Duty of care

in Jan 6, 2024

This weeks microdose for the sole explains why recommending natural footwear to patients and clients aligns with the duty of care of health professionals.

Everyone wears shoes and 99% of people are currently wearing shoes that disable, deform and damage their feet. Just look at the feet of anyone over the age of 80 and you will see the consequences of wearing unnatural footwear. Bunions, hammer toes, toenail fungus, inflamed joints, plantar fasciitis....all preventable issues primarily caused by a lifetime of poor footwear choices.

As health professionals, we are bound to act ethically and in the best interest of our patients. This is known as a duty of care. As someone that patients trust with their health and well being, there is an expectation that professionals are competent, effective, do no harm and remain up to date with current knowledge and best practices.

If a patient or client is doing a behaviour that is harming their health, it is the duty of a professional to inform and advise the patient about the consequences of the harmful behaviour and to recommend behaviour changes that benefit their health.

Foot health today remains widely misunderstood and feet remain an area of the body ignored by the majority of health professionals (out of sight, out of mind). With that said, the damaging effects of unnatural footwear and the long term musculoskeletal consequences of deformed, disabled and damaged feet cannot be ignored.

I believe it is the duty of every health professional to mention the damaging effects of unnatural footwear and to educate about the benefits of natural footwear. It only takes 60 seconds and it can yield massive long term benefits for your patients. While feet may not be your area of expertise, by not understanding or addressing an obvious harmful behaviour, you are not doing your duty to protect and educate your patients.

Feet are simple and they abide by the same physiological principles as any other body part. They require varied motion and loading to function optimally and if they are compressed and deformed into unnatural footwear, they will be compromised and create negative effects upstream in the body (most often showing up at the ankle, knee and lumbar spine).

Our mission at Sole Freedom is to educate health professionals about foot health and the impact that the shoes we wear have on our feet, bodies and movement patterns.

In the second half of 2024 we will be creating a pro partner program to reward professionals doing the right thing by recommending natural footwear to their patients. We will be offering a 7% discount to patients being referred and $5 per pair of shoes purchased to the health professional who recommended the patient to us.

We insist that all of our pro partners gain a basic understanding of foot health, wear natural footwear and are transparent about the financial incentives with everyone they refer.

Through education and the drive to create a unique, helpful and enjoyable purchase experience for our customers, we hope to earn the trust and referrals from competent health professionals who are curious about foot health and wish to uphold their duty of care by warning about the dangers of unnatural shoes and educating patients about the benefits of wearing natural footwear.

If your health professional doesn’t already know this stuff, please send them this article to read.

If you are a health professional and want to learn more about our pro program launching later this year, please email us at hello@solefreedom.ca for more info.

Thanks for reading and thanks for taking care of yourself.


Much Love



Leave a comment