Are shoes bad for your feet? I guess it’s a matter of who you talk to. Recently I had a conversation with a cobbler (I’ll call him Ben) who builds custom shoes for his clients. He learned his craft from his father, who learned his craft from his father, and so coming from a long line of cobblers, Ben has strong opinions on how shoes should fit in order to keep your feet healthy.
Ben feels that a shoe’s primary function is not only protecting the foot, but also maintaining the shape of the foot within the shoe. In order to accomplish this, he builds shoes quite snugly from side to side, in order to prevent the foot from spreading out. While this is not quite a contemporary version of binding Chinese women’s feet, it certainly is restricting, uncomfortable and unhealthy. Ben had no idea his craft was causing such problems and would probably roll over dead if I told him that the way he constructs shoes are destroying his clients’ feet.
Though fashion has played its part over the ages in creating unhealthy footwear, shoes weren’t always built as instruments of torture. For example, when examining the feet of North American Indians who lived several hundred years ago, researchers noted that the feet of these people were healthier than feet seen today. Their feet were much wider and their toes straighter, compared to the feet of modern people, whose feet are typically narrower and have toes (especially the big toe) that tend to deviate inwardly, creating a bunion. The reason for this foot variance is because the Indians wore a type of moccasin made of a soft leather upper material, which allowed the foot to spread to its’ inherit shape while walking, unlike modern footwear that is often constricting and makes walking miserable.
Shoes Are Bad For Your Feet
North American Indians had no idea what a corn shield, a toe spacer or a metatarsal pad is. One could argue that these foot gadgets weren’t manufactured hundreds of years ago, which is true, but even if they were, the Indians certainly wouldn’t have used them because they had no problems with their feet.
Today, if you ask any person living in a first world country, if they know what a corn shield, toe spacer or metatarsal pad is, most people would say ‘yes’ and that they are using one or more of these gadgets themselves.
The obvious conclusion is that modern shoes are destroying our feet. Instead of being built for protection, comfort and the health of your feet, they’re designed merely as ornaments.
About 20 years ago, I visited all the major shoe manufacturers in the United States, in order to learn how shoes are typically designed and fabricated. I had the opportunity to talk with the president of a large company and asked if he thought that shoes are healthy for the feet. He answered, “We’re not primarily concerned about what our shoes do to the feet, we’re in business to sell shoes.”
While it’s true that shoes are causing pain and destroying our feet, it’s just not practical to walk around in moccasins, as few of us spend our lives treading in forests and grassy plains. So since most of us, most of the time, must wear shoes; my advice is to stay away from shoes that are snug fitting and fabricated with inflexible materials. Instead, try to wear shoes made from materials that allow them to bend and flex as you walk and allow your feet plenty of room to breathe. Your feet will thank you.
Reading the Curing Chronic Pain website will give you more information about the abnormal foot structures Professor/Dr. Rothbart discovered that cause many forms of chronic muscle and joint pain and help you determine whether an Initial Phone Consultation with him might be helpful.
For a more complete explanation of the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, read: Abnormal Foot Structures That Cause Chronic Pain.
As you learn more about Professor/Dr. Rothbart’s innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy by long distance, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page by clicking here.
If you would like to contact Professor/Dr. Rothbart regarding an appointment to resolve your chronic muscle and joint pain, click here.
Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of the International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Free Excerpt from Professor/Dr. Rothbart’s second book, The Foot’s Connection To Chronic Pain