Choosing healthful footwear. One chiropractor’s, 5-point, wellness-based perspective.


hi folks this is dr. John Collins of
Springbrook chiropractic in Newberg Oregon and I would like to take a few
moments about twenty five minutes to talk to you about one myself one chiropractors
opinion regarding Footwear I’ve been in practice almost 25 years now I’ve had
many patients over the years inquire about footwear ask me about Footwear
common questions are what kind of shoes should I get what do you think are the
best brands of shoes are orthotics a good idea so I want to address some of
those issues today and I want to first say that you know I’m not a podiatrist I
want to just kind of do a disclaimer there are foot doctors out there that
are foot doctors that foot surgeons they specialize in the foot they’re called
podiatrist doctors of Podiatric medicine they are surgeons they’re physicians
they they do a lot of things with the feet I’m not a podiatrist I’m not a foot
doctor so my advice is shouldn’t be taken as a foot doctor my advice though
as a chiropractor is more about Footwear and its impact overall on your overall
health and its impact on your your spine in particular because we’re very focused
on the spine in chiropractic I happen to practice in Oregon where we don’t have
to limit our scope to the spine the entire body is actually in in our scope
of practice so that is why a number of chiropractors like myself we may
investigate the areas outside the spine including the foot and we may sometimes
give advice regarding that so in excuse me in my personal practice I do put a
fair amount of attention to the foot and the lower what we call the lower
extremity the leg the hip the knee the ankle the foot
so my second disclaimer that I want to make clear is that if you could
visualize a bell curve I don’t know if all of you know what a bell curve is but
there’s something in statistics and it’s used in science it’s a it’s a curve
that’s kind of shaped like a bell and many things in nature fall inside a bell
curve you you can look at distributions of things a variety of things in nature
like the size of a tree for example of a particular species and you’ll see that
most of the trees in that species are within a certain size and then there’s
going to be some that are smaller and there’s going to be some that are larger
and it’s true in biology across the board that you’re often going to see
these bell curve distributions with respect to all kinds of biomechanical
and biologically related issues so if we think about a bell curve of humans of
people there are people on on the on the end of the bell curve over here it’s a
minority of people these are people that they’ve always loved being barefoot they
can walk on concrete without shoes they’re always barefoot around the house
they’re the first ones to toss their shoes off at the beach or somewhere and
go barefoot they can walk around on sharp rocky pebble beaches and they
don’t have any problem they love being barefoot they don’t have too many
problems with their feet they don’t have any pain they don’t seem to have any
issues that’s one end of the bell curve this video really isn’t it for you so if
you’re one of those people that just is always want to be barefoot and you’ve
never had any issues with your feet it’s probably really this video is not really
directed toward you on the other end of that bell curve or on the end of the end
of the spectrum there are people who just have so many
problems with their feet now it’s it’s also it’s a bit of an older crowd
usually maybe over 40 these are people that just can’t be barefoot they hate
being barefoot their feet are very tender they’re they have so called you
know flat feet they don’t have a lot of strength in their feet perhaps their
feet feel very sensitive they can’t go without a lot of
cushioning a lot of you know protection maybe they’re a little older maybe
packing on a lot of weight too so this video is not really for that group
either this video is for kind of the middle-of-the-road person that maybe has
had issues with feet had issues with footwear problems but generally speaking
they they haven’t been diagnosed with any severe foot issues foot deformities
they haven’t had foot surgery for example and those folks in the middle
here is really who I’m talking to okay all right so now what to look for
in Footwear um I can summarize my recommendations for most people now
these are the people the majority of people these aren’t the barefoot lovers
I’m talking about and these aren’t people that have had foot surgery or
serious foot conditions or have you know substantial foot issues I’m not really
talking to you guys I’m talking about most people there’s five points
basically that I would say …1- we’re gonna I’m going to talk to you about
upgrading the insert that comes with your shoe 2- I’m gonna teach you what is
called the taco test, 3- I’m gonna emphasize the importance of a wide toe
box, 4- we’re going to talk about heel lift and how much your heel should be
lifted and 5- cushioning sufficient cushioning okay so let me show you some
shoes these are shoes that I wear and I’m not going to talk too much about
brands because brand can’t keep up with brands its 2018 right
now and the brands that used to be known as motion control and protective very
bulky shoes you know they make most brands that make all kinds of shoes you
know so they’re just trying to sell shoes to people but I do want to give
you an analogy of the hands and the feet the hands and the feet aren’t that much
different okay so my hands right now bear now if I’m going to go out of my
backyard I’m at home right now if I’m gonna go out in my backyard and I’m
gonna work in the yard I’m gonna put some protection on my hands as I’m
pulling on the rose or the thorns or the blackberries or whatever I’m not gonna
do that bare hand I’m gonna get protection to stop my hand from being
injured but you’ll notice I have mobility my hand isn’t being corrected
it’s being protected the same is true of footwear the emphasis should be on
protection rather than correction now there’s a time and a place for
correction with some people okay but the emphasis should be on protection rather
than correction your feet you know your feet aren’t bad they don’t need to be
corrected your hands usually don’t need to be corrected most people’s hands are
okay there’s all kinds of hands out there and most people’s hands are okay
same is true with the feet most people feet are okay with some
exceptions some people have feet that are so damaged deformed immobile they’re
they’re basically atrophied they’re weak the bones have problems the ligaments
have problems I mean those if that’s for the podiatrist and believe me we send
people off to our neighbor the podiatrist and our good doctor
colleagues but that’s not who I’m talking about today so I’m just gonna
show you some shoes I wear okay so first of all gonna talk about
upgrading the insert most shoes will come with some kind of an insert insert
this has happens to be a Merrill insert but I’m not knocking on Merrill I like
Merrill in some ways but inserts by and large in
shoes, are just there nonsense, they’re garbage they’re just for show
they don’t do anything …first of all they hardly cushion at all most of them…
secondly, they have what’s called a fake it’s a it’s a it’s a heel cup but it’s
fake this doesn’t do anything that’s a fake heel cup I’ll talk to you what a
heel cup is in a second this is supposed to be the medial arch that’s a fake arch
it’s nothing this doesn’t do anything it’s just a
little piece of thin rubber so in most cases with few exceptions get rid of the
insert and upgrade your insert I’m not going to necessarily push a brand but
we’re in 2018 brands change but I happen to like this what’s called an
over-the-counter insert I’m not sure if the word is backward on the video but
it’s orthoheel, orthoheel is the brand and this is called it says tried planar
motion control this is not a custom product but it is one of my favorite if
not my favorite for the money over the counter inserts you can purchase these
in some stores I think Big Five in Oregon has them you can buy them in our
office we sell them because I like them so much and they’re kind of hard to find
but these are probably similar to something called super feet that you may
have heard of their super feet grain super feet blue I just think these are a
little better than super feet they have a real a real heel cup in other words
it’s a cup where your heel sits in you need a heel cup and the reason is your
heel has fat under it and the fact is what protects your heel when you strike
the ground and when the heel is being cupped by a heel cup the fat pad is
packed together and acts as a better shock absorber number two it has a
legitimate medial longitudinal arch medial support and I generally like where it’s
positioned I think it’s positioned properly whereas
on some of the I think on the super feet I just think there
a little too posterior for a lot of people and it has a little bit of extra
cushioning here in the forefeet under the metatarsal heads here and under the
calcaneus there it’s a good product it’s called ortho heel so you upgrade your
insert by buying something you know maybe you could find it in a running
shoe store or whatever but you can also get it at our office now but this is
another level here this is a custom orthotic custom milled this happens to
be a company called am fit that makes this this happens to
be about an 8 year old orthotic it’s mine so it’s kind of grody
sorry about that but this is a custom orthotic that’s made out of basically an
elastic type material it’s flexible okay it is custom made to my foot topography
okay it has a medial arch in the exact place where my arches it has a heel cup
exactly where my heel is it also has a very subtle metatarsal arch which it can
barely be seen here but there is another arch in the front here the foot actually
has an arch in that part of your Anatomy called the metatarsal arch this thing
you know retail is like 180 bucks this thing here is maybe 36 $40 something
like that and this is what comes with the shoe this is garbage
in my opinion in most shoes get rid of it and you’ll do it’s worth the
investment to spend the money on that stuff okay so let’s get into shoes so
upgrade the insert number two so this is a shoe I I beat around the office in
these are called Olakais I think they’re like Hawaiian style shoes you
can stand on the heel like a surfer you know so I am casual in my office and I
like a shoe that is flexible the shoe it protects me obviously it’s made out of
leather but there is a test it’s very important it’s called the taco test
okay the taco test is can you bend the shoe like a taco
most shoes do not pass the taco test most shoes probably 90% of shoes that
are sold will not pass the taco test this is where this gets very frustrating
because you can have a difficult time finding a shoe that passes the taco test
at the very least the shoes should pass the taco test up in the forefoot but in
the mid section I believe the foot should pass the taco
test in other words be able to be bent in the middle why because your feet move
your feet need to move they need to be permitted to move they need to be
allowed to move your feet have dozens of muscles just like your hands do inside
the feet they’re called intrinsic foot musculature if you don’t allow the foot
to move and you put it in a rigid rigid what we call foot coffin if you put your
foot in a foot coffin it’s just like a wooden box your foot just sits there and
it it just atrophies over time remember I talked about my gardening gloves okay
so I have my gardening gloves they allow my hands to move but imagine if I put
money hands in a rigid like a boxing glove all day for 16 hours if you ever
see a boxer take off the boxing gloves you know they take off their boxing
gloves in it and they unwrap everything in a gosh you know they have to get
their hands moving again ah you know because everything stiffens up and if
you do that with your feet your feet actually but what can become weaker okay
so that was a casual footwear for the office here’s a casual footwear maybe in
the wintertime these are actually Doc Martens Doc Martens believe me they do
not make many shoes that pass the taco tests but I went to the doc marten store
and I found a really robust Doc Martens shoe that passes the taco test it’s also
waterproof you know I could beat around in the Oregon winter with this it’s a
great boot and I hate laces so you’re not going to see a lot of laces but I’m
not a big Fan of laces when I’m just wearing
casual shoes so it passes the taco test okay
so all these shoes are going to pass the taco test and then I’m going to show you
but also you want a to have a nice broad toe box Doc Martens are an example you
won’t see too many Doc Martens that are pointy toed they have a nice broad toe
box Doc Martens originally were I think law enforcement shoe and you know they
knew they couldn’t make a narrow shoe for these law enforcement people so a
nice wide toe box you need to have room up there for the front of the shoe
nothing pointy wide toe box okay so broad toe box passed the taco
test now let’s talk about heel lift for a second heel lift is how much higher
the back side of the shoe is versus the forefoot or the front
now most Footwear I believe has too much heel lift
now of course women that are wearing high heels and they were I mean that
stuff’s insane we’re in the 21st century someday I hope women figure it out and
they stop wearing that stuff the men are doing it sometimes too but heels have no
biomechanical purpose I was taught the history of heels has to do it’s a
fashion statement that has to do with way back when in
Europe if you had heels on your feet that meant you were wealthy enough to
own a horse because the only people that wore heels were people that had a horse
because the heel you put it in a stirrup it allows you to stay in the stirrup and
it allows you to ride the horse better so a heel was a status symbol and
somehow it jumped over and became a thing for women I just think they’re
absurd I mean but from a biomechanical perspective I understand the fashion and
the social pressure but they’re just they’re just no good for you there’s no
evidence that they’re good for you whatsoever and there’s lots of evidence
that they’re bad for you so forget heels but in normal footwear I believe they’re
jacked up too much I like about the five to twelve millimeter
elevation this shoe right here this is a blundestone blundestone and it has
zero it has zero lift but I wear my orthotic in this shoe and my orthotic
has a slight about a five millimeter lift so I’m actually wearing about a
five millimeter lift when I’m wearing this shoe but it has a zero zero drop
they’ll sometimes call it blundStone another company it’s European they make
a lot of boots this is an unusual blundestone in that
it’s a minimalist blundestone and you can pass the taco test with this it’ll
Bend quite well it’s a summertime boot you know basically that I wear okay so
let’s talk about a few other casual shoes that I wear there’s more Olakais
I just like this company you know they’ve been I’ve enjoyed them again
passes the taco test it’s a casual shoe it has good cushion though there’s good
cushion in there okay and my orthotics provide good cushion okay so the five
points again: 1-upgrade the insert 2-make sure the shoe passes the taco test 3-make
sure it’s got a roomy toe box 4-try to figure out what the heel lift is a lot
of manufacturers aren’t going to tell you what the heel lift is but five to 12
millimeters here’s here’s a pair of like all-purpose running shoes these are
Merrill’s they have about a 10 millimeter lift I believe they’re kind
of like a trail shoe so lots of cushioning fat toe box oh look at that
passes the taco test and I pulled out the insert that’s in it I put my own
insert in there and lots of cushioning so I’ll wear this on like when I’m
walking a rocky trail or a some place that’s kind of rough or when I go for a
jog I’ll wear these these are jogging shoes from me let’s go to running shoes
here’s those shoes I probably run the most in these are a Montrail Montrail
was orinally known as a company that made really
Hardy trail shoes but they do make some minimalist minimalist trail shoes that
pass the taco test so lots of good cushioning flexibility good protection
good good tread and nice wide toe box I put my inserts in there we’re good to go
for a more robust this is like a hiking shoe that we use a lot in Oregon if
we’re up in the mountains in Oregon we know we’re gonna look for a hiking shoe
it’s actually waterproof too but unlike most hiking shoes this thing passes the
taco test see this is actually Columbia looks like a Columbia shoe yeah
Columbia and so it’s the local company I love these you know that probably all
the shoes I love they’ll probably discontinue it but that’s a great shoe for
now in the summer time a lot of people wearing sandals these are just too cheap
Tevas that you can get at Fred Meyer or someplace like that but you know they’re
okay I like them because we get nice flexibility right some of these if I’m
going rafting or I’m gonna beat around walking in the river with my dog or
something going kayaking I like to wear something like this or at the beach wear
something like this and it’s got flexibility lots of flexibility okay now
I also have another version a more a more minimalist version I forget what
these are called Xero x-e-r-o this is like a minimalist Footwear shop in Portland is
where I bought these and I happen to really like these too they feel really
good again none of these shoes is the cheapest shoes here that you’re seeing
these are you know I paid a little more for some of these but I mean I really
think Footwear is important so you should spend a little bit more a cold
winter rainy winter in Oregon I’m out in my backyard what do I wear this is like
my backyard beat around do yard work when it’s wet and cold and nasty these
are Danner’s but even Danner’s which are known to
highly protective shoes even them I can get I could find some that are you know
have a good bend to them you know so these ones have a bend
they’re good shoes so 1-sufficient cushion 2-not too much heel lift 3-roomy toe box
4-past the taco test and 5-upgrade the insert and you’re going to be most of the time
most people are going to do well now I’m not saying all the time you do this
right I’m not saying you do it all the time if I’m up on Mount Hood sorry these
are very dirty these are my trusty old 25 year old Danner’s that have climbed a
mountain hut with been to the top of some big mountains and been up in the
rocky scree this thing ain’t gonna pass the taco tests it’s just not but if I
need a boot that’s gonna protect my foot from a lot of jagged things and and kind
of just keep everything stable this is a great boot but this is a stupid boot to
wear day in and day out unless you’re really in a really rough environment out
in nature okay so I mean I’m not seeing everything
I wear passes the taco test but most of the time most of my footwear is going to
do that and I believe for most of my patients and most people I’ve seen those
rules will serve you well so upgrade your insert see if it passes the taco
test make sure it has a roomy toe box not too much he’ll lift oh by the way
stay away from you know shoes where the forefoot is higher than the heel I’m
gonna name brand names but forget it also I’m not a big fan of the shoe
stores that are out there for foot pain you know they have these very expensive
rigid shoes I think most people overpay for something that is just not needed
many times so just buyer beware okay so roomy toe box
not too much heel lift and sufficient cushion hopefully those rules or
guidelines will serve you well okay so with that said thank you for
watching I appreciate it and if you want more information you can go to my
website or you can feel free to contact us at our office thank you very much

One Comment

  • Hi John! Great video! HOWEVER–I think you should do one for ladies only! The shoes you show are not representative of most of what women wear and we are challenged in the borders of the criteria you set. For instance–cushioning. VERY few shoes have enough in the women's brands. I did find Bare Traps REALLY provide that especially in sandals but don't flex as well to satisfy the taco test. But if you have heel spurs and neuoromas they are the BOMB. New Balance, some models do well with the taco test, and with custom inserts are really comfortable. Vionic doesn't pass the taco test but if ladies DO want a bit of style once in awhile the boots have a really nice insert that is quite comfortable. Great video!

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