In this video, Dr. Ray McClanahan, a sports podiatrist at Northwest Foot and Ankle and the inventor of Correct Toes, describes the Shoe Liner Test and explains why excessive pronation is such a common problem in our society. The Shoe Liner Test is a simple test that involves pulling the liner out of your shoe (or a shoe that you are thinking of buying) and standing on it. If any part of your toes hang over the edge of the liner, your shoe is probably too narrow to sufficiently accommodate healthy toe splay. Some peoples' feet may, in fact, fit within the margins of their shoes' liners, though it’s likely that their toes have been molded into a deformed position by the tapering toe boxes of conventional footwear.
Pronation is the inward rolling of the ankle. A certain degree of pronation is inevitable and normal when standing, walking, or running, though excessive pronation may lead to lower extremity problems. As Dr. Ray explains in this video, restoring the big toe to its normal anatomical position (i.e., in line with the inside edge of the foot) has a supinatory effect on the foot, making excessive pronation almost impossible. Proper toe splay helps stabilize the foot and reduces excessive wear and tear on the foot and ankle joints. Please see this article for additional reasons to realign your big toe. This video discusses the topic of pronation vs. overpronation in more detail.
Here is another great video demonstrating the Shoe Liner Test:
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Dr. Marty Hughes is a chiropractic physician, or DC. He received his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC), now known as the University of Western States (UWS). Dr. Marty has always been interested in foot health, due to the connection between the feet and the spine. He has worked as a freelance writer for LiveStrong.com, for whom he contributed over 2,200 health-and-fitness articles. He is a co-founder of Natural Footgear and an ardent supporter of natural foot care approaches. Dr. Marty enjoys road cycling, hiking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing as well as exploring the mountains of Western North Carolina.