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Update on the Podiatrist That Recommends Shape Ups…

Posted by on Feb 7, 2011 | 7 Comments

Several of you emailed me noting the ads on the website cited in my “Podiatrist that recommends Shape-Ups” post may have been randomly generated. This quote comes from this post on the same website:

“I love the Sketcher Shape-Up! As the fifth shoe on my list, I am going to be brutally frank and tell you why I like this shoe – when I have patients who desperately need the MBT but can’t afford it’s $250 price tag – I send them to purchase the Sketcher Shape-Up which I describe as the “less expensive version of the MBT.” I know that is not the most flattering picture I can paint of this shoe but I will say that I am extremely grateful that it exists!

The Sketcher Shape-Up is a great walking shoe for a wide variety of foot ailments as well as knee, hip and lower back pain. In particular, it works well for patients with heel pain, metatarsalgia, osteoarthritis, and forefoot issues such as capsulitis, bunions, and painful calluses. It is also great for anyone who works on their feet all day on concrete floors. It has great shock absorption and is super-protective of the foot so that is will help prevent injuries, prevent wear-and-tear of the joints and prevent progression of many foot pathologies that you might already have developed (i.e. bunions and hammertoes). I recommend that you wear a custom-molded orthotic or an excellent over-the-counter insert for arch support with this shoe.”

If you read through the entire list of “recommended walking shoes”, you’ll see a who’s-who of every gimmick sold to an unsuspecting public.  I bet P.T. Barnum (or Joe Bessimer) would have something to say about this list.

My feet feel weaker just skimming that list!

I would challenge anyone to find a single peer-reviewed study that showed any of these products actually reduces the reliance on supportive, motion-control shoes or orthotics.

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    February 13, 2011

    […] some professionals are posting these arguments online for all to see.  In some cases, they have removed the comments after posting.  At the very least, I give some barefoot opponents credit for not hiding their identity.  Even […]

  2. Joe
    February 12, 2011

    I do believe this doctor and her peers believe they’re helping people. And I’m sure that some things they offer do provide comfort to some whose feet are so far-gone they’re unable to walk barefoot anymore.

    But it just seems so wrong to be recommending a shoe to improve leg muscle tone while doing exactly the opposite for feet.

    I wish more podiatrists were talking about rehabilitating neglected feet, rather than trying to dampen the pain that comes from atrophy and disuse. But “buy this, you’ll feel better” is easier than “do these exercises for 6 months.”

  3. SkepticSimp
    February 12, 2011

    Shoe industry is all about gimmicks! That same challenge could be extended to the barefoot movement – provide me with an article, not one funded by a company that want to sell their minimal shoe, stating barefoot running provides less injuries.

  4. Earl Gray Toe
    February 8, 2011

    That’s pretty much what I thought in my gut right away Ken Bob. What’s terrifying for me personally, is that my youngest sister is an athletic therapist and starting to fall for this Whargarble BS. Thankfully HHH found . So there’s a peer of hers at least to counter this pseudo science quackery.

  5. Caleb Wilson
    February 7, 2011

    Spot on, sir. you saw the commercial with Kim K. last night for this garbage? I almost threw my laptop at the television. I cant believe people are ignorant enough to buy into this stuff. I’m not a barefoot purist by any means, but I hate seeing products like this that intentionally mislead people by playing on their inclination towards laziness, which I supposed is their own fault, but still.

  6. Barefoot Ken Bob
    February 7, 2011


    I’m sure you already suspect, as many of us do (guess that calls into question why I’m even bothering to post this coment??? But, just felt like it, I guess), that reducing the reliance on these devices might not be the goal of selling these products…