Healthy Feet

Shoes can make a huge difference in your overall health and your athletic abilities!

Articles on Feet and Shoes by Karin

  • Minimalism: Put Your Shoes to the Test  4-page article published in the Rolf Journal of Structural Integration, March 2018. Aimed at practitioners, yet easy to read. It includes some anatomy terms.
  • Healthy Shoe Choices: 2 page simplified article, published in WalkAbout Porltand magazine, October 2010. 

Videos on Foot Health, Running Technique, Etc: 

  • Correct Toes Video Library: Free, short videos on many foot conditions, exercises, shoes, etc.
  • Minimalist Mondays: Free videos on warm-ups and techniques for safe running. Focuses on minimal shoes, or barefoot, but helpful for all runners.

Books on Foot Health: 

  • Anatomy for Runners: Book by Jay Dicharry PT. Scientific yet easy-to-understand explanations of foot health, shoe performance, and holistic strengthening to make running safe and healthy. Great color pictures yet not expensive. 
  • Born to Run: Book by Christopher McDougall. An engaging story of tribe in Mexico who are ultrarunners, using nothing but a handmade sandle for 3-day races. Compelling argument against modern running shoes.  Very complimentary to the material I teach in the Shoe Clinic.

Local Resources for Healthy Feet and Shoes:

  • Pie Footwear (NE Alberta): My favorite store for minimalist shoes (wide toe, flexible flat soles).
  • Northwest Foot & Ankle: Podiatrist Ray McClanahan is my primary source for holistic advice about choosing shoes and treating foot problems, especially for runners, walkers, and hikers.  They have a small shoe store in their lobby and will give free advice. (NW Montgomery Park Building) 

Favorite Shoe Brands

  • Lems: This classic minimalist shoe offers the  widest toebox, and soft, flexible, flat soles.
  • Vivobarefoot: Minimalist shoe with a great toebox and many cute styles. Good for "low volume" feet (feet that are not very tall top-to-bottom in the middle of the foot.  
  • Merrell Barefoot: Please choose only the "Barefoot" line, which has a pretty-good toebox and has a lightweight but high-traction sole that I prefer for running over the other brands. 
  • Altra: This is not a minimalist shoe, as it has a thick sole, but the toebox is great, making this an option for someone with a foot injury that can't tolerate the flexibility of the above brands.

Scientific Studies About Minimalist Footwear:

  • Barefoot Walking Study: Shows that barefoot walking results in less weight load into the knee, and therefore a decreased risk of osteoarthritis.  Danskos and motion-controlling athletic shoes performed badly, while minimalistic shoes performed almost as well as bare feet.
  • Barefoot Running Study: Compared running in bare feet vs. athletic shoes.  Synopsis and video. 

Class: The Shoe Clinic

Rolfing Shoe Clinic
Learn how you can treat and prevent foot problems by choosing shoes that promote foot health. We will take a look at the natural motion of the foot,  discuss what to look for in shoes (and why!), and check your shoes to see how they measure up. (Please bring 4-6 pairs.)
You'll learn ways to modify your own shoes to improve foot health, and you'll leave with enough knowledge to confidently choose healthy shoes for future purchases. Featuring Pie Footwear's mobile version of their store, so we can have a variety of examples of minimalist shoes (no pressure to purchase).
$10-20 sliding scale, paid in advance. To be scheduled - typically 1-2x/year

Check out my other upcoming classes!