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Earth Shoes

Posted by Carrie on 9/28/02 at 20:47 (096408)

Has anyone wore these shoes? I got a pair that are really cute and feel pretty good but I am wondering if it is a good shoe for pf since they actually raise your arch and you seem to tip back on your heels.

any feedback on these would be most appreciated. I also got my 270 dollar Mephisto ladies boots, they are the cutest things, unfortunately they run small and narrow and I feel that I need a bigger size, I wish they had them somewhere near so I could try them on, as I am unsure to get a 1/2 or whole size bigger, dilemna ahhh.

thanks for any help.
Carrie

Re: Earth Shoes

Carmen H on 9/29/02 at 10:54 (096426)

do you have a walking company nearby?

Re: Earth Shoes-- NEVER for PF!

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/29/02 at 13:37 (096435)

Never wear a negative heel shoe if you have PF. (A shoe where the heel is lower than the sole.) The other design features of the earth shoe were excellent except for the negative heel. i do not know if that feature has been retained.
Ed

Re: Earth Shoes

Carrie on 9/29/02 at 14:54 (096445)

What is a walking company?

Re: Info on earth shoes

Carrie on 9/29/02 at 15:30 (096449)

Some interesting info about Earth Shoes that I found on a website. I also have heard many talk of how sand feels so good to walk on and apparently the earth shoe is based on the way one walks in sand. anyhow if nothing else it is an interesting read.

While in pursuit of her life-long interest in Yoga, Anne Kalso's studies took her to the great Hindu school of Yesudian in Zurich and later to the Yoga monastery in Santos, Brazil. In the course of her studies and experiments, she observed that by flexing the foot, or by lowering the heel one could achieve a feeling similar to that attained in the lotus or Buddha position of Yoga. This awareness inspired her to develop (with the aid of a Portuguese shoe maker) a primitive version of a sandal with the heel lower than the toes in 1957!

Anne Kalso
Subsequently, she began to observe the noble carriage of the Indians with their foot imprints in the sand, and it was confirmed to her that when man walks in soft earth the weight of his body is sunk low in to the heels! Returning to Denmark, she began experimenting further with this principle. For ten years she developed and refined her designs. She tested the new models herself on walking trips of five hundred miles and more. Every nuance of their design and structure grew out of her intense concern and care. 'It took numerous years of hard work before I reached the final form of my shoe which takes into consideration all the natural demands of the foot and body. Now I know that I have created something. It is no longer an idea in my mind, but a thoroughly tested and proven fact.'

There is little of our poisoned environment that we as individuals can control, but we do what we can to overcome the negative influences on our lives. We seek harmony of the body and spirit and use what is available...meditation, nutrition, exercise, comfortable clothing and restful surroundings. We strive for a healthy natural lifestyle.
Man has built a world of concrete and steel that is incompatible with his anatomy. We need a shoe that recreates underfoot the natural terrain that now lies buried beneath the concrete of our cities. To meet this need, a Yoga teacher, Anne Kalso of Copenhagen, invented a sole design which called the 'minus heel' shoe in 1957 which we now have adapted for our Negative Heel products. Designed in the form of a healthy footprint in soft earth. It provides unprecedented comfort. One immediately experiences a new way of standing and walking.

This unique construction with its heel lower than its toe, mirrors the effects of walking barefoot in the sand. This alignment of your body helps to develop a natural, graceful stride.

1.The first point of contact is the heel.
2.Weight shifts to the outside of the foot.
3.Weight is distributed evenly at the metatarsal area of the ball.
4.Weight moves to the large toe from which point we spring into our next step.

Re: Earth Shoes-- NEVER for PF!

Carrie on 9/29/02 at 16:14 (096456)

What exactly will happen if you wear a negative heel shoe? Will it make the PF worse? How?

Re: Earth Shoes

Carmen H on 9/29/02 at 17:03 (096460)

'The Walking Company' is a shoe store I highly recommend. They carry Mephistos, Birks,
Danksos, New Bal. etc.
Geared toward people with bad feet or trying to prevent bad feet.
GREAT place.
First place I went when this crap started over 16 months ago.
http://www.walkingco.com

Re: Info on earth shoes

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/30/02 at 14:52 (096530)

Carrie:

The description of natural stride is correct except for one item. The argument that the heel should be negative based on observations of footprints in the sand is based on a fallacious argument, not to mention ignorance of the laws of physics (they will have to argue this with Sir Isaac Newton, not me).

Pressure equals force divided by area. Force equals mass times acceleration. When the heel contacts the ground it does so with a force significantly greater than body weight because the ground is absorbing the body mass times the speed in which the ground is contacted. A runner on soft sand will thus sink the heel in deeper than a walker (same mass but more acceleration). Second, the surface area of the heel is smaller than that of the forefoot and thus more pressure exists on the heel thus more displacement of the sand.
Ed

Re: Info on earth shoes

Leon S. on 9/30/02 at 17:09 (096541)

What if I put some sand in a plastic bag and laid it out in my own shoes?

Re: Info on earth shoes

Carrie on 9/30/02 at 17:24 (096543)

I think it would be scratchy ha ha!

Re: Info on earth shoes

BGCPed on 9/30/02 at 22:51 (096567)

Good points Dr Ed. While the story itself sounds romantic and creative ( I am not being sarcastic) it is not based on logical biomechanics. Some people can function ok in them but pt with tight gastroc or equinus for instance will not feel in balance or very comfortable. It can also encourage some midfoot collapse and post tib tendon strain in certain people when the cords help pull the heel into eversion.

That is why all athletic shoes, ski boots, skates etc have an elevated heel. Another point they dont mention is that several people that bought earth shoes first time around had problems not only with the foot/ankle but low back pain. Depending on the degree or lack of pelvic tilt they could send lumbar spine into a izzy.

A good test to do to see how you feel balanced and also to see how sensitive feet are perception wise is to stand barefoot on a hard floor. Get a friend to place several pages of a book under your heels start about 1/8 inch. have them ad or subtract pages until you feel 'balanced' fore and aft. An interesting thing is to have them add or subtract a number of pages and most people are sensitive to 2 or 3 pages difference in a phonebook page.

Most all people will feel more stable with some lift under heel try putting lift under forefoot after the heel and see how unstable it feels. For lift under heel I feel that in many cases the more rubber you can get between your heel and the road the better. If you consider that at a fast walk or run you have about 2 to 3 times body wt at heel strike, this is called ground reaction. For a more simple visual if the average heel is about the size of a billiard ball imagine it hitting the ground with the impact of a small washing machine on top of it, very hard impact.

As I said they do work well for some but the ones that dont can have a very bad experience. I am also of the sometimes unpopular opinion that you walk the way you do because thats how God stacked your bones up. The theries about stretching, manipulation or walking different to re-train your gait dont work very well. Stretching is good in some cases but unless you surgically alter the foot then the only way to affect a change (not permanent but while they are in your shoes) is orthotics and proper footwear.

The reason we walk the way we do is complex. It has to do with soft tissue laxity or excessive tightness. The shape of,length, shortness or angle of bones in the foot and ankle. Over or under rotation of tibia and or femur as well as varus or valgus angles of the leg and knee also play a part. If you try to make your self walk different you can create problems elsewhere in the chain

Re: I tried on some Earth Shoes--ouch!

Ellen J. on 10/01/02 at 20:45 (096652)

I thought the idea sounded good at first, since it seemed that the negative heel would keep the achilles/calf area constantly stretched out. However, when I put them on in the store, my heel became sore immediately. Oddly, I am one of those P.F. people who rarely has the pain under the heel--it's mostly in the arch and medial side of heel. Therefore, it was interesting that the shoe made the underside of my heel sore. Possibly the weight is no longer evenly distributed over the entire bottom of the foot and more of the weight rests on the heel when in the negative position. A guess on my part.
Anyway, I didn't buy the shoes.
Ellen

Re: I tried on some Earth Shoes--ouch!

Carrie on 10/02/02 at 08:20 (096688)

Yeah your smart ha ha! Anyhow I took them back, it did sound like a good thing to me too at first, boy did I learn a lessong there! sounds like you did too.
Guess we kind of learn as we go don't we?

Re: Info on earth shoes

Leon S. on 10/02/02 at 17:19 (096745)

I was thinking more about the idea of sand in the shoes. The plastic bag would make the feet sweat and would defeat the purpose...so what if I just placed some sand in a sneaker (aside from a little mess) what harm or good would it do? It seems to me it might replicate walking on the beach.

Re: Info on earth shoes

john h on 10/03/02 at 08:45 (096785)

Leon: You idea of sand in the shoe does not sound crazy at all. Certainly as good as some ot the products I have bought. There are various materials that breathe and absorb moisture. How about enclosing sand in such a materal which would be cut to conform to the approximate size of your foot bed. You might have to have pockets in the bag so all the sand does not move to one area because of foot pressure. There are of course over the counter orthotics that use a similar principal only they use gel,air,etc. Sand would be more substantial. Interesting thought Leon.

Re: Info on earth shoes

Leon S. on 10/03/02 at 15:20 (096820)

John, Do I sense a business opportunity here? My mother-in-law lives at the beach and I will make a point of gathering some sand and trying it out. I think we will have a ready market on hand...Stay tuned.

Re: Earth Shoes

Carmen H on 9/29/02 at 10:54 (096426)

do you have a walking company nearby?

Re: Earth Shoes-- NEVER for PF!

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/29/02 at 13:37 (096435)

Never wear a negative heel shoe if you have PF. (A shoe where the heel is lower than the sole.) The other design features of the earth shoe were excellent except for the negative heel. i do not know if that feature has been retained.
Ed

Re: Earth Shoes

Carrie on 9/29/02 at 14:54 (096445)

What is a walking company?

Re: Info on earth shoes

Carrie on 9/29/02 at 15:30 (096449)

Some interesting info about Earth Shoes that I found on a website. I also have heard many talk of how sand feels so good to walk on and apparently the earth shoe is based on the way one walks in sand. anyhow if nothing else it is an interesting read.

While in pursuit of her life-long interest in Yoga, Anne Kalso's studies took her to the great Hindu school of Yesudian in Zurich and later to the Yoga monastery in Santos, Brazil. In the course of her studies and experiments, she observed that by flexing the foot, or by lowering the heel one could achieve a feeling similar to that attained in the lotus or Buddha position of Yoga. This awareness inspired her to develop (with the aid of a Portuguese shoe maker) a primitive version of a sandal with the heel lower than the toes in 1957!

Anne Kalso
Subsequently, she began to observe the noble carriage of the Indians with their foot imprints in the sand, and it was confirmed to her that when man walks in soft earth the weight of his body is sunk low in to the heels! Returning to Denmark, she began experimenting further with this principle. For ten years she developed and refined her designs. She tested the new models herself on walking trips of five hundred miles and more. Every nuance of their design and structure grew out of her intense concern and care. 'It took numerous years of hard work before I reached the final form of my shoe which takes into consideration all the natural demands of the foot and body. Now I know that I have created something. It is no longer an idea in my mind, but a thoroughly tested and proven fact.'

There is little of our poisoned environment that we as individuals can control, but we do what we can to overcome the negative influences on our lives. We seek harmony of the body and spirit and use what is available...meditation, nutrition, exercise, comfortable clothing and restful surroundings. We strive for a healthy natural lifestyle.
Man has built a world of concrete and steel that is incompatible with his anatomy. We need a shoe that recreates underfoot the natural terrain that now lies buried beneath the concrete of our cities. To meet this need, a Yoga teacher, Anne Kalso of Copenhagen, invented a sole design which called the 'minus heel' shoe in 1957 which we now have adapted for our Negative Heel products. Designed in the form of a healthy footprint in soft earth. It provides unprecedented comfort. One immediately experiences a new way of standing and walking.

This unique construction with its heel lower than its toe, mirrors the effects of walking barefoot in the sand. This alignment of your body helps to develop a natural, graceful stride.

1.The first point of contact is the heel.
2.Weight shifts to the outside of the foot.
3.Weight is distributed evenly at the metatarsal area of the ball.
4.Weight moves to the large toe from which point we spring into our next step.

Re: Earth Shoes-- NEVER for PF!

Carrie on 9/29/02 at 16:14 (096456)

What exactly will happen if you wear a negative heel shoe? Will it make the PF worse? How?

Re: Earth Shoes

Carmen H on 9/29/02 at 17:03 (096460)

'The Walking Company' is a shoe store I highly recommend. They carry Mephistos, Birks,
Danksos, New Bal. etc.
Geared toward people with bad feet or trying to prevent bad feet.
GREAT place.
First place I went when this crap started over 16 months ago.
http://www.walkingco.com

Re: Info on earth shoes

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/30/02 at 14:52 (096530)

Carrie:

The description of natural stride is correct except for one item. The argument that the heel should be negative based on observations of footprints in the sand is based on a fallacious argument, not to mention ignorance of the laws of physics (they will have to argue this with Sir Isaac Newton, not me).

Pressure equals force divided by area. Force equals mass times acceleration. When the heel contacts the ground it does so with a force significantly greater than body weight because the ground is absorbing the body mass times the speed in which the ground is contacted. A runner on soft sand will thus sink the heel in deeper than a walker (same mass but more acceleration). Second, the surface area of the heel is smaller than that of the forefoot and thus more pressure exists on the heel thus more displacement of the sand.
Ed

Re: Info on earth shoes

Leon S. on 9/30/02 at 17:09 (096541)

What if I put some sand in a plastic bag and laid it out in my own shoes?

Re: Info on earth shoes

Carrie on 9/30/02 at 17:24 (096543)

I think it would be scratchy ha ha!

Re: Info on earth shoes

BGCPed on 9/30/02 at 22:51 (096567)

Good points Dr Ed. While the story itself sounds romantic and creative ( I am not being sarcastic) it is not based on logical biomechanics. Some people can function ok in them but pt with tight gastroc or equinus for instance will not feel in balance or very comfortable. It can also encourage some midfoot collapse and post tib tendon strain in certain people when the cords help pull the heel into eversion.

That is why all athletic shoes, ski boots, skates etc have an elevated heel. Another point they dont mention is that several people that bought earth shoes first time around had problems not only with the foot/ankle but low back pain. Depending on the degree or lack of pelvic tilt they could send lumbar spine into a izzy.

A good test to do to see how you feel balanced and also to see how sensitive feet are perception wise is to stand barefoot on a hard floor. Get a friend to place several pages of a book under your heels start about 1/8 inch. have them ad or subtract pages until you feel 'balanced' fore and aft. An interesting thing is to have them add or subtract a number of pages and most people are sensitive to 2 or 3 pages difference in a phonebook page.

Most all people will feel more stable with some lift under heel try putting lift under forefoot after the heel and see how unstable it feels. For lift under heel I feel that in many cases the more rubber you can get between your heel and the road the better. If you consider that at a fast walk or run you have about 2 to 3 times body wt at heel strike, this is called ground reaction. For a more simple visual if the average heel is about the size of a billiard ball imagine it hitting the ground with the impact of a small washing machine on top of it, very hard impact.

As I said they do work well for some but the ones that dont can have a very bad experience. I am also of the sometimes unpopular opinion that you walk the way you do because thats how God stacked your bones up. The theries about stretching, manipulation or walking different to re-train your gait dont work very well. Stretching is good in some cases but unless you surgically alter the foot then the only way to affect a change (not permanent but while they are in your shoes) is orthotics and proper footwear.

The reason we walk the way we do is complex. It has to do with soft tissue laxity or excessive tightness. The shape of,length, shortness or angle of bones in the foot and ankle. Over or under rotation of tibia and or femur as well as varus or valgus angles of the leg and knee also play a part. If you try to make your self walk different you can create problems elsewhere in the chain

Re: I tried on some Earth Shoes--ouch!

Ellen J. on 10/01/02 at 20:45 (096652)

I thought the idea sounded good at first, since it seemed that the negative heel would keep the achilles/calf area constantly stretched out. However, when I put them on in the store, my heel became sore immediately. Oddly, I am one of those P.F. people who rarely has the pain under the heel--it's mostly in the arch and medial side of heel. Therefore, it was interesting that the shoe made the underside of my heel sore. Possibly the weight is no longer evenly distributed over the entire bottom of the foot and more of the weight rests on the heel when in the negative position. A guess on my part.
Anyway, I didn't buy the shoes.
Ellen

Re: I tried on some Earth Shoes--ouch!

Carrie on 10/02/02 at 08:20 (096688)

Yeah your smart ha ha! Anyhow I took them back, it did sound like a good thing to me too at first, boy did I learn a lessong there! sounds like you did too.
Guess we kind of learn as we go don't we?

Re: Info on earth shoes

Leon S. on 10/02/02 at 17:19 (096745)

I was thinking more about the idea of sand in the shoes. The plastic bag would make the feet sweat and would defeat the purpose...so what if I just placed some sand in a sneaker (aside from a little mess) what harm or good would it do? It seems to me it might replicate walking on the beach.

Re: Info on earth shoes

john h on 10/03/02 at 08:45 (096785)

Leon: You idea of sand in the shoe does not sound crazy at all. Certainly as good as some ot the products I have bought. There are various materials that breathe and absorb moisture. How about enclosing sand in such a materal which would be cut to conform to the approximate size of your foot bed. You might have to have pockets in the bag so all the sand does not move to one area because of foot pressure. There are of course over the counter orthotics that use a similar principal only they use gel,air,etc. Sand would be more substantial. Interesting thought Leon.

Re: Info on earth shoes

Leon S. on 10/03/02 at 15:20 (096820)

John, Do I sense a business opportunity here? My mother-in-law lives at the beach and I will make a point of gathering some sand and trying it out. I think we will have a ready market on hand...Stay tuned.