Common Footwear Myths

Almost everything you've heard about   "Good Footwear" and what is required for healthy feet is wrong.

Common Footwear Myths


  • Cushioning the feet reduces damaging shock and stress.
  • Orthotics correct faulty foot biomechanics.
  • It is important to wear good supportive shoes.
  • Foot problems are hereditary.


Cushioning will actually cause:

  • dampening of healthy sensory input
  • reduced functional robustness of the neuromuscular system
  • poor inefficient skeletal alignment
  • increased damaging stresses

Long term use of supportive orthotics will actually cause:

  • dampening of healthy sensory input
  • neuromuscular atrophy and loss of functional robustness
  • skeletal atrophy
  • increased damaging stresses

Most foot-related problems (in the feet, legs, hips, and back) are not hereditary, they are caused by the regular use of conventional footwear. 

Who has foot problems and why?

“Over 66% of North American’s feet hurt on a regular basis” American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS)

“More women (74%) than men (57%) surveyed said their feet hurt, and more women (75%) than men (39%) said their feet hurt when they wear certain shoes.” American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS)

“High heels and improperly fitting shoes are to blame for 90 percent of foot deformities and ankle injuries suffered by American women,” said Dr. Schuberth. “High heels place undue pressure on the forefoot and have been shown to lead to bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, and other ailments.” American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS)

“75% of North Americans will experience foot health problems at one time or another in their lifetimes.” American Podiatric Medical Association

“… an estimated eight out of ten people in the U.S. have undetected gait problems that cause sore feet, aching backs and hips, and pains in the leg and neck.” Gait Analysis Steps Into New Fields, Mechanical Engineering

“Less than 3% of habitually barefoot populations exhibit foot-related problems and almost none of these are debilitating.” Shulman S., Survey in China and India of Feet That Have Never Worn Shoes.

“All writers who have reported their observations of barefooted people agree that the untrammeled feet of natural men are free from the disabilities commonly noted among shod people – hallux valgus, bunions, hammer toes, and painful feet.” Stewart SF., Footgear—Its History, Uses and Abuses, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

“In unshod communities the foot muscles get freedom for exercise and the joints remain supple. This is why functional disorders of the foot are so rarely seen in such people.” I sometimes like to look upon closed shoes as braces …which takes up the work of muscles causing them to atrophy from disuse and make the joints stiff.” Sethi PK., The Foot and Footwear. Prosthetics and Orthotics International

“Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person. Natural gait means the pristine, ideal state; the ideal form and function stemming from nature itself. Conventional footwear is designed around “Normal” foot function ideologies that are based on the accumulated observations of shoe-wearing populations. “Normal” being an accepted standard, means, or average.” William A. Rossi, Podiatrist

“Unfortunately, my profession, which initially arose to treat the problems caused by shoes, has largely focused on the shoe rather than the foot. We are brilliant at mitigating some of the adverse effects of shoes, and of course treating the pathologies & deformities which shoes inevitably cause! I only realized about two years ago that most feet can function perfectly well, in fact actually function optimally, without shoes. The medical and scientific evidence spanning over 100 years proves that shoes not only damage feet, but increase the risk of pathology in ankles, knees, hips & backs.” Steve Bloor, Podiatrist

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