When you walk into Elite Feet (an Overland Park specialty shoe shop located at 119th and Roe), keep in mind that the owners, Don and Leslie Nottberg, will probably be watching you. You see, before they can find the perfect shoe for you, they’ll need to take a good look at your feet and stride. However, in order for them to do a proper evaluation, of course, you need to first shed your current shoes—in many cases for good!
“We watch people walk in their stocking feet to see what their feet do,” Leslie Nottberg says.
She says her team is looking for the following foot facts:
“What we’re doing is determining what ‘car model’ best fits you and your needs.”
She explains, that some people benefit most from the “SUV of shoes” with top safety features and spacious seating. While others need the “compact car of shoes” with memory foam seats and high fuel efficiency. No matter which model of car—err shoe—you need, the Elite Feet team will find the best options for your foot’s features.
But it isn’t just about the way that you walk. There are many factors that will help you meet your match.
“We ask questions in regards to any current or past history of problems, pains or surgeries relating to not only your feet but also your knees, hips and lower back,” Nottberg says.
She says the most common medical issue they see walk into their store is Plantar Fasciitis—an inflammation of the foot that can cause arch and heel pain. This is why she and her team stress the importance of wearing a proper-fitting shoe or sandal, whether it’s for work, working out, standing in the kitchen or hanging out by the pool.
“We rely so much on our bodies and when our feet are in pain it’s likely that other parts of our body are in pain as well,” Nottberg says. “The discomfort, or instability, stemming from your base can actually spread throughout the body.”
Living healthier lives—and helping others do the same—was Leslie and Don’s main motivation for opening their first running store back in 1980. Don had gained 60 pounds after their first year of marriage and had started walking (and then running) to lose weight.
“He has always had very problematic feet and used orthotic inserts, but many stores back in 1976 lacked understanding,” Nottberg says. “Don decided to combine his passion for running with his career.”
And now the family-run business (Nottberg’s three daughters have all worked at the shop at some point and their middle Daughter, Gaelyn, joined the team full-time, after graduating from college) has become the community’s go-to stop for new shoes. The Nottbergs don’t take this responsibility lightly.
“We are not trying to sell the shoe of the week or the latest trend in fashion,” Nottberg says. “All of our shoe crew members are trained on how to identify a foot’s needs and know how our shoes are categorized in terms of support, shape and width to meet those needs.”
Nottberg says that every shoe on their shelves has been tried on by a team member and tested and discussed. She says as technology evolves in the realm of footwear, this testing phase is becoming more and more important to clients.
“People seem to like the idea that we ‘walk the walk’ by experiencing these changes ourselves and share our own thoughts in the hope that it can potentially help someone on their own unique path,” Nottberg says.
Through their non-profit organization Shoe Kansas City, the Nottbergs are also able to help many community members on their path through hard times. The shop collects gently used shoes, sandals and boots year-round. These collections are donated to charities in the Kansas City area so children, women and men can put shoes on their feet.
“We may be only one store, but we have a big footprint,” Nottberg says.
For more information about Elite Feet, visit their website, EliteFeetKC.com or drop in for a complimentary shoe fitting. And be prepared to compare—don’t forget to bring your current exercise and everyday shoes and socks.
“Your feet hold you up and support and allow you to move freely. Outfitting them with the right gear will benefit and improve what you do now, but also hopefully positively impact what you can do moving forward,” Nottberg says. “We know feet and shoes. It’s this combination that can lead to a more balanced you.”
I am planning on getting to a ripe old age being limber and balanced and I am working out daily in order to achieve that goal. I want to be a female version of Jack Lalanne who at 95 still worked out daily. His passion for daily exercise served him well and allowed him to do more of the things in life that he wanted to do even as he aged.
People are so focused on how our bodies look that we tend to lose focus of what our bodies DO. It’s hard to conceptualize that one day down the road of life we will (hopefully) be older versions of ourselves and the effects of what we do today will directly impact how relatively fit, how healthy, how independent, how social we are able to be.
Case in point:
I personally see the direct effects in my own family with my parents who, at 83, live life with major differences. Both have their health issues, some genetically brought and some brought on due to lack of motivation, desire and exercise.
Healty & Active Dad
My dad started working out with regularity in his early adult life and continues to this day. He gets up everyday with a plan of action and his demeanor reflects this. He still drives, participates in weekly games like bridge and pitch, has scheduled lunches with friends and is active in their retirement community as well as taking care of my mom.
Not So Much Mom
My mom has not and is not taking care of herself with exercise, balance or even being limber. She is either sitting in a chair in their apartment or is in a motorized wheelchair to get around their retirement center. As a result, her mobility is severely limited and even after getting helped to a standing position must have additional help in getting any balance. She is no longer able to drive and has to have assistance in order to shower, dress and get in and out of bed. If it weren’t for my dad, we fear that she would not be social, but he signs her up for bridge and poker where, once there, she can use her sharp mind to win (and enjoy) games.
You Always Have Time
People will say they don’t have time today to workout, but the truth of the matter is that those who don’t actually end up losing time. They lose their freedom to move about themselves without pain. Without exercise, without being balanced and limber, we are more susceptible to common diseases and physical ailments. The more we move the healthier our bones are and having healthy bones is vital as we age. We were not meant to be sedentary. Think about your job and how after sitting for a long period of time you go to get up – how stiff are your legs and back?
Keep moving and your body will feel better and sleep better. Keep limber and balanced and your body will be able to maneuver you where you would like to go, when you would like. I see my parents and as their child I am a mix of both of them, while I can’t prevent a genetic problem from arising I chose to keep myself healthy in body, mind and spirit today so that one day I can become Jackie Lalanne .
Saucony shoes to homeless and under served families/individuals by way of Catholic Charities of NE Kansas.
There is no doubt about it – summer is here and with it are the very bright skies and sunny days. This is the perfect time to realize that along with the sunscreen we are putting on before we head out the door we also need to put on the shades, as in sunglasses. The protection we need for our eyes from the Ultra Violet (UV) rays of the sun.
You may hear a lot about keeping your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays, but did you know eyes need to be protected too? Dr. Manny, senior managing editor of FoxNewsHealth.com, explains: Short-term UV exposure may burn the front surface of the eye, just like a sunburn would on the skin. If after sun exposure you have experienced redness on the eyelids, eye irritation or a gritty feeling similar to sand in your eyes. Ouch! Overexposure to UV rays can lead to early cataracts and glaucoma.
Seal of Acceptance
To protect your eyes, you should wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of the UVA and UVB rays. And they don’t have to be expensive. When looking for new sunglasses look for a “seal of acceptance” which guarantee their effectiveness. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get UVA and UVB protection, but do check that the color of the lenses match. A wrap around frame gives better coverage along with keeping dust and bugs out
UV exposure can come from reflections off the sand, pavement, water and snow – so you should wear sunglasses year-round. Cancer of the eyelids is more common than people would think. We need to wear sunglasses anytime we are doing something outdoors whether we run, walk, bike, skate, garden or are just running errands.
Prevent Skin Cancer
Protecting the skin around the eyes is not only a good way to prevent skin cancer, but combating the wrinkles you get around the eyes from squinting.
Window To Our World
Our eyes are the window to our world, complex and delicate they deserve all the protection we can get. So please, get your shades on before you step out the door on the right foot…..
While sitting in the waiting room of yet another Doctors appointment for one of my aging parents, I picked up a magazine that caught my eye. I read a great article about “The Aging Athlete”. Have you wondered if your years of exercising are paying off for you as your body is aging?
The answer of course has many variables starting off with your own family genetics. Orthopaedic Surgeon Vonda Wright, MD, reports that how we age is 30% genetics and 70% under our direct control. She states that those of us Baby Boomers who “get that” want that control. The people who continue to be physically active carry this aura through other aspects in their lives, says Dr. John Vani an Orthopaedic Sugeon and Sports Medicine Specialist.
He feels the greatest area of focus for athletes (and yes, I feel we are athletes if we are getting out and doing something physically active) should include strength conditioning as muscle mass loss can start as early as age 40.
Our bodies are physical structures that break down with time so be realistic about your abilities and skills and what is part of the natural aging is important. Keeping active in our 50s, 60s, & 70s adds at least 4-6 years to life expectancies while seeing decrease in the likelihood of acute & chronic diseases, add in improved mental health and that to me is incentive enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other. As we age it is not just about how fast you finished your run or how far your club hit the ball, but more importantly did you finish it.
Preparing our bodies for aging is a new thought, but one that will serve us well as we do age. In our physical activities in addition to strength training adding in balance along with consuming plenty of Vitamin D, Calcium and good oral hygiene and healthily managing our stress makes for well rounded balanced living to hopefully get each of us to a ripe old age not sitting in the rocking chair but moving around on the RIGHT FOOT.
Think socks don’t make a difference or have a lot to offer. Socks can actually improve the fit and feel of your shoes as well as your workout performance. Here are things you want to consider when buying.
Coolmax, Wool, Polyester, Bamboo, Spandex…
No show tab, low cut, mini crew, ¼ , crew
Small, medium, large, xtra large and at Elite Feet that sizing is on each sock, so you know when you wash, whose socks belong to who in the family.
It use to be White or Black, now think color wheel, because just like the shoes that are mixing colors so are socks.
Do you like a universal fit, where you buy a pair and they go on either foot or do you like right/left specific? Also in fits, grab around the arch (compression) and speaking of compression, new to exercise-compression socks- are they for you? How about toe socks? Diabetic?
Most exercise socks are now using loop machines making them seamless-all I can say is good riddance to having to turn socks inside out to avoid the seam!!
You definitely want the sock to take the moisture off your foot and put it to the outside of the sock!! Therefore allowing the mesh of the shoe to pull it off sock and keep feet dry.
In direct relation to cost is the feel and fit of the sock. Don’t believe me-try it for yourself (I play cynic so I always have to try for myself, but think bed sheets – in thread counts, the higher the better makes for a decidedly different feel of sheet. That’s why you see such a variety in my collection of socks! Do they both work, absolutely, but what if at the end of your workout your body would recoup quicker.
We are constantly trying out new socks because of the changes that are happening.
Curious about how socks can make a difference for you? Come try on socks at Elite Feet and discover your feet’s favorite! Most days, Leslie wears a light cushion sock while Don prefers dense. Give the man his cush! Whatever YOU choose it is a personal choice. Just please, put a sock on it!