All About Shoes, Orthotics, Heel Lifts

In Podcasts by Dr. Mike2 Comments

Andrew & I discuss our thoughts on orthotics, shoes, heel lifts, and what it has to do with the back and hip. Throughout 16 years of being in this profession, I’ve been exposed to just about every product out there, and I have actively sought to find alternatives.

Where do I stand, today? For long-term health, I don’t recommend anything other than barefoot shoes. No orthotics, no lifts, no shape-u shoes, nada! The human is designed to have his barefoot connected to the earth.

I also understand that everything is a process. If you are flat footed, wear orthotics and massively cushioned and supportive shoes, you can not just slap on some barefoot shoes and you are good to go. No. Your feet muscles have been asleep for years and years and making a drastic change would result in foot, knee, or back pain. I would estimate that a transition like that would take 1-2 years, but what the hell else are you going to do?

Thanks for Listening!

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  1. Hey guys,

    I’m not sure if you will be able to answer this, but I’ve been wanting to transition to barefoot shoes for a while now. The one concern I have is on my left foot, my most outside foot-bone, right before it becomes my little toe, seems to have a lot of pressure. Almost as if I stand on that area more than the rest of my foot.

    Will barefoot shoes help with that issue? I don’t want to make anything worse.

    Sometimes it is quite painful, other times it’s more or less just ‘there’. But I feel more pressure there than anywhere else.

    Sorry, it’s kinda vague.

    1. Hey Ben,

      We are big advocates of barefoot shoes and both Dr. Mike and I wear them. Whether you own them or not, you still need to be aware of how to use your feet!

      The pain you are describing is actually very common and we have most people work on spreading the toes apart, grabbing the floor with your pinking toe, shifting your weight onto that toe, and trying to “plank” with it to strengthen it. This may sound silly, but chances are that your pinky toe is angled inward toward your other toes and is no longer being used properly when you walk. All of your weight is instead transferred to the next closest object… the distal head of your fifth metatarsal (the bone that is hurting you).

      So, no matter what shoe you wear, you need to work on actively spreading the toes. I actually had this exact issue a couple years back and just focused on spreading my toes and pressing my pinky toe into the ground while I showered… good use of time! It took about 2 weeks of strengthening my toe until the pain stopped!

      Let us know how it goes!


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