Our feet are so much more capable than many of us are aware, and innovative podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan is here to share how we can attain strong, flexible, proprioceptive and resilient feet that engage their world meaningfully.
In his 18 years as a podiatrist, Dr. Ray has learned that most foot problems can be corrected by restoring natural foot function. His practice, Northwest Foot & Ankle in Portland, Oregon, allows him to care for those who find their highest joy when in motion. He is also the inventor of Correct Toes, silicone toe spacers designed to place each toe in the correct anatomical position in relationship to each other and to the ground.
In this episode, Dr. Ray shares the history of wearings casts (aka shoes) on our feet and the foot ailments that are caused by modern footwear and lifestyle. He breaks down our basic foot anatomy and the vast capabilities of the human foot when allowed to function in its natural form. He also gives an overview of what the journey to robust foot health looks like and the steps we can take to achieve this. Tune in for an in-depth discussion on this foundational piece of our overall health and wellness strategy!
- Show introduction:
- Pine Pollen harvesting season
- Recounting this week’s turkey hunt
- Birch syrup season
- Spring green foraging
- Discussion on invasive species
- Introducing Dr. Ray McClanahan
- Why did we start wearing casts on our feet?
- What foot ailments are caused by footwear and lifestyle?
- Breaking down foot anatomy
- How Dr. Ray got into natural podiatry & the podiatry industry
- The four primary negative features of athletic footwear
- Capabilities of the human foot
- The story of William Rossi and Phil Hoffman
- Fashion footwear
- The truth about arch support
- What does the journey to foot health look like?
- Dr. Ray’s prognosis for the future of the human species
- How to connect with Dr. Ray
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RESOURCES FROM THIS SHOW:
- Arthur Haines' foraging classes
- Instagram post discussed in episode intro
- NorthernMIHandmade Etsy shop
- Garlic Mustard
- Japanese Knotweed
- Baby foot
- Video: Spread Your Toes™ Series: Bunions, Conservative and Preventive Care vs. Conventional Care
- Video: The Hereditary Bunion Myth
- Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus
- Dr. William Rossi (Dr Ray’s mentor)
- William A. Rossi, DPM. “Why Shoes Make ‘Normal’ Gait Impossible.” Podiatry Management. Mar 1999.
- APMA - American Podiatric Medical Association
- Arch Support
- Video: Pronation vs. Overpronation
- The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe by William A. Rossi
- Weston Price
- William A. Rossi, DPM. “Fashion and Foot Deformation.” Podiatry Management. Oct 2001.
- Tackling The 10 Myths Of Barefoot Running
- Strengthen Your Feet and Ankles to Improve Walking Safety and Performance
- More resources on natural foot health
Supplementary ReWild Yourself Podcasts:
- F*ck Shoes - Daniel Vitalis #107
- Vibram, How FiveFingers Came To Be - Chris Melton #123
- Why We Were Born To Walk - James Earls #43
- Movement Ecology - Katy Bowman #121
Connect with Dr. Ray:
Meet Dr. Ray
Dr. Ray McClanahan was born in Port Angeles, Washington to Larry and Judi McClanahan. He completed his undergraduate studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Next, he attended Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine (now Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine), and graduated in 1995. He then completed a two-year podiatric, surgical residency training in Portland, Oregon, at Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente as a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon.
Dr. Ray's practice, Northwest Foot & Ankle in Portland, Oregon, allows him to care for those who find their highest joy when in motion. In his 18 years as a podiatrist, he has learned that most foot problems can be corrected by restoring natural foot function. He is also the inventor of Correct Toes, silicone toe spacers. His professional goal is to provide quality natural foot health services with an emphasis on sports medicine, preventative and conservative options as well as education on proper footwear.
Through his clinic and the website, Dr. McClanahan treats and educates on a variety of foot conditions—including many running injuries as well as plantar fasciosis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, heel spurs, bunions, and others.
Dr. Ray is an active runner and athlete. In 1999, he finished 14th in the U.S. National Men’s Cross-Country Championships and had a near Olympic Trials qualifying 5,000 meter mark of 13:56 in 2000. He then qualified for the World Duathlon Championships in 2001.