It's been eleven years since I started to make my own shoes, and today I am proud to say that I only wear shoes made by my own hand. The reason I started this journey was because I couldn't find shoes in my size, and the discrepancy was hurting my feet. The skill to make shoes opens up a raft of other capacities, bags, belts, portmonnaie, ipad and cell phone covers etc. Because I travel so much, I have evolved a method that uses very few tools, and that allows me to work practically anywhere. I have also begun to share this method with my students, and several of them have begun to make their own shoes and other things as well.
The study of anatomy, and a tour of clinical research results has sharpened my appraisal of shoes, and clarified the importance of the shoe as a factor in the conditions for healthy walking. Even if you dont want to learn how to make your own, you can watch out for a few things when shopping. Putting it on a flat surface, look at the back of the shoe. If you see that the back of the shoe leans in to the big-toe side, dont buy it. Take a look at the bottom of the shoe. If you see that there is no surface area to put your weight on the lateral mid-foot area, dont buy it. Take a look at the inside of the shoe. If you see that the arch is filled in with so-called "support", dont buy the shoe.
Of course, it goes without saying that there should be room for your toes to wiggle. But also, a shoe should be light and flexible, so that it doesn't add too much stress to your knees. In other words, a shoe should protect your foot from the environment, but not prevent your foot from interacting with the environment. Packing the foot into a form-fitting, arch-filled shoe is like putting your foot in a cast... remember what happened to that broken arm when it was put into a cast? The muscles atrophied! You want a strong, alert, capable foot, not a useless appendage waiting for a prosthetic replacement. The best thing of course is to make your own shoes, or have them made for you, because each foot is slightly different than the other one, and a custom made shoe will do these differences justice.
If you are interested in learning more about the method I am developing, follow this link:
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write to me through this website.