Jo Hadley | Bio-Spiritual Physiotherapist
physio, physiotherapist, injury, sport injury, physio sydney, female physio, runnuing
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About Me

I am a physiotherapist with over 30 years of experience.


Healthy lifestyle. How to get motived and more.

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Barefoot or Minimal Shoe Running.

I have become a minimalist in most areas of my life including and especially my running shoes.

When I discovered there was little scientific evidence for modern running shoes regarding foot function, I changed my whole way of thinking, as well as my shoes.

I personally experienced issues from running shoes, as for 15 years I could not run more than 2kmĀ  because of severe bone pain/shin splints and no orthotics helped, even though I religiously wore hard form orthotics for 15 years to remedy the situation.

After I read the book ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall in 2010 and decided to try running again in Vibram Five Finger shoes….after a long slow weaning in period where I very gradually increased my running distance, worked on my running technique… I now run marathons….

I learned running technique is vital and my minimal shoes allowed my feet muscles and sensory receptors to work as they should. Our feet are filled with important sensory/proprioceptive receptors which help aid posture and body position in space yet we block them from working with much of our footware.

As a child I ran barefoot! (Many children still do, if there are no sharp nasty objects around or they are not diabetic.)

Are minimal shoes for everyone? Probably NOT! If you never get injured and have no other issues then keep using the shoes you have. In my opinon, our running technique is more important than shoes and every foot is different and so many different shoes are probably needed.

It is my opinion that after having worn big chunky shoes with cushioning for decades/generations, we now have created weak feet that probably do need protection…we CANNOT suddenly change from these shoes to minimal shoes without risking injury.
Minimal shoes make our calves and feet muscles/fascia work harder, which is not a bad thing if it is adapted to slowly…but adaptation to new shoes has to be transitioned to SLOWLY and can take up to 12 months to achieve.

Runners who are experienced need to take much more care transitioning to minimal shoes because it is difficult to decrease training volumes enough, so much more care is required than a beginner who has to increase training volume slowly anyway.

The body requires time to adapt! Otherwise the stress can cause muscle/fascia/bone injuries!

I am happy to discuss shoes or transitioning to a more minimal shoe with anyone who needs assistance in this area.