Happy & Healthy Feet Workshop P3

Second place is loosen up your ankles, let them go.  Let those ankles be free. They want to be free.  You want to find your ankles soft, absorbent, springy.  So, when you walk, you really want to make sure you’re really moving through the foot.  You want to be a little more even in the distribution of when you’re walking.  If you notice, I’m not doing a hard heel.  It’s not a big hard heel strike.  It’s a gentler, more center of the foot.  This goes for running, too.  If you’re a heel runner and you’re striking like this, that can really be hard on the body.  You want a little bit more forefront or center, and this is all about what the minimalist shoes and barefoot runners are talking about.  It’s the forefront versus the heel strike.  Now, you can’t make this change instantly, right.  Make sure you work into this because if you go right into the extreme, you’re going to cause just as much problems just in the opposite way.  You’ve got to work slowly.  Start with your standing, start with your walking.  Start changing the structure of your body, and as that’s starting to happen, you can change these other patterns, the running, the things like these.  Naturally, though, it will start to happen on its own.

When we’re walking, loosen up the ankle.  We want to make sure we’re pushing through that toe.  That toe propels you forward.  If we don’t push through that toe, that toe’s not doing anything.  It’s not working, and when things are not working, it’s fatiguing the body.  We already talked about it.  We want more joining the party, not less.  It’s fatiguing the body, but it’s also then not making it work, which means that the body has to restructure for that not working.  So, make sure you’re rolling through that toe.  What that will do is for those you that don’t take strides forward, they take strides outwards like this.  It’s going to do is propel you forward, which means you’re going to get there faster, and you can walk slower. It’s okay.  It’s still going to get you there faster.

Now, if you look at my walk here, it’s a little bit more natural.  Do you see how loose it is?  See how grounded I am on the floor as opposed to some big heel striker?  Can you see that difference?  Is that making sense?  A big heel strike here.  My knees don’t really move because my knees can’t move because my heels’ doing this work as opposed to this.  It also has a different energetic quality.  See that?  It’s like a calmer not in your face walk.  It’s calmer.  It’s gentler.  It’s easier.  Some people might even say meditational walk, that Zen walk.

So, as you’re doing this, you want to find where you’re pushing off at so you can find the evenness and the balance of the foot, and try to be less on the heel, a little bit more even.  This, then, distributes through the body, this force, and this allows the feet to do what it’s supposed to do.  If you keep all that force, you’re not allowing the body to do what it’s supposed to do.  The feet are supposed to be shock absorbers.  Let them do they’re job.

I seem to have the tendency to use the ball of my feet as the shock absorbers.

The balls of the feet.  You do see some walkers that are like that.  They stress the balls of the feet more.  You probably want to pull your weight back a little bit, and this is a good question.  Some people are high toe walkers, and they’re putting it so much on the ball of the foot.  They’re putting a little bit more pressure into the toe joint and the ball of the foot.  If you’re in the forefront, make sure it’s not overdone.  Does that make sense?


Yes, the foot’s meant to have that kind of action to it.  You will see some people thought that are high kind of walkers like this. When they walk, they walk like this.  They look like they’re floating around.  They do.  I’ve seen them, and they’re really high on the foot.  They have to be lower on the foot.


Shoes can do that.  Yeah.  I mean shoes will force your foot into those positions without a doubt.  They force them into unnatural positions of where it’s supposed to be.


If you’re loving them, I’m going to say stay with it.  If you’re loving them, and they make your feet feel comfortable, then, that’s a great thing.  A lot of that of that high toe walking, it’s that heel thing that’s causing that lift.  Again, it also is the size of the heel that could be causing that.


You should.  There’s nothing wrong with wearing the shoes if they’re comfortable.  A lot of shoes, though, aren’t as comfortable for people because of these various things that have been unnatural.  This is why I would not take you out of your shoe and dump you into these minimalists.  You need to work your way into they as your foot restructures.  This goes for orthotics.

One of the biggest things people are given these days are orthotics or arch support.  The problem with those is they start doing the action of your foot, and if they are not proper for your foot, which they can be because we have different feet, they’re going to cause more pain.  So, the best way I can say this is if I broke my foot, and I put a cast on it, my bone’s going to heal because it’s going to set the bones.  What’s going to happen to the muscles around it?  They’re going to atrophy.  The muscles aren’t doing their job. They’re not doing what they’re supposed to.  So, orthotics, when they start doing the work, your feet are no longer doing the work.  Something else is doing it for you.  This can end up causing more problem.  I tend to get people who are in orthotics that are not out of pain or they’re in worse pain, or they’re not feeling that they’re not doing much for them or different pain, shifts it from one to another.  If people are getting pain relief from orthotics, though, the first thing I’m going to say is don’t leave the orthotics.  Work your way out of them.  You can’t go from this to that.  If they’re doing something for you, don’t jump over here.  Work your way out of them though.  Let your feet start getting more natural to them.

So, the minimalist shoes, which have become really popular these days, I’m a big fan of, and I’m a big fan of them because of the things we walked about.  We notice, we’re not really getting that raised heel problem.  A lot of people sometimes don’t like those toes.  They don’t think they look you know.  She, back there, has them.  She sports them.  She rocks them out.


They’re very good for you.  They’re very good.  These minimalist shoes are very good.  They do mimic being barefoot.  They’re not like toe socks.  A lot of people are like, “Toe socks.  I don’t like anything between my foot.”  That’s a pretty common things.  These do not feel like toe socks.  They don’t jam into the joints like toe socks do.  They are quite comfortable.  It might take some time for you to figure out how to get your toes in there, especially if you got toes that are curling in together.  What is nice about these is they start mimicking barefoot, which means that your feet start to get back to their natural state.  They start working the way they should.

The first thing I noticed when I bought these Vibrams, I noticed my ankle started moving again, and that was a very weird concept to me.  I was like who knew that the ankle moved?  I’ve carried it over to regular shoes because now I was conscious of it, but it was the first thing I noticed.  Now, when I suggest the Vibrams to people, and even I’m going to talk about the Merrells in a second, what I noticed was when you were these, you don’t go and wear these all day long initially.  Work your way into them.  Start by wearing them maybe an hour a day, then two hours, and then three hours.

I’m a pilates instructor.  I do all this foot work.  I’m like I’m going to totally rock these Vibrams out.  The guy forewarned me be careful.  Oh no, I can wear them all day long.  I’ve never been so sore on my calves or my shin.  I could not believe how crazy that was, and I thought that my feet were pretty balanced.  I really learned a big lesson that they weren’t.  Now, luckily my body was shifting already through the pilates I’m doing, but if you’re making a jump, start slow, an hour a day.

Now, if you have a problem, and you don’t want to be in the toe shoes, I find these to be really great shoes for gardeners or around the house because it gives you the protection you need, but what it does is it allows you to get that toe bend like if you’re down gardening and doing stuff.  It doesn’t put your foot in an unnatural place it.  It puts it in the most natural place.  So, these are great around the house, gardening, these kinds of things, if you don’t want to go out in public.

How is wearing that good for the [34:25] barefoot?

Barefoot will be just as well, but for people who go outside, they don’t like rocks.  Some people don’t like being barefoot.  There are people there who have very sensitive bottoms of foot because they haven’t really exposed their feet.  If you’re very sensitive, you usually wear shoes all the time, wear these instead.  If you can go around barefoot, that’s the best thing.  I try to be barefoot as much as I can.


No, it does, and because it starts mimicking back to the natural place of where your foot’s supposed to be.  A way you can do that same thing with the toes is you can take your fingers and put it right through.  For some of us, you might work your way into that.  That might be a little sore to do that, to put your fingers through, and then you just hold that for five minutes.  That will spread the toes out a little more.

Do you think having more padding to lessen the impact allows you to correct your gait more because it seems like it really hurts to walk barefoot, and when you’re barefoot, you really have to be careful?  You have less pain, so I’m wondering, if like you said, if the impact starts to amass, but the shoes, it encourages bad behavior so much.

Yeah.  There’s a lot of research coming out with all the minimalist shoes coming out.  Now, they’re doing a lot of research on it.  They’re finding that the more cushioning is actually causing more pain in the body because of the unnaturalness which is why the more minimalist ones end up being better for the body and having less pain, but the big thing that they always say is you can’t go and jump from this to this.  It’s got to be a slow thing.


You know what, I suggest an hour a day for about a week or two.  Then, go up to two hours a day, and just work your way up that way.  You’ll know because if they’re hurting after 30 minutes, take them off and put your shoes on.  Don’t overdo it.  You’ll know, but the best way to do this is start with an hour.  Work your way up and do two hours and three hours.  At some point, you’re going to know it’s okay to wear these more often or for longer distances or for longer periods of time.  Did I answer your question?  I not, please let me know.  I can talk forever.  I don’t have a problem with that ever.

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