just” the race. Down by Downtown is a three-day celebration of music with more than 50 acts performing at iconic local venues including the stunning Elmwood Park Amphitheater and at the marathon finish line.

Not a runner, but still want to get involved? Not a problem.

Consider joining the team that makes it happen.  It takes over 500 volunteers to pull off the big event, and there are still plenty of spots left.  So pick a time and job description that suits you and come join the fun!!

If you’re coming from out of town, check out our Visitor’s Center for lots of great advice on where to sleep, eat, and other things to see and do in our gorgeous little corner of the world. We can’t wait to host you!

Behind the Scenes at the NFL Scouting Combine

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We don’t mean to brag (well, maybe just a little) but here’s our own Brandon Matheny (center) hanging out with the fine folks of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society, also known as the 32 Chiropractors who serve the 32 teams of the NFL. Brandon met up with them at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month to talk about the role of Foot Levelers custom orthotics in both preventing injury and helping athletes achieve peak performance. He’s holding our two newest orthotics, designed specifically for elite athletes: the XP3 and XP3+.

If the pros trust Foot Levelers custom orthotics to keep them at the top of their game… Shouldn’t you?

 

 

 

Ready for The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon? This Guy Is!

 

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We’re less than one month away from the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, and to celebrate we’ll be introducing you to some of our fine folks here who will be running and volunteering in the big event.

Josh Barto, or “Barto” as he’s better known, has been with Foot Levelers for over 8 years and “running pretty much ever since I could walk—if you ask my mom,” he says. Though he’s worn at least half a dozen different hats at Foot Levelers, today Barto works mostly in “Mods” (that’s short for “Modifications Department,” which just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely).

Barto and the Mods Team are key to the Foot Levelers model, and one of the many reasons that nothing compares to custom. If your Foot Levelers’ custom orthotics aren’t absolutely perfect, if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, the Mods team will work their tails off to ensure we make them right (that’s part of the Foot Levelers’ 100% Guarantee).

A self-described 5- and 10K addict, Barto is competing in the half marathon (13.1 miles).  Get to know Barto a.k.a. The Mod Man below, and look for him at the starting line!

Run 6Name: Josh Barto, better known as Barto.

Age: 31.

Position with Foot Levelers: Unofficially: Jack of All Trades. The Mod Man. Officially: Sales & Service Specialist.

You’re a big runner. How did you get into it?

My mother used to say that whenever she called me, whatever I was doing, I would always come running… I ran cross-country at school, [today] I do races all over the Roanoke [Virginia] area. I’ve just always enjoyed it and staying fit. I’ve done two Tough Mudder Races; I also play a lot of rec sports like softball, soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee and I’m on a kickball team.

What is special to you about the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon?

The fact that this will be my first “official” half marathon… I’ve run a couple before, but never on paper or competing. My friends pushed me to do it. Plus it’s great that my employer is the title sponsor. The marathon brings so much to this area.

What’s your training regimen look like?

I average about 15 to 20 miles a week right now. I’m a 5K and 10K racer, so I just started by figuring out how far I could run the first day [of training] and then gradually increasing. I run every other day, [then] I add a either a half mile or a quarter mile, depending on how I am feeling that day. I’ve been doing that for about 2 months now.

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Josh Barto training in the Foot Levelers gym

Foot Levelers helps [with my training] by providing the company gym, plus everyone here is so supportive… We have a great Workout for Payout program that I obviously take advantage of… I do my weight training here and start my runs from here. Sometimes I train with my co-worker Abby Oliver. She’s doing the full marathon.

I’m a big trail [running] fan and it’s nice that our company is so close to the Greenways. I love being outdoors but for rainy days, the treadmills in the Foot Levelers gym are great.

A lot of runners use Foot Levelers custom orthotics to keep their bodies performing optimally and to prevent injury. How about you?

I’m lucky because I get to test some of the products before they’re introduced to market.  I was an early tester of the InMotion, which is now our top-seller… I wanted to see how it held up since I’m a big runner, and it’s fantastic. The new XP3 and XP3+ orthotics are focused toward performance, and I recommend them to a lot of people.

Meet Abby on Our Team: From Pro Ball to America’s Toughest Road Marathon

 

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Abby Oliver, on Foot Levelers’ Customer Service team, in training for The Foot Levelers’ Blue Ridge Marathon in the company’s hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. Coming up April 16th.

Meet Abby Oliver, a new(ish) member to Foot Levelers’ Customer Service team. Abby’s a runner, a homegrown Roanoker—and oh yeah, did we mention she played professional basketball after a killer career on the University of Richmond’s Women’s Team?

Abby is in training for the notorious Foot Levelers’ Blue Ridge Marathon on April 16th of this year, America’s Toughest Road Marathon, with over 7,430′ of elevation change. Winding through the jaw-dropping, rugged beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the marathon has become a bucket list item for many of the world’s elite runners.

Though it’s Abby’s first marathon, we have no doubt she’ll be a force to reckon with on the course. Learn more about Abby below, and keep up with her training here!

Good luck Abby!

Name: Abby Oliver

Age: 25

Position: Sales and Customer Service Representative

UR vs DaytonBefore you came to Foot Levelers, you played professional basketball! Tell us about that.

I’ve always loved sports ever since I was younger, but my love since I was about 5 years old was basketball. I played in high school here at Hidden Valley [high school] in Roanoke and got a full basketball scholarship to the University of Richmond. I played there all four years. When I graduated, I went over to Israel and played professionally for about one season.  Basketball has been a big part of my life.

When and why did you start running? What do you like about it?

…One thing I am really passionate about is health and fitness as well as being outside, so running really helps me do both of those…it sharpens my mind as well as gets me physically fit…The running community here in Roanoke is really strong. My friends are runners so I’m able to meet new people and be with my friends at the same time.

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How many marathons have you run?

I am nervous because this is the first road marathon that I’ve done, and it’s going to be a tough one. But a lot of my friends are running it too, so it will be fun to run with them and experience that with them.

What is special to you about the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon?

The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon is really special because it’s titled the “Toughest Road Marathon” in the country and that title itself brings a lot of people from the Roanoke area, also from all over the country and all over the world… [Runners] love how challenging it is. Another thing that’s really special about the race is it’s more than just a race; it’s becoming a weekend festival with…music and concerts that coincide with the race that weekend,  so it’s something that runners as well as non-runners can do as well.xp3+ angle view 2 up

What does your training schedule look like?

I started training mid-December; it’s probably about 18 weeks of training.  Usually during the weekdays I run about 3 or 4 times, before work, about 5-8 miles before coming in, and on Saturdays and Sundays I do longer runs, incorporating some of the mountains that are going to be in the race.

Do you use orthotics to help with  your training?

I use the XP3+orthotics by Foot Levelers… I think they’re great. One big thing is they’re extremely light, but very shock absorbent. Throughout my training, I haven’t had any injuries or set-backs and that’s really rare for a runner, especially for training for a full marathon. I think my custom-made orthotics have something to do with that.

How does Foot Levelers, as your employer, support your training?

Foot Levelers does a great job of supporting me in my training. They have an on-site gym here that I work out in every day during lunch…I’m able to lift weights here–that’s really important in my training to help me stay strong and injury-free–and the fact that I’m able to do that here during my lunch break really helps me be efficient with my day.

The Workout for Payout program here at Foot Levelers is a great idea. I’m able to get points [toward free health care] for the amount of working out I do… It really helps [employees] be extremely healthy and physically fit.

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Why ‘Custom Orthotics’ Matters

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Considering custom orthotics? Maybe your Chiropractor recommended custom orthotics to help treat a painful condition, like low back pain, knee pain or plantar fasciitis.  Or perhaps you’re an athlete who wants to improve your performance on the field while protecting yourself from injury. Head to toe (and everywhere in between), research shows that the feet play a critical role in whole-body wellness. Custom orthotics can help keep them balanced and healthy.

But you may be wondering to yourself: why is custom such a big deal when it comes to orthotics?  After all, generic, off-the-shelf inserts are cheaper, and they’re everywhere, lining the shelves of a number of pharmacies, super stores, even some grocery stores. Their bright and flashy packaging promises the world: “Get relief from runner’s knee!” “Soothe arthritis pain!”  “Helps with low back pain!

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Off-the-shelf, generic inserts: great for arts and crafts or makeshift coasters. Not so great at treating clinical problems like low back pain.

If all that’s true… Why not go for the cheap and easy fix?

What is the big deal about custom anyway?

We’re so glad you asked!

Let’s start with the basics: Your feet are just as unique as your fingerprints. That means your size 9 feet are not the same as your neighbor’s size 9 feet (in fact, if you’re like most people, there are even significant differences between your right foot and left!).   

Generic, over-the-counter “orthotics” ignore this crucial fact. Because they’re mass-produced, they can only address only general conditions, for “general feet,” as if such a thing exists. They can’t account for differences between your right and left foot, and they certainly can’t include specific corrections and accommodations for your specific feet, body and health condition(s).  As a result, you may be only “half-treating” your issue, “over-treating” it—or not really treating it at all. Not only is this a waste of money, it could have consequences to your overall health.

As the body’s foundation, what you do to your feet can have major ripple effects all the way up the body.  Consider this: the average American takes 5,117 steps a day (most of us take more). With each step, improper foot support can reinforce (and sometimes cause) degenerative changes in the muscles, joints and connective tissues of the feet. With the body’s foundation compromised, joint movement, circulation and proprioceptive input throughout the entire body may suffer.

Think about it: Would you take an over-the-counter drug for a problem that requires a prescription? Would you wear a pair of eyeglasses that weren’t prescribed just for your eyes? Of course not. The same logic applies to orthotic support.

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No two pairs of feet are alike. Shouldn’t your orthotics be just as unique?

The power of custom orthotics comes from their unique architecture, built just for you based on a 3D scan image or foam impression of your feet, performed by a skilled health professional. Based on this data, highly trained technicians create your wholly unique, tailored product.

Just as no two pairs of feet are alike, no two pairs of Foot Levelers’ custom orthotics are alike. Their precision engineering helps balance the body’s foundation and correct often silent foot problems that may be causing—or at least contributing—to your symptoms.  (These same problems can also interfere with the body’s ability to reach peak performance, which is why doctors often recommend custom orthotics for athletes).

Not surprisingly, the results you get with generic may be disappointing at best, dangerous at worst.

Why take the risk?

Don’t be fooled by the gimmicks: nothing is as powerful, proven or effective as custom support for your body’s unique foundation. Talk to your doctor today about Foot Levelers’ orthotics, backed by 37 clinical research studies, 64 years of proven performance and the testimonies of hundreds of thousands of patients.  Don’t have a Chiropractor yet? Call us at 800.553.4860 to find one near you.

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The real deal: Foot Levelers’ custom orthotics

 

 

New Colors! Hear them Roar!

 

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Maui and Fiji, our custom orthotic waterproof flip-flops, just got a little wilder…

We’re introducing 2 new colors: deep, lush Jungle Green and invigorating Wild Orange.  Our custom orthotic waterproof flip-flops feature Aquatrek™ footbed that repels moisture while massaging the foot, plus cushy EVA mid-layer to absorb shock. The silky smooth nylon strap will never rub or chafe.

All of our custom orthotic flip-flops are individually designed for your unique foot, body and health needs based on a 3D image or cast of your feet and a health professional’s assessment. Talk to your Chiropractor to get yours! Don’t have a Chiropractor yet? Call us at 800.553.4860 to find one near you.

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