Dr. Elena's Foot Corner
Welcome. If you are on this page we have a common interest. For me, I spent years doing what most shoe companies, doctors, podiatrists, and chiropractors were telling me was right for my feet. But why then was I so reliant on my orthotics? Why did I still have knee pain and dreaded running at 24 years old? I was a NCAA Division I athlete. I didn't want to be one of those other ex-collegiate volleyball players with knees that are shot "from playing." So I was in a seminar by Dr. Ray McClanahan, a podiatrist out of Portland, OR. He made me realise how we have to look at feet as moving, functional parts of our bodies. Too often we treat our feet as if we got a faulty pair. We blame concrete and hardwood floors for why our feet hurt. So I bought my first pair of minimalist shoes , I started training my feet, and I haven't looked back since. In 2015 I ran my first half marathon, something I wouldn't have thought possible. Now I take the knowledge I gained over 6 years of focusing on feet, and I use it to treat foot problems with much success. Your feet can change and exercises, adjustments, and soft tissue manipulation can help make the change be faster and easier. If you have foot problems, set up an appointment. When your feet are healthy, you are healthier.
The idea is to point to you in the right direction for buying shoes. Any time that you are switching from traditional shoes that you are reliant on for support and cushioning to a minimalist shoe you must transition into it. Things need to stretch and strengthen. Remember, you want your shoes to be FLAT, FLEXIBLE, and WIDE IN THE TOES.
FLAT: "Zero drop," as it is referred to in the shoe world. This positions your foot and ankle in a neutral position. When the heel is raised up it changes the angle of momentum into the knee, causing more stress and wear on the joints. It also makes you less stable at the ankle and more suseptible to rolling an ankle. It shortens the resting position of your calf muscles and hamstrings making them tighter.
FLEXIBLE: There are 26 bones and 33 joints in the foot. That's a lot of movement in one area. So why stabilize and put rigid structures in the shoe. Pronation and supination are functional movements, if you over pronate or supinate you can train your feet. And then keep your feet strong by letting it move and letting the muscles work. In both patients and myself I've seen postural changes in the foot and "flat feet" or "fallen arches" rise up.
WIDE TOE BOX: When we are born, the widest part of the foot are the toes. It is because of tapered shoes that our toes lose strength and become more condensed, they don't develop that way on their own. Look at the feet of anyone of a barefoot culture, their feet stay like as a baby. In losing that stance in the toes you lose stability and strength for the rest of the foot and everything above it. If your toes have already deconditioned, I strongly recommend the use of CorrectToes which we sell in our office.