Armstrong Podiatry & Sports Health's Blog

Information that promotes wellness

The misshapen shoe

Typical shoe last

The typical last of a shoe


The past two installments of this blog series talked about some disruptive characteristics of shoegear on the feet, the heel lift and the toe spring.  This installment will focus on the curved last of shoegear.  The shape of the last of the shoe will have a profound effect upon the position of the joints of the feet, along with a change in the gait cycle.

The last of a shoe is the three-dimensional shape in which the shoe is based on.  The last differs in terms of heel height and the shape of the toebox.  The differences are related to the type of shoe, not really according to the shape of the human foot.  The human foot is naturally straight from the heel to toe with no curves (a great example of this would be a young child’s foot before walking).  Unfortunately, most (if not all) lasts have a curve to it, which causes a mismatch between the foot and the shoe with form-altering consequences. This mismatch usually places pressure on the digits and metatarsals, forcing them towards the center of the body; this is usually accompanied by a narrow toebox (common in most shoegear).  This combination can be considered a major force in the creation of bunion deformities on either side of the foot.

Natural foot

Not a natural foot

The curve of the last of a shoe can affect the position of the foot during walking and running.  When an individual walks without shoes, the initial foot contact with the ground is at the center of the heel.  Contrast that to when an individual walks with shoegear and the initial heel contact is on the outside heel of the shoe.  It is very common for individuals to notice a significant wear on the outside corner of the heel area over time.  The only logical explanation for such a phenomenon would be a change of the position of the feet, which could be due to the curved last of the shoe.

All too familiar for shoes

This concludes my blog series about shoegear and their unnatural characteristics in relation to the feet.  In my next blog post, I will try to be more constructive and explore how you can combat shoegear and make your feet and body healthier.

Happiness and good health!

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Only YOU can exercise for yourself


Exercise as part of your daily life

I just came across a great article by a friend of mine, Derek Hansen in Vancouver, BC, which discusses the unhealthy state of North American society.  He emphasizes a personal responsibility to become fit and healthy; not necessary to become obsessive over it, but allow it to become part of the fabric of your daily lives.  I believe that is the only way it does not become a “chore”, much like many of the others we have to do on a daily basis:

Happiness and good health!

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment