3 Reasons Your Shoes Suck


3 Reasons Your Shoes Suck

By Casey Venters, MS, CSCS, FMS, NSCA-CPT

For over a century now, shoe manufacturers have produced shoes that make the human foot dysfunctional. Turf toe, bunions, plantar fasciitis, big-toe pain, neuropathy, and so-on and so-on.

Prioritizing fashion over function, they have gotten away with this because, well, let’s face it – we are egotistical, self-driven narcissist. We like to look good. We like to hear we look good. It gives us a sense of confidence when we wear fashionable shoes. Has to match the outfit, right?

Now look, the other thing the shoe companies are taking advantage of is your ignorance. I’m guessing that because you have gotten this far into the article, means you likely are interested in knowing whether or not your shoes suck. You just simply don’t know foot mechanics and you certainly don’t know how to tell if a shoe is good for your feet or bad. 

Here are the top three reasons your current shoes suck.


As the foundation of our bodies, our toes are the beginning of neurological communication & signals with the rest of our body during locomotion. They are meant to splay and spread out on the surface for which we are propelling ourselves to give proper feedback upstream for balance, stability, caution, and effort. 

Without proper splay of your toes, and by jamming and cramming your feet into improper shoes, this signal gets muffled. Cramming toes into shoes literally affects the rest of your body’s ability to move and function properly. Do this too much, and eventually, something will begin to hurt or break.

It’s quite easy to tell if you have shoes that have a proper toe box. Simply look at them from a top view. If the middle and back of the shoe are wider, or the same width, as space where your toes belong, then you don’t have appropriate shoes.

Another way to check would be to wear toe spacers as you put your shoes on. If you can comfortably wear toe spacers in your shoes for 20 minutes or longer, then they are likely appropriate shoes.

See this picture below for a visual reference.


Another way the shoe industry has taken advantage of our ignorance is the idea that more cushion in a shoe has obviously got to be the answer to protect my feet and my joints. If you are honest with yourself, you likely believe this now or have in the past.

The truth is, for most people, that couldn’t be more untrue. Our bodies have our own shock-absorbing system. Specifically, in our feet and lower legs, we have an incredible ability to absorb impact and create force. Also, prior to the invention of Nike’s and thick-soled athletic shoes, how do any human on the planet actually function? That’s a rhetorical question!

Too much cushion creates an unnecessary barrier between our feet and the ground we need to communicate with. Too much shoe drop (click here to read more about shoe drop) and you forcibly but the foot into an awkward position (see pic below). Doing both of these over and over again will result in pain and injury.

It is simply misunderstood and sometimes purposefully misrepresented to us that we need a cushion for walking and running. For most people, this just is not true. And anyone who tells you differently without fully analyzing your foot and every joint above it does not have your best interest in mind.

See this picture below for a visual reference.

source: Instagram @andybryant_podiatrist.


This one is easy. For most of you reading this, you should have a shoe that you wear most of the day that you can simply roll and fold up. If your current every-day shoe or athletic shoes does not roll up, then you are likely in the wrong shoe. It sucks.

This is important because it allows the foot to be in control. Stuffing your foot into a rigid shoe makes your feet conform to the rigidity and stiffness of the shoe. Making your feet conform to the shoe instead of the other way around is a recipe for pain and injury.

Can your shoe do this?

source: xeroshoes.com

Applying these three tests to your shoes will ensure you are putting your feet into the best footwear for a life that is pain and injury-free. No two feet are alike so we encourage you to seek professional guidance if you have further questions.

At Adriatica Fitness Club, we build a customized Blueprint designed around the way that you move, starting with your feet. We have all the technology and tools necessary to make you a functional human.

If you are looking for help, you are in pain currently, or you just want to be around happy like-minded people who know you by your first name, then give us a call for a virtual tour, stop on by, or sign up online for your FREE 10-Day Experience.