Here’s a short list of professionals I recommend. Please let me know if you use one of these referrals – I’d love to hear how it goes for you!
Also – the second half is a guide to shopping for healthy shoes.
Dr. Kathy Alvarez
Cedar Hills Office Park
1815 SW Marlow Suite 206
Portland, OR 97225
Evergreen Women’s Health, PC.
1207 Washington St., Suite #145
Downtown Vancouver Washington
Vancouver, WA 98660
EMDR Certified Clinician/ Trauma Therapist
Dr. Karma Denmark
2008 Willamette Falls Drive #200
West Linn, OR 97068
Chinese Herbal Medicine:
Root and Branch
7642 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, Oregon 97219
Locations in Vancouver, SE Portland, and NW Portland
Dr. Charles Woolley
2311 NW Northrup St, Portland, OR 97210
Dr. Ray McClanahan
Northwest Foot & Ankle
2701 NW Vaughn Street, Suite 424
Portland, OR 97209
Brandie Sylfae (SE Portland)
Body Balance Rolfing & Massage
10700 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Highway
Building 3, Suite 605 (2nd floor, there is an elevator)
2732 SE 18th Ave Portland, OR 97202
Caregiver Help Desk 1-855-227-3640. You can also chat with them on caregiveraction.org
Buying bio-mechanically correct shoes:
First, read this article about foot function and how to assess a shoe. Then, look for brands like Born, Clark’s, Keen, Lems, Jambu & J-41 (sexy sandals!), Vivo, Altra, Jafe, Xero, TOPO, Vivobarefoot, and Merrell. Naturalista, Naot and Reiker make wide-toebox shoes that are super cute but stiffer / more supportive in the sole, so they are appropriate for transitioning or if you are going to do major mileage on concrete. FiveFinger and Fila make minimal, separated toe shoes (personally, my short toes like the Filas much better – and they were a mere $30 at Big 5 sports!). Please note that I am NOT endorsing every model shoe the above brands make. For example, Keen has two footbeds, a rigid, narrow version (skip these!) and the wider, flexible one I like as a transition shoe. In all brands, some models may be great, but others are too pointy-toed, too stiff, or have a heel. Shop carefully. When trying shoes on, you need to step on the liner and examine other factors discussed here. Try not to get carried away with something cute or a pair that feels “good enough” – your feet will get pickier as they adapt to having room to move! They will also spread out, so if you are between sizes, go up. REMEMBER: Most people gain a half to a full size as their toes spread out, and they build muscle in their feet. It’s best not to buy too many until you know your new size. Winter boot guide here.
Places to get biomechanically-correct footwear locally:
Pie Footwear in the Alberta district – they teach classes now, too!
Cobbler Bill’s near 82nd & Foster
Shoe Mill and The Walking Company at big malls (NOTE – most of the shoes in the mall stores are aimed at symptom relief instead of true health and are too stiff! Be careful!)
FleetFeet (formerly FitRightNW) off NW 23rd
Footwise on Broadway
Imelda’s on Hawthorne
REI (surely you know where REI is)
Switch at Multnomah Village. Israeli made. Not minimal but good transition shoes and boots.
Clogs N More – note – don’t buy clogs! :) Locations on Hawthorne and downtown Portland.
The Northwest Foot & Ankle Clinic has a small showroom with a variety of wider toebox shoes.
And don’t forget the toe socks (or tabi socks) so you can move freely inside your spiffy new shoes. Sock Dreams has a store in Sellwood, or you can order online. They carry unique, high quality stuff, including the elusive toesock with formed heels. I love that Sock Dreams thoroughly describe their stock on the website, including measurement info like calf size, and they ship for free.
Places to get biomechanically-correct footwear online:
Aqua Socks: This is a category, not a brand! Very thin, light synthetic slippers with rubber soles so thin and flexible that I can feel the carpet at work, especially after I pull out the unnecessary insole. I LOVE these and they are my go-to at work now. Search Google or Amazon – they usually run $10-15!
Baer Shoes high-end European boots & shoes
Belleville Military & law enforcement-type boots.
The Drifter Leather Sleek, stylish shoes and boots.
Magical Shoes In Poland. leather and vegan options, wider footbed available
Oesh Variety of women’s styles from professional to casual.
Shoes for Crews Steeltoes, work shoes & boots
Skidbusters Nursing, etc.
Soft Star Shoes Minimal, basically leather socks. Rubber soles available. Based in Corvallis
Tadeevo casual laceups
Topo Athletic runners
Tune Men’s penny loafers
Unshoes sandals, mocs, dress flats
Vibram FiveFingers and wrap shoes
Vivobarefoot Lightweight, minimal shoes and boots
Wildling Kids and adults (Re-Wild), based in Germany
Xero shoes and sandals, including DYI
Again, not everything these places sell will be good for your feet. Double check the shopping guide. I recommend wearing your new shoes inside for a while on a trial run (so they are returnable) before venturing out. Zappos is great for easy returns and free shipping both ways.