Thursday, February 23, 2017

If You Unevenly Wear Down The Heels Of Your Shoes, You May Have An Abnormal Foot Structure

Filed under Foot Structures

Have you ever noticed that you unevenly wear down the heels of your shoes – such as more on the inside or perhaps more on the outside? If so, you may have one of two abnormal foot structures that cause chronic pain- the Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.

The heel wear pattern of your shoes is an indication of how your foot moves when you walk.  If you have a structurally normal foot, your foot will move as it was intended to – in a straight line from heel contact to toe off (i.e., linear mechanics).  The heels on your shoes will wear evenly. 

But if you have an abnormal foot structure, such as the Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, your foot will twist as you walk (i.e., torsional mechanics). That twist will be registered in the heels of your shoes and can be seen by the uneven heel wear pattern.

uneven heel wear indicates an abnormal foot structure

The more severe your torsional mechanics, the less you will be able to maintain control how your heel moves.  If you have a Rothbarts Foot, there is no torsion occurring at your heel contact. All the torsion (foot twist) occurs when the weight is over the front part of your foot.  Thus it’s fairly easy to maintain your weight over the lateral aspect of your foot for most of the gait cycle (while you walk). So if you have a Rothbarts Foot you will wear down the outside of your shoe heel faster than the inside.

If you were born with a PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity you will also wear down your heels unevenly, but depending on the severity of your PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, it may be the outside or the inside that wears more quickly.

That is, if you have a mild Preclinical Clubfoot Deformity, you will be able to maintain your weight on the outside of your heels. If you have a more severe Preclinical Clubfoot Deformity, the torsional mechanics at your heel contact (when walking) is severe, making it impossible to maintain your body’s weight over the outside of your foot and so your weight will fall onto the inside of your heels.

Other Reasons For Wearing Down The Heels Of Your Shoes


Not all people with uneven heel wear patterns have a Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.  There are other conditions that result in the uneven wearing of the heels of your shoes.  For example; if you have trauma to the leg, thigh or hip that results in an anatomically short leg, you will automatically walk on the outside of the shortened leg in an attempt to lengthen it.  Another example is Polio, which dramatically changes how you walk due to atrophy in the leg and thigh muscles.  This gait change can dramatically impact how the heels of your shoes wear.

Or you may have an abnormal foot structure even though the heels of your shoes are not unevenly worn down.

Shoes with durable heels made of hard rubber will show the heel wear patterns much more slowly, or not at all (if you wear them infrequently) compared to shoes with heels of soft rubber or foam-like material (e.g., flip flops) where the heel wear pattern is seen quickly. This is also true if you rotate your shoes or get rid of them quickly for fashion reasons.

So take a look at the heels of your oldest pair of shoes.  First be sure that they are not made of hard rubber, so that you can spot a potential uneven heel wear pattern.  If the heel wear is more on the outside, you may have a Rothbarts Foot.  If it is on the inside, you may have a PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.

To find out if you may have one of two common inherited, abnormal foot structures that cause chronic muscle and joint pain, take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire. 

As you learn more about my 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 me 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 the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain 

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7 Responses to “If You Unevenly Wear Down The Heels Of Your Shoes, You May Have An Abnormal Foot Structure”
  1. Cora says:

    The heels on my shoes have always worn out unevenly and no one has ever suggested that it might be pointing out a reason I have always struggled with back pain. Why don’t doctors tell you this stuff?

  2. Rothbart says:

    Dear Cora,

    When your shoes wear unevenly, it’s a warning sign. There is a direct link between the pattern of your shoe wear and the probability of your developing back pain. The more uneven your shoe wear pattern, the more likely you will have back pain.

    Why doctors don’t tell you this? Your guess is as good as mine. There certainly is enough information published about the correlation between shoes and back pain.

    Professor Rothbart

  3. Christina says:

    I would guess it’s outside of the experience of most Podiatrists or Orthpedists as not many docs would ever think to check the bottom of someone’s shoes, especially if it’s not an extremely noticeable walking issue.

  4. Lora says:

    My heals on my shoes only wear off on my right foot on the outside, not on both feet, what would cause that.

  5. Rothbart says:

    Dear Lora,

    Outside heel wear pattern on one shoe only is an indication of a possible occlusal (bite) problem.

    Professor Rothbart

  6. Levi says:

    Hello Professor Rothbart,

    I’m not sure if you’ll see this after so much time, but I’m reading up on overpronation and excessive supination, and everything I’m seeing (for both!) seems to show shoe wear like this, with the outer part of the heel wearing away.

    I’m certain that I have one of these problems or the other– some kind of pronation-supination imbalance– but my heels wear away diagonally the other way, which is to say the inner side wears away. from the back they look like this: / \ (using these symbols I would represent the above photo as \ /…)

    What does this mean?

  7. Rothbart says:

    Excessive inside heel wear can be the result of:
    (1) Trauma
    (2) Tarsal Coalition
    (3) PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity

    Professor Rothbart

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