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Shoes+orthotics or barefoot? help!!

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  • Shoes+orthotics or barefoot? help!!

    I have been injured for about 9 months and was pretty broken...I had numerous injuries going from my hips to my feet but finally, after lots of rest and physical therapy, I'm no longer experiencing pain! My sports doctor put me on a run/walk regimen to get back into running but the only downside to this is that he wants me to wear SHOES and ORTHOTICS. I'm a complete supporter of minimalist and barefoot running and have been barefoot walking for a few weeks. I always wear flip flops or something close to minimalist footwear and when my doctor told me to bring back the shoes and orthotics, I was shocked and disappointed. I followed my "workout" for the day (10 min walking, 1 min jog, 2 min walk, 1 min jog, 10 min walk) and hated every second those horrible shoes encased and smothered my feet. My feet felt 10x heavier, it took a lot of effort to pick them up off the ground even when jogging (the orthotics make my shoes so heavy) and the time seemed to drag on and on even though I was barely doing anything intense. By the last ten minutes, I couldn't stand the suffocating coffin-like shoes and took them off and continued walking barefoot, which felt SO AMAZING compared to the shoes. I walked barefoot for about 15 min with a little bit of running in between. So far, I haven't had any pain or tightness except for a little in my right heel but I figure thats just from the hard ground and my feet have yet to get completely used to that. I want to trust my doctor but I HATE THE SHOES. What should I do? Should I go with my gut and purchase minimalist shoes and continue my plan with those? Or should I tough out the suffocating, heavy shoes?
    Last edited by Hallie; 05-22-2013, 06:46 PM.

  • #2
    If it were me, I would not use orthotics and shoes. I would begin transitioning to minimalist shoes. I don't know if that's what is right for you, however. Keep in mind my opinion is biased as I've been in minimalist shoes for about three years and won't go back. My thought is that orthotics do not make your feet stronger, they act as a crutch. If you go barefoot or minimalist, your feet and legs will become their own support.

    If you decide to go minimalist, please read and follow this thread. Jason Robillard (Last Place Jason) is a renowned barefoot runner and coach and knows his stuff.

    *** NEW BAREFOOT OR MINIMALIST RUNNERS START HERE *** | Runner's World Community

    Jason's site:

    Barefoot Running University

    Another good group of articles from Sock Doc about orthotics:

    Search for "orthotics" - Sock-Doc
    My journal: