Educational Articles: Footwear: Problems

10 Best Natural Foot Health Tools & Tips

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

10 best natural foot health tools & tips

The need for natural and conservative alternatives to conventional foot and toe treatments has never been greater. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately 43.1 million Americans have foot problems, and the cost of foot surgery to correct problems associated with improper footwear—bunions, hammertoes, corns and calluses, among others—is about $2 billion per year. The... Read more

Are Clogs a Foot-Healthy Choice?

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Myths abound in the footwear industry, and many types of shoes that are purported to be “good for your feet” can actually lead to foot pain and problems. In this article, we take a closer look at clogs, a style of shoe that many believe promotes foot health but is, unfortunately, a common contributer to a variety of foot ills. Read on to learn all about clogs... Read more


Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet?

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC

Are flip-flops bad for your feet?

The flip-flops discussion—are they healthy, are they not—seems to come up every year once the weather turns nice. There are wide-ranging opinions on the merits and pitfalls of flip-flops for foot health, and many healthcare professionals possess strong views on this ubiquitous warm weather footwear. In fact, the topic of flip-flops often generates a lot of controversy, seemingly out... Read more

Conventional Footwear: Contemporary Foot Binding?

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Foot binding, the practice of tightly binding the foot to stifle foot growth, was performed on young, upper class girls in China to make their movements and gait appear more feminine, and it was practiced even well into the 20th century. This practice caused extreme pain and long-term disabilities in those who underwent the procedure, and some elderly individuals in China may still suffer from the debilitating... Read more


Cycling Shoe Surgery

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Despite changes in materials and construction techniques, not much about the shape of cycling shoes has changed over the years. Cycling shoes, like rock-climbing shoes and soccer cleats, are notoriously constricting (and uncomfortable) footwear, as they hold the big and little toes in bunion and bunionette configuration, respectively, for prolonged periods during rides. They also contribute to hot spots, ingrown toenails, plantar fascia pain, hammertoes, and other... Read more

Fashion Footwear & Foot Health

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

What foot issues are commonly caused by women's fashion footwear? Many. Among the most common are bunions, plantar fasciosis (often inaccurately referred to as plantar "fasciitis"), hammertoes, neuromas, and ingrown toenails. There are three main "features" of fashion footwear that, over time, cause foot problems in women. These design elements are heel elevation (the heel is elevated above the forefoot), tapering toe box (the toe box gets... Read more


Fashion Footwear Survival Guide

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

You’re a contemporary fashionista who dresses to impress. You faithfully don your high heels to conform to business dress standards, impress your employees, boss, or coworkers, and look fierce, maybe even sexy. You’re aware that wearing your fashionable heels may result in painful footsteps, but, well, you’re willing to squeeze them on for the sake of good looks. If this description mirrors your experience and thoughts, you... Read more

Feet & Footwear Myths

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

If you look at the foot of a young child, you will notice that his or her toes are spaced well apart. The foot of a young child is naturally designed for optimal balance and gait, and if the foot maintains this shape, optimal stride is preserved through old age: a finding observed in barefoot populations the world over. In industrialized societies, however, people spend a lifetime... Read more


Footwear & Knee Osteoarthritis

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC

Knee osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a common health problem in the United States, especially among the elderly. This health problem, notes the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, is one of the top five most common causes of disability in older individuals. The risk for knee osteoarthritis-related disability, states the Academy, is comparable to the likelihood of disability from cardiovascular disease. Knee osteoarthritis is defined by... Read more

Heel Elevation

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Heel elevation

Heel elevation is a design element present in almost every shoe, from dress shoes to work boots to running shoes, though there is little (if any) compelling evidence to account for its inclusion in shoes or other footwear. Most people in the United States and other parts of the world begin wearing shoes when they learn to walk, some even before. Almost all... Read more