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Take the right steps this spring with the Athlete's Foot
Apr '09
As spring approaches, The Athlete's Foot (TAF) advises customers to take the "right steps" when buying new performance footwear.

The correct pair of shoes can not only improve athletic performance but also reduces the chance of injury. TAF's proprietary FitPrint technology and Dr.'s Night program, available at participating TAF performance stores, are designed to help TAF sales associates educate customers on making the right footwear choices for their build and stride. TAF is managed by NexCen Franchise Management, Inc., a subsidiary of NexCen Brands, Inc.

Many customers do not realize the impact that feet have on the alignment of the spine and overall health of the human body. The following are "foot facts" from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and The Foot Health Network (Foot.com) along with a few "footwear tips" to help customers make informed decisions when selecting new performance footwear this spring.

Foot Facts:
- 75 percent of Americans wear the wrong size shoe.
- Three out of every four Americans experience serious foot problems during their lifetime.
- Women have approximately four times as many foot problems as men.
- Your foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles.
- 25 percent of all the bones in your body are in your feet.
- There are nearly 250,000 sweat glands in your feet.

Footwear Tips:
- You should try shoes on after exercise or in the evening when your feet are swollen.
- New shoes should feel comfortable right away (there should be no break-in period).
- Aftermarket shoe insoles can enhance the fit, comfort and performance of your athletic shoe.
- High-quality socks can prevent blisters and hotspots.

Structured to compliment the expert advice of TAF's sales associates, select performance stores are equipped with FitPrint, a bio-mechanical system that identifies pressure points through different phases of a customer's gait. The system generates a visual output of the customer's footprint and provides data to assist TAF's trained staff with making an accurate fit recommendation. Most TAF performance stores utilize FitPrint as the first point of customer service.

"FitPrint is the center-point of customer service at TAF performance stores," said Paul Jones, vice president of retail operations, NexCen Franchise Management. "Our owners are experts on the design and functionality of the athletic shoes that they carry and stand behind their fit recommendations 100 percent."

The TAF "Dr.'s Night" program was developed to connect participating TAF owners and their staff with area podiatrists, physical therapists and trainers to establish a referral network of knowledgeable medical professionals who share a similar goal-to improve the health and quality of life of their patients. TAF owners and associates meet with these medical professionals during scheduled Dr.'s Nights to discuss how TAF's FitPrint technology and product knowledge can compliment a health professional's recommendations to their patients. The outcome is a synergy of knowledge between foot specialists, physiologists and performance footwear experts that helps TAF fit their customer with the right shoe.

"The performance features of a shoe only function when the foot is cradled in the proper position and proper function will only follow if the shoes fit correctly," said Dr. James P. Deegan III, D.P.M. of the Duluth Clinic Orthopedic Department in Duluth, Minn. "The proper function of shoes can have a profound influence on the mechanics of the body, in particular the lower extremities when walking or running."

The Athlete's Foot

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