Foot Health

Shoes & Foot Problems

How Shoes Contribute to Foot Related Problems:

  • Foot wear increases the incidence of knee osteoarthritis, back pain and hip degeneration.
  • An elevated heel of any height alters the biomechanics of the foot and body.
  • Normal weight distribution is 50% over both front of foot and back. High heels change weight distribution to 90% over front of foot and 10% over the back.
  • For every inch one’s heel is elevated in a shoe, the position of the body is altered 20%. This means that the body falls forward 20%. To compensate for this, we push our pelvises forward, our shoulders back and our heads hang down.

Tips on Finding Shoes that Promote Healthy Feet

Sole

  • Was designed to protect our skin from punctures and abrasions.
  • Originally was thin.
  • Now soles can be thick, thin, contoured, and have height.
  • The thicker the sole, the less the intrinsic muscles of the foot can do, less communication happens between the brain and feet and the movement of the ankle is increased (Increased ankle injuries anyone?)

Upper

  • The top material that connects to the sole of the shoe.
  • Flip-flops, mules, and slide-on sandals require more work to keep them on, which creates toe tension. (This can result in hammertoes).
  • Laces affect constriction, which impacts circulation to the feet.

 Toe Box

  • The front of the shoe where the toes go.
  • Too tight of toe box can decreases toe mobility, which results in muscle atrophy (toes are being squashed together).
  • Chronic toes squeezing can also result in increased joint stress, bone stress, and soft tissue deformation. (This can create bunions).

Heel

  • The heel of the shoe aligns itself with the heel of the body. The higher the heel, the more pressure on the front foot.
  • The bones at the front of the foot are small and often become angled and compressed.
  • A positive heel causes a displacement of alignment (often resulting in the pelvis pushed forward and tailbone tucked).

Continue your foot health journey with Whole Body Barefoot by Katy Bowman.

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