During one of my chronic achilles tendonitis bouts, I was lamenting to my brother that it was terrible to not be able to run, and that every time I started back up running again, I seemed to injure my achilles tendon again. During this conversation, he asked me what I wear for shoes in the office. I told him I wore shoes I got from Walmart. His reply: “That could be part of your problem!”
This is during the time that I had discovered the Altra running shoes. I had recently discovered that having a shoe with a wider toe box and zero heel drop would be key to strengthening my tendons. However, this did not seem to be enough as I had just hurt my tendon trying to run minimally in my newly purchased Altras. The thought that my shoes I wore everyday could be compounding the issue did not occur to me.
This is when I started to check into shoes I could wear to work that would make my feet happy! Walmart shoes would not cut it. I had recently discovered that part of my injury problems were a result of my crooked toes to do my feet being scrunched in “normal” footwear. I needed something a wide toe box. I also started wearing an toe spacer in order to help the natural spread of my toes. I found a list of shoes that would fit the bill, but ultimately, I went with the Altra Provision Walk.
The Altra Provision Walk has been great to my feet. It is a comfortable shoe that allows my toes to full spread out, and it has helped to naturally strengthen my tendons. I will soon be in the market for a dressier shoe to fit the natural footwear bill, but thankfully my workplace is just casual enough to allow me to wear the Altra Provision Walk.
If you are suffering from injury, you may want to check not only your running shoes, but check the shoes you spend most of your day in! This could be part of the problem! A runner who is looking to go back to natural form will want to look into a shoe that will allow their toes to spread out (similar to what would happen if you went barefoot) and that has a zero heel drop. For the women readers- I know high heels look great, but is it worth sacrificing your foot health? Men who wear dress shoes- is the narrow toe box and the higher heel on most dress shoes worth it if it promotes injury. I submit that you can find great looking footwear that will promote natural alignment and foot health.