Educational Articles

Heel Elevation

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND


The above content is for educational or informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or augment professional medical instruction, diagnosis, or treatment. Read full disclaimer here.

Essential Footgear:

Related articles:

Tapering Toe Boxes

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Toe box taper—the narrowing of a shoe from the ball of your foot to the ends of your toes—is one of the most harmful features of conventional footwear.... Read more

Toe Spring

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Toe spring is a toe-deforming shoe feature present in most shoes, including athletic shoes. Toe spring is the elevation of your shoe’s toe box above the ground or... Read more
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

December 13, 2016
Olga Garcia

I had an Achilles operation 11 weeks ago. I’m looking to wear the right footgear.

December 13, 2016
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Olga,

Thank you for your comment. Recovering from Achilles surgery is a delicate process! My best recommendation is to speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner in your area about specific approaches for you and your particular situation. Here is a list of healthcare providers who have at least some understanding of natural foot care concepts and approaches:

You might also check out this article that discusses post-surgical considerations:

Good luck to you in your recovery!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

February 13, 2018

I have just begun to wear Correct Toes for a few days now because I have a Morton’s neuroma. I can actually walk with stocking or bare feet with them on. I couldn’t before. I am looking forward to more positive feedback soon.

My 34-year-old son has severe scoliosis but it is being stabilized with an alternative type brace for several years now, and he is blessed with having no pain.

He has always used shoes with ample toe space and he doesn’t have any trouble with his feet, although I notice on the bottom of his shoes they are worn out more on one side.

Should he wear Correct Toes?

February 13, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Janis,

Thank you for your comment! We’re happy to hear about your progress!

In our experience, we’ve found Correct Toes to be an excellent tool for maintaining proper foot health and function. The spacers help establish a solid foundation for the rest of the musculoskeletal system, which is a positive thing for just about everyone, including those, like your son, who have scoliotic spines. Of course, whether or not your son adopts Correct Toes is a conversation to have with his foot care provider.

I hope this info is helpful! Please do let us know if you have any additional questions.

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

Join The Discussion

Please note that we do not provide medical advice or comment on specific health problems.

Comments need to be approved before showing up.