I was listening to a Russel Brand podcast the other day where he was talking to the man who began VivoBarefoot* shoe company -- shoes that changed my world.
I used to love my pointy-toe cowboy boots and my high heels and for a minute there I had some kickin' little, pointy toe boots made from army green cloth -- they didn't last long, but I loved them!
Somewhere along the line, a body worker suggested my footwear may be playing a part in my hip/spine aches.
So, me being me, always looking for ways to improve my condition, I put my binding and lifting (but cute!) shoes on the shelf and moved to a shoe with a negative or zero-drop heel and a wide toe box.
Lo and behold, it helped! A lot. I'm never going back.
It wasn’t over night, that’s for sure. It took quite a while to build up those long under-used muscles. When I first began, the ache in my feet, going all the way up the leg was definitely a thing. (If you are going to give this a try, be sure to go slowly — wearing the barefoot shoe for short periods of time and building up to a full day.)
The only problem, though, was that the bulk of these shoes were not cute. I would look down at my feet and think, “I’m wearing clown shoes.” But, I stuck with my unfashionable shoes and my toes can now move around like never before — the way they are supposed to. (Note: overall, comfy shoes are much better looking now than when I began this process.)
There are zero-drop shoes and there are minimalist shoes (like the Vivo Barefoot I mentioned earlier, as well as what I call my “frog feet” shoes — Vibram Five Fingers* — which they now do a nice job of disguising, but when I first started wearing them they were really goofy looking).
The point of minimalist shoes is to allow your feet to use all those muscles that become under-utilized when wearing modern comfy, squishy shoes. There are a lot of muscles in your feet and all those muscles connect to all those other muscles and ligaments and tendons and joints going all the way up the chain -- you know, the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone…. (For a little look at what’s going on down there: (Card and Bordoni 2020).
As we have all experienced, when your feet hurt, everything hurts.
I have written a little bit about plantar fasciitis and heel spurs here.
Without going into specific foot problems, a place to start for sore feet would be my go-to combination for all things joints/muscles: Arnica/Ruta/Rhus. See here and here.
Why Arnica, Ruta and Rhus?
Arnica is the first remedy to think about for trauma/injury. Excellent for bruising and muscle pain, in general.
Ruta is good for connective tissues -- tendons and ligaments as well as stiffness.
Rhus tox is a go-to for joint issues and is highly indicated in the following specific feet issues:
If you want to get a little more specific, rather than taking a combo remedy, try one of these remedies on for size…
Foot pain that extends upward: Ledum palustre
As if sprained: Arnica or Rhus tox
Toenail injuries: Arnica or Hypericum
Cramps: Mag-phos or Calc carb
Pain while sitting (the pain lessens during continued movement) & feels better in warmth: Rhus tox
Pain while standing: Ruta
Sole pain: Causticum
Shooting pain or tearing pain: Kali-carb
Take a step in the right direction and try some homeopathy and see if you can get a little relief for those sore tootsies.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I have no affiliation with any of these companies. I just like their products.
Card, R. K. and Bordoni, B., 2020. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Foot Muscles [online]. PubMed.
Kassel, G., 2022. What’s the Deal with Zero-Drop Shoes? [online]. Shape.
Vibram, 2023. FiveFingers: The Original Barefoot Toe Shoes | Vibram [online].
Vivo Barefoot, 2023. Shoespiracy 2| Vivobarefoot | USA [online]. www.vivobarefoot.com.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.