A Sound Farrier Needs Proper Fitting Shoes

Incorrectly sized footgear fails to support your back, hips and joints

Pictured Above: Too often a low toe box will deny the ability to flex the ankle and then one’s gait is compromised. The toe box in this shoe is at an appropriate angle.

Editorial note: This is the second in a three-part series in which human and equine chiropractor Patricia Bona explores the significance of proper shoe fit and how to achieve it.

Farrier Takeaways

  • In shoes that fit appropriately, your toes should be free to spread apart to be able to articulate and feel the center of gravity of body to the ground.
  • Without propulsion for the foot and ankle (intrinsic foot and calf muscles) you will overuse your hip flexors and compromise your back and hips.
  • Proper fitting shoes allow your foot and ankle to function dynamically through all of the ranges of motion.

Few professions can compare the physical strength and prowess needed to stay physically sound as a farrier. You bend, lift and twist all day, often with your head at the level of your hips. All the while you are handling and being handled by a sizable animal with a mind of its own and under environmental variables of temperature, footing and lighting, as well as a third person, if you have a handler. The last thing you need is to have your feet weigh you down and trip you up.

A study by the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research in 2018 found that 63 to 72% of the population are wearing the wrong…

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Pat bona 2018

Dr. Patricia Bona

Dr. Patricia Bona, D.C. is a chiropractor for humans and animals (AVCA Certified since 1994), the co-founder of Broad Axe Chiropractic Center and inventor of the Posture Prep Cross Fiber Grooming system for horses. She has also spoken at such events as the International Hoof-Care Summit and Equine Affaire. Visit her at drpatbona.com.

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