Educational Articles

Rigid Soles

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:

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June 01, 2016

I was amused to read about the hazards of hard soles when that is exactly what I am seeking for my bicycle adventures. The rat-trap pedals hurt my feet when they dig through the soft rubber soles. I remember when shoes were hard leather soled. I can’t use modern bike shoes due to the silly straps atop them. I use toe clips, which means I must insert the toe of my shoe without hindrance.

June 01, 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, John,

Thank you for your message and for checking out our article about rigid soles! I would suggest trying out the Topo Sante (a current shoe offering on the Natural Footgear site). It incorporates a Boa closure system and is a good option for flat-pedal cycling, as it has a slightly stiffer sole than some of our other offerings. In addition, instead of “rat-trap” pedals, have you heard of Power Grips? This is a great product for cyclists who want to stick with (or shift to) flat pedals. Also, you might like this article about cycling shoe surgery:

Wishing you the best in foot health, and please let us know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Laura Trentman

August 26, 2016

My understanding is that rigid soles are actually a good thing for people with a Morton’s neuroma because they keep the foot from flexing and pinching the nerve.

August 26, 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, Dan,

Thank you for your comment. There are two principle forces that cause neuromas to develop in any part of the body, including the foot:

1. Pinch forces
2. Stretch forces

Wearing conventional footwear subjects the foot to both these forces via tapering toe boxes (pinch) and heel elevation and toe spring (stretch). So, the nerves in the ball of the foot are already vulnerable in conventional footwear, and then adding rigid soles into the mix increases the pressure on the nerves (and other sensitive ball of foot structures) that much more.

Here are some resources that you might find helpful if you want to dive deeper into the topic of neuromas:

Neuromas eCourse:

Neuromas & Natural Foot Health:

Neuromas: Conventional vs. Natural Approaches:

I hope this info helps!

Kind regards,
Laura Trentman

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