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.
Locations in Vancouver, SE Portland, and NW Portland
Podiatrist: Dr. Ray McClanahan
Northwest Foot & Ankle
2701 NW Vaughn Street, Suite 424
Portland, OR 97209
Body Balance Rolfing & Massage
2732 SE 18th Ave Portland, OR 97202
Forget Me Knots
12655 SE Center St, Ste 530, Beaverton 97005
Yes, she’s in my office!
Custom clothing and enamel jewelry
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, and Merrell. 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 stiff, narrow version (skip these!) and the one I like with the wide toebox. 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. Most people gain a half to a full size as their toes spread out. Winter boot guide here.
Places to get biomechanically-correct footwear locally:
REI (surely you know where REI is)
FleetFeet (formerly FitRightNW -they carry Lems) off NW 23rd
Imelda’s on Hawthorne
Footwise on Broadway
Pie in the Alberta district
Cobbler Bill’s near 82nd & Foster
Shoe Mill at the big malls
The Walking Company also in 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!)
Clogs N More – note – don’t buy clogs! :) Hawthorne and downtown
And don’t forget the toe 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. They thoroughly describe their stock on the website, including measurement info like calf size. They ship superfast, for free.
Places to get biomechanically-correct footwear online:
Ahinsa Casual style, fabric shoes
Altra Wide toebox running shoes
Baer Shoes check out the Joe Nimbles for women and men!
Belleville Military & law enforcement-type boots.
Lems ugly but comfortable
Oesh Variety of women’s styles from professional to casual.
Shoes for Crews Steeltoes, other serious work shoes & boots
Skidbusters Nursing, etc.
Soft Star Shoes Minimal, basically leather socks. Based in Corvallis
Tadeevo casual laceups
Tune Men’s penny loafers
Vibram FiveFingers and wrap shoes
Vivobarefoot Lightweight, minimal shoes and boots
Xero 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.