Episode 57 - Ray McClanahan
Kevin: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the over 50 health and wellness show. My name is Kevin English. I'm a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, and I'm so happy that you're here with me today. We have a fantastic show in store for you. Dr. Ray McClanahan is here and he has a ton of great information to share with us.
Before we get started. I want to let you know that this episode is being brought to you by the silver edge. The silver edge is my online personal training and nutrition coaching business. Where I help men and women over 50, get into the best shapes of their lives. So they can show up as the strongest, healthiest, most vital version of themselves.
If this sounds like something you're interested in, hit me up. I'd love to start a conversation to see if it makes sense to work together. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org. And [00:01:00] we'll set up a 30 minute call to talk about your goals. Okay. Enough of that let's get on with today's show.
Chances are you were born with perfect feet since most babies are . When you were born, your foot would have been narrowest at the heel and widest at, the toes. But chances are your feet no longer have that shape. In fact, your foot is most likely widest at the ball of your foot now with your toes crowded together. But why is that?
Why would you be born with perfect feet? And now 50, 60, 70, 80 years later, you've lost that perfect foot shape. The answer is fashion. Yep. Fashion. You don't need to be a runway model or even wear designer clothes. We're all equally affected. Take a look at your shoes. [00:02:00] If you're like me, you own some work boots, some dress shoes, date, night shoes, and lots of workout shoes.
If you're like my wife, you have a whole closet full of shoes. In my case, 100% of my shoes, even my hardcore workout shoes. Are not shaped at all like a healthy human foot. They all have a narrow toe box. In other words. I've spent my entire life in shoes that have deformed my feet. My guest today is Dr. Ray McClanahan.
In his 26 years as a podiatrist, dr. Ray has learned that most put problems can be corrected by restoring natural foot form and function. In addition to his private practice, Northwest foot and ankle in Portland, Oregon. He is also the inventor of correct toes. Which are silicone toe spacers designed to help the foot rehabilitate from the negative effects of conventionally shaped footwear.
Dr. Ray is also an active runner and athlete in 1999. He [00:03:00] finished 14th in the U S national men's cross country championship. And had a near Olympic trials, qualifying 5,000 meter mark of 1356 in 2000. He then qualified for the world duathlon championships in 2001.
Ray: Well I found a love for running probably as a little child. I was always involved in all the relays, you know, school and church activities and so forth.
I played all the sports I could play growing up, but I think that the pivotal point for me, Kevin was the movie chariots of fire. I saw it as a 17 year old maybe a 16 year old. And I don't know why, but that movie just really struck me powerfully in a way that I, I decided at that moment that I wanted to try to make the Olympic team for the United States.
So I dove head first into running. I tried to read everything I could find. I tried to eat the way I was told I should eat and so forth, but I got hurt promptly. I was hurt within three or four months and, you know, I made a lot of mistakes, but I spent the better part of the next 10 years, including on college scholarship [00:04:00] injured, which did play heavily into my interest nowadays in terms of trying to keep people healthy and keep them in the sport.
But it was really chariots of fire that just rocked my world and rocked me emotionally. And so that's what got me into it.
Kevin: That's a great story. I love that. I'm pretty sure most of my listeners can relate to that. That was a pretty iconic movie. We all, everybody remembers that music in the running scenes in there.
So early on you found this passion for running and you mentioned you got hurt right away. So this would be, I guess, in your teens, late teens what types of injuries did you come up against?
Ray: Yeah, early on. I came up against patellar femoral tracking disorder in both of my knees. Lots of big toe joint problems.
I had what was called a pump bump or a bursitis on the back of my heel. And that's kind of a fascinating story. This is pre podiatry. This is one I'm in, I'm in a undergraduate. I went to the training room. I got a lot of Advil. I did a lot of ice. It wouldn't get better. I finally took two trips to the orthopedic doctor who [00:05:00] put cortisone in there and that didn't work.
And then he wanted to do an operation on my heel. And ultimately I recognized eventually that it was caused by the heel counter of my running shoe, rubbing on the back of my foot. And it wasn't really a foot problem and I didn't need a surgery. So I was chronically injured just about every running injury that a person can get.
I can name them all. Shin splints, neuromas. Plantar fascial issues. But thankfully, nowadays, even though I'm 54, I run every day and I don't suffer any of those things anymore because I've learned what I shouldn't do. And I've learned more importantly what I should do and what I make here to share with your audience today.
Kevin: I think that anybody who has spent any time running has come up against some of those things that you just mentioned, some kind of repetitive use injury or some kind of a nagging injury. We've we've all been there. So let's take the story from there. You're going to come up against these injuries.
You're going to kind of realize that, Hey, maybe surgery is not what's required here, but just kind of looking at what's causing these problems in your case, a pretty [00:06:00] simple thing. Right. How do you get from there to getting into medical school and deciding that you're gonna to specialize in podiatry?
Was it directly as a result of your passion for running and the kind of these injuries you were coming up against?
Ray: It was, I also met a podiatrist while I was running and he invited me to his practice and I went and visited him. And I really liked what he did. Not only because he was seeing a lot of runners, he was a runner himself.
There was high, highly biomechanically oriented in terms of like studying the way people's bodies move and their gait patterns and so forth. So he was an early influence, but two things I wanted to get into sports medicine help other athletes, but quite frankly, Kevin's selfishly speaking. I wanted to fix my own body.
You know, I, I used to have a dream to make it to the Olympics. Like I shared and I narrowly missed it one year. Back when I was still wearing bad shoes and having all these injuries. So. I went off to Philadelphia in 1991 and I studied out there until 95. Then I came back to Portland to do a surgical residency thinking that operations were really what we're going to help
my running colleagues. [00:07:00] I also was working for an orthotics lab at the time, and I worked for that lab for five years. But in 1999, something very pivotal happened for me. I get a trade journal called podiatry management magazine, where we talk about new products and podiatry. We talked about medical problems that we can't figure out how to get people better.
And in 1999, an article was in that magazine called why shoes make normal gait impossible. And at the time I had a fancy treadmill and I was watching everybody's gate with the camera and slowing it down and diagnosing their pronation. I'm sure every runner that's listening to this has probably gone through something like that.
And when I read the article, the first realization to me at that moment was I didn't hear anything about this in podiatry school. And that intrigued me. But the article was so straightforward and clear about some of the problems that are occurring for athletes are a lot of the problems might actually be related to their footwear and not they're overused or biomechanics or genetics.
And although those sometimes play a role, [00:08:00] this Dr. William Rossi that wrote this article, Completely changed my mind, literally overnight. I didn't sleep that night. I just literally laid there and all these questions going through my mind. One in particular. Why didn't I hear anything about this and podiatry and I, now I think I know the answer to that as I've studied other branches of medicine and I've hung out with other kinds of doctors, I've come to realize that podiatry in America is very much like an allopathic profession.
So if your audience isn't is, is familiar, the allopath is the doctor that gives you your medicine, your prescription, and does operations. And unfortunately might not necessarily know much about how you got the problem to begin with or a root cause. But I started hanging out with natural paths and chiropractors and physical therapists that were thinking along the lines of this Dr.
William Rossi. So in the next four years, Dr. Rossi wrote several other articles that came out in the same magazine. I was suffering at that point with bunions and hammertoes on both of my feet. [00:09:00] In fact, I had a very particular kind of hammertoe, which is called an overlapping hammertoe my second toe sat on top of my big toe.
And of course it hurt. And I was taking a lot of Advil and getting cortisone shots, but this Dr. William Ross, he got me thinking more about observing footwear instead of what we're trained in podiatry to do is put the patient up on the treatment table, push on what hurts and give it a diagnosis. And although there's value in that, I think what I've learned overwhelmingly to be more valuable is for people to examine what they're putting on their feet, especially for athletic activity.
And I'm hoping we get a chance today to take a bit of a deep dive on that, Kevin, because it's the thing I focus on most. In fact, if you could be a fly on my wall in my clinic for the last probably 20 years, I hardly do anything to anybody. Whereas I used to always be, you know, giving shots and doing operations and making custom orthotics.
What I mostly do these days is I just talk to people. I teach people the aspects of natural foot health. [00:10:00] I teach them how to slowly implement it in their lives and they do fantastic. It's not to say we don't treat, I still treat, I still fall back on some of my, my learned treatment protocols, but overwhelmingly, I always go to prevention first.
So let's pretend that your audience members are a brand new patient in our treatment room today. The very first thing we do is we show my daughter's bare feet at birth. So here in Portland, they stamped The little baby's barefoot and can put it on the birth certificate. So I, I start out with that and a lot of the folks think I'm a proud dad and they're like, oh, that's so sweet.
But the reality is I'm showing them so that they can see what natural human foot anatomy is supposed to be. And for Americans that's the rare opportunity for us to actually see what a foot is supposed to be shaped like. By the time we're 50, most of our feet are shaped like shoes So most of our feet looked like each other's feet.
And so it's lost on us that we've done anything bad when a reality we've actually subtly and sometimes not so subtly, deformed our feet and the thing I probably don't [00:11:00] need to explain to you, and maybe not even your audience, Kevin is when your feet don't function, the rest of your body doesn't function properly either.
That's been an overarching theme in my work. So Dr. Rossi is really the one that changed my mind. I had these problems, myself, part of the operation that I was doing from the same problems that I had involves cutting a muscle off of the big toe. after several hundred times doing that, I didn't want that done on my own body.
So I watched what the physical therapists were doing. Some of my friends in terms of people that laid in their nursing home beds so long, they started getting contracted stiff. And so they would warm him up and they would move. And then I got to think, why don't we do more of that with feet? Why do we cut muscles?
If your hamstring was tight, you'd stretch of your calf was tight. You'd stretch. You wouldn't cut it from the bone. So Dr. Rossi really inspired me to think differently. So I used my own body as a Guinea pig, and I started putting a little single silicone spacers between my first toe and second toe between my fourth and fifth toe.
But this was 20 some years ago. Kevin, we didn't have all the good shoes that are available for [00:12:00] walking and running better. Natural today we have Birkenstocks and Crocs. So all of our runners, including myself, were running and Crocs. And I've got my, my marathon PR isn't a pair of pants. Yeah. That's just kind of crazy.
They took a picture of me, put it in a running magazine. Mostly it, cause I think I looked really goofy, you know, where we're in a pair of Crocs and my compression stockings, but the point is I ran well, I ran the next day, which I ordinarily wouldn't do post marathon. So that was an eyeopening experience for me.
If our feet are positioned naturally and they're aligned and they're strong, our bodies can do so many things that we might not actually be aware of.
Kevin: Yeah. So there there's a lot in there I'd like to, unpack. I mean, you had mentioned you want a chance to have a deep dive into athletic shoes and we absolutely will go there.
I want to go back in also, maybe touch more on, you had mentioned that when your foot is out of alignment, that can affect the rest of the kinetic chain, the rest of your body. And clearly I can see how that [00:13:00] can be the case. and I'd like to poke at that a little bit, but let's back up. Cause you had mentioned at the beginning of that you had talked about, I think you've just called them back.
We were bad shoes. And you mentioned this, you know, in Western culture, we're very much an allopathic medicine type culture, meaning we're going to treat symptoms as opposed to looking at the cause. And in your case, that's going to be orthodics or surgeries quite frequently. So. Let's talk a little bit about the history of shoes.
How do we get here? Because you know, in preparing for this interview, one of the things I did was I looked at my shoes, all of my shoes, I've got dress shoes. I got date night shoes. I have a lot of athletic shoes, running shoes, CrossFit shoes, none of them are shaped in the shape of a natural foot. And so let's, before we go deep dive some of these other things, how do we get here?
Why are our shoes shaped the way they are? And maybe talk a little bit about how a common shoe is shaped.
Ray: Yeah. So up until probably four or 500 years ago, shoes were [00:14:00] fairly simple. They were basic coverings for the most part protection from the elements protection from hard surfaces, thorns, and that kind of thing.
But somewhere around four to 500 years ago, over in Europe, they decided that they liked the look of a tapered toe box. So the point on the front of our shoes, in fact, if you look at history of that period, they banned the common people from wearing that kind of shoe. It was only for the royalty or the upper-class and they actually levied fines on poor people for trying to wear the shoes that the royalty was wearing.
So it purely came about as, a fashion or a status or a cultural symbol. But what's interesting is just before this, this conversation I'm having with you, I was talking to a patient about two papers that I've got on my website that you or your audience might want to look at where they literally dug up human skeletal remains from.
Hundreds of years ago, trying to find out when did we get bone termers? When did we get arthritis and these kinds of things, and roughly at the same time that the pointed shoes became popular, three other [00:15:00] things became popular in those skeletal studies and they were . Midfoot arthritis and knee medial compartment, knee osteoarthritis.
And that shouldn't be any surprise anymore because the literature is really clear that when your foot and arch doesn't work right, nor does your knee work right. So it came about purely for fashion and I'm not opposed to fashion. What I am opposed to is fashion built into athletic shoes. And this is what I talk about all day
every day. I see ICRs Olympians, they're all sponsored by the big shoe companies. And so I have this conversation with them when I show them that their bunion is directly related to their track spikes and the next question out of their mouth then is, well, why does my company make these shoes like this?
You know, they're paying me boatloads of money to represent them. And are you trying to tell me that they're actually harming me? But then when I talked to the designers, which I do quite a bit of the designers tell me that the American culture has an aversion to our natural foot shape. And I see that I wear natural foot shape shoes to work.
[00:16:00] And I see people looking at me in the elevator. And, but at this point in my life, I'm, I'm comfortable. So I don't care. You know, I just want to be able to run every day. But to answer your question, Kevin, there's no physiologic benefit. In fact, I've had a couple of friends look through the medical literature and try to figure out if there were benefits to these other elements that we'll talk about here in a minute.
And then there's two articles also on my website written by an Australian doctor, friend of mine, Craig Richards, it's called is your distance running shoe prescription evidence-based. So he went through all the literature, try to find out where did they prove that shoes with heel elevation, lots of cushioning shoes with arch support shoes, with toes Springs shoes, with tapering toe boxes.
We could go on and on. Where did they do the studies and compared them to a simple natural shoe and somehow saw a benefit? Well, they didn't. And there's two good studies. Like I said, on the website where it's been scoured, medical literature has been looked over very thoroughly. So it's part of it's for [00:17:00] fashion.
And then even the athletic shoe companies came to fashion, but then they tell their athletes that, oh, it's got this kind of foam, or it's got this kind of arch supporting mechanism. And it's totally lost on most people to actually put their belief system and their faith in their own feet. You know? So I talked to people all day, every day, but every kind of shoe out there shoes with higher heel shoes or lower heel shoes with arch support.
And what I tell them is I, I like people being, given the opportunity to see what their natural feet can do first. And then if that doesn't work, then maybe we do use a foot better and arch support. Those people are rare. Whereas I used to work for a foot bed company called super feet. I'm sure you've probably seen those out there that various colored foot beds.
And I wrote their health pieces and in their health pieces, I would say like 85% of people over pronate, you need this product. Well, now I realized why 85% of people over pronates cause their toes are malaligned and they can't control their own arch. And I did a video on that called pronation versus overpronation, which [00:18:00] is kind of fascinating when you consider that there's so much arch dysfunction and millions of dollars being spent on custom orthotics when
the problem is not in the arch. The problem is in the forefoot. But again, this is not common knowledge and I, I didn't learn any of this, a podiatry school. In fact, Dr. Rossi, excuse me, is to write a letter to all the podiatry schools every year and asking them if they would ever implement a natural foot foot health class.
And they didn't. Because that's not their allopathic again. So essentially what we do with our footwear is harming us, but that if you get online or you go to your typical podiatrist, they're going to tell you the opposite of what we're talking about today. They're going, even though there's no medical literature to substantiate it, they're going to tell you, oh, you want that cushion?
It's, you know, it's going to absorb impact and you want that arch support because look at that pronation. And, but a fascinating analogy that I hear all the time now, that makes good sense to me, that I think applies in this situation is if somebody hurt their back, we [00:19:00] might put a back brace on them for a few weeks, but then we're going to take it off and rehab them.
But somehow the profession of podiatry and maybe Pandora ethics and some, maybe some chiropractors and physical therapists also use orthotics. Lifelong. When I used to prescribe orthotics, the insurance company would pay for a new pair per year. So I would make one cast and each year I would just make another set of orthotics, no new work for me.
I would just build another set of orthotics. So it's a, it's a well-oiled machine that is based in a very deeply entrenched thought process that quite frankly is erroneous. And it doesn't take me or a podiatry degree to see that it's erroneous. In fact, any one of the audience members reading Dr.
Rossi would make perfect sense. What really caught My attention. Kevin was not just the title of the article, why shoes make normal gait impossible, because I was taught that I at your school shoes help your gait and they make it better. But if you guys have a look at that article on the very front of the, of the [00:20:00] article are three ladies, one lady standing in her bare feet and her body column is totally perfect and alignment, everything lines up fine.
The next lady's on a, I think a two-inch heel. And then they put a lady on a three inch heel. And obviously we don't walk with our body tilted out in front of us. We make compensations and those compensations add up over time in our ankles, in our feet, in our lumbopelvic core system. But another fascinating tidbit about feet.
Kevin is our feet will let us abuse them for decades before they really, you know, fail to function appropriately. And, and that was me, you know, I did all kinds of Cool athletic things and shoes, it didn't fit me. And sure I hurt, but I, I would say my average patient is a fourth or fifth decade. Female.
That didn't hurt herself. It didn't change anything. Just all of a sudden one foot won't function anymore. And then she gets to asking me, well, why is this happening now? And I explained to her, I think your body, your feet are no longer going to compensate for all the [00:21:00] damage that you're, that you're piling on them.
And it's time to go in a natural direction.
Kevin: thanks for sharing that. There's, there's obviously a lot there to unpack as well. Right? So you had mentioned early on that shoes, just the anatomy of a shoe right. And how we've gotten here. And it's, it's a culture fashion thing. Right. But it seems to me, as you were talking, we can all picture that a high heel, a woman's high heel shoe with a very narrow toe boxes.
That's gotta be horrible for us. Right. I think that's easy to do, but it occurs to me and say, looking at my dress shoes and looking at my athletic shoes, they're very, very similar. The materials may be different, but they, they have a heel, they have some type of arch support. They have a narrow toe box.
And you had mentioned a toe spring, which I believe is that upward angle. Which I see, even in my athletic shoes and, and some of my athletic shoes. And I think that as runners we're told, oh, you're a pronator.
You want, you want this extra support here? Or you're a heavier runner. That's put a lot of padding in here. And we're, we're [00:22:00] told that our feet aren't sufficient, right? That they need the science of man this man-made technology in order to make them better. But I think what we want to do is make a case of this is not making our feet better.
It's we are in fact deforming our feet. And for those of us over 50, we've been deforming our feet for all of our lives. Most of us.
So what happens to a person when we elevate their heel, even just a little bit, when we cram their toes together, maybe support the arch and don't let the arch do what it's naturally supposed to do and be strong by itself. When we do that toe spring, we lift those toes up. What does that do to not just our feet, but the rest of us?
Ray: Yeah. We have an article on our websites about 10 years old, where they took two groups of people. One group functioned in a two inch hail CR group of ladies. The other group of ladies function on a flat shoe. So then they followed them for a period of time. It did an MRI of their calf muscles, and the two and shield group was 14% shorter.
than the [00:23:00] flat. So that does several negative things. Tight Achilles also promotes more pronation in the foot. Tight Achilles, also prompts people to bear more weight on the ball of their foot. Unfortunately, instead of 50% on the heel and 50% on the ball. The artificial arch support,
it's now clear weakens are four layers of arch muscle. We've got 24 arch muscles in the bottom of our foot in four layers. And when we lift our heel and when we lift the ends of our toes, we make them too long. So they don't function properly. There's a principle in muscle physiology. You might be familiar with called length tension relationship.
So if the muscles choose too long, it won't contract. Same thing. If it's too short and tight, it's opposing muscle group, camp work, synchronously with it. So we weaken our arch muscles. We contract not only our poster, your calf muscles with the elevated heel, but in 1905, Dr.
Phil Hoffman and orthopedist went around the world, kind of like Dr. Rossi did. And [00:24:00] he did a comparative analysis of bare feet cultures versus industrial as cultures that have the heel that are support the narrow toe, the toe spring, the heavy, and the overall conclusion of his paper, which is also on our website.
Is that it's only in industrialized societies, that where the heel and the toe spring that they get contracture on the front of their calves. So their toes start popping up in the air. And so that does negative things too, that also promotes over lengthening of those arch muscles. But something I see every single day in the clinic is that when those toe tenants get tight and it pulls the toes up, not only is that promoting hammertoe, it's also bringing the second metatarsal fat pad that's supposed to be under.
And it brings it up into an area where people are no longer walking on it. So a lot of those people by the podiatrist are being told that they've lost their fat pad. When they didn't lose their fat pad is just not under the area of their foot where it's functional. And then perhaps the [00:25:00] one I'm most concerned about is the tapered pointed toe box directly promotes bunions as well as what's known as a Bunyan net, which is my fifth toe used to be completely under my fourth toe.
You couldn't see the toenail. And, you know, so this is common. And again, most people look at another American's foot and looks like they're. So what's the big deal. Unless you look at a baby's foot or unless you travel abroad. I lived in Liberia where they didn't have shoes and their feet, even the old people speak.
So look like baby feet. And, you know, so there's every once in a while, one of my patients will travel abroad also in send me photographs of the Sherpas in DePaul or someone in Thailand wearing a flip-flop at age 60 has got a pristine baby shaped foot. I've got a yoga instructor that teaches six months in Thailand, six months in America.
And we have compelling conversations about the difference in their foot anatomy because they don't cripple their feet. So it's, it's a tragedy that we do this and we don't know it until we get hurt, but the good news for [00:26:00] your audience is mostly it's rehabilitatable. You know, if, if they didn't sell fuse a joint or, you know, get too far down the road, get some arthritis or something.
Most of these things can be reversed and get people on a good path.
Kevin: Yeah, and I definitely want to circle back to that. So we're going to put a pin in that for a minute, because I want to finish kind of with what can we do specifically? Those of us that have been active in these shoes that aren't really friendly to our feet, but I want to back up, you had mentioned a bunion.
I think that's very common people familiar with that may have suffered with that. So my daughter, who's now 18 as she's had bunions since she was a young teenager now, as I think back on, and she's been in riding boots, her entire life she's from the day she was born practically, she was on a horse, but she also had a stint as a competitive rock climber.
And I don't know if you know which kind of shoes they wear for that, but they are horrible shoes. So it's probably no wonder that she's got [00:27:00] bunions. My wife took her to the doctor and the doctor said, oh yeah, she's she'll need bunion surgery. And since she has one on each foot, that's two bunion surgeries.
And, oh, it's a horrible surgery with a horrible rehab. We'll have to do them one at a time, maybe do one this year and one next year. And that was it. That was the end of the discussion. So my wife came home and my daughter was very upset. She didn't, you know, that she wasn't gonna put her out of commission and apparently there's a long rehab for that, but.
Most of us. I mean, at the time, I didn't know any better. I thought, oh, a bunion that bone is protruding. They need to cut that. There's a growth there. That's not supposed to be there. They need to cut that off. Right. That's the surgery, but that's not at all what's happening there. Talk to us about bunions and how we might another approach to taking care of that.
Ray: Yeah, it's a bunion is simply stated a progressive dislocation of the big toe joint caused by tapering toe box footwear. And the way that that happens is at birth. I assume [00:28:00] your daughter was like my daughter's widest at the tips of her toes, but to your point, she's she changed the shape of her foot early on before she was skeletally mature, which means that probably the joints and the growth plates and so forth also had influences from those shoes, but essentially what's going on with your daughter.
And by the way, I would like to send her some correct toes and I'd like to help her avoid that operation is we have a muscle back at the base of our heel called our Abbott, Dr. Helices muscle. It sends a tendon clear across the inner part of the arch and attaches on the big toe. Okay. In an ideal world that would stay short and strong and keep our big toe in alignment with the metatarsal, but in equestrian boots and rock climbing shoes, running shoes, dress shoes the muscle on the inside of the big toe, the abductor helices muscle gets short and tight.
So oftentimes when I'm examining somebody with a bunion they'll have what we call a trigger point, meaning that that adductor Hallis muscle is in a it's in a ball way too short. There's no way at [00:29:00] that point that the abductor can actually overcome the tightness of the abductor unless we do rehab. So unless we use something like a correct hose and teach your daughter to do Bunyan rehab work, which we've got some videos, we've got a stretch called the bunion stretch that will be helpful for your daughter.
but it's essentially not at all what you just described a second ago, but you're absolutely right. To a lot of times people will assume that it's a growth and you go get growth cut off, but you're right. What is happening is part of your daughter's big toe is no longer articulating with her metatarsal head.
And if you. If the podiatrist she saw took an x-ray, you guys could look at that and you'd see that her, her big toe is shifted towards her second toe. And the reason why that podiatrist said she'll need a surgery at some point is he was never taught ways of reversing it. He was perhaps taught that maybe if she wears a customer, thought it might slow it down and that's not true.
And that doesn't work. Although lots of people are [00:30:00] told that the thing that concerns me most about bunion surgery is not if somebody needs to have it, but the common misconception that people can go have an operation and go back to wearing their equestrian boots and the rock climbing shoes and not have it occur.
It always comes back again. I've seen people repeat two, three, four times abundance surgery because the doctor never told them to wear a shoe shaped like their natural foot. So if your daughter still has mobility and I would assume she does We can rehab her very likely without surgery. I, the people that I see going to Burundian surgery, our seventh and eighth decade people they've got bad arthritis.
They don't have enough range of motion in the big toe to get it even, to go back where it belongs. And then when your daughter needs to ride and climb, she just rides in clients and, you know, bites the bullet. But then when she's not riding and climbing, she does the rehab. And but one thing will happen, Kevin, that you might want to share with her that happens to all of our patients in this scenario is the bunion starts reversing.
They feel better, but [00:31:00] then when they go to ride their horse or climb the mountain, they have a new level of pain that those shoes never caused them before. I hear this practically every day. And then the patient will always look at me and say, well, how come I used to be able to wear those shoes all day?
Yeah, it might hurt a little bit. And I couldn't wait to get my shoes off at the end of the day. But now those same shoes within five minutes, those same patients look at me and they say, I can't wear my old shoes at all. And then they asked me what happened. And although I don't have a medical research study to prove this, I'm pretty sure what happens is we take somebody like your daughter.
At age, whatever young, young age, and, and basically before her nervous system is even developed, we start teaching her nervous system to function around these artificial positions. And then later on in life, when we give people back, their natural foot shape and their nervous system works properly, I believe the brain heavily guards that experience.
Cause it's, it's the best way that [00:32:00] their bodies should function. I hear it so often, Kevin, that I joke with my patients, that my job's done. Just listen to your feet and body, but it's not that simple. I mean, 70% of my patients are female. A lot of them are professional female, and a lot of them work in places that have dress codes and so forth.
So it's very difficult for a woman to be professional and fashionable and take care of her feet at the same time. And a lot of them won't until they get in such a degree of pain effect. When I meet younger women, I tell them all this, and it's kind of lost on them. You know, they don't, it's not their value systems, how they appear to their peers and how they appear on public.
And my mentor, Dr. William Rossi, who I told you about earlier retired from the practice of podiatry after a very few short years, because he was bored with the predictability of treating adult foot problems. Cause he'd been around the world. He understood shoes. He knew he could cure people, but after he, after he wrote all these articles and wrote several books, he [00:33:00] started studying sociology because it, it w it was puzzling to him how he can have a conversation like this with a young woman.
And she would look him in the eye and say, I would never wear a shoe shape like that. And I used to, I screen my patients now, and that's a screening question. I asked them because if they aren't willing to change their shoes, they should go to a traditional podiatrist because too many years went by where I would spend an hour talking to a person going through the details of all this only to have the young lady at the end of the visit, look at me and say, well, I would never wear a shoe shaped like that.
You know? So it takes a, the athletes are concerned about this. And so are the people that are starting to lose their mobility or they're in chronic pain or they're falling for them fashion as a secondary value system. Now, whereas previously it was their primary value system. So it's kind of a conundrum.
If you will, when you, when you look at it for all that, it entails.
Kevin: It certainly is all the reasons you just said, right? It's that [00:34:00] culture that, that cult of fashion. And, you know, I, I can see my daughter a teenager. Right. Cause the type of shoe you're suggesting she, where would be the widest at the toes and that's, there's no fashion today that we're that's and I don't even know where she would go.
I mean, that's an online purchase. I'm not going to go to the mall or to a shoe store and find that shoe. So. And this is a loaded question, but how do we change that? How do we, I mean, that is, that seems like such an uphill battle when you've got this entrenched culture of shoes and it's not just high fashion because we could say, okay, where, where are your fun shoes on date night?
Where did these shoes for these special occasions? But it's everything it's pervasive. And to your point, it's even in the athletic footwear, you'd be very hard pressed in my town to find athletic footwear that was widest at the toes is the tide turning a and B. What could happen to help that actually make this movement [00:35:00] towards being more accepting of this natural footwear movement?
Ray: Yeah, the tightest turning. And I think partly due to, I think the internet helped quite frankly, you know, now people can read like Dr. Rossi it's it's readily available. People can read it and learn these concepts. I also think that the shoe companies, the smaller shoe companies are starting to gain more traction.
But I'm also involved with two groups presently that are trying to bring about some radical change in this arena. One of them is called the healthy feet Alliance and we've got a Facebook page called healthy feet community. And it's a group of five of us. That started this, a physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, chiropractor, myself, and a shoe industry.
Gentlemen, John Polton from splay shoes. But more recently, Nick St. Louis physiotherapists from Canada and four other podiatrist and myself that started the started a natural podiatry movement where we're actually going to train podiatrists who would like to learn this. [00:36:00] And we don't expect it's going to be explicitly exciting right off the bat.
We think it'll probably few, few people will be interested in it. But I think what I've learned two things I've learned that might help the tide to turn a little quicker would be if a movie star or a fashion model were to embrace some kind of healthy natural shoe, then I could see people following.
I'll give an example. I think I used to think it was Julia Roberts, but somebody recently told me it was Cameron Diaz. I started wearing Uggs. So for your audience, if they're not familiar with the flat leathery type boot with a wool inside, and those are super healthy, they're flat, they're wide at the tips of the toes are flexible.
They're lightweight. So shortly thereafter, all the young girls started wearing Uggs. So I think if a pretty person, a fashionable person makes a statement, then the rest of us might be more inclined to go, Hey, I can do that too. I also think, well, [00:37:00] I, I know this now from my experience, if you give an athlete this experience in their body, they won't go back except for what you stated a night on the town, a wedding maybe, but even then they all come in and they tell me it's like within five minutes, I wasn't willing to put up with that.
So I think I think we need some key players. I think the education needs to get stronger and stronger, which it is right now. Good research studies are coming out, pointing out all this stuff. But then I like, like I mentioned, if people actually feel this experience, they don't go back. I, I don't remember a single patient coming back in and asking for their old pronation control, elevated cushion, heeled running shoe or their orthotic.
It's not that I don't still make orthotics. I do, but I, I make for less than 5% of my patient population, whereas I used to make it for probably 95%. So I think if we get key players, keep teaching this well and getting people to feel it because [00:38:00] once people feel it it's undeniable, they don't have to listen to me anymore.
Their, their body is telling them, wow, I have not felt this way before. And if you're somebody like myself and you like to run long distances, or you want to get the most out of your body, it's a super powerful way of doing just that.
Kevin: A hundred percent. And we were talking before we started recording here, I had suffered a bout of plantar fasciitis, which I very stupidly tried to ignore, just came on kind of slow.
And it's more of a nagging kind of in kind of a thing which I could work around. And you know, I eventually stopped doing things that really aggravated in the running the box jumps, double unders things that really aggravated it. And I got to the point finally, where, what I did and that was okay.
I was limping horribly everywhere. I went. So I was starting to get compensation injuries from limping everywhere. And I. Finally did what I should have done when it first came on and I went through some rehab. It was a couple of months of pretty solid rehab. I got to a hundred percent and I got some correct toes.
I heard, I [00:39:00] can't remember. I wish I could give this person credit. It may have been Dr. Aaron on the the squat university. I think he might've made, he mentioned it on one of his podcasts, but at any rate, he had mentioned wearing it as part of, you know, restoring foot health and strengthening the foot.
So I've moved from rehabbing into, into strengthening my fortnight. I'd tell you this long winded story all is a way of saying I started wearing the correct toes, which of folks don't know what that is. That's a, that's a company that you own as well as your podiatry practice, where it's a silicone toe separator.
And it really gave me this for the first time, really this awareness of my feet. And to your point, every single time I put on my shoes, now, it feels funny. And I've only been wearing them for a few weeks. It's not been that long, probably less than a month. And I started slowly, you know, I started with an hour a day and 90 minutes a day, a couple of hours a day.
So I think you're right. If people can understand, can feel what their feet, you know, what strong healing feet should feel like. [00:40:00] And they're, it's tough to go back. And I think in addition to maybe having a movie star where some of these shoes, it, it just baffles me. Why, why more athletes aren't, aren't moving into this space.
So hopefully, hopefully we'll see more of that sounds like you've gotten, like you said, you had the healthy feet Alliance and there was a, was there a second group in there as well
Ray: that you're working on? I think at this point we're calling it natural podiatry. I don't know that we've actually given it a formal name, but that's kind of what we're assuming it will be.
Kevin: Okay, so, all right. A while ago you were talking about how we might start to rehab. So our listeners here that have listened to this, they're probably looking at their feet thinking well, or looking at their shoes going, yeah, that's, that's a hundred percent me. I'm kind of guessed.
That's the majority of the folks listening. So people that have spent five plus decades in these kinds of shoes and are interested in health wellness, many of us are interested in performance still. What are the steps that we can take? Where do we go from here?
Ray: Yeah. [00:41:00] First step and most potent step, in my opinion is teaching a brand new way of.
Not only choosing what kind of footwear, which we've kind of briefly touched on, but how do you choose it? So when the new patient comes in, I show baby footprints. I show with the natural human foot should look like I pull out my baby's shoe, which is why to set the tips of the toes. Then I pull out a metal measuring device called the Brannock that you may have seen in the store, the they measure your overall length of your foot, and then they give you a width measurement.
But what most adult Americans don't know is that devices made for fitting fashion shoes. Cause it gives you your widest part of the ball, which guarantees that even if you buy a wide, it's getting narrower from the ball, which is fashion. There's no physiology to that. So step one is, is discouraging people from thinking of their foot size as a number and a letter shoes are made all over the world, a size nine and one brand can be completely different from a size nine and another brand.
So there's a super simple trick that we use, and this is the next thing we [00:42:00] show people, we have them stand up and we pull the removable sock liner that comes out of their shoes. And we, and we take a photograph of them standing on their sock liner. For two purposes, we get a baseline photograph of the shape of their foot on day one when they about to start their rehab.
But we're also going to publish this. We've been capturing these photographs for probably 12 years. 90% of my, my active patients, Kevin do not fit their footwear 90%. So I have them stand on the sock line or the sock liner is exact same shape as the upper part of the shoe. So if your foot spills beyond the sock liner, which 90% do the upper part of the shoe is going to do something to your foot and it's going to be a negative, it's going to reform it and it might not hurt.
In fact, some researchers from America went to, went to Africa and purposefully bound kids' feet. Just to change the shape of their feet and it didn't hurt. So we do this to all of our kids and most of the kids aren't complaining to mom and dad about their [00:43:00] feet hurting because they're in the developmental stage.
And so they're shaping themselves to be shaped like the, if the shoe. So most potent thing, I think to start that rehab would be to begin thinking of, of using the sock liner test, also known as the insult test or the shoe liner test. And I would bet my career that 90% of your audience, probably if they're checking this right now are going to see what we're referring to.
I strongly discourage people from just fitting their foot into their shoe and seeing how it feels because by the time. People are our age. Most of them to your earlier point are shaped like a shoe. So it's going to feel fine. So once, once you've determined that your footwear doesn't fit you, then, then the process begins looking for new natural footwear.
And that would be a totally flat, no heel elevation, no rigid toe spring, maybe a flexible TOST spring widest at the tips of the toes or the ends of the toes, lightweight and flexible. And once they find that shoe, then pull the sock liner out and stand on it. Some of [00:44:00] the more natural shoes don't have a sock liner, so you can flip the opposite shoe upside down and stand on it.
And look at the sole. The upper part of the shoe is almost always going to be wider than the, or narrower than the sole. So if that person's weighted foot is wider than the sole, the upper part of the shoe is going to squeeze it. And again, it won't hurt. So that's the best first step. In fact I tell people every single day that if all you did is choose proper footwear.
And separate your toes. You would never even have to touch your feet at all. And they'll rehab themselves because you're lining up the origins to insertions of all those little arch muscles into their natural alignment. But I see a very active population and they want it quicker and they want it, you know, get better quicker for performance, for pain reduction.
So I teach them a variety of rehab strategies, which are getting a lot of attention in the medical literature right now, which is awesome. We teach a lot of what's called short foot exercises. You might be familiar, also [00:45:00] known as doming of the foot. Also known as John to exercises named after the physiotherapists that named them.
I've got videos on all this on the website to Kevin. So if your audience wants to look up YouTube foot strengthening with Ray McClanahan, they can see that Another one that's getting a lot of attention is toast spreading. And I talk to people every day who can't spread their toes at all, quitting a lady this afternoon, she stares at her feet and they won't move.
And I, I reason with them that, of course they won't because you never use those muscles. You know, so beginning process is just waking them up and just getting the brain and the foot connection going. And once that happens again, you don't have to do any of these rehab strategies, but I've got Bunyan stretch, which would be helpful for your daughter.
I've got toe extensor stretch for those people who have tight toe Timmins on top. Obviously. Get just getting into a flat shoe will stretch out the back body, the cows and the hamstrings and so forth. So for years, my runners would come in and I would check their calf muscles and they were [00:46:00] all tight.
And so they're doing their wall stretch or their runner stretch, but then that would spend 10 hours out of their day in a one or two inch heel. So it's no surprise to me any longer that they never got flexible. Now I don't stretch those muscle groups anymore at all, and they're no longer tight because I don't allow them to become tight.
So I'm getting proper footwear slowly implementing the footwear. The book called born to run came out about 2010. I think it was. And the great book. Great story. Great message. But you may have observed people made sudden radical shifts to completely barefoot or Vibram five fingers or sandal running.
Yeah. When their feet were weak and deformed and the podiatry community did not like that movement at all. And most of them still did not like that movement. So when those patients ended up in the podiatry office, they wag their finger at him and said, well, of course you need supportive shoes and you need orthotics.
And to your earlier point, but I interests are literally taught that [00:47:00] feet are flawed. We're literally taught that evolutionarily feet did not keep up with the body. I heard a podiatrist say that a couple months ago, and I certainly don't believe that any longer. I think feet are way more capable than many of us ever experienced.
And that's a tragedy because if you experience what you're just now getting into and what I've been feeling for 20 years, everybody should feel this way in their body. And again, it's not just foot problems. I mean, I talk to people about their feet and their lower legs, but then a lot of times they'll come back later and they'll say, no, I didn't tell you about my low back or my piriformis or my it band or whatever that also got better, that they consider to be a miracle that it got better.
And I'm, I'm no longer surprised at all by that. I'm actually surprised that people can function as well as they do for as many years as they do before they break.
Kevin: Yeah. So that's, there's some great advice in there. And you had mentioned one of your patients not being able to spread her toes a month ago.
I couldn't spread my [00:48:00] toes. I mean, I could have a tiny bit, but I had to, I mean, I just had no foot awareness had no foot strength and it's, you know, it's a result of wrapping them in these nice tight shoes for so many years. And so what I heard out of that was first things first, you gotta, I mean, The real problem here is the shoe where we've got to find some kind of find some shoes that are shaped, like feet are supposed to be.
And we can talk about some resources for that in a minute. It second, we gotta wake our feet up. I think it was how you said it just gets them to bring some awareness to our, to our bare feet. And then you said, you know, people that are performance driven are looking to be a little more aggressive.
There's a lot of resources for foot exercise for actually strengthening the feet. Right. And you finished that story with the but the born to run and I kind of was chuckling as you were saying that, cause yeah, I read that book and I was like, holy moly, I'm doing this all wrong. And because at the time I was
doing marathons. And, you know, I've went to the runner store and they put me on a treadmill, said, oh, you're a [00:49:00] pronator here. And let's get you this big padded heeled shoes. So that we'll take care of that. Oh no, the shoe store had it all wrong. So I'm out there running around barefoot everywhere. And I got a pair of mentalist shoes.
I was all in. And to your point, okay, so I've spent 40 years in these big cushion, tight shoes. And I think that now I'm just going to go and do my Saturday long run in these minimal shoes without consequence. It didn't work that way. And most things don't right. We re we need to do small steps, but I hadn't thought about the repercussions where the traditional podiatry
community might look at that and say, see, we, we told you the foot flawed. You need these inserts you need these orthotics, you need these running shoes, et cetera. So that's, that's all very, very insightful. So let's we had mentioned correct toes a couple of times I'm wearing mine right now is as we're talking.
So tell us about cracked toes and how you came about that. I don't know that toe spacing is particularly new and you didn't invent that, but you certainly [00:50:00] invented this particular device. Talk a little bit about how you came up with that, what that is and how folks might find that.
Ray: So when I read the Dr. Rossi article, I mentioned earlier in 1999 and got to thinking more about feet and looking at my own, or got to thinking about shoes and looking at my own feet. I decided to see what those little single silicone splints you can buy at the pharmacy would do. If anything, you know I'd seen some old people wearing them and, you know, told me it was comfortable.
So I started putting them in between my first and second toe between my fourth and fifth toe. And I noticed over a period of a couple of months when my toe started getting a little straighter, which all of my podiatry colleagues said would not happen. It's it's genetics is what I was told and it's what people are still being taught.
I liked it so much. I started putting them in between all of my toes. And the problem was when I got out, especially on my long run and my foot would start perspiring. They wouldn't stay in place. And this is also pre toe socks. So as having them in a regular mint and style sock, and [00:51:00] I was complaining to one of my buddies who happens to be a designer one day about this.
And so collectively we decided we were going to take four of those and put them into a one-piece product. So it stay in place. But furthermore, throughout my own process, I learned that different people are at different stages of their deformity. And so you look at correct as it's got little cavities on each end, so we don't, we don't.
Slam them into perfect natural alignment right off the bat. Just like you didn't run your long run and Vibra and five fingers comfortably right off the bat. So we take a slow gradual approach. It's kind of like Invisalign for the mouth. And nobody argues that we straightened teeth with that, but we did a similar thing with, with feet, but we go slow.
So Dr. Rossy changed my mind. I didn't want to have the operation. I decided I was going to be my own Guinea pig. So we made, we made prototypes of this and we made them all wrong heart, too hard of a barometer. I had too much spacing in between all the toes early on. I ruptured the collateral to get them on my fourth hole in my left foot.
It's still [00:52:00] ruptured to this day. It doesn't hurt. It doesn't cause any dysfunction, but I, I made a lot of mistakes. Finally, we got the durometer, which is for your audience, the softness of the material. We've got the design proper. And then we started making it here in in Redmond, Oregon. This was 20 some years ago.
And we've moved around a bit. We've added now we've got four sizes and we've got different colors and we're actually working on a project right now to do a 3d scanning and make custom correct toes for people because people's toes are you, would, you wouldn't believe how many different kinds of toes are out there in terms of lengths and circumference and crookedness and wet toes.
And so yeah, I wanted to see if I could reverse my bunion and I did. And I love my work, but nothing gives me greater joy than to give hope to somebody who has a bunion or two bunions and been told what your wife and your daughter were told. Well, just wait until it gets bad enough. And then we'll go to this horrible operation.
Incidentally, when I used to do those operations, most people that had two Bunyan's and did one [00:53:00] bunny and operation would not come back for the second operation. They just, they just wouldn't, they didn't like the process of it takes people after their feet for a good bit of time. It hurts. They gotta take pain medication.
And quite frankly, the biggest part of that problem is not changing the people's minds in terms of the foot where they need to wear post-operatively. So, anyway, not to get off topic, but correct hose was essentially my own selfish way of seeing if I could not, not prove my colleagues wrong as much as show myself something new.
And you're absolutely right when I filed for a patent for correct toes. People have been building toe separators since 1907. I was stunned to find out all kinds of different. So the idea has been around a long time. What we tried to do differently is make ones that people can wear in their performance footwear.
So you're probably familiar with the ones that you might go to yoga class and get done with yoga and put them on when you're relaxing or whatever, or watching television. [00:54:00] But. But what we've discovered is that people will, will rehab themselves so much quicker if they're weight-bearing. So we have some people wear them at night and they don't get the resolution that the people that walk and run and lift their weights in them.
Do those people get quick resolution. In fact, those people will see slight changes within days or weeks. You know, the profound, permanent changes are likely to be longer term like for my feet took me three and a half years. But I was badly deformed. Now if you look at my feet, I can spread all of my toes out.
My toes are strong, they're independent. I can control all of them. But it took me years. But during that process, I knew I was on the right path cause I was increasingly more comfortable and I could see the changes taking place. And we have hundreds of photographic testimonials where people sent us a before and after one of my podiatry colleagues from New Hampshire did an x-ray study on his own feet over four month time period and saw his bunion and get smaller on the x-ray.
So [00:55:00] it works even though a lot of my colleagues don't like the idea it works. It doesn't make any money for any doctors though. I've got a doctor friend that has a, a running clinic and I was talking to him in a seminar not long ago. And he said, Ray, I liked correct. I was, I see that they work. But if I sell them in my office, I make $32.
Whereas blue cross blue shield pays him a thousand dollars to make a pair of orthotics and that's yearly per patient. So I understand the economic dilemma that it puts people into, but But for the right person in the right circumstances, it's, in my opinion, the very best way of approaching any of these common foot deformities, including what we used to call plantar fasciitis.
You know, we call it fascia Yosis now. And there was a fascinating study that came out of Seattle a year ago, where they purposefully put people's big toes into a bunion configuration and then measure the blood flow coming into the arch, right? Where people, right, Roy, you had your plantar fascial pain, [00:56:00] 22% less blood flow going into that part of the foot where people who first get up out of bed in the morning hurts.
I got a wall hobble around on it. So in fact, one of my professors took 50 people and took samples of their plantar fascial ligament while he was operating on them. And nobody had inflammation. And that studies also on my website, believe it or not, it's from 2003. So you hear people calling it, plant our fascia at us, and you hear people telling other people stretch your plantar fascia, which is a bad idea because our planet fascia is always already stretched chronically all day long.
So the idea that we want to stretch it more is not a good idea. We also don't stretch ligaments, you know, ligaments, whole bone to bone. So, so the, the thought process and the terminology behind it are wrong, but unfortunately people are suffering, you know, and getting, getting the wrong information, doing the wrong things.
So there's lots of, lots of information on the website. If any of your audience members have these various entities, we've done videos on, I [00:57:00] think we've got 90 videos now on various problems that people will have.
Kevin: And you've mentioned the website several times. I know you've got a couple of websites because you have your, your practice.
I assume you're talking about the correct toes website. Yeah. There is a ton of resources. So when we first set this up as like, oh, he's got a website, . Now I'll read a couple of these blogs. He's probably got a couple of blogs.
You've got, I mean, just an amazing amount of content there. So I would certainly encourage folks to go there. Take a look around. There is a ridiculous amount of information there. So. You had mentioned it taking years for your feet to completely rehab in this kind of natural sense. So those of us that maybe aren't as far gone as you were, but maybe we have bunions or like me we're rehabbing from something and just trying to bring awareness and strength and function back to our feet.
What's a realistic expectations. You know, if we get some correct toes and I get some shoes that I can actually wear them in, and I start doing this, baking this into my, [00:58:00] into my daily activity, do I see, I mean, I can already tell there's a difference in a month. What am I likely to see over the next year to five years?
Ray: Yeah. If you've got them properly sized and you are going to wear them in natural footwear, that goes along with them, you can expect during that time period to create a natural forefoot for you. So in other words, the tips of your toes will be the widest part, which is natural. You'll no longer be widest set the ball of your feet.
And if you have crooked toes, they're eventually going to get straight. However, if you got a spiral, what you didn't get as far along as I did, I actually got to the point where as I shared, my fifth toenail was under my fourth. So now, although my bones of my fifth toe straight, my toenail is on the side.
So my skin and my soft tissue also got deformed and that did not get rehabilitated, but the bones did. So I feel fine, but it looks weird. But that should be your expectation. You should feel, become less tolerant to fashion shoes. [00:59:00] Like we talked about, which, you know, you'll have to decide how much of that to do in your life.
But you are likely to also to have new experiences throughout your whole body, whether that be postural changes, whether that be just for me, I noticed I was never aware of my hips and core until I got aware of my feet. Once I got aware of my feet, I was like, wait, I can, I have a connection here that I can kind of manipulate in a good way.
So those are the favorable things that are likely to happen to you, Kevin. And if you continue to wear footwear shaped like that, even after your foot rehabs, very feet get rehabbed, you won't need correct toes anymore. And I can pretty much guarantee you're not going to end up in a podiatry office with any kind of a chronic toe deformity or any kind of issue that needs anything aggressive.
Kevin: Yeah. Okay. I like all of that. And I'm one of the reasons, the reasons I found the correct toes is it, it was one of the only ones that I think that I found [01:00:00] in my research it's meant to be worn while you're active and working out. And that, that very much appealed to me. I didn't, I realized that wearing the, my, while I sleep is not the same as wearing them while I go for a run.
Let's say, so we mentioned earlier we've while we've talked throughout this, about this new kind of footwear that we're seeking out. We can find that also on your website, right? You've got, I don't know if that's a punch out to somebody else or if you actually are stocking shoes, but that's, for me, that was the resource.
Cause I'm not going to find those shoes in my local shoe store. So for folks that are, maybe can't even envision what we're talking about. If they go to the correct toes website, there's you have a section there drop down section of shoes and that you can scroll through, they have dress shoes and men's shoes, women's shoes, lots of athletic shoes.
So different choices. You get an idea of what it looks like. And of course you can order them from there as well. Right?
Ray: Yep. Yeah. We have a shoe shoe list. We also do have a shoe store here in the clinic, mostly because we would have this conversation and people would go out in their community, maybe like your community [01:01:00] and not find anything, get frustrated or worse yet by something that wasn't what they needed or worse yet.
Have the clerk tell them that what we were doing at our clinic is harmful and they shouldn't wear those flat unsupportive shoes. But yeah, we have a, we have a website. You can order it. She was over our website. If you wear them in your house and keep them clean, but they don't fit you. You don't like them.
Send them back for a full refund. And we were living in a good time. I'd say there's probably 20 plus companies out there now making natural, healthy footwear. Some of them that came out with natural, healthy footwear now starting to kind of merge back towards some of the more culturally acceptable stuff, but there's still some good brands that you can look at.
Kevin: Great. Yeah. And like I said, there's, you know, I've got my eye on some athletic wear as well as a pair of date night shoes up there. So I'll be checking some of those out. Now. You also have an you're you're a practicing podiatrist and you have a practice as well. I believe you're located in Oregon.
Is that right? Yeah. So can do [01:02:00] you I'm I'm almost sure you do in this day and age and COVID everybody has a virtual practice. Do you accept new patients? Say somebody listening to this as holy moly. I had no idea. This was a thing. How do I work with this guy? Can do you work with patients that way?
Ray: I, I did during COVID Kevin and I was really frustrated by it because to do my work well, I need to actually touch people's feet and actually feel what's going on.
So it's somewhat helpful in terms of just getting the education. But my practice is busy enough right now with people coming in in person. So I've hired associate doctors who are doing remote consultations. So if any of your audience members would like to talk to one of our doctors, they can certainly set that up and they'll get, they'll get however much time.
They'd like to go over with one of our doctors.
Kevin: Okay. And it sounds like you would be with somebody. If somebody lived stay in my community, could they reach out to you for a referral or suggestion? Do you have, [01:03:00] it sounded like you were starting these communities maybe of other natural podiatrists. Is, would that be a resource as well?
Ray: Yes. In fact, that's our hope. Eventually as we get more and more of these people trained to have them on a website that's accessible, we get people asking all the time, including yesterday, they'd like this care in their community. They'd like these resources available in their community. So we wanna, we wanna expand upon that going forward through these various groups, we also have a store locator on our website, which sometimes isn't just a retail store.
Sometimes it's a naturopath, a chiropractor, a physical therapist that will be familiar with this process. Maybe available in one of your audience's communities.
Kevin: Okay. Great. Thank you. And what's the best way for people to connect with you? We've mentioned your website a couple of times, and now that you've got a couple websites, what's the best way for folks that want to learn more to connect with you?
Ray: probably the correct toes website and then probably best thing to do would be to go to foot [01:04:00] help and then go to articles and studies. And a lot of them are late, late articles. So it's not a bunch of science. It's not a bunch of biomechanical terms. It's just basic what Dr. Rossi taught me about arch support, about heel elevation, about tapering toe boxes about toe spring.
So that'd probably be a good spot. As you mentioned, we do have the blog. We've got a bunch of videos that people want to look at YouTube. They're usually on the order of four to five minutes covering like one or two entities, the common things that we see. So those are be great places. We're on Instagram, we're on Facebook, Twitter, all those as well.
Kevin: And I'll make sure to drop all of that into the show notes. So folks who want to learn more head over and check that out and I'll link to all of those resources. Well, Dr. Ray, I want to thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing all of your knowledge with us. I was really excited to talk to you because like I said, I'm on my own personal journey here.
I feel like I've learned a lot and I know for certain that folks can take a lot away from this. So thanks so much for coming
Ray: on the show. [01:05:00] It was awesome to be with you, Kevin. Thank you.
Kevin: Yeah, well, that's our show for today. Folks, you can find all of the links to the videos and blog posts that Dr. Ray referenced during this interview on my website at www.silveredge.com/episode57. You can also comment and ask questions on this episode on that same page. So again, that's www.silverridgefitness.com/episode 57.
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