Hallux valgus, otherwise known as bunions, is a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot.
What is the cause of a Bunion?
Bunions occur after the 40 intrinsic foot muscles, that are responsible for forming the arch, become weak or atrophied as a result of being cushioned, supported or braced with an orthotic from birth. Without a functional arch, the flattened foot and bone structure has nowhere to go but out, creating a bunion. When we take a step the front of the foot naturally stays or gets wider to assist in the gripping and launch process. When you are wearing tight shoes this splaying or gripping action causes the big toe to tap against the side of the shoe which causes the body to lay a protective layer of bone which is why the Bunion grows over time. “When the arch becomes dysfunctional pressure is applied to the side of the hallux (big toe), forcing it inwards, towards and sometimes under or over the other toes.” Continual application of pressure causes the tissues surrounding the joint to swell and become tender. Unless surgically corrected, bunions are permanent. Barefoot Science will stop the growth of bunions and reverse the symptom to a degree. If you do not address the weak foot muscles and form a functional arch after surgery the bunion will reform.
Hallux valgus can have a number of negative effects which include irritated skin around the bunion; pain when walking; joint redness and pain; possible shifting of the big toe towards the other toes; and the formation of blisters around the bunion site.
Problems can range in difficulty from finding proper fitting shoes (people with bunions might often buy larger sizes to accommodate the width the bunion creates), loss of balance and good posture, to severe foot pain even without the constriction of shoes. Because the joint at the base of the big toe carries most of the weight when walking, bunions can cause severe and constant pain. Those who suffer with stiff joints or arthritis can have a difficult time tolerating pain caused from bunions.
Hallux valgus can be hereditary only in people that have worn restrictive footwear from birth. It is an affliction that tends to affect women far more often than men, due to the fashion footwear that they choose to wear over a long period of time.
Treatments for the symptoms of hallux valgus can include wearing a toe spacer or bunion splint; using warm soaks, ice packs, ultrasound and massage; use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; and in extreme cases, surgery.
Barefoot Science Insoles can offer relief to people suffering with hallux valgus. Our non-orthotic strengthening system is the only patented product that proactively protects against bunions and rehabilitates excessive pronation. For people who excessively pronate, the big toe can be pushed toward the other toes as their foot pushes off when they walk or run. This leads to a great amount of degenerative stress at the joint of the big toe which contributes to the formation of bunions.
Just like walking barefoot in the sand or grass every step with Barefoot Science System targets the root cause of Bunions by stimulating , strengthening, and retraining the arch muscles that align the bones of the foot for optimal strength and stability prior to the foot’s contact with the ground. This ensures proper foot position at all times during ground contact, effectively and safely eliminating degenerative stresses. Our insoles not only control excessive pronation but provide extra padding underneath the ball of the foot as well.
A pain study recently conducted by a third party at Toronto East General Hospital (one of Toronto’s busiest hospitals) concluded that the use of the Barefoot Science Foot Strengthen System significantly reduces many types of musculoskeletal pain and fatigue in a working environment involving long periods of weight bearing activity.
This clinical study was conducted on personnel in the hospital’s emergency department (nurses, administrative and medical staff, who, spend most of their work day on their feet, and are physically active). The following findings from the study were reported:
• Significant decrease in fatigue of the foot
• Significant decrease in foot pain
• Significant decrease in overall fatigue
• Significant decrease in knee pain
• Significant decrease in lower back pain
• Significant decrease in shoulder pain
• Decreased pain and discomfort in the knee
• Decreased pain and discomfort in the lower back
• Decreased pain and discomfort in the shoulders
The significant statistics compiled from this study demonstrated clinical declines in pain for the feet (73% of participants), knees, shoulders, and lower back as well as declines for general fatigue (65% of participants). In terms of overall satisfaction with the Barefoot Science Foot Strengthening System, 87.5% of the participants reported they thought it was “great” or “good”.
As expected, muscle activation with resultant exercise and strengthening, produces a more stable foot structure. With increased muscle strength and efficiency also comes increased management of energy within the foot resulting in less muscle fatigue, less soft tissue destruction and improved musculoskeletal alignment. The reason being, that the BFS system addresses the cause of the pain, not just the symptoms, therefore providing long-term relief. The insoles stimulate, strengthen and restore optimal foot function.
This study is further proof that our system significantly reduces many types of musculoskeletal pain and fatigue; that it is proven effective rehabilitation for foot, leg, knee, back and shoulder pain.
At Barefoot Science we recognize that many ailments stem from the foot. The most common globally reported foot ailment is Plantar Fasciitis. The ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes is called the plantar fascia, and it is responsible for about 30% of the job of creating a healthy functional arch. There are 40 foot muscles that are responsible for the remaining 70% of the foot and arch function.
In shoe wearing societies, where people have traditionally worn cushioned, supported and braced (Orthotics) since birth, the plantar fascia, not unlike any other muscle group that is supported and cushioned for an extended period of time, becomes weak, atrophied and dysfunctional. This wiry flat band of tissue (that is not designed to be stretched) now becomes stretched and is asked to do 100% of the job rather than its typical 30%.
The result is that the plantar fascia becomes strained, swollen, irritated, inflamed or develops micro tears where it connects to the heel or the front of the foot. This condition is known as Plantar Fasciitis, and it can cause pain (typically a stabbing type pain) in the bottom of the foot near the heel, making it difficult to stand or walk.
The more active an individual is, the greater the load put on this dysfunctional tissue and the greater the chance that you will develop Plantar Fasciitis, which is why his ailment is most prevalent with athletes (runners in particular) and middle aged people. It can also be problematic for people who:
-roll their feet inward too much when walking
-have high arches or flat feet
-stand for long periods of time (especially on hard surfaces)
-wear shoes that are ill fitting or worn out
-who have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles
For Plantar Fasciitis flare ups, there are a number of ways to relieve the pain immediately. Epsom
salt baths and using a foam roller can help, along with the occasional use of anti inflammatories and shockwave therapy. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S106725160800450X
“The only possible way to cure the cause of Plantar Fasciitis is to rehabilitate the 40 intrinsic foot muscle and take the load off the plantar fascia so it can once again do the 30% job that it was designed to.”
However these solutions only work to treat the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis while our patented Barefoot Science Insoles treats the cause. If you address both the cause and symptoms at the same time your results will become apparent that much faster.
Rather than treating this foot ailment with medications (which can include steroids), uncomfortable
night splints or boots, traditional orthotics, cortisone shots, or in extreme cases surgery; it can effectively be treated with the
assistance of Barefoot Science. Our insoles, with their patented dome shape, progressively activate
muscles in the soles of the feet and legs, stimulating contractions that strengthen and elevate the
arch of the foot. As you progress through the adaptation or rehabilitation phase of BFS the heightened, functional arch will become self supportive again and able to handle the daily stresses of body weight and movement, improving strength and increasing balance. The pain is relieved and athletic or movement performance is improved.
Don’t take another painful step. Order your own set of Barefoot Science Insoles here http://barefoot-science.com/product/ and begin your journey to reducing foot pain and better foot health today.
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08/2016– Barefoot Science announces a new endorsement of the Barefoot Science Foot Strengthening Insole by the NHL Alumni Association. This endorsement is an important next step in educating the public about the benefits or the necessity of including strengthening the foot – rather than bracing and supporting , as in an orthotic – into their daily lives to address the cause and alleviate the symptoms of most foot-related ailments including plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome, leg, ankle, hip, back and shoulder pain, as well as more serious concerns such as diabetic neuropathy and concussion rehabilitation. The feedback from the players has been incredible with reports of “Stellar” results in cases where they have “tried everything else”.
The NHL Alumni Association is a registered charitable organization in Canada and the U.S. that serves as a passionate advocate for greater quality of life benefits for all former NHL players. The Association eagerly pursues greater benefits and the implementation of programmatic services devoted to enhancing the lives of retired NHL players and their families.
Barefoot Science couldn’t be happier that this incredible association is now putting its endorsement behind our product. Part of the mission of The NHL Alumni Association is supporting the development of healthy communities across North America and enhancing quality of life for youth; a mission that very much mirrors our brand. After all, Barefoot Science has been improving the physical well-being of our customers by helping them move better for more than 20 years. We too continually educate and inform to improve overall fitness and athletic performance.
The NHL Alumni Association now joins the growing number of individuals and organizations that have already adopted our foot strengthening system. Barefoot Science Foot Strengthening Insoles can be found in use by pro sports teams, 50% of pro golfers, 40 members of the U.S. Olympic track team including Will Clay, and Nick Symonds, and by FIFA trainer, Roger Spry.
The unique dome-shaped design of the Barefoot Science insole works by stimulating the soles of the feet, building strength in the arch, foot, ankles and legs. It also improves the body’s natural proprioception, providing greater stability to not only athletes, but also those who work on their feet for extended periods of times, and those who have certain medical conditions like plantar fasciitis and diabetes.
“We are excited to be working with some of the greatest legends in the sport of hockey and contributing to the continued conditioning of these athletes. The support of The NHL Alumni Association means a great deal to us, as it will further our goal of making people stronger from the ground up. Our goal is to educate and proactive treat young players before they are misaligned and a part of the injury statistic. We have scored a great win with this collaboration.”
One of the most common ailments for those with Type II Diabetes, Diabetic Neuropathy can cause numbness and tingling, poor balance, cold feet, ulcers and infections, resulting in amputations and even death if left untreated for too long. Peer review studies have concluded that a domed insole is the ultimate insole for individuals suffering from diabetes.
Barefoot Science Insoles, in conjunction with other lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, quitting smoking, as well as regular checkups with the doctor, can help keep the feet healthy and strong.
Without Barefoot Science Insoles, those with Type II Diabetes can experience plantar pressure which can lead to painful ulcers. Barefoot Science Insoles are designed with a unique dome shape which stimulates the muscles in the soles of the feet to evenly spread out weight distribution, leading to more structural integrity, with a lessening of pressure hotspots that can contribute to ulcers. The result is a more confident gait, less pain, and a return to better mobility!
Most products designed to help the feet work by bracing, cushioning and supporting the foot. Barefoot Science is different, because it stimulates the foot to increase circulation and strengthens the foot. Improved circulation and strength not only helps to prevent, but can reverse the effects of Diabetic Neuropathy, helping to restore foot health.
In addition to improved circulation and foot strength, Barefoot Science users will begin to see improved mobility and pain reduction throughout the body, making exercise more enjoyable. As well, through improved strength and mobility, better balance, alignment and posture is achieved.
We love to hear about clients who have had success with the Barefoot Science Foot Strengthening System. One of our latest success stories is from Kevin. See his story below.
Client – Kevin Lewis
– age 55
– Type II Diabetic diagnosed at age 49
– Licensed City Operator
Kevin came to us with several symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy, which was causing considerable discomfort:
• throbbing knee pain when sitting
• ultra-cold feet at all times but especially when in bed at night (severely restricted blood flow to and from the extremities)
• constantly achy legs from knees down at work and home – had been wearing orthotics consistently with no relief
• constant tingling and discomfort in all of his toes
Kevin started on Level 1 in the therapeutic 7-step full length Barefoot Science System in early March, 2016, and immediately noticed activation from his feet up through his legs to his buttocks, back and shoulders. Despite having to wear heavy, steel-toed boots all day at his work, Kevin found he was less fatigued at the end of the day within the first week of wearing the inserts.
Today, Kevin is now using a level 5 insert and feels much better:
✔no more throbbing knee pain when sitting
✔no more cold feet – especially at night
✔no longer needs to wear socks at night to keep feet warm
✔no more achy legs from the knees down
✔no more orthotics
✔no more pins and needles discomfort in toes
Kevin says he feels more energized, sleeps better and more relaxed at home as well as at work. He will continue to progress to level 7 and NEVER go without his Barefoot-Science inserts!
We have seen many, many success stories like Kevin’s over the years, and we love to hear feedback from our clients on how Barefoot Science has helped them treat the symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy, and restore movement and balance. Click here to read more, and email us with your stories too!
“I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 31 years and as such have experienced some of the complications of this difficult disease. These have included diabetic neuropathy in my feet causing them to feel numb, to have some atrophy of the muscles and to generally be cold due to poor circulation. In addition to these complications, I have also suffered from flat feet, pronation of the left ankle and ongoing foot, ankle, knee and hip pain for most of my life. To counter this I had been wearing in-shoe custom orthotics as recommended by my physician.
As a 39 year old mother of two boys and with a busy career, I have often wondered and worried about my foot health. The custom orthotics seemed to be a kind of answer when it came to straightening my ankle and reducing some of the pain caused by this misalignment, but the side effects of positioning my feet in the hard orthotics actually increased the numbness, lack of circulation and muscle atrophy that the neuropathy was already causing. (Not to mention the need to purchase expensive, wide-fitting and not necessarily attractive shoes that could accommodate the orthotic.)
The experience of wearing the Barefoot insoles has been not only eye-opening, but foot changing. Within the first hour of having the insoles in my shoes – at level one of course – I began having more feeling in my feet than I’ve had for a very long time. My feet felt good – in fact they were beginning to feel warm.
It really was amazing. The other things that have surprised me now that I’ve worn them for two years, are the fact that they are extremely comfortable – providing cushioning to my feet which can be tender, they have not – as I was afraid they might – caused my ankle to turn or be painful. In fact, my ankles, legs, knees and hips feel great – not unsupported.
I wear my Barefoot Science insoles in my shoes every day, but I can now also spend time barefoot and in shoes – such as summer sandals – without them and not have the painful, swollen ankles and sore feet that I used to get when not wearing shoes with my orthotics. Obviously the “foot strengthening” promise is true.
Lastly, I have gained some mobility back. I could not, for example, curl the toes on my left foot without causing a massive cramp in my foot or calf – and sometimes I couldn’t really move them at all. I can curl my toes any time I want to now.
It’s amazing what you will learn to live with because you’ve been told that it’s the best solution – or only solution. In hindsight, I’m somewhat incredulous that I could accept the side effects of my custom orthotics as okay. As a diabetic you are constantly told not to wear things that are too tight, that cut off circulation or that don’t allow freedom of movement. So why is it acceptable to put our feet into hard, molded orthotics that do all of the things we’re not supposed to?
My feet are integral to carrying me through life and I don’t want to lose them to amputation. Particularly if you are a diabetic – and even if you’re not – I urge you to see the amazing difference the Barefoot Science inserts will make to your mobility.” – Sarah Wilkins, July 2012
“I am a 68 year old male, diagnosed with Type II diabetes 14 years ago. Throughout my life I have had foot issues, first because of having flat feet, then later because of diabetes. I bought numerous off-the-shelf insoles in an attempt to ease the foot pain Iʼve experienced much of my life due to persistent issues with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar muscle in the foot. Finally, I tried podiatrist-prescribed shoe inserts that I wore for approximately two years; however, my foot issues continued. The doctor-prescribed inserts were hard and provided no cushioning, no stability, no pain relief. It felt like I was wearing thick braces for my feet. I continued to have plantar muscle issues. I also found it difficult to buy shoes that would work well with the thick inserts. I was at my witʼs end. Then I heard about Barefoot Science.
When I first learned of Barefoot Science insoles, I was skeptical, having tried the many off-the-shelf insoles and the very expensive doctor-prescribed inserts. But, I thought, what can I lose? Upon purchasing my first pair of Barefoot Science insoles, I hurried home to try the product. I followed the instructions provided with the insoles and I put them in my cross-training shoes, starting with Level 1, as recommended. The moment my feet touched the ground, I knew I had something different. The insoles werenʼt hard. They felt natural. For the first time in many years, my feet felt planted, stable, even strengthened. What a great feeling! I no longer had to walk gingerly to ease the pain.
I have been wearing the Barefoot Science insoles for over a year. I am now at Barefoot Science Level 5, which works best for me, and my feet feel great. They feel strengthened. I no longer have issues with plantar fasciitis. I have increased stability. Even my posture has improved because I feel more stable, with less sway. I now manage my Type II diabetes through regular visits to an endocrinologist, by counting carbohydrates, by eating well-balanced low carb meals, and by regularly exercising. This resulted in a significant decrease in amounts of medication required, and I have no diagnosed neuropathy. Medical tests on my feet show strong circulation throughout my feet.
Barefoot Science has made a world of difference to my feet, to my overall stability, to my posture, and to my ability to withstand strenuous workouts. I now wear Barefoot Science insoles in all my shoes. They work as well in my dress shoes as they do in my workout shoes. Now, at the gym and elsewhere, I happily recommend the Barefoot Science System to my fellow workout partners and to my friends. This is a product that works.” – Roger McBee, Wimberley, Texas
Information on how Barefoot Science can help get you moving again is available on our blog, through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Please follow us or subscribe for more.
It’s a happy coincidence that Barefoot Science Insoles work to strengthen the body from the ground up – all the way to your glutes!
And having strong glutes isn’t just for looking great in your swimsuit. When your glutes are activated, not only are you looking strong and lean, you’re also boosting your athletic ability, too.
So walking barefoot on the beach isn’t just great for working on your tan. You’re gaining the benefits of building a strong kinetic chain. Research shows that walking barefoot in the sand or grass has the natural effect of improving the gait, by turning on the foot, leg, glutes and back. Wearing Barefoot Science Insoles has a similar effect to wearing no shoes at all. You’re strengthening your foot, increasing proprioception, and improving your bikini bottom, all at the same time.
Whether you run, bike, hike, ski, golf, – or anything, really – glutes are your ‘power muscles’. When they are strong, they will propel your movement and stabilize your body for all of life’s activities. When they are weak, it will lead to countless problems.
With the unique dome-shaped insole, Barefoot Science stimulates the muscles in the feet, strengthening the arch, and creating new neural pathways to improve proprioception and balance. Each week, a new insert is placed into the dome, giving the foot a new level of challenge.
As the muscles in the feet respond, there is a cascade effect that leads all the way up your body, strengthening and stabilizing. The end result can be seen in your end: your glutes will appear stronger, lifted and ready to move!
Did you know there’s a direct relation between your age and your balance?
Maintaining your strength and balance through the years not only helps you perform better physically, but also mentally, as there is a direct relationship between your mind and your balance.
How well do you balance? Could you stand on one foot, eyes closed, for 15 seconds? 30? 60? If you can’t at all, or not very long, this is a sign that your feet and ankles can use more strength!
There are three ways our bodies achieve balance. The most obvious ones are visual and vestibular (which use input from our eyes and ears respectively). But you may not know about the body’s proprioceptive system, which uses proprioceptors in the body’s muscle to perceive the body’s placement in the space around us. These three systems are constantly working to help us achieve balance.
By activating the proprioceptors in our feet, Barefoot Science helps us to feel more balanced. This is what doctors and pro athletes know: achieving balance is key to not only athletic performance and injury prevention, but also staying sharp mentally.
To learn more, we reached out to Dr. Peter Gorman of Microgate for advice. Try this at home to determine your balance.
Step One: Stand on two legs and look straight ahead. (if this is too easy, then stand on left leg by bringing your right knee forward and see how well you can stand on one leg)
Step Two: Close your eyes
Step Three: Relax and open your eyes and determine whether closing your eyes made balance more difficult to achieve. By taking away your visual system, you can better determine your level of proprioception.
Step Four: If balancing on one foot with your eyes closed was difficult, try Barefoot Science Insoles to build strength and proprioception!
If you are unable to stand on one foot, eyes closed for less than 20 seconds… there may be evidence of a past injury or muscle weakness.
If you are able to stand on one foot, eyes closed for 60 seconds or more… you have great balance, and are unlikely to have a past injury.
Next steps… Try joining the Barefoot Science 2-minute Club! That’s two minutes on either foot!
With every step you take, Barefoot Science works to trigger your body’s natural proprioception in the soles of your feet, as well as strengthen your arch. Studies show Balance is the most important thing you can do for brain health as you age, so keep up the daily exercise with your Barefoot Science Insoles and your balance tests!
We know Barefoot Science Insoles work from the ground up to increase the structural integrity of the foot. Flat feet, overpronation, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon, shin splints, bunions, heel spurs, ITB syndrome and many more ailments involving the feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips and lower back can all be caused by weak, atrophied feet. Let’s hear some Barefoot Science Testimonials from a few satisfied customers and how BFS helped reduce pain and improve performance:
“I have had over pronated feet for over twenty years and have used many different custom made orthotics during that time. I was still experiencing ankle, foot and knee pain and walking barefoot was extremely uncomfortable as my arches collapsed as soon as I removed the footwear.
Having now received a pair of Barefoot Science Insoles, I have experienced an incredible improvement, almost instantly. Walking in footwear is much more comfortable, and when barefoot, my arches don’t collapse as the muscle memory effect kicks in. When visiting an orthopaedic surgeon just 6 days after receiving my insoles, he remarked that my feet looked normal when standing barefoot.
Now whenever I see people standing barefoot (in a Pilates class for instance) I am noticing all the people with flat feet and wondering why they don’t get some of these miraculous insoles!”
Rosie, Cheshire UK
“I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for the advice you have given me since I have been seeing you. The original insoles I had did not help me at all. As you know I am a postal worker, walking approximately 40 miles a week. My arches had completely fallen, I was in danger of losing my job as I could hardly walk with the pain.
You advised me to buy the Barefoot Science 3/4 length insoles with a 6 step level programme and since using them, the pains in my feet and legs are a lot better, and not only that I am getting arches coming back.
Between your advice and these insoles I am now able to perform my job properly.”
“About a year and a half ago my right foot became very painful, was swelling up when standing at work all day and I gave up running for about 6 weeks. I was also finding it increasingly difficult to find shoes to fit. My doctor referred me to the podiatrist who recommended barefoot insoles. I have been wearing them constantly since then progressing from level 1 to level 3.
During this time I feel the shape of my foot has changed, it no longer swells up or gives me pain. I am back to running (with barefoot insoles in my trainers) and it no longer hurts coming on to my toes such as in lunges in yoga/Pilates. I have even managed to wear heels for the day (without the insoles for this one occasion) at my cousin’s wedding. I did think about an operation to correct my foot but am so glad that I didn’t and that I have used the insoles instead.”
We are so pleased to have helped many people regain mobility or improve their athletic performance using Barefoot Science Insoles. We appreciate hearing from you. Please keep the feedback coming!
After working with Coach Jeff, our Barefoot Science runner, Sarah finally made it to race day on May 29th. The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s largest running event (and a Boston qualifier), with nearly 47,000 participants, and this year’s Scotiabank Half Marathon event had over 14,000 individual runners.
Sarah had run the half marathon distance before, but had concerns that her knees would trouble her in the final 8k. In combination with strengthening exercises, her Barefoot Science Insoles, and her running technique feedback from Coach Jeff, Sarah managed to breeze through the race feeling good (almost!) the whole way.
The day’s event started early due to the whopping 60% humidity that was plaguing the city. Running in that kind of weather isn’t for the faint of heart. Thanks to the amazing organizers and volunteers, and the kindness of strangers along the race route, there was plenty of water to cool off with.
Sarah reported, “the race was a real highlight of my year, primarily because of the spectators in Ottawa. They really cared about us runners and supported us along the whole way with signs, costumes and words of encouragement. They brought out sprinklers to the roadside and came equipped with super soakers! I was overwhelmed by how generous and involved the residents of Ottawa were.”
The half marathon course in Ottawa shows off some of the best scenery the city has to offer, with sections along the Rideau Canal, and included a short leg through Hull in Quebec. The terrain was relatively flat with just a few uphills, which made it easier for the runners. Despite the hot weather, all but a handful persevered to the finish line.
The day didn’t offer a personal best for Sarah, which she feels is largely due to the weather. However she still considers it a success because it was her first half marathon run without knee pain.
Sarah credits achieving her almost pain free personal best mostly to her Barefoot Science Insoles, which have helped her build her arch strength, get her body back into alignment and improved her running form. Barefoot Science Insoles are uniquely dome-shaped and feature different level inserts, which increase over time, activating the muscles in the foot to build arch strength which lets the feet become self sufficient once again. From the feet up, Sarah is able to counteract her body’s natural inclination to pronate inward on the left knee.
We look forward to watching Sarah continue to build strength and speed!
As inevitable as death and taxes, if you’re active, you’re bound to get injured. For runners, this is especially true.
While it’s difficult to determine all of the many factors that can lead to common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome, runner’s knee and shin splints, you can put your focus in strengthening the foot and running form, as they hold the key to prevention. As an added bonus – better strength and form will allow you to achieve greater speed and endurance, too!
And when you’ve had an injury, coming back into running can be a daunting task, even after the pain has gone away. Getting help from a natural running coach can be a key piece of the puzzle, according to Jeff Stapleton, Canada’s foremost natural running coach.
Coach Jeff introduced us to his two newest ‘walking wounded’, Sarah and Mike. As faithful users of the Barefoot Science Insoles, they already had a ‘leg-up’ with strengthening their feet and ankles. By strengthening their arches, they had improved the mechanics of their walking and running form, as well as improved development of the body’s natural proprioceptive abilities, but still weren’t running at their peak.
Before Barefoot Science, Sarah’s running had become regular torture sessions with a sore knee that just wouldn’t quit. Symptoms seemed to spike during the winter, when running calls for even more strength to navigate ice and snow, so after a second season of all pain, no gain, Sarah was ready to try anything rather than throwing in the towel.
After months of researching the causes, Sarah felt pretty certain her troubles were IT Band related. IT Band syndrome, or Iliotibial Band Syndrome can be caused by many things, but in Sarah, it was the result of ‘locked up’ muscles, poor running form, and weakness stemming from the feet.
Sarah started using her Barefoot Science Insoles, gradually increasing the level over time and started to see some real improvements after the first week. only a week or two. But the most dramatic change came when she began running with her insoles. Since starting this practice, she has had no knee pain at all!
With the addition of coaching on running form with Jeff, Sarah now has feedback on how to put it all together to improve her running efficiency and speed.
Mike had different challenges to face. A tall, lanky guy with a natural ability for speed, Mike’s setback was with shin splints, pain that recurred every time the mileage increased. Running in pain can be sustained for only so long, so Mike would cease running.
Since he started using Barefoot Science, Mike has been able to run pain-free and his mileage is increasing naturally with no pain at all.
In his session Coach Jeff, pointed out a lot of gait errors that were a part of Mike’s technique. Mike learned how to soften his gait, and shorten his stride to achieve more speed and he’s thrilled!
Jeff’s approach with runners is to first assess a runner’s strength, flexibility, running form, and to provide practical advice on how to move with greater efficiency and ease, and to work with the body’s own mechanics to run with greater efficiency and to mitigate injury.
Jeff moves his clients through strength and flexibility tests, running drills, before demonstrating the “squat-scoot” method of running, focusing on the four tenets: tight, light, compact and forward. Distilled down to it’s simplest definition, you’re aiming to land lightly, mid-foot, keeping your body tight and compact, and leaning forward.
To learn this, Jeff has his clients remove their shoes to experience running barefoot. Without shoes (or coffins, as Coach Jeff calls them!), one can really feel how important landing softly is. Heel-striking with a bare foot: ouch! Barefoot running also helps runners feel all the muscles in the feet firing. Proprioception, which is the body’s natural ability to balance and feel its own movement within a space, was dramatically improved, resulting in a softer, lighter gait, that’s also more rooted and confident with each step.
Getting feedback on form is important. It matters not if you think your form is great. If you’re in pain, there’s room for improvement. See Coach Jeff if you think you could use a little help in this area!
After the session, our runners were anxious to practice their running form and to feel the difference running in the squat-scoot way. They reported that they felt lighter and faster in their regular training, and continue to run without pain a month later.
With Barefoot Science Insoles that work to strengthen and build up arch strength, and with Coach Jeff’s amazing feedback on proper running form, this running duo are ready to tackle whatever mileage this summer brings them: rocky forest trails, or steaming-hot roads, they’re ready!
Brad Muir on Barefoot Science Insoles
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Barefoot Science Therapeutic Foot Care Insoles
Experts are saying...
Barefoot Science insoles are the best I have ever come across including a $500 pair I have from a foot doctor. I think I originally saw them on an infomercial either on line or on TV. I have them in every pair of shoes and sneakers I own. They have improved my overall arch health dramatically since I began using them. They also last a long time as you can see from the time I placed my last order for 5 in 2010. Hopefully the company continues offering this great product in the future. Thanks again for your help.William Westberg, Specialty Division Account Executive, Division of LFUSA
Customers are saying...
First and foremost, I am absolutely thrilled, and I mean thrilled, with your product. My problem foot has not felt this good in 25 years, and I am just astonished that your insoles could accomplish so easily what a zillion visits to 'experts' and a zillion dollars for custom orthotics could not. I admit to being a little skeptical when my wife first came across your product online (I am not usually persuaded by TV infomercial type of stuff) but the many online comments (mostly very positive) about the insoles and your own very prompt and comprehensive responses to my inquiries sold me initially, and the rest is history. My only fears going forward are either you change the design or you choose another line of work and your business closes!! Hopefully neither will happen and you enjoy continued success and prosperity.Ken Honig