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negative heel shoes

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by rhiannon777, Apr 16, 2009.

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  1. rhiannon777

    rhiannon777

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    I'll be starting rotations in a couple months, and I'm looking for a good pair of shoes that will keep my lower back and knees from hurting after hours of standing. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried the negative heel shoes and, if you have, your feelings about them. Thanks!
  2. searun

    searun

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    Thanks for not asking if you should wear high heels because they make your legs look good!
  3. binko

    binko Just Wants 2 Help People™

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    I'm not a med student yet, but I can't resist replying to this. I own 3 pairs of negative heeled shoes and I LOVE them! I recommend them to my friends when they complain of knee or back pain, tired feet, or any other problems that come from wearing shoes with no support. Check eBay for Earth shoes – I got a pair that's normally like $90 for about $40 brand new on there. Their sizes tend to run a little tiny bit large, though, so if you're between sizes order the smaller one.
  4. Keona

    Keona

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    I'm not a med student yet either, but I have been looking for the comfortable shoes for a few years. My step-mom stands up for about 12 hr shifts at a pharmacy, so she's been experimenting with this for quite some time.

    For Christmas she got me some dansko shoes, the sole isn't soft, but it is very supportive, I've been able to walk all over campus in them without a problem. She also talked to some of her colleagues about different shoes before getting them for me.

    Her current favorite shoe combo is the professional crocs, no holes in them, along with some dr. schols inserts for extra arch support. She tried a lot of shoes before reaching this decision.

    If you get the negative heeled shoes, please say how they work out for you:)
  5. shwin

    shwin New Member

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    i think you need some vibram five-fingers

    [​IMG]
  6. BoneNibbler

    BoneNibbler

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    I would say not to get these. The first time I wore mine to clinic I got reamed by my attending!:cool:
  7. BOOURNS

    BOOURNS Member

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    Those look like God's shoes.

    [​IMG]
  8. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado

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    Do they make those for webbed feet? 4-fingers?
  9. binko

    binko Just Wants 2 Help People™

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    I saw someone wearing these today, but in a pale lavender color. For a second I was like "OMG you have no circulation in your feet!"
  10. BORNagainSTDENT

    BORNagainSTDENT

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    I was thinking the same thing but can't beleive you actually found a picture.
  11. BOOURNS

    BOOURNS Member

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    http://images.google.com/
  12. rkaz

    rkaz

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    Both the barefoot shoes and the negative heel shoes seem to be really good for improved posture, gait, less strain on joints, etc. I was trying to do a google search to see if I could find out which type of shoe is better than the other for health - but I haven't found anything really comparing the two yet.
  13. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Should Have Been A Cowboy

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    I doubt you'll find a prospective head-to-head crossover double-blinded RCT of Earth Shoes versus Vibram Five Fingers.

    Both shoes are great for day to day wear.

    The Earth Shoes are available in somewhat dressy styles so you might be able to get away with them easier in clinic.

    As far as sports and exercise go, I can't comment on which would be more suitable for long-distance running or anything, not my area of expertise. I would definitely stay away from the Earth Shoes for anything involving sprinting or leg-heavy weightlifting, though.

    A negative heel in those pursuits would place you at a biomechanically disadvantageous position or even predispose you to injury. In fact, for high intensity (i.e. high force production) pursuits, a 1/4 heel or so places you in a better biomechanical position.

    There are several big-name strength coaches who use V5Fs and swear by them.

    I suspect that V5Fs would be more suitable for people with any degree of plantar fasciitis too. Since a big component of PF is inhibition and disuse of the natural 'gripping' activity of the foot and toes. And since V5Fs will definitely get you using your toes more.
  14. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado

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    with adequate control groups who have similar-looking shoes of no added benefit and a control with no shoes.

    haha.
  15. binko

    binko Just Wants 2 Help People™

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    Earth/Kalsø makes cross-trainers too though. Haven't used them, for running I use Mizuno trainers (famous for the "wave plate" heel spring system)
  16. cleothecat

    cleothecat

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    Did wonders for my lower spinal facet pain, and knee pain.

    As you can guess, I am a bit older than U MEDLINGS!
  17. densmore22

    densmore22 Member

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    Do you have any resources to back this up?
  18. Blesbok

    Blesbok

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    Sanitas (original danskos) are by far the bast shoe that I have found for the hospital. Crocs don't offer enough support for things like surgery. The sanitas also give you an extra inch of lift compared to tennis shoes, so they are great for seeing in surgery.
  19. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Should Have Been A Cowboy

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    Not offhand no. Sorry.

    But my info comes from following the research on barefoot running/working out.

    Edit: I know one of the 'risk factors' for PF is barefoot on hard floors, and that if you have PF you're supposed to avoid walking barefoot. Doesn't mean habitual barefootedness is a 'cause' of PF.

    As an analogy, people with shoulder impingement experience pain during pressing movements. Which is worst when overhead pressing.

    Interestingly enough though people who overhead press habitually are less likely to develop impingement due to better t-spine flexibility, superior scapular rotation patterns under load, and stronger external rotational muscles.

    Obviously people with shoulder impingement should improve each of those things before trying to overhead press, but it doesn't mean that OHP is the cause of their problems.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  20. densmore22

    densmore22 Member

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    The only reason I ask is because as a Podiatry student, we obviously spend a great deal of time with this condition, but the research out there is scant at best. Why does a 300 pounder not get PF, but a 110 pound person does? It is highly unpredicable, but we know that overuse and barefoot exacerbate the problem.

    If you want a good list of shoes, go here:


    http://www.aapsm.org/runshoe.html

    It's updated annually I believed, peer reviewed shoes by Podiatrists.

    For standing long periods, I've found that Birkenstocks or Hafflingers are good for me, they basically contain their own custom orthotics because the cork conforms to the anatomy of your foot. I've forgotten my Birks on long days in the OR and my knees and back just kill me, the next day when I wear them, my pain goes away.

    Negative heel shoes are not bad per se, but as someone eluded to earlier, they leave you at a mechanical disadvantage. If you do a lot of standing, I can see why they might be good, they provide passive stretching of the Gastrosoleal complex, but they also keep your knees in a locked position as well. If you're running/walking around a lot, they might not be the best.
  21. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Should Have Been A Cowboy

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    Agreed. It's a lot like shoulder impingement in that respect. As an Indian I'm a big fan of the theory that habitual barefootedness lends itself to better health, but there's no doubt that in someone who already has PF issues, barefooted activity may worsen the problem.


    I haven't tried them for long periods but I'd never noticed a locked-knee effect. That would definitely give me a more negative opinion of them.
  22. Dr Donna

    Dr Donna

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    I recommend caution if standing for hours. Also, if you have any prior injury consult with a PMR doc. Stretching is great but a negative heel all day could have risks. I wouldn't plan on wearing them for long periods.

    Locked knees can really wreak havoc - if you wear these neg heel shoes pls be aware of your knee position. Particularly if Hx knee, hip, s.i, or back injury. Or shoulder or neck injury. Okay - ANY injury. If the shoe causes a prob for you, you might not know it until you are inflamed and then you really have a problem. You can create a chronic problem in the situation you are in. Be sure to look for good arch support.

    Good luck - and remember a part of your training is a hazing!

    '-)
  23. masterofmonkeys

    masterofmonkeys Should Have Been A Cowboy

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    This is an excellent point. Thank you Dr. Donna. I would definitely re-emphasize the point that if you wear neg-heel shoes but then lock your knees, you're defeating the whole darn purpose of the shoe.

    I also would suspect that these shoes would be bad for anyone with posterior pelvic tilt (flattened lumbar curvature). Anterior pelvic tilt would likely get some relief from them, I would think. That said, the best way of dealing with anterior pelvic tilt is correcting the muscle imbalances (and the fat) that cause it in the first place.
  24. Temple2013

    Temple2013

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    OMG, Al Bundy should sue!
  25. unsung

    unsung

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    Don't "negative heel" shoes pull your body into a worse posture?

    I know wearing heels forces me to stand straight and in general, pulls my body into a healthier posture. In fact I feel better while in slight heels than flat-foot. I can't imagine wearing negative heels... wouldn't they force you into a locked knee, unnatural posture? Doesn't sound healthy...

    Anyway, I think paying attention to posture, doing some yoga throughout the day, etc. would do a lot more for back pain, foot pain, etc. than wearing negative heel shoes or what not.
  26. Temple2013

    Temple2013

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    If you're tired, you might lock your knees. If you're not though, it doesn't feel right for your heel to be below your toes, so you bend your knees slightly and raise your heel. Arguably, it works out your calves.

    My experience is from the original negative-heeled shoes, various training shoes in basketball that have a platform to raise the ball of your foot but not the heel, forcing you to use your hamstrings more.

    https://www.wolverinesports.com/images/categories/jumpsole.jpg
  27. KidDr

    KidDr Senior Member

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    I wore Earth shoes throughout med school and residency and loved them. They do run big (and a little wide), so order a 1/2 size smaller or so. I got all of my Earth shoes from Zappos.com--they have a huge selection, free shipping and free returns (so I would order 5-6 pairs and then maybe keep 1-2 after I tried them all on). They're nice enough for clinic/hospital and also fine in the ER/OR. The suggestion to try Ebay is a good one too, once you know what size you'll fit into. Hope that helps.

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