Heel Elevation

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

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June 01 2016
Ritchie Foster

Can these foot problems (neuromas, capsulitis, hammertoes, bunions) cause back pain and difficulty walking?

June 01 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, Ritchie,

Thank you for your message and what a great question! Your feet are the foundation of your body, and problems in the feet can indeed lead to musculoskeletal problems other parts of your body, including your knees, hips, and back. Good postural alignment starts with good alignment in the foot, and though there certainly are other possible causes of back pain and difficulty walking (and you should definitely check with a healthcare provider about those), tending to the foot problems you mentioned is an important consideration.

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

July 04 2016
Karen Vaughan

So what do you think of the negative heel Earth Shoes?

July 04 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, Karen,

Thank you for your message. And thank you for your question.

Our general approach to footwear involves assessing each model for the various design elements that, in our experience, we’ve found to be optimal for the foot. One such design element is a completely flat sole from heel to toe. The foot functions best when it’s allowed to operate on a level plane, and so anything that deviates from that (whether it be an elevated heel or a heel drop, in the case of Earth Shoes) destabilizes the main foot arch and promotes imbalances in the feet and toes.

The negative heel of the Earth Shoe may provide a stretch to the Achilles tendon—and most people who have worn conventional shoes for many years might benefit from lengthening out their Achilles tendon—but to put the foot in this configuration for long periods of time is unnatural and does not allow the main foot arch to function as nature intended.

Also, Earth Shoes tend to have a fairly substantial amount of cushioning and material between the foot and the ground, which is something that we believe encourages increased joint impact and a less than optimal gait.

I have included some resources below that I think you may find helpful. Please let us know if you have any further questions. We are here to help!

Natural Arch Support:

What is Natural Arch Support?:

The Shoe Cushioning Myth:

Free e-course: Are you Curious About Feet and Footwear Myths?:

I hope this info helps!

Kind regards,
Laura Trentman

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