Education

Are Clogs a Foot-Healthy Choice?

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

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Comments
April 20 2015
Dana Lloyd

I read the article about clogs and wondered what your opinion of Croc type shoes is. Many have the features you encourage, and I realize with their growing style selection not all fit the natural footwear concept. For a basic roc though, could you share your opinion?

Also, any word on children’s correct toes? My daughter (11) needs them very much. She currently wear size 4 still from the children’s sizes (not yet women’s size yet).

Thank you!
Dana

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Dana,

Thank you for your message. We were early adopters of Crocs back when they were the only foot-healthy shoe option available, and we still like certain models of Crocs, especially the Rx Relief model, though many models no longer support natural foot health (as you noted in your comment).

Children’s Correct Toes (www.naturalfootgear.com/products/correct-toes) are now available on the Natural Footgear site! They are the “Small” size.

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

April 20 2015
Callie Jordan

Oh, wow, how hard it is to find shoes for those of us whose feet have suffered years of bad shoes and now need more than “only a very thin layer of material between your foot and the ground.” I agree I don’t need arch support and any other artificial positioning from my shoes, but I do need some padding in the sole to cushion my malformations while I try to heal them with proper shoes and exercises. So PLEASE tell the shoe manufacturers to leave room for more in the shoe than just my foot.

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Callie,

We hear you! It takes a long time to rehabilitate the feet and toes after years of wearing conventional footwear, but the destination is worth the journey. I hope you are having success on your journey toward optimal foot health!

Best,
Marty Hughes, DC

April 20 2015
Stasia

I work long days in a retail environment on hard floors, almost no padding. Cushioning seems to help. What shoes would you recommend that don’t have the issues noted in this article, but still provide cushioning for the 8 and 10 hours days on a hard floor on my feet?

Thanks!

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Stasia,

Thank you for your comment. Altra shoes (www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/altra-shoes) are a good option. The models possess varying degrees of sole thickness and cushioning, and they can be an excellent transition shoe from conventional footwear to more minimalist-like models.

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

April 20 2015
Elizabeth Barrett-Futcher

Great article, and I suspect my years of wearing clogs are the reason for my present foot pain and deformed toes. I have just purchased you toes spacers, socks, and supports on line. I have been a Dansko wearer for 7 years and now have daily pain in my toes. When I look down at my toes from above, my 2nd toe from the big toe visibly curls to the left like a reverse C. It is extremely painful constantly and walking on it causes pain on the ball of the foot underneath. Will the toe spacers help?

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Elizabeth,

Thank you for your comment and your kind words about the article. And thank you for your recent order! We appreciate your business.

In our experience, we’ve seen folks with all sorts of toe deformities, including curly toes, benefit from Correct Toes. How quickly you personally respond to Correct Toes and other natural foot health approaches depends on many factors, including your age, how many years you have worn conventional footwear, how regularly you use your Correct Toes (especially in a weight-bearing situation), and the characteristics of your body’s soft tissues (i.e., how rigid or flexible your connective tissues are).

Please see this page for more info on results and expectations: www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/product-info/17922240-correct-toes-results-expectations

I wish you the best of luck on your journey toward optimal foot health. If you have any additional questions, please do send them my way!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

April 20 2015
Kris

Good info. Just got into living “barefoot” style. Really loving it. I always loved my Croc clogs, but I see now that they were really bad in a bunch of ways. Life is much better with minimalist shoes.

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Thank you for your comment, Kris! I’m happy to hear that you’re enjoying your minimalist shoes and “barefoot” living. If you ever have any questions about natural approaches to foot and toe health, please do let me know; I’m happy to help out however I can!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes

April 20 2015
Lori Simpson

I just purchased some Danskos for my nursing school shoes. I have been trying to break them in, but they are hurting the top of my foot and do not seem willing to stretch out as advertised. I am about to send them back, if possible. Anyway, I have hard orthotics from a podiatrist that were fitted over a decade ago to deal with my extensive heel spurs/plantar fasciitis. I was told that the heel spurs came from wearing shoes that did not support my feet properly. The orthotics do make my feet more comfortable. I was told never to go barefoot again, as I used to do that often, and wear flats that had no arch support at all and no heel. I am very confused by all the different opinions I see. All I know is that going barefoot hurts my heels very much, even though I like it on the rest of my feet. I cannot imagine running barefoot–my heels would just die. Where can I go for information about MY feet? What should I look for in a podiatrist? They all seem to say different stuff.

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Lori,

Thank you for your comments. You’re exactly right about there being contradicting information concerning foot health. Our approach involves addressing what’s most often the underlying cause of common foot and toe ailments: unhealthy footwear. Our goal is to restore proper foot anatomy and function by allowing the foot to function like a bare foot inside of the shoe. There are a lot reasons why this method is effective for most people most of the time, and if you read through the site, especially the Foot Anatomy 101 page (www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/foot-anatomy-101) and the Education section (www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education), you’ll find information regarding natural foot health methods.

Also, a lot of folks who experience heel discomfort benefit from incorporating heel cups (www.naturalfootgear.com/products/tulis-heel-cups) into their foot health routine.

If you have further questions, please just send them our way.

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

April 20 2015
Peter

I have read the article about clogs with great interest. I was at the point of purchasing a pair of wooden sandals for my girlfriend. However, having read the atricle, I really got confused whether or not it is a foot-healthy choice indeed. Do the merely flat wooden sandals without any heel elevation also have the abovemetioned negative impact on the feet?

April 20 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Peter,

Thank you for your message. It’s hard for us to determine whether a particular shoe is foot-healthy without the opportunity to try them out in person. Our experience has led us to believe that a foot-healthy shoe is one that allows your foot to rest like a bare foot inside the shoe. A flat sole is one way you can allow this to happen, but it’s also often necessary that the sole of the shoe be more flexible and less rigid (www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17911672-rigid-soles).

I hope this has helped answer your question. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at info@naturalfootgear.com, and we’ll be happy to help however we can!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

August 03 2015
Diane

I have hallux rigidus and find stiff/rigid soles such as clogs with rocker bottoms to be the most accommodating for my feet. Do you have another suggestion?

August 11 2015
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Diane,

Thank you for your post. We always encourage people to listen to what their bodies are asking of them and what their bodies are saying would feel best and most supportive. It can vary widely from one body to another.

While we embrace the flexible-sole approach to footwear, we also recognize it is not for everybody. We emphatically endorse all of the footgear we offer on our website for most bodies, most of the time. Every model we offer features a flexible footbed, and we highly recommend that people who opt to venture this route take the appropriate time to adjust in order to afford their bodies a chance to really assess the new input, verifying whether it is a good fit for one or many conditions present in the body.

We also believe if someone has found what works for her/him, there might not be any need to make changes. Whatever the course you choose, we applaud your efforts in seeking your happiest, healthiest feet!

Kind regards,
Sarah K. Schuetz

August 02 2016
Victoria

Two years ago I was wearing clogs constantly for work, mainly because the ones I had found came from a nursing uniform store, were on sale, and had the best arch support of any shoe I could find at the time (I needed arch support to avoid foot pain then). I never attributed them to the bunions I started to develop; I just assumed they were a part of life associated with years of poor shoes in general, when in reality, the firm leather of the clogs probably prevented my toes from getting the room they needed.

In the end, I couldn’t wear any shoe at all. I was literally wearing slippers or mesh water/boat shoes and using crutches because I was going to fall down from the pain. I ended up having surgery on my right bunion. I’ve been having trouble finding shoes that don’t inflame even the repaired bunion, so I’m finally taking the plunge with some of your products.

August 02 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, Victoria,

Thank you for your sharing your story. I know that a lot of folks out there can relate. We are here to help you however we can with customer service, blog articles, and sizing information for every product. A first approach that many people have found helpful is to adopt Correct Toes as part of a daily foot care routine:

www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/toe-spacers/products/correct-toes

Correct Toes helps increase circulation, strengthen intrinsic foot muscles, and promote natural arch support. In addition, Correct Toes will guide your big toe and your other toes in line with their corresponding metatarsal bones, helping to prevent a recurrence of your bunion.

A lot of folks with similar considerations have found that Lems Primal 2 shoes are an excellent starting point for postsurgical foot rehabilitation:

www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/womens-lems-primal-2-shoes

I have included some resources below that I think may be helpful to you as you progress through the foot rehabilitation process:

Bunions:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17856628-bunions

Big Toe Stretch:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17856416-big-toe-stretch

Bunions & Heredity:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17856668-bunions-heredity

Natural Arch Support:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17888744-natural-arch-support

Free e-Course on Bunions:
www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/do-you-have-foot-pain

Bunions: Conventional vs. Natural Approaches:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17856712-bunions-conventional-vs-natural-approaches

Six Ways to Restore Foot Health After Surgery:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17914760-six-ways-to-restore-foot-health-after-surgery

Kind regards,
Laura Trentman

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