Happy Foot

I’m getting ready to be gone for two weeks. I’m super excited to be on a lecture tour for the book and to visit my family, but on the other hand,I’m reluctant to leave our new state as we’ve just settled in to our new place. Although, as I type this, I don’t even really buy it because I LOVE traveling to new places, meeting new people, and opening their minds and bodies to mind-blowing information.

Here’s the book cover!

To get ready this tour, I decided to paint my toes. Actually, I decided to paint my toes after finding my Toe Alignment Socks in the back of my drawer. I stopped wearing them all the time once I started wearing my Vibrams all of the time. A mistake, I realized, once I put the socks on. Or, sock, actually, because I can only find one. Them toes were still tighter than they should be. And it’s a good thing my left foot is tighter than my right, since that’s the one I could find.

Alignment socks help combat the narrow toe-boxes of most shoes (who wears these pointy shoes???)

by stretching the adductors (muscles that pull the toes together). Stretching the adductors allows the toe abductors (muscles that move the toes apart) to work once again. You can also do this with your hands, but I often have other things to do with my fingers besides putting them between my toes for 5 hours a day, like type on the computer. And practice speaking Italian.

If you’re working on toe spreading (a toe-abductor strengthening exercise) you have to undo years of between the toe tension. A little toe exercise here and there is a drop in the bucket compared to how many thousands of hours you have smashed your toes together. That’s why I love these socks. They allow me to work on toe stretching for hours. I’m all about time management these days. Now if only someone would invent some sort of sock that went around the neck, pushing the shoulders down from the ears. An alignment turtleneck.

Dear My-Happy Foot Alignment Sock People,

Could you please start working on My-Happy Neck Alignment Turtlenecks please? I’d like a multicolored one. And I’d like it to be made from organic cotton or from the hair of humanely raised (and shorn), free-range unicorns, that are only fed rainbows and non-GMO plants.


Your best customer

That is something I’d buy for sure.

Toe bliss, right here:

And, if you are wondering what the name of this polish color, it is OPI’s Barefoot in Barcelona, which sounds a lot better than Popsicle Toes or Thirty Degree Weather Make Your Feet Bluish White. Am I Right?

I’d also like to take this post as an opportunity to thank those of you who, a year ago, supported the book effort with your foot-ailment testimonial (click). I told you that, if I used your story, I would send you an autographed copy of the book! Here are the stories that I used! If you recognize your comment and your name below, please send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll get your book out in the mail!

And if you didn’t win, you can still get a free chapter of the book, right now, at www.footpainbook.com. I hope you love it as much as I do!

My first job in college was as a salesclerk at a department store. Women were required to were skirts (this was in ’95), so of course I bought my first pair of heels to wear on my first day – a “sensible” brown pair with a 2″ heel. We were not allowed to sit down except during breaks, so my first 8-hour shift was excruciating! When I got home after work, I pried off my shoes and discovered that *both* of my pinky toenails were completely gone. I did not learn my lesson, though, and wore heals throughout college – and my pinky toenails didn’t grow back until I got a desk job and found a nice pair of dress flats. – Linda

I got my 1st pair of high heels at age 13 and I thought I was just too cute, until an older guy laughed at me for being so wobbly. Devastated but determined, I practiced wearing them and finally succeeded, I even was able to run in them. I couldn’t figure out why I kept getting back aches and finally herniated L5-S1 disc (duh). Went to chiropractic college to learn about the spine and learned about those wicked, but seductive, high heels. – Gayle D.C.

I have been walking on 4 toes ever since I was little as my next to pinky toe on each foot never grew out past a certain age in my childhood, and that toe has made it hard to find shoes that fit. They either had to have the top front of the shoe go low below that toe because it sticks up (the pinky toe has curled underneath that toe to support it) or go high enough that it doesn’t rub that toe and make it sore because it is too tight. Can you imagine cramming that toe into heels and walking without it hurting? Wasn’t a good idea but I have done it anyway since highschooll. Your exercises and Earth shoes has helped me so much be able to spread my toes now and the shoes don’t rub the top of my toe next to my pinky toe and make it sore. No more sore and aching feet! I am forever grateful! – Lanene W.

My first pair of high heels were the plastic ones they used to, and maybe still do, sell in the “girl” kits you’d find in the drug store toy section. They often came with gaudy, clip on earrings, lip gloss and the such. I was about 7 years old and wore them to bed the first couple of nights. That phase died out in me pretty quickly, thankfully, since I was one of the taller girls in school not to mention a creature of comfort. Those darn things hurt! These days I prefer to be barefoot….which makes me truely feel like a little girl again. – Amber N.

I am here to say that not only high heels but even toe scrunching flats are painful for me. My mother put us in sensible brown oxfords all through grade school and we hated her for it. When we reached the ripe old age of 11, we were allowed to pick out and wear whatever shoe types we wanted. I was in love with a pair of light blue flatties which I bought in a size 7 l/2 – only my foot measured a size 8 l/2!!!!! I paid a dear price for trying to have my feet appear smaller!. Bunnions, hammer toes, fallen arches and very bad arthritic knees! Thank you, Katy, for introducing me to Rexi and Earth shoes so that at 64 years of age, I’m finally able to spread my toes, lessen my bunnions and hammer toes and walk for at least an hour with no knee pain!!!! – Chris D.

I have a Bone spur on the top of my foot at the base of the big toe. It was very painful, red and swollen and limited my walking because it hurt all the time. The medical term for it is Hallux rigidus. I started making changes with my stance and walking, specifically feet straight ahead, weight on my heels and changed my shoes to no or negative heels. Very soon after this my pain and the redness went away and with no swelling I was able to enjoy walking again pain free. I went to the podiatrist for his input and he told me the pain would “Continue to intensify until a year from now I would be begging him to do surgery to correct it”. Well, I have continued to follow the REXI guidelines and still no pain after 9 months! It even seems to be a bit smaller ! – Diane L, PT

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21 thoughts on “Happy Foot

  1. Katy, congrats!!

    Even though I never wear shoes like that and I’m often barefoot, I think I want a pair of those socks, now. There… you’ve convinced me!

  2. Hmmm…. the socks seem like a great idea, but the very idea of something between my toes gives me the heeby-geebies. My husband likes to stick his fingers between my toes just to make me scream.

  3. I am second in line for the My-Happy-Neck-Alignement turtleneck!

    Can’t wait for your book and the book signing party at The B.E.A.C.H.!


  4. That’s it – an alignment turtleneck. I have been wanting to ask you what I could wear on/near my head. I am wearing alignment socks on my feet, have the monster band around my ankles, an exercise band around my ribs and I was going to get a pelvis to wear on my head, but alignment turtleneck is even better 🙂 Can’t wait for the book.

  5. my toes were wiggling with joy, because I had my happy feet on as I was reading this! Thanks Katy for all you share.

  6. Katy,

    I wear my toe socks every night – so I get plenty of time in them. The left foot – which is my happier foot overall – is just now (after 5 months) starting to feel comfortable with the socks. The first night I wore them – OMG – I woke up in pain! Those toes were really close together!! I have 2 pairs – wash one, wear one.

    Goodie, goodie! My second pair of Vibram 5 Fingers literally just came in the mail 1/2 hour ago. Now, I have a pair to wear in the house, and a pair to wear to the various studio’s where I teach. And, I got the second pair on SALE!!! Waited and waited and finally….got what I wanted! (-:

    I have to say, the smallish bunion on my right grand toe is far better now. Wearing the proper shoes, and doing the exercises has kept the bunion from being as sore and swelling as much – for which I am grateful. I have pre-ordered your book from Amazon, and any day now, it will arrive on my doorstep! Can’t wait! I am also going to order your practitioner set of videos – once the billing date on my credit card is past for this month!!! Budgeting!!!

    Thank you and talk soon! PS – everyone needs to get the socks if you don’t have them!


  7. I have a long footstory, and delight in finding your work. I grew up with flat feet, and in the early 60’s and 70’s my aarents wouldn’t allow me to wear the sweet girly shoes I dreamt of, but I would not agree to saddle shoes or orthopedic shoes. When I was young i would jump and my ankle bones felt like they would bump against each other with incredible pain. I never wore heels much, just couldn’t really be graceful or find a good fit.

    “comfort” shoes were my style. I even wore REBOCKS in 1987 to walk down the aisle at my wedding.

    In 1987 after my wedding I had a terrible fracture of my heel and ankle bones. Those heels smashed when playing a light game of touch football, and my heel split in 1/2 and talus lodged between it. Needless to say, it was terrible. WIth great dedication and study, and yoga I healed well. Now almost 25 years later, I walk well, am a pilates instructor, and still have subtalar fusion. After podiatrists thinking I would always need orthotics (though they never helped much and sometimes they couldn’t even find a successful perscription!), one podiatrist even thought I should wear them the moment i got out of bed. And I must share, I have no pain!

    I function well, was just trying to care for myself to prevent changes ahead due to fusion!

    Now with Barefoot styles, I am in heaven. TRY THE NEW STEM FOOTWEAR. Only 2 colors, 1 style so far, they are a delight to wear. My foot muscles get to work well. Balance is excellent. THey fit like a glove with no pressure. ANd they are the only shoe truly wide enough for my toes. I tried VIBRAMS but my bunions got blisters, just not good for me.

    I love the toe socks, but also found the work of a great OREGON podiatrist: Dr. McClanahan, google him!

    He has toe correctors that move with you. YOu wear between your toes in shoes or around the toe socks. These are very helpful. I am following his work and he consults STEM. I am hoping they will develop even slightly wider toe boxes, or variable widths for stubbier toes!

    Thanks for your work! Hope this wasn’t too long winded!

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