Nov 10, 2013

I’d like to highlight a VERY COOL family-owned American shoe company called “Soft Star Shoes” which is located in Corvallis, Oregon USA.  Since the only true foot-friendly shoe is a moccasin, you should check out Soft Star because their shoe designs are based off classical moccasin designs from toddler to adult. After 14,000 years of the same basic design, I’d say that the classic moccasin is worth considering.

Some of my friends wear them to work while others even wear them trail running.  You can pick out your own custom colors and designs if you’d like, or stick with the basics. They are part of the foot-health solution.

Check them out @ www.SoftStarShoes.com

Enjoy.

Nov 5, 2013

A major plantar fasciitis point I have learned by experiment was to drive without my shoes on. For some reason, when I drive with shoes (and even foot-friendly shoes), my foot really barks and can sometimes send me a sharp pain to let me know it’s irritated. If I remove my shoes, then my accelerator right foot (the one that has bothered me with plantar fasciitis) feels completely different. I have always felt that the excessive driving I do was a significant factor in developing my plantar fasciitis, and since I must drive a lot for my job at times, at least one of the causes still remains. I’ve passed this tip on to others, and they have also reported that their plantar fasciitis is much better if they remove their shoes while driving. Try it. Your foot might like it! For more info, check out my Products Section.

Oct 24, 2013

After studying the history of shoe design, it’s very simple. The only reason we have heel lifts is to make people taller. When studying physics of feet, you learn that ANY abnormal heel lift throws off our fall line thus creating all kinds of compensations up and down the kinetic chain. Add some coil springs big enough for a Volkswagon to the mix, and it spells trouble…it actually spells something else I’d like to say, but I’m doing my best to keep this site family friendly. To think we can outsmart nature with spring loaded shoes is pretty funny…not really, but you get the point hopefully. If not, you’re feet will. For more information, see my Products Section.

Oct 15, 2013

An interesting point few discuss, but to understand gait, you must understand what shoes have done to gait. There are precious few “natural” shoes available. The only true natural shoe design is going to be something like a moccasin! Interestingly, at one point in history, shoes were not “right or left” sides but one shoe could fit both feet. There was no “shoe last design” that forced feet into shape—and thus the authentic moccasin allows the foot to function naturally without getting in the way. The end result is that the only true “natural” gait patterns are going to be found in shoeless populations. We might view a person as having a “normal” gait in Western culture, but in reality, normal is NOT natural because our feet have been deformed by the shoes we wear which results in altered gait patterns. This is a very important point that is rarely ever mentioned in current foot and shoe discussions. For more information, see my Products Section.

Oct 14, 2013

Gravity. It’s heavy and moves DOWN. Since our feet are on the bottom, they take a lot of load especially if one is obese. When you consider force, physics, and gravity all stressing feet–every extra pound beyond a normal amount of body fat makes the job more difficult. Walking seems so innocent, yet even walking produces 2-3X the amount of body weight in force PER STEP. Anyone that has less than efficient gait will go into the 3X category–basically most Americans since we no longer have good structure or “natural” body composition (while it is “normal” to see obesity, it’s NOT natural).

Sad but true–feet are brutalized. If you want healthy feet–lighten the load. Remove extra body fat. Learn to walk softly and efficiently. Wear foot-healthy shoes that help your feet work harder to create a more stable foundation. Check out my Ground Forces Math post for related information or my Products Section for more information.

Oct 8, 2013

I saw a “fitness” woman today with some horrific shoes on. Very stylish of course which reminded me of how fashion drives the shoe business instead of function. Her shoes reminded me of the shoes above from some of my shoe history research. Throughout history, a smaller and shorter foot was viewed as more attractive. There were some folks over the generations that elongated the appearance of feet on purpose–like the shoe above. While the shoes today were not long, they were very “pointy.” Her shoes came into a very sharp point directly in “what appeared to be” the center of her foot. I have worked with lots of feet for years. I have yet to see just ONE FOOT that is pointed in the middle! Why on earth would we wear shoes that have no resemblance to the actual shape of our feet? To make them look smaller. The price women (and men) pay for fashion is disfigurement, pain, injury, and even surgery. I have yet to meet one woman that had foot surgery where the actual surgery was successful. Every single case produced another foot problem from trying to fix the first foot problem. What causes the initial problems? Usually the shoes themselves strangling the feet into submission. Sexy women are great, but pick and choose your foot battles ladies because the more you wear pointy shoes, the worse your feet will feel, and if you wear them enough–you’ll actually change the bone structure of your feet as you disfigure them. Enjoy the fashion. I’ll take fitness feet any day. *See my Products Section for more information.

Sep 30, 2013

Most shoes have a compressive “binding” effect on the foot much like a corset around a Victorian lady’s waist.  Shoes should not force the foot to conform to a certain shape, but rather, the shoe should stay out of the way of the foot!  A foot during gait should “expand” as weight is applied spreading at the toes and balls of foot.  Shoes tend to bind this expansion thus decreasing the stabilizing potential of the foot from the ground up.  The more you bind the foot—the worse you will move and walk—it’s that simple.  Tall columns need good base of support for stability and integrity.  Narrowed feet “bound” with shoes will never facilitate optimal base of support.

Disfigured feet from binding

Disfigured feet from binding

Why do we bind feet with shoes?  Sex and attraction—to make the feet appear smaller or more attractive.  To improve both health and safety from the ground up–remove the foot constraints and allow the feet to expand naturally. *See my Products Section  for more information

Sep 29, 2013

One of the healthiest things you can do for your feet is to simply take OFF your shoes!  Many people develop foot fungus problems because they never air out and cool down their feet!  Why do people keep their feet covered?  Culture mainly—in Western culture the feet are not respected and mostly ignored until they hurt.  People with poorly functioning feet rely too much upon the shoes for support, so much of the reason for keeping feet covered is driven by shoe marketing telling us that shoes “will fix” our feet which could not be further from the truth!  While it might be difficult and even uncomfortable at first, wake up your feet by taking off your shoes at least inside your own home.  If you just can’t bear the thought of nude feet, try a special moisture wicking sock that will both keep your feet dry and cool them down.  SmartWool is a brand of hiking socks that has great wicking and cooling technology built into the fibers yet won’t make your skin itchy; however, what your feet really need is to be totally uncovered for hours per day before you ever go to bed!  *See my “Products Section” for more information. 

Photo by Ron Jones. Copyright 2013. Badwater Ultramarathon Finish Line

Sep 28, 2013

I’m not a math guy; I always did much better in English and art…and health of course. However, when I saw the math regarding ground forces with each walking stride, even I was impressed! What I have learned is that the fastest way to make a change in a person systemically is to work with their feet and ankles. Why? So I can improve their walking gait. Do the math. It’s obvious. A simple and primary objective of mine is to get people to walk better. Do the math-you’ll see why. For people disabled in wheelchairs or walkers, I will shift up into the hands and wrists.

It all changes when the feet (or hands if using wheelchair) hit the ground! Read More »

Sep 28, 2013

In my ongoing quest for Foot Fitness, I was chatting with my neighbor Fernando about soccer shoes.  Fernando grew up with soccer so knows a lot about the game, coaching, and other issues related to potential soccer injuries. I was telling him about how flexible shoes are better for feet which caused him to mention the Adidas Copa Mundial soccer shoes. He told me when kids have feet problems, they put them into the Adidas Copa shoes, and nearly always the foot pain goes away! Why? Apparently the Adidas Copa is more flexible than many of the newer soccer shoes available–not only the actual soles but also the upper materials since they are made with kangaroo leather. Additionally, the cleats in the Copa are a bit shorter which is better for us in SoCal or Central California where we have much drier climates with harder grass–apparently, the shorter cleat reduces the force into the bottom of foot from what the players report.  The reviews are interesting. People swear by these shoes in terms of comfort and performance–even some Pros.

I thought the Adidas Copa soccer shoes were a good find for overall foot fitness since I have so many clients with kids that play lots of soccer.  If your child is having problems with feet, ankles, and even knees or more up above, you might consider switching to this old school shoe model that has been around unchanged since 1979. If it’s been around that long with the same design, it must be worth wearing!

View Amazon link to Adidas Copa soccer shoes with some nice reviews

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