If you’re considering trying the ABC™ protocol, please save yourself the expense of orthotic supports from your podiatrist or the Good Feet store (usually $400-800) until you’ve begun my care. Routinely, people abandon the orthotics after their first adjustment and RARELY resume using them.
PROPER HEEL HEIGHT
Wearing shoes with a low heel height will give a slight lift in the buttocks area–it prevents you from slumping. In the office, I do the “push test” from behind to see if the shoes make you waver or slump even more. Flip flops–your traditional “shower shoe” definitely lose out on this test! (Though I have found a few great pairs of flip flops at The Flip Flop Shop in Park Meadows Mall. No arch AND have a heel!)
On the “flip” side of flip flops, high heels are equally bad if not worse. Many women probably adapt to regular use of high heels. However, regular use of high heels while getting adjusted with ABC™ use will cause a failed case.
The Mama Bear “just right” heel height approximates the heel of a cowboy boot. In fact, cowboy boots test out great. They rarely have a built-in arch support and have a great heel-to-toe height ratio.
Don’t fear…most walking shoes and lace-up shoes can be fixed up. The first handling is to get a flat insole. Most shoe departments have an abundance of insole choices with “bumps” that don’t work well. If you can’t find a good one, at least get a cheap Dr. Scholl’s sole liner. They wear out kind of fast, but you can use it while you look for something else.
The next aspect is to see if your shoe has a negative heel, which simply means your toes are higher than your heels. Negative heel results when the toe-box of the shoe curls up a bit compared to the heel. Usually athletic shoes, walking shoes or hiker shoes have this issue. It is important to fix your shoes as necessary to help keep your body upright. Walking shoes can usually be fixed.
Simply put in a pair of heel lifts – one in each shoe. This brings your heels up higher and lowers your toes. The ones in our office 1/8” thick and one layer in each shoe is usually adequate to overcome negative heel. The end result is you are helping your body stay upright with every step you take instead of driving it forward into a position of pain and malfunction. You can get the correct heel lifts from our office. They come in 3 different widths. They are sticky and will stay in place inside of your shoe.
NOTE: If you use the shoes for running, don’t put a heel lift in them. It tends to throw a runner too far forward and bother them.
SPORTS-SPECIFIC SHOES & SUPPORTS
ATHLETIC ARCH SUPPORTS
If you play a sport that does NOT use walking as part of the activity, then you may use custom molded orthotics for those shoes. For instance, cycling shoes, skiing and snow boarding all can be enhanced with a custom insole. Even when you are not doing the activity, your walking gait is not normal so having the insole or not having it isn’t likely to hurt you.
If you play a sport where walking IS a regular part, then you MUST pay attention to this data: i.e., golf, bowling, softball, cross training, weight-training, hiking, frisbee golf, baseball, kickball, soccer, etc. I have seen patients who start care and forget to check their recreational shoes come in with exacerbations due to wearing the factory insole for their sport. While we sell flat insoles that are made out of a high-density foam that can be trimmed to fit your shoes, I would recommend going to a store like Boulder Running Company to find a pair of comfort insoles for your athletic shoes. Make sure to demand FLAT insoles with NO bumps or lumps. The salesperson will surely try to persuade you that you need to have an arch support while you are golfing, hiking, etc. But if you are an ABC chiropractic patient, do not be persuaded. Foot Solutions also has carried a nice pair of comfort insoles. The “Big Box” stores rarely carry this kind of an insole.
I frequently get asked about these unusual running shoes that have a slot for each toe and conform to your foot. One of our doctors uses these for running and so do several of our patients. Based on feedback from other doctors in the ABC™ community and their patient’s experience, patients tolerate these shoes well for running. Routinely people tell me you must work your way up to wearing them for longer and longer intervals or else your calves will just kill you. I haven’t had enough patients use them for walking but my suspicion is you should reserve them for running. If you walk in them you will be faced with “negative heel” which would make your posture worse.
At Atlas Personal Wellness, we carry heel lifts that stick to the inside of the bottom of your shoe. One set comes with 3 pairs. We also carry flat insoles that can be trimmed to your shoe size and shape. For help with acquiring these products, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.