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What Are the Worst Types of Footwear?

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC

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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.

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Comments
February 23, 2021
Karen

Great article. I have given up on the idea of ever being able to skate or cross-country ski again, because of the footwear. After 5 years of wearing foot-healthy shoes, my feet have reached their true width in the forefoot and toes, and they literally will not fit into skates or ski boots. I long for the day when athletic footwear makers heed your message.

February 23, 2021
Natural Footgear

Thank you for your kind words, Karen! Much obliged. I encourage you to reach out to the individual skate and ski boot brands/companies to voice your opinion. The manufacturers need to hear from their customer base (or the customers they are losing) in order for them to understand how important it is to make the changes that all of us know are necessary.

All the best,
Marty Hughes, DC

February 26, 2021
Paul

I converted to foot-healthy, minimalist footwear about 4 years ago, but I also happen to love climbing. Climbing shoes are kind of a necessary evil—they make it easy to stand on tiny footholds, and they provide traction for “smearing” on smooth rock faces, but they’re the antithesis of what one might consider to be “foot-healthy.” What I did find was that after 4 years, my feet have gotten healthy and strong enough that I can spend an afternoon in climbing shoes without discomfort, which never would have been possible before. So, I give credit to my foot-healthy lifestyle for allowing me to keep climbing for the long haul. Just thought I’d share this to let other would-be foot-healthy climbers out there know that there is hope. :)

February 26, 2021
Natural Footgear

Thank you for your comment, Paul! It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve built up the kind of foot strength and resiliency that can easily counter multi-hour bouts in climbing shoes. That’s pretty much a best-case scenario for rock climbers, I think, as there appears to be very little about the footwear itself that is changeable (not true of most other sport-specific footwear, but probably true for rock climbing shoes). What you’re describing is something that we often tell folks (especially women) who are absolutely required to wear heels or conventional dress footwear for formal events. Do the deed if you absolutely must, but practice the best possible foot care techniques at all other times.

All the best,
Marty Hughes, DC

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